Wordfence Vs Better WP Security

A recent question by Virginia from California was this:

So here’s a question, after having read your blog post on using WordPress.  How do you compare Wordfence and iThemesSecurity?  Is either one better?  Could I conceivably use BOTH of them at once?

And my answer is Yes!



But it depends. It is a balancing act.


Sorry to be so wishy washy.  But here is why I say “Yes!” to using them both, but “um… maybe” to using them both.

In general, it is best to use as few plugins as nessary on your WordPress website.

But of course you have to use security plugins.

And you must be using backup plugins such as Backup Creator or a server side php program such as WP Twin.

The Best Security Plugins

The best security plugins, in my opinion, are the one you use and keep updated.

I speak from experience and having worked on a number of client’s WordPress websites.  Websites that they are getting serious traffic and making serious money.

And you would be surprised, and if you are me, flabergasted at the complete lack of security on some of these websites. That still have an “admin” user account.  And sure enough, sooner or later, the websites are compromised and go down in a heap of flameless glory.  And with it loss of income.

So use and install security software. Something.



Wordfence Versus Better WP Security

Having said that, the Wordfence plugin is and the Better WP Security plugin by iThemesSecurity, a both a little different, and take a different approach to securing your WordPress website.

Wordfence is more of a firewall, and Better WP Security seems to do a little bit better job on securing and hardening your actual files. So they do different things.  And they can do the same things and overlap in functionality.

My recommendation is to install both.

So yes that is why can you can and probably should be using both security plugins.  But to prevent both plugins from trying to work on the same overlapping issues, it is best to not use the default configuration installation for Better WP Security.

Take your time, know what you are doing, and carefully go through the options.

Take The Simple Route First

Overwhelmed by the options that Wordfence and Better WP Security give you?

My advice is to go for the simple less advanced options at first.  Backup your website first (using Backup Creator or WP Twin) then install the plugins.

Do another backup.  Then start configuring.  And keep backing up.

Why so many backups?

If you screw up and break something on your website (trust me sooner or later you will), instead of a major crisis (OMG!  Hours and days of work lost!!) it is a minor inconvenience (dang, that didn’t work, restore from backup, life is good, moving on…).

So yes it is not a question of Wordfence versus Better WP Security, it is my recommendation that you install both. And configure carefully.

And make backups.

Mike Darling


2 Responses to Wordfence Vs Better WP Security

  1. Virginia August 16, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Well, I am now confused. AT THIS VERY MOMENT TWO OF MY SITES ARE DOWN because Hostgator says I’m using too much bandwidth.

    One of my (paid) tech friends says it could be because I am using both Wordfence and BetterWPSecurity. The other of my (paid) tech friends says ;that shouldn’t be a problem. You also say it shouldn’t be a problem,

    Obviously, I will remove one and see whether Hostgator likes it. But as I say, life is confusing!


    • Mike August 16, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

      Hi Virginia:

      Wordfence can cycle and cause strain on CPU cycles. It isn’t perfect. I really depends on how the plugins are configured.

      I agree. Just turn off the Wordfence plugin and see if that corrects the problem.

      You should be able to see what is consuming bandwidth by logging into your Cpanel. And did Hostgator shut you down?

      And are you using a reseller/vps solution? or Shared hosting?

      Mike Darling

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