Why Is Wordfence So Important For Wordpress Websites?
Wordfence is a WordPress plugin which is free to download. It is used to scan for hacked files and to monitor accessibility for visitors to your website. As many of the Wordpress plugins there is a premium version, however, you will be just fine with the free plugin.
The Wordfence plugin offers up 2 main features, these 2 features are crucial to the plugin’s functionality. They are the firewall and the security scanner.
The firewall blocks hackers from gaining access, as this is the first layer of defence it gets the most attention.
The security scanner alerts you to a multitude of security findings, the scanner plays an equally important role in protecting your website and keeping it secure.
Wordfence also checks for malware throughout your website. Every day there are tens of millions of attacks on websites, this is why it is very important to have the plugin installed and set up correctly on your website. It is one of the most downloaded plugins on the WordPress website. Hundreds of websites are cleaned by Wordfence every month, this gives them an insight into the latest malware exploits.
Wordfence are solely devoted to WordPress websites, the scanner runs on your server. This gives it access all areas to your websites source code. Other remote scanners don’t access the source code, which isn’t great as lots of malware variants hide in site source code.
Securing the Front End
Wordfence offers a blocking system for hackers who try to login via wp-admin. This is where you login to your WordPress website using your details. Hackers will try countless users and passwords to try and gain access.
Wordfence offers you to minimise and block the hackers. You can set the try count to 5, this means if the hacker trys a username or password to gain access, after 5 attempts they will be locked out. This can be changed from 1 to 20.
Running parallel to this feature you can set how long they are locked out for. Usually it is set to a day, however from personal experience and to make sure you are securing your website properly it is handy to set it for 2 months.
Removed & Abandoned Plugins
This is one of the greatest features that comes with the Wordfence plugin, in 2017 they added a feature where Wordfence would tell you if a plugin had either been abandoned or removed from the WordPress plugin directory.
Abandoned plugins are plugins that haven’t been updated in years, using plugins that haven’t been updated. By not having constant control by the plugin developers it can cause countless problems, including security problems.
Wordfence advises to either find a replacement plugin or remove it completely in order to reduce the risks of a security breach.
This a non-technical side of what Wordfence offers, but by far one of the most crucial aspects to having a secure website. Wordfence tells you to use strong passwords, it tells you whether they are strong or weak, to keep your site safe passwords need to be strong.
Wordfence will check if the other users are using strong passwords, if they are using common passwords then it will perform an extended check.