If you’re running a self-hosted WordPress site, then security might be a worry for you. Thankfully, there’s a plugin for almost everything, so today we’re going to take a look at Wordfence.
Wordfence is a free plugin with premium upgrades available, which keeps track of what’s happening on your site. The two parts that we find most useful is being notified when someone logs into the site (so you can make sure it’s the person who should be using that login) and when a plugin needs an update (because it’s always good to have the most up to date plugins running on your site)
As with most WordPress plugins, it’s easy to install, and once activated, there will be a new menu item with various options. If you open up the first one, you’ll be shown a screen that talks about scanning your site – it’s a good idea to run a Wordfence scan to make sure your site doesn’t have any nasty surprises lurking on it! If there is anything that shouldn’t be on your site, the scan will tell you what it is, and what to do about it.
The live traffic tab can be almost hypnotic, constantly refreshing with the latest people visiting your site, what they’re looking at and where they’re coming from. If you spot that people are trying to do something they shouldn’t, one click and you block their IP.
There are a few options to help speed up your site, if you feel like that’s something you need. You might already have a plugin that does this for you, so it’s worth checking which is more effective for you, and whether the plugins will work well together.
A handy feature is the WHOIS lookup which saves you having to go to various sites to look up who owns a domain and where it is hosted (didn’t realise this information is on public record? Check out this post about WHOIS)
Premium features of the plugin include password audits (checking whether all passwords on your site are strong enough), get text messages when people sign into your site, block specific countries from accessing your site, scheduled scans and better comment spam monitoring.
Wordfence is a must have plugin for any self hosted WordPress user – search for Wordfence in the add plugin section, or head to their site