What if your WordPress website gets hacked and develops horrific malware issues? Well, everything you wouldn’t have imagined or wanted to happen does, and you end up feeling horrible and panicky! In this article, we’ll get into what hacking means to your WordPress website. To resolve it, we’ve recommended the five best WordPress malware removal plugins of 2020.
The hard work and dedication put into developing an excellent WordPress website and keeping it running eventually pays off, provided you’ve taken care of any glitches along the way. You know you’re on the right path when your Google Analytics reveals a steady growth in web traffic and conversions along with a declining bounce rate.
By installing one of the popular WordPress malware removal plugins listed in this article, your site would be regularly scanned, cleared of malware issues (and other threats), and kept secure. To help you select the best WordPress malware removal plugin from our list, we’ll first elaborate on what users should expect from a useful malware plugin.
Let’s begin by figuring out how to tell if your WP site is under threat by hackers.
Has Your WordPress Site Been Hacked?
Several common signs reveal your WordPress site may be infected due to hacking. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Your website traffic has suddenly taken a sharp downturn.
- Your admin account has been deleted by hackers due to which you aren’t able to login to WordPress.
- Hackers have added links to spammed websites and posted unauthorized-posts to your website.
- hackers have defaced your website’s homepage.
- Your hosting provider informs you by email that a malicious party could be the reason for bandwidth’s high consumption.
- Your web hosting provider may have suspended your hosting account upon discovering infected files affecting the server.
- Upon access to your domain, web browsers display a security warning as your site may have become blacklisted.
- Upon trying to visit the site, you instead get redirected to an unrelated site.
- After illegally gaining access to your website, hackers have replaced your pages with phishing pages.
What To Look For In A WordPress Malware Plugin?
Over the years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of websites and web traffic. Hackers have also been growing in numbers and expertise. As a result, there’s no shortage of bots on the internet today, looking for vulnerable websites.
If you suspect your site to be hacked, you should run a quick scan with a recommended plugin to resolve the issue for fast and timely action. There are many malware removal plugins to choose from. Hence you should know what to look for to find the right one for overall security.
Characteristics of a useful WordPress malware removal plugin:
To clean and safeguard your WordPress website from malware attacks, you need to ensure you’ve invested in the right malware removal plugin.
For it to be worthwhile, the plugin should have the following attributes:
1. It Should Do A Complete Job
Malware issues these days are different from what they were like in the past. Increased complexity has meant there are loads of optimized database tables and thousands of files and folders associated with a given WordPress site compared to just a few in the past. A useful malware removal plugin should look into every nook and cranny of the complex WordPress ecosystem so that it does a complete malware removal.
2. It Should Be Modern & Updated
With every passing year, hackers have outsmarted previous versions of malware removal plugins. They are not hacking the same files and folders that previous plugins know how to amend. As the WordPress ecosystem becomes more extensive and more complex, the scope for the attack also expands.
An updated and modern malware removal plugin ensures it does a detailed search of every area of your WordPress website. And while it searches your entire WordPress site for new kinds of Malware, it removes every infected area in its pathway.
3. It Should Act Quick
Any delay in removing Malware can lead to Google blacklisting or even web host suspension. That’s why an adequate malware protection plugin finds and removes Malware instantly. A tool that detects early goes a long way since it would have encountered issues and fixed them before any damage was caused to your website.
To put an end to your hacking and Malware related worries, we’re recommending the following five popular and efficient WordPress malware removal plugins for you to consider:
Top 5 WordPress Malware Removal Plugins
There are plenty of reasons why ‘MalCare’ has deserved the top spot on our list of 2020’s best WordPress malware removal plugins. Before summarizing this plugin’s key advantages, shortcomings, and a unique stand out feature, let’s elaborate on their proposed selling points.
This plugin is a relatively new service offered by BlogVault. It features an automatic scanning function that promises early malware and virus detection. This means it detects the most initial signs of Malware, repairing, which saves your site from any damage whatsoever.
The clean up is as simple as a single click of your mouse button. The rest is automatic and instant. Gone are the days you’d have to wait for technical help to assist you with cleaning your WordPress site. So even if you are an absolute beginner, you won’t have any hassles with this plugin.
Earlier, we mentioned the vastness and complexities associated with the modern-day WordPress ecosystem. MalCare is developed to detect challenging to locate Malware precisely, no matter how complex the Malware is within the complicated site.
