When it comes to your website, security should be your #1 priority. Keeping your website secure minimizes the chances of hackers getting access to your site and injecting malicious content and code that could hurt your SEO rank and profits as well as infect other websites on the same server. In the long run, your site could be taken down by your host and blacklisted by search engines.
You can easily protect your website with a security plugin. When it comes to WordPress, the best security plugin is Wordfence and in today’s post, I’ll talk about what Wordfence offers and how it protects your website. I’ll also share a video tutorial that shows you how to setup the Wordfence plugin on your site.
Wordfence is one of the most popular security plugins for WordPress that offers firewall protection for your website. The plugin has more than 2 million active installs and a 5-star rating. Notable security features include country blocking, suspicious login attempts blocking, file monitoring, live traffic monitoring, and more. Let’s take a look at those features more in-depth below.
Firewall and Malware Protection
One of the most notable features Wordfence has is the endpoint firewall. Once you enable the firewall, it will be your site’s first line of defense against hackers and spammers. The firewall monitors the traffic coming to your site and compares that traffic against a large database of IP addresses. It then prevents the bad traffic from reaching your website.
The firewall will protect your website from brute force attacks by limiting login attempts, enforcing strong passwords and other login security measures.
File Monitoring and Security Scanning
The plugin will work in the background and check your site for any known security threats and alert you if there are any problems.
The Wordfence plugin will also monitor the files on your website and check for any changes. More specifically, it will scan the core files, themes, and plugins for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections.
It will also compare those files against the files that are in the official WordPress repository and notify you if it finds any changes. You can then choose to review them and remove them if they are indeed compromised.
On top of that, the plugin will also check any content on your website and scan file contents, posts, and comments for dangerous URLs and suspicious content.
The free version of the plugin allows you to use the plugin’s recommended scan schedule, however, you can manually run a website scan.
Finally, you can use Wordfence to block certain countries from accessing your website. You can block attackers by IP or build advanced rules that take into an account a range of factors such as IP Range, Hostname, User Agent and Referrer. Keep in mind that the country blocking is a premium feature so you will need to upgrade your license.
Wordfence Plugin Pricing
The core Wordfence plugin is free and it can be downloaded from the official plugin repository. The free version allow you to run automatic, scheduled scans, and blocks requests that include malicious code or content. The free version also includes protection from brute force attacks by limiting login attempts, enforcing strong passwords and other login security measures.
There is also a premium version of the plugin that includes more advanced security features such as checking if your site has been blacklisted, real-time firewall rule and malware signature updates via Threat Defense feed instead of 30 day delay with the free version, and real-time IP Blacklist blocks from the most malicious IPs.
The pricing for the premium version of the plugin starts at $99 for one-site license and one year of support and updates.
Wordfence Site Cleaning Service
It’s worth mentioning that Wordfence offers site cleaning service if your website has been compromised. The company behind Wordfence will clean your website by removing all the infected files. They will also provide you with a detailed report on how the hackers gained access as well as help you remove your site from being blacklisted.
The price for the cleaning service starts at $179 for a single site and includes a free year of Wordfence Premium plugin subscription.
Wordfence Video Tutorial
As promised, here’s a video tutorial that shows you how to setup the Wordfence plugin.
Other Useful Security Plugins
Wordfence is a great first line of defense and a first step towards protecting your website. But if you want to secure your site even further, there are a few other plugins to consider.
Google Authenticator – WordPress Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
This plugin features more than 20 000 active installs and a 4,5-star rating. It creates an additional layer of security by asking for a special code that has to be entered on top of your usual username and password.
You can use Google Authenticator as well as LastPass authenticator, Authy, QR code, and other methods to generate unique codes.
Other notable features include user role based redirection after login, custom security questions, the ability to customize account name in Google Authenticator app, and more.
If you need extra features such as email verification, OTP over SMS, and more, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version of the plugin which starts at $5/user/year.
Next up, the Loginizer plugin features more than 800 000 active installs and a 5-star rating. The plugin prevents brute force attacks by blocking the login for the IP after it reaches the maximum number of retries that are allowed.
The plugin makes it easy to blacklist or whitelist IPs for login and you can use other features like Two Factor Auth, reCAPTCHA, and PasswordLess Login to improve the security of your website.
This plugin also comes with the ability to rename the login and admin pages of your website to make them harder to guess for hackers. You can completely customize the URL of the login and admin area or you can enable the secret mode which will still point to wp-login.php and wp-admin.php but your users will be able to access those pages by manually typing in the new URL into their browser.
There is also a premium version of the plugin with more features that starts at $24 for one-site license and one year of support and updates.
On top of backing up your website’s files, you can use the UpdraftPlus plugin to restore your website in the event something goes wrong. You can choose several locations for backups which include Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, email, and more.
The core plugin is free, premium pricing starts at $87.50 for 2-site license.
Securing your website is not as difficult as it seems. With the help of Wordfence plugin, you will be able to protect your site and keep it safe from hackers and spammers. When you pair Wordfence with the additional plugins I mentioned, you’ll have a complete package that will protect your admin area, backup your site, and scan your site for malware.
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