Best WordPress security plugins of 2022

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WordPress on all platforms
(Image credit: WordPress)

The best WordPress security plugins make it simple and easy to secure and protect your website content.

A published WordPress site is as vulnerable to attack as any other website, and the best WordPress security plugins can help protect your content as your website grows in traffic. 

Being one of the most popular website builder and web hosting solutions out there, WordPress is definitely a target for hackers. In fact, a recent analysis revealed that 70% of WordPress installations (opens in new tab) could be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Now before you start panicking, help is at hand: we've rounded up the top five WordPress security plugins to help you tighten up your site vulnerabilities, and make it as hacker-proof as possible.

Our list features five of the best WordPress security plugins available on the market today, and we've gone through each one and sought to roadtest its key features and costs. Along with ease of use and the design of its interface, we've also weighed up aspects relating to the type of security protection each plugin offers, from scanning for malware to checking password strengths and backing up data.

Here then are the best WordPress security plugins currently available.

We've also featured the best WordPress landing page plugins.


The best WordPress security plugins of 2022 in full

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Website screenshot for BulletProof Security

(Image credit: Wordpress)

1. BulletProof Security

Best free option

Reasons to buy

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Free
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Comprehensive set of tools

Reasons to avoid

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Not the prettiest interface
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WordPress beginners may struggle with setup

It may not be the prettiest plugin on this list of best WordPress security plugins, but BulletProof Security does its job, and is free, which makes it definitely worth checking out if you're on the hunt for a top WordPress security plugin on a budget. 

The main page come with a video that highlights how to set it up once installed on your site. The plugin includes a malware scanner, full, partial or manual database backup, .htaccess protection, login monitoring and idle session logout, among many others. 

It has a bigger sibling, BulletProof Security Pro which is available for a one-time fee to install on an unlimited number of websites, offers free lifetime upgrades, and of course, many tools not available in the free version, including Heads Up Dashboard Status Display, and a series of 16 mini plugins which is called “Pro Tools”.

Always make sure you back up your WordPress site before making major changes. Check out the best WordPress backup plugins.

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Website screenshot for iThemes Security Pro

(Image credit: iThemes)

2. iThemes Security Pro

Ideal for those wanting to login without passwords

Reasons to buy

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Strong protection
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Innovative new security features

Reasons to avoid

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Doesn't come cheap
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File logging can cause dashboard to slow

iThemes Security Pro aims to simplify securing your website for you. Features include monitoring 404 errors and if too many are coming from the same IP address, it assumes this is an attempt to gain access, and locks that address out of your site. 

The basics are also essential, such as forcing admins to use strong passwords - the more complex the password, the less likely it’ll be hacked. The same goes for activating two-factor authentication. Database backup is also a welcome addition in case something goes horribly wrong. One feature we particularly liked is a new one: Passwordless Logins (which is a similar concept to fingerprint authentication or FaceID).

Various plans are open to you, such as for protecting a single site, or a plan to cover up to 10 or even unlimited WordPress websites.

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Website screenshot for Sucuri Security

(Image credit: Sucuri )

3. Sucuri Security

Ideal for all around protection

Reasons to buy

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Full featured
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Wide range of options

Reasons to avoid

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Most expensive option
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Ticket support can be slow

Sucuri calls itself a platform because they offer a wide range of security features. They include the usual such as firewall, monitoring and detection. They protect your site from hacking, include a malware scanner, prevent SEO spamming, and repair tools it if an attack was successful. They also offer performance improvements, like website speed optimisation (they have caching options on their own servers).

All of this, and much more, obviously comes at a price, and as a result, the Sucuri Security platform is the most expensive offering on this list. You have three plans, and each limits you to installing it on a single site. The higher the plan, the more frequent the scans take place. There’s an Enterprise option, but that price varies depending on your custom needs.

Read our list on the best WordPress social media plugins.

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Website screenshot for SecuPress Pro

(Image credit: SecuPress)

4. SecuPress Pro

Best for those with multiple websites

Reasons to buy

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Elegant interface
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Feature rich
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Free version available

Reasons to avoid

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Free version is thin on features
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Malware scanning restricted to Pro version

Like the other plugins on this list of best WordPress security plugins, SecuPress is designed to protect your site from malicious attacks. It will scan your site to determine its robustness to attack and offer fixes to secure any holes it might find. 

As you’d expect, it offers a backup feature, protection from brute force attacks, builds an IP and bot blocklist, has anti spam features, offers two-factor authentication, and even moves the login page, among many other offerings, all in a very elegant interface.

SecuPress charges per site, and the more websites you protect with it, the cheaper is gets. There’s also a free version with limited functionality, called SecuPress Free.

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Website screenshot for WordFence Premium

(Image credit: WordFence)

5. WordFence Premium

Great for realtime traffic monitoring

Reasons to buy

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Numerous security options
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Live monitoring
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Free version available

Reasons to avoid

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Live traffic reporting can cause load on server
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Initial configuration could be streamlined

WordFence has an impressive list of features to protect your WordPress site from attack. It provides a firewall and security scanner, blocking malware, SEO spam, and malicious redirects amongst others. We liked the option of monitoring traffic in real time, and the ability to perform advanced manual blocks of any malicious human or robot activity. There are also tools to help you recover from a hack, including the ability to help you repair files damaged in the process.

Like SecuPress, WordFence charges per site, and the price goes down the more websites you protect with it (although not as steeply as SecuPress!). A free version is also available.

To keep track of your website visitors, read on for our list of the best WordPress Google Analytics plugins.


What is a WordPress security plugin?

One of the advantages of building a website using WordPress is the way in which its open-source nature allows users to customize their site using add-ons known as plugins. 

A security plugin, like the best WordPress security plugins featured in this article, offers integral protection for your website. Unfortunately, WordPress sites have been targeted by nefarious actors in the past, and they are at risk of spammers, malware, or worse. 

Implementing one of the security plugins mentioned on this page will help make your site more robust and defend it from malicious attacks.

How to choose the best WordPress security plugin for you

The size and nature of your website will likely determine what sort of approach you should take to security. If it's a small, personal blog or site that is frequented by a small number of visitors, you may well be satisfied with a free out-of-the-box solution which will give you a basic level of protection from spam bots and malware.

However, if your website forms an integral part of a business or service offering, it's likely that you'll require a more extensive security plugin that will keep your site safe from even the most sophisticated of attacks, and may include additional features such as data backups, password monitoring, and multiple site use.

The best WordPress security plugin: How we test

We selected five of the best WordPress security plugins and analysed each one based on a range of security features. Among the pre-emptive measures we looked at included site-scanning, backing up, bot blocklists, two-factor authentication, and manual blocking options. 

We also weighed up what each plugin offered in the dreaded scenario of a malware or hacking event, and highlighted those which offered recovery and repair options. 

Finally we also looked at the pricing structures offered for each plugin, from those that offer free and low-cost options, to feature-rich plugins that can be used on multiple sites but which demand a little more from your wallet.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar (opens in new tab).

We've also featured the best WordPress plugins.

Steve has been writing about technology since 2003. Starting with Digital Creative Arts, he's since added his tech expertise at titles such as iCreate, MacFormat, MacWorld, MacLife, and TechRadar. His focus is on the creative arts, like website builders, image manipulation, and filmmaking software, but he hasn’t shied away from more business-oriented software either. He uses many of the apps he writes about in his personal and professional life. Steve loves how computers have enabled everyone to delve into creative possibilities, and is always delighted to share his knowledge, expertise, and experience with readers.