Backup is essential for any website, especially when it’s prone to hacking. The MalCare malware removal plugin has a built-in WP backup service from BlogVault. Furthermore, while your site is being scanned and repaired, you don’t have to worry about your site slowing down; MalCare does the find and repair work on its own servers.
- Early detection through an automatic scanner leaves your site damage-free.
- One-click malware cleaner makes the process quick and easy.
- Detects the most complex Malware through a comprehensive search mechanism.
- Accurately detects the most complex Malware.
- You get incredible WordPress backup service by BlogVault.
- MalCare does the processing on its servers.
- The plugin with full features is not free. The price depends on the plan you go for. There are personal, small business, and developer plans. However, it’s worth it because, as per their caption you get, “guaranteed 100% WordPress malware removal without breaking your site.”●
Unique Standout Feature(s):
- Some unique features of this robust plugin include: automatic instant cleaner, scans websites on its servers, and the ability to remove new & complex Malware using a change tracker.
Moving ahead, next on our list is ‘WordFence,’ featuring an endpoint firewall and malware scanner. It features a Web Application Firewall (WAF) that blocks malicious traffic without breaking encryption, leaking data, or being bypassed. This is possible because of the plugin’s deep endpoint integration with WordPress.
WordFence has an integrated malware scanner that:
- Blocks malicious code and content.
- Inspects core folders, plugins, and themes. It checks all the core files for Malware, bad domains, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects, and code injections.
- Prevents brute force attacks and enforces stringent security through:
– Allowing limited login attempts
– Making strong passwords mandatory
– Other login restrictions
In terms of threat intelligence, WordFence is the best in the industry.
The WordFence plugin has a ‘Threat Defense Feed’ with the latest firewall rules, malware signature updates, and malicious IPs to keep your website safe. If you’re a premium user, you get the real-time ‘Threat Defense Feed,’ as opposed to the community version availed by free users.
Other powerful features of WordFence include leaked password protection, real-time traffic monitoring, advanced manual blocking, country blocking, source code verification, and two-factor authentication.
- One of the most comprehensive malware removal plugins available.
- You get an in-depth investigative report.
- It has deep endpoint integration with WordPress.
- Offers much better protection than cloud firewall alternatives.
- Blocks brute force attacks through stringent security measures.
- Offers the best threat intelligence in the industry.
- Offers several additional powerful features.
- The plugin is detail-oriented; this means the process can be relatively time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. Although, the result is an incredibly accurate and superior fix!
- There are both a free plugin and a premium version. You will have to upgrade to the premium version if you want to enable powerful features like ‘real-time blacklist,’ ‘real-time firewall rule updates,’ and ‘real-time malware signature updates.’ Yet, it’s well worth the money!
Unique Standout Feature(s):
- The unique WordFence ‘Threat Defense Feed’ equips WordFence with the most updated firewall rules, malware signatures, and malicious IPs required in real-time for the ultimate safety of your website.
Another viral WordPress malware removal plugins is Sucuri. It works like a charm on WordPress to prevent your site from getting hacked. It also works equally well on other CMS’s like Drupal, Joomla, and Magento. By installing the Sucuri plugin, your site is continuously kept in check. At the same time, Sucuri scans find and plug security leaks and other risky elements.
It logs all security-related activities (for example, login attempts) on your website through the security activity auditing feature. It also performs file integrity checks to detect every single change made to WordPress files, alerting you in the event of a modified, added, or deleted file so that you can take action accordingly.
Another Sucuri feature is remote malware scanning through its scanner ‘SiteCheck.’ Being a remote scanner, it finds issues in your external source code for fixing Malware, website issues, outdated software, blacklist status, and security threats. On the other hand, the premium edition will additionally perform a complete server-side scan.
Another incredible feature is the post-hack security actions to deter hackers from doing further damage. The checklist of such activities includes resetting all your security keys, plugins, and passwords and getting recommendations for alternative updates.
- It logs all security-related activities through a security activity auditing feature.
- Performs regular integrity checks.
- Comprehensive malware removal.
- Performs remote malware scanning through its scanner ‘SiteCheck.’
- You get a complete server-side scan through the premium version.
- The post-hack security toolset feature aids you in avoiding further damage once your site is compromised.
