Sucuri vs. Wordfence: Choosing the Best Plugin for WordPress Security

Running a WordPress business site or a successful blog demands plenty of resources. For that reason, it can be quite disheartening when you have to lose your site just in one attack. There are about 90,000 attacks on WordPress sites every minute, so there’s no room for taking chances with your website security.

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While total risk elimination is quite impractical, there are steps you can take to reduce risks and secure your site. This including:

  • Getting secure hosting
  • Hiding WordPress version
  • Preventing hotlinking
  • Hardening wp-config.php
  • Using strong passwords and clever usernames
  • Enabling two-factor authentication

You can complete these tasks manually, or you can install a security plugin that takes care of most of the manual tasks. With WordPress, Sucuri and Wordfence are the two most popular plugins you can install to secure your site. They come with handy features for monitoring and preventing attacks.

In this post, we’ll compare Sucuri vs. Wordfence to help you pick the right plugin for your site.

Sucuri Overview

Sucuri is one of the leading website security companies worldwide. It provides tools for cleaning and protecting websites, including the Sucuri WordPress plugin. The plugin is free, but there is a premium version if you want more features.

Features

Sucuri plugin offers a variety of features, including:

1. WordPress Hardening

This feature adds a set of rules to your website’s .htaccess file to protect areas that could potentially become venues for attacks. It also verifies secure configurations of your site.

2. Email Alerts

Whenever there are suspicious activities on your website, you’ll receive email alerts, allowing you to take the necessary action. This function is activated by default, and you can customize it as needed.

3. Malware Scanning

The plugin has a website scanning engine that scans your site for malicious content, out-of-date plugins and add-ons, and website errors. The SiteCheck remote scanners are usually updated to detect and remove new malware.

4. Core Integrity Check

Sucuri also comes with tools that scan your site’s core files, such as CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and other default files. This helps to detect and eliminate threats hidden in WP core files.

5. Post-Hack

Should your site get compromised, the plugin provides measures to address the issue and ensure your website’s safety.

6. Sucuri Firewall Integration

For advanced protection of your website, you can connect the plugin with the Sucuri Firewall. This is a premium feature, and it’s not included in the plugin as a tool but as an integration option.

Installation and Activation

You can simply download the Sucuri Security plugin from the WordPress repository and install it. Alternatively, it’s possible to install it via your WordPress plugin dashboard. Simply search for it and click the “Install” button.

You will then need to activate it to connect your WordPress account to Sucuri’s server. This is important because it will allow you to access the plugin’s logs, even if a hacker deletes them from your site.

Simply access your Sucuri plugin interface via your WP dashboard and click “Generate API Key.” Once the key is generated, the plugin is connected to a remote API service that stores your audit logs, which are accessible whenever you want.

Wordfence Overview

Wordfence was also solely developed to protect websites from malware and malicious attacks. This plugin includes a malware scanner and an endpoint firewall. It also has other powerful features to keep your website safe and prevent data leaks.

Features

Several compelling features make Wordfence an excellent plugin for your site. Here are its features:

1. Wordfence Firewall

The plugin features a Web Application Firewall (WAF) that detects and blocks malicious traffic. The firewall runs at the endpoint to ensure deep integration with your site.

2. Wordfence Security Scanner

This tool scans your plugins, themes, and core files for malicious redirects, code injections, backdoors, SEO spam, and bad URLs. It also checks the integrity of your core files to ensure they’re not altered.

3. Country Blocking

If you notice plenty of malicious traffic from a particular country, this feature allows you to block the country. This means visitors from the block country won’t be able to access your website.

4. Two-Factor Authentification

Having a strong password is always not enough. That’s why this plugin supports two-factor authentication, which allows you to stop brute attacks permanently.

5. Advanced Manual Blocking

It’s also possible to block individual people, robots, and networks from your site. This is an excellent alternative to blocking a country.

6. Leaked Password Protection

When your password information is stolen in data breaches, you can still protect your site thanks to the leaked password protection feature. It allows you to block logins for users with known compromised passwords.

7. File Repair

The file repair feature makes it easy to recover from a hack. The plugin has a source code verification function that reviews the plugin, theme, and code files to detect changes and repair them.

