Two of the greatest and most popular WordPress security plugins are Wordfence and Sucuri.
They come highly recommended and are really useful for keeping your WordPress site secure. This makes it difficult for beginners to decide which is best for them.
While Sucuri and Wordfence share many capabilities, each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
In this article, we’ll compare Wordfence with Sucuri to see which one, in our opinion, is superior for overall WordPress security.
What to Look for When Comparing Wordfence and Sucuri
The two most popular WordPress security plugins are Wordfence and Sucuri. Both provide extensive defense against brute force attacks, malware infection, and data theft.
As a website owner, you must select a security plugin that not only protects but also does it effectively. You’d also like something that requires little upkeep so you can concentrate on building your company.
Finally, choose a security plugin that is simple to set up and manage and does not necessitate technical knowledge.
We’ll compare Sucuri and Wordfence side by side in this guide. The following categories make up our comparison:
- Application Firewall for Websites (WAF)
- Security surveillance and alerts
- Scanner for malware
- Cleaning up a hacked website
That stated, let’s compare and contrast Wordfence vs Sucuri to see which one is the finest overall WordPress security plugin.
Website security is a highly technical and difficult subject. As a result, our first comparison category is usability.
Let’s compare how easy it is to defend your website with Wordfence vs. Sucuri.
Wordfence is simple to use.
Wordfence is simple to set up. The plugin will prompt you to provide an email address where you want to receive security notifications right after installation. You’ll also have to accept their terms of service.
Following that, you’ll see an onboarding process that will guide you through the Wordfence dashboard. It indicates where security notifications and scans will appear.
In learning mode, the plugin will activate the website application firewall and perform an automatic scan in the background. When the scan is complete, you will receive notifications based on the size of your website.
When you click on notice, it will display its specifics along with the recommended action you should do. For example, it indicated that a newer version of our WordPress theme was available.
The firewall is installed as a WordPress plugin by default, which is ineffective. You can use Wordfence in the extended mode for greater protection, but you’ll have to configure it manually (more on this later).
The basic Wordfence plugin setup is straightforward and requires little user involvement. The user interface is a little busy, making it tough for newcomers to access specific settings or options.
Sucuri – Simple to Use
Sucuri has a sleeker user interface with no extraneous pop-up prompts. Upon activation, it performs a brief scan and displays notifications on the plugin’s dashboard.
Sucuri’s website application firewall (WAF) is a cloud-based firewall, meaning it is not installed on your server. In other words, you won’t have to do any technological upkeep.
You’ll need to enter your API key and change your domain’s DNS settings. This allows the firewall to stop harmful traffic from reaching your WordPress hosting server.
You won’t have to bother about upgrading or maintaining it once it’s set up.
Sucuri also makes it simple to implement suggested website security hardening settings. To apply various security hardening settings, all you have to do is click.
Overall, the user interface is appealing. Users will, however, need to go a little deeper to discover the alternatives they want.
Sucuri’s firewall requires an additional step of updating nameservers on the domain registrar, which can be problematic for non-technical users. The good news is that most popular domain registrars, such as Domain.com and GoDaddy, will be able to assist you with the process.
Sucuri emerged victoriously
Application Firewall for Websites (WAF)
A web application firewall detects and blocks typical security threats on your website. A firewall can be implemented in a variety of ways (application based vs cloud based).
In the long run, we believe cloud-based firewalls are more efficient and dependable.
Let’s compare and contrast Sucuri and Wordfence’s website application firewalls.
Website Application Firewall by Wordfence
Wordfence’s online application firewall detects and filters harmful web traffic.
This is a server-based application-level firewall, which implies it is less efficient than a cloud-based firewall.
Wordfence activates the basic mode by default. Because the firewall is a WordPress plugin, it must be loaded before an attack can be thwarted. This can consume a significant amount of server resources and is inefficient.
You must manually configure the Wordfence firewall in extended mode to change this. The Wordfence firewall will now be able to monitor traffic before it reaches your WordPress installation.
Wordfence can only stop traffic once it has reached your hosting server because it is an endpoint firewall. Your server resources will be affected and your website performance will be impaired in the event of a DDOS attack or brute force effort. It might even go down.
Wordfence’s firewall is in learning mode when you initially activate it. It figures out how you and other visitors utilize your WordPress site. Several firewall rules are disabled at this period to ensure that legitimate website users are not unintentionally blocked.
Website Application Firewall by Sucuri
Sucuri provides a cloud-based website application firewall, which stops suspicious traffic before it reaches your hosting server.
This saves you a lot of server resources and increases the speed of your website right away. Sucuri’s CDN servers are distributed across the globe, which is another benefit for website speed.
To use the firewall, you must alter the DNS settings for your domain name. Sucuri’s servers would get all of your website traffic as a result of this move.
There are no basic or advanced options. Sucuri’s WAF will begin defending your website from malicious requests, DDOS attacks, and password guessing attempts as the setup is complete.
