With thousands of backup and maintenance plugins, WordPress becomes a real security issue for newbies for a simple reason, they find themselves lost between a long list of WordPress security plugins, and everyone says that his plugin is the best. So, the result can be a secure website, but also, unprotected sites in other cases because the webmaster selected the wrong plugin that will never work in that case.
To find the best WordPress security and backup plugins, we need some tests. The majority of the plugins are working, but not with every website settings and server configurations.
A small file permission issue can affect the entire website security and you know the result. Thousands of WordPress blogs are victims of hack and the reason, in general, is a missed plugin, or a tool in the wrong version of PHP or MySQL. Some popular plugins such as Better WP Security and others are coming with advanced settings and in one second, a WordPress beginner user can modify the access file and never get it back again.
You can also read: Best WordPress to Dropbox backup plugins.
It’s not a problem of complicated settings and parameters, it’s all about simplicity and protection at the same time, not all the bloggers and webmasters are coders and experts. So, why they need these complicated plugins that modify files, such as, access and wp-config.php, and the big problem is that the modified file stays there even when installing the plugin.
Who cares about you? So, think again when installing plugins with lots of options and settings. You can get the opposite of what you want with a click of a button, and the protection becomes an open door to hackers and spammers.
Sometimes a small and a well-coded plugin can be better than the popular ones with millions of downloads. It’s not always the case, but it happened many times. Some coders want just to help and not make money from their plugins. Some others, want to help and earn extra income selling WordPress plugins. Both, are good for WordPress, but they need some tests before recommending them to the public.
Let’s talk about these security and backup plugins, please remember, I’m talking about security and backups at the same time, and not separated plugins. I know that there are lots of security plugins, but some people want all in one plugin and unluckily, there are only a few of them.
1. WP Maintainer
This is the best WordPress security plugin that updates the software core first and checks if plugins and the theme are all updated. It’s a very important step before doing anything else. Some low quality hosting providers limit their resources or don’t have sufficient memory to run updates and PHP executions, after a limited time in seconds. Then, the plugin will create a scheduled backup for your WordPress site and saves its content and files in other locations of your choice.
This WordPress best security plugin uses the Secure security scan to protect your site and search for malware, and issues related to security and hidden codes. The plugin developers offer also a site custom modification and it’s a custom job that you can get for extra fees. This plugin is not recommended for WordPress multisite, even they have a notice about that and you need an extra job to use it in that case.
If you have a windows hosting, this plugin cannot work properly with all the windows servers for many reasons. For Linux, it works well and it’s recommended.
2. WP Guards
This is a security plugin for WordPress that comes also with a free version, but with limited functions and I recommend the paid version with automatic backups, scan, and security with diagnostic, to help resolve issues. At the same time, this WordPress plugin includes an uptime monitoring tool to check if your website is up or down and gives detailed statistics about that.
The plugin also updates your theme and plugins if the WordPress updater is not working for any reason. Even, their team updates the tools manually and check for issues and PHP errors and correct them. If you need some help, they are there and you can get their support at any time, it’s their job and they know what they are doing.
This plugin is recommended only for normal shared hosting with sufficient resources. If you’re using low quality hosting that limits your PHP, and resources all the time, then, it may not work well and you’ll get errors from the server.
3. Confusion Security Audit
This plugin from ThemeForest allows you to easily scan WordPress files, for file permission dangers, or other issues that can cause hack or errors. You get a list of errors to correct. At the same time, the plugin dashboard lets you create backups and send them in ZIP format or any other file format you want. The backups will be sent to your email, or on the server.
The best part is the file prefix checker tool, it scans multiple file extensions and helps you to correct problems easily.
This plugin lets you increase the maximum upload file sizes and increase the resources allocated to your PHP executions.
These are the only plugins to backup and secure a WordPress website at the same time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any free plugin and I’ll be happy if you submit them if you really tried them. Again, we’re talking about backup and security at the same time, without complicated settings and advanced htaccess editing.
You can find these tools everywhere, but they are not suitable for beginners who need just, a secure and safe saved copies for their blogs. This list will be updated with every new plugin that proves its performance with a well-done job.
If you can’t get the above plugins, I recommend using the Wordfence Security plugin which is the top security tool for WordPress. Please forget all you read about other tools with “blah blah blah”. Wordfence is a clever way to protect WordPress sites with a few clicks. Even a newbie can understand the easy setting page with check boxes.
You’ll need to add your email address to receive instant security notifications when a plugin was modified or a file needs updating.
It’s more than a security tool and it proves itself every day. At the same time, you need to use free plugins to backup your site, I recommend WordPress Backup to Dropbox, it’s a free plugin to create backups to Dropbox and forget the issues.