Installation and Activation

All you need to do is go to the plugins section and click “Add New” at the top of the page. This should open the repository for available plugins, and then search “Wordfence Security” to get the plugin.

Locate the plugin in the search results and click the “Install Now” button just adjacent to it. Once you have installed the plugin, you’ll access its dashboard, which allows you to enable or disable different features.

Which Is the Best Option?

Now that you understand the two security plugins, which one would you opt for? While both Sucuri and Wordfence offer comprehensive protection against data theft, brute force attacks, and malware infection, several elements will make you pick one option over the other.

You want a plugin that’s easy to use and requires little maintenance to protect your site. Here are the factors worth considering when comparing Sucuri vs. Wordfence:

Ease of Use

Website security is a complicated field, but end-user products need to be user-friendly and straightforward.

Upon installing Wordfence, you’ll get a popup that prompts you to provide an email address for security notifications. You’ll also need to agree to the terms of service. After that, an onboarding wizard will take you through all the key features of the plugin.

The basic setup of the Wordfence security plugin is simple. However, the interface is a bit cluttered for new users, but it gets easier as you use it.

Sucuri, on the other hand, has no prompts upon installing it. It runs a quick scan after you install it, and then provides notifications on any existing issue. The plugin’s firewall doesn’t run on your server, so no technical maintenance on your end.

The plugin has an excellent interface, but you’ll still need to learn how to navigate it to locate what you want. Updating nameservers on your domain registrar can be a techy task, but popular registrars can help you with this.

Website Application Firewall

Both Wordfence and Sucuri plugins have website application firewalls, but how do they compare?

Wordfence’s firewall detects and blocks malicious traffic. However, it runs on your server, and this might make it less efficient compared to a cloud-based firewall. The firewall is on the basic mode by default, but you can manually set it up in the extended mode.

In basic mode, the firewall can be slow in blocking attacks. So, it’s advisable to have it in extended mode.

Sucuri’s firewall is cloud-based, meaning it blocks malicious traffic before it reaches your server. You’ll need to change your domain name’s DNS settings to reroute your traffic through Sucuri’s servers, allowing you to use the firewall.

Sucuri has no basic or extended mode, and the firewall starts working once the setup is complete.

Sucuri is the best here.

Monitoring and Notifications

Both security plugins monitor your site and alert you when there’s an issue that needs your attention. They display the alerts on your dashboard, and you can also receive them in your email inbox.

These plugins allow you to set your email alert preferences. This lets you receive notifications of critical alerts only. Regarding monitoring and notifications, both plugins offer almost the same features.

So, here they tie.

Malware Scanning

Sucuri and Wordfence have built-in scanners that monitor your site for altered fields, malware, and malicious code.

Wordefence’s scanner is customizable to suit your hosting plan. The free version of the plugin comes with an automatic scan schedule for your site. While you can set up different modes for the scanner, most options are in the premium version.

On the other hand, Sucuri’s scanner uses SiteCheck API to check your website against different APIs. It scans your core files to ensure there’s no modification, and you can customize its settings depending on your security concerns.

Sucuri is not WordPress-specific, so it’s good at detecting different types of malware.

Sucuri wins here.

Website Cleanup

Cleaning up a hacked site is not easy; fortunately, these two WordPress security plugins can help.

Unfortunately, WordFence’s site cleanup tool is a premium tool. So, you’ll need the premium version of the plugin to access the tool. Once you have it, the tool scans your website and cleans up all the infections and malware in affected files. You also get a report on the hack.

Sucuri’s cleanup tool also comes with the paid plans. If you’re on a paid plan, you’ll need to open a ticket to get the cleanup from the company’s support staff. They’ll clean up all backdoor access files, injected codes, and malware infections.

Here is a tie.

Final Thoughts

So, what’s the best plugin in Sucuri vs. Wordfence?

Overall, both plugins are great at securing your website. They both have free versions for users with basic needs, but you can always upgrade to a premium version when your needs grow.

However, if you have an ecommerce website or running a mission-critical website, the Sucuri website security plugin seems to be the best option. Wordfence is great if you want a free option.

Whatever option you go for, always consider your security needs first. Keep in mind that it’s also your hosting provider’s responsibility to ensure your site’s security.

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