They have a powerful machine learning mechanism in place to prevent false positives.
Sucuri does let you move from High-Security mode to Paranoid mode when you face DDoS. This makes sure that your website server doesn’t crash.
Sucuri emerged victoriously.
Security Monitoring and Notifications
As a website owner, you need to know if something is wrong on your website as soon as possible. A security issue can cost you customers and money.
To receive these notifications, you need to make sure that your WordPress site can send emails. The best approach to do that is by using an SMTP service to send WordPress emails.
Let’s explore how Wordfence and Sucuri handle website monitoring and notifications.
Wordfence Monitoring and Alerts
Wordfence features a great notice and alerting system. First, notifications will be marked next to the Wordfence menu in the WordPress admin sidebar and dashboard.
They are emphasized according to their severity. You can click on a notification to learn more about it, and how to fix it.
However, you would see this only when you login to the WordPress dashboard.
Wordfence also comes with quick notifications through email. To configure email alerts, go to Wordfence » All Options page and scroll down to the ‘Email Alert Preferences’ area.
From here you can switch email alerts on/off. You can also specify the severity level to send an email alert.
Sucuri Monitoring and Alerts
Sucuri also provides vital notifications on your dashboard. The top right corner of the screen is dedicated to indicate the status of key WordPress files.
Below that, you’ll see the audit logs and site health status.
Sucuri comes with a robust alert management system. Simply visit the Sucuri Security » Settings page and switch to the Alerts tab.
You can add email addresses that you want to be alerted. After that, you can further configure email alerts.
You can choose events you wish to be warned about, the number of notifications per hour, and modify parameters for brute force attacks, post types, and alert email subjects.
Their website application firewall will also send automated high-level alerts to your email.
Both plugins come with built-in security scannerss to check your WordPress site for malware, altered files, and malicious code.
Let’s check how Wordfence and Sucuri scan for malware and other concerns.
Wordfence Malware Scanner
Wordfence comes with a robust scanner which is extremely adaptable to fit your hosting environment and security needs.
By default, the scan is enabled with reduced scan parameters (to save server resources on shared hosting plans) (to save server resources on shared hosting plans).
For the free version, Wordfence automatically sets a scan schedule for your site. Premium version customers can pick their own scan schedule.
You can set up the scanner to run in multiple modes. Some scan options are only available with the premium edition.
Wordfence scanner may also check your plugin and themes to match the repository version.
Sucuri Malware Scanner
Sucuri Malware scanner leverages Sucuri’s Site check API. This API automatically tests your site against different safe-browsing APIs to guarantee that your website is not banned.
It automatically checks the integrity of your core WordPress files to make sure that they are not modified.
You may change the scan settings from Sucuri Security » Settings page and click on the scanner tab.
Sucuri’s free scanner runs on the publicly available files on your website. It is not a WordPress specific scanner, thus it is exceptionally good at detecting any form of malware and dangerous code.
It is also less demanding on your server resources which is an extra plus.
Sucuri emerged victorious.
Hacked Website Clean up
Cleaning up a hacked WordPress site is not easy. Malware can harm numerous files, inject links in your material, or shut you out of your own website.
Manually cleaning everything by oneself is not possible for most novices.
Luckily, both Wordfence and Sucuri offer site clean up and malware eradication service. Let’s have a look at which one does it better.
Wordfence Site Clean Up
Wordfence site cleansing service is not included in their free or premium subscriptions. It is sold separately as an add-on service.
Site clean-up will also provide you with a premium Wordfence subscription for one website.
The malware clean-up technique is relatively clear forward. They will check your site for malware/infestations, and then clear up all affected files.
Their experts will also investigate how hackers acquired access to your site. They will create a full report of the complete clean-up process with advice for future prevention.
Sucuri Site Clean up
All paid Sucuri plans offer website clean-up services. This comes with site clean-up, blacklist removal, SEO spam repair, and WAF protection for future prevention.
They are particularly good at clearing up malware, injecting spam code, and backdoor access files.
The process is fairly clear forward. You open a support ticket and their team will start working on the cleanup process.
They will utilize your login credentials for FTP/SSH access or cPanel. During the process, they keep a track of every file they touch and automatically backup everything.
Both Wordfence and Sucuri are outstanding WordPress security plugins. However, we believe that Sucuri is the finest WordPress security plugin overall.
It delivers a cloud-based WAF which improves your website’s efficiency and speed while blocking malicious traffic and brute force attacks.
Wordfence is a good free choice if you don’t mind employing a server-side firewall and scanner.
If you are seeking a free cloud-based website firewall, then you can use Cloudflare as a free alternative, but it doesn’t give comprehensive protection. See our comparison of Sucuri versus Cloudflare.
We hope this article helped you compare Wordfence vs Sucuri and figure out which one is better for your needs.