- It checks with blacklist engines to ensure your site isn’t blacklisted.
- It offers you customizable security notifications.
- You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- The price of the premium version is relatively higher than other competing plugins.
- Overall, the whole cleaning process is rather time-consuming yet highly effective.
Unique Standout Feature(s):
- Sucuri removes the blacklist status of your website in case a search engine has blacklisted it.
The Cerber Security & Anti-Spam plugin for WordPress is a super fast and reliable remedy against hacking, spam, and trojans & Malware. Although the free version is known to be quite capable of handling all that, the premium version has beneficial additional features.
It’s undoubtedly one of the best malware scanners for a reason! Your file changes are continuously monitored, and your website is kept free of malicious code and bugs. Moreover, the integrity of WP plugins and themes is continually maintained in check.
You have the option to choose either a ‘Quick’ or a ‘Full’ scan. The former tests all files (excluding media) with executable extensions, while the latter scans all files for malicious code patterns. Furthermore, the bot detection engine pinpoints and diminishes automated attacks.
- GEO country rules let you decide which countries may submit forms, register & log in, post comments or use WP REST API or XML-RPC.
- This plugin mitigates brute force attacks.
- The ‘Cerber Security Cloud’ detects malicious IP addresses globally and blocks them before your website is harmed in any way.
- Email alerts and security scanner reports keep you in the loop at all times.
- You can schedule hourly or daily basis scans.
- You get automatic malware removal and file recovery of your WP files.
- There are quite a few settings to go through due to the many features; it might seem a bit overburdening to the beginner WordPress user.
Unique Standout Feature(s):
- The free version is relatively more complete than competing plugins. The free version doesn’t have a trial expiry period, so you can test it for as long as you want before going pro.
Talking about fixing issues on your WordPress site to keep it optimized, you may want to go over our interesting take on improving the common error “Your connection is not private”.
Lastly, but not in any way less effective, is the ‘BulletProof Security‘ plugin. It’s incredibly easy to install and setup a plugin.
As with most other plugins, you can download the free version before you’re ready to go pro. This will give you a good feel of the interface and navigation aspects. And, by now, it’s probably obvious that the paid version has more excellent features and handles Malware related complexities a lot better. A 30-day guarantee backs the paid version; hence there’s no risk.
The free version offers security logs and monitoring to be aware of what’s going on before further damage occurs. You also get comprehensive malware scans as expected of the best WordPress malware removal plugins out there.
Further, it offers incredible database backup and restoration functionality so that your WordPress site is regularly and completely backed up and secure. Additional features like anti-spamming and anti-hacking tools ensure your files and database tables are more difficult to access and hack than ever.
- It (the paid version) has an ARQ IDPs, which is the Intrusion Detection & Prevention System for getting changed files Auto-Restored or Quarantined.
- There’s a DB (database) Monitor feature that tracks and alerts you about changes made to the WP database, including any new tables made.
- It regularly backs up your files and your database to aid the easy future restoration.
- It features a built-in Malware Scanner, WP Firewall protection, Anti-spam, Htaccess file protection, Login Security, and much more.
- All those options and settings comprising the complex interface can be perplexing for beginner level developers. Yet, once you learn the ropes, your WordPress site is armored in the best possible way.
Unique Standout Feature(s):
- It has a really neat maintenance mode functionality not found in most other security plugins.
This article brought to light the importance of installing a useful WP malware removal plugin. We recommended five of the best and most popular plugins out there.
MalCare topped the list, but each of them has excellent features to tackle the most complex WordPress malware threats. For instance, BulletProof Security is listed at number five but has been established for over a decade and can boast its unique maintenance mode feature.
No matter which of the five you choose, the best WordPress security plugins deliver the following important features among many others:
- Active security monitoring
- Files & database scanning
- Comprehensive malware scanning
- Blacklist status monitoring
- Security hardening
- Post-hacking actions
- Blocking brute force attacks
- Security threat detection notifications
Are you on a sincere mission to optimize your WordPress website to offer users an incredible experience? Do check out our other helpful articles providing useful tips on topics like “How to serve scaled images on your WordPress website” and “How to add expires headers to your WordPress website.”
Joe has been using WordPress for many years, building many different types of websites along the way. Joe now enjoys working as a freelance content writer and is available for hire.