Are you worried that your website has malware?
You will most likely receive an upsetting email from your web host or a Google Search Console alert, and you want to fix stuff yesterday.
Does that sum up how, right now, you feel?
What are you now doing?
Well, if there is a real cause for concern, the first move will be to use a malware scanner to find out. But because you’re receiving emails and alerts already, we should accept that you need assistance right away.
But the plugin for WordPress malware removal can you use?
On various online forums, we see a lot of threads where people who use WordPress security plugins are very confused.
That’s why this article is all about helping you pick the right plugin for your needs for malware removal.
If you are searching for a fast fix and that’s all you want to hear, use MalCare to automatically uninstall any malware and patch hacked files.
But you can read our leaderboard if you are looking for the best solution in the market. Next, that’s up.
Here’s a thought: Maybe after that, you can read on to understand the danger of blindly trusting some of WordPress’s best malware removal plugins.
You will find out more on our leaderboard on how we graded the plugins and where most of the plugins fail.
Let’s break down this.
Our Malware Cleaner Leaderboard
Let’s take a quick look at:
- The best WordPress malware removal plugin in the industry,
- The runner up in our ranking system,
- And some other options that you should NOT fall for.
We break down some of the top plugins on the market in the upcoming segments and look critically at them.
This does not imply that they are “bad” per-se plugins. But security is a huge problem and not everyone can invest in every aspect of the company, no matter how much the plugins are updated.
Around the same time, once you reach a certain number of users, it is easy to get complacent.
The purpose of this article is not to demean the plugins or to conclude that the plugins are not doing a better job. We just comment about what we can do differently and what we do better than the others.
MalCare is proud to be at the top of our leaderboard with a blazing quick processing time on malware removal. Automatic and one-click cleanups are what put MalCare ahead of all other frameworks for cleanups requiring human intervention.
Here’s something to remember: even though you haven’t been hacked, WordPress will take action. But it’s hard to say because that’s a technical thing, actually.
MalCare will do a deep scan of your site for free if you are not quite sure if you are compromised, and warn you if you have any malware. The MalCare malware scanner pinpoints with greater precision some of the most difficult malware than any other malware scanner out there.
So, you don’t have to spend a penny to use MalCare if you haven’t really been hacked. Although the cleanup feature is a premium feature, the free plugin comes with the scanner.
MalCare is the best alternative in our books because of:
- The code-built auto-clean and auto-repair capabilities
- Unlimited washing and scanning
- Removal of laser-focused malware
- Strong learning algorithms that, with practice, keep getting smarter
- Zero interference for ticketing needed
- Super-fast removal of hackers
All in all, even though you have another safety plugin installed, it is strongly recommended that you choose MalCare. As if they don’t exist, MalCare can operate around other plugins.
Read How MalCare Works and Why So Reliable Is the Malware Cleaner
Pricing: Starts from $99/year (It’s even more accessible for some sites)
Purchase MalCare Now
Because of both its scanner and its cleaner, Wordfence malware removal comes in second. The scanner from Wordfence loses out on any apparent malware and raises too many false alarms.
There are also problems with cleanup, as they:
- Charging for a separate cleanup,
- Repeat Hackers Fee,
- And it comes with price spikes.
The only explanation why Wordfence takes 2nd position on the chart, considering all these big flaws, is:
Their hack cleanup works because analysts are employed to manually clean malware.
The cleaner dashboard is fairly intuitive to use.
We do not recommend using a cleaner for Wordfence at all. They have to charge their customers a lot more because of the manner in which Wordfence works and the amount of manual effort they have to put in to get a site cleaned.
To top it off, a WordPress site is overwhelmed by the plugin’s scanner and the malware cleaner does little to clean up its own mess.
MalCare’s automated cleaner is lightyears ahead of the old-timers, while we have nothing but admiration for Wordfence.
Read How Wordfence works and where it fails in a thorough breakdown
Pricing: Demand-Based ($179 basis price)
Purchase Wordfence now
In the WordPress security niche, Sucuri is one of the biggest names.
But we were surprised at the way they treated things when we put Sucuri to the test with our engineers.
Currently, its unrestricted malware removal is the only redeeming feature. But given the price-point, this hardly impressed us.
In the very same way as Wordfence, the malware cleaner worked. But seeing as some very simple malware was not recognized by Sucuri, there was nothing for their engineers to clean up at all.
What is worse is that cleaning the site can often take days, even a week. Your site sits and festers with the infection until that time, and that’s only for Proven malware.
This is much more dangerous than Wordfence being used.
There’s no doubt that Sucuri has been a big name for a long time in the security industry. But in some key fields, they were found to be missing and we can not find a way to absolve Sucuri of his sins.
- In order to search or clean your site, we do not suggest using Sucuri.
- In fact, we would probably suggest moving to MalCare instead, given the price range for Sucuri’s Premium edition.
- Read How Sucuri works and why it fails in a thorough breakdown
- Pricing: Starts at $199/year
- Purchase now Sucuri (NOT RECOMMENDED)
- Still around there?
- Nice! Good, good!
- Before purchasing a malware removal plugin for WordPress, let’s talk about what else you should know.
Why Do You Need a WordPress Malware Removal Plugin?
What else do you know for sure, now that you know that your site is infected with malware?
You know that already:
- A certain hacker misuses the resources of your website
- Your credibility and income can be substantially damaged by not managing the malware
- At times, even a seasoned coder can not locate the exact malicious code.
You want to take action at the earliest once your site is hacked. So, the longer the hacker is around, the more harm they do, and the more difficult it is to recover.
This is where it comes in handy for a malware cleaner.
When your business is on the line, your website is down, you’re losing money, and… One of the most frustrating things is
…customer service representatives put the concern on hold.
You keep losing money as analysts find out how they can possibly remedy the problem.
And that we HATE.
Once the malware is detected by your scanner, the cleaner will work in one of two ways:
- Manual cleaning through a ticketing scheme
- Automatic cleanup that directly deletes the malicious code
Both systems have pros and cons of their own, as we’ll see soon enough.
How Does WordPress Malware Removal Typically Work?
In order to take care of the health and security of your website, you rely on security plugins. But are you really sure of how it works?
Auto cleanups are not provided by the vast majority of WordPress security plugins. The method goes something like this instead:
STEP 1: Expose the compromised files by running a malware scanner
STEP 2: Raise a request to clean up a site
STEP 3: Allow the ticketing system to recognize and forward your problem to a qualified analyst
STEP 4: By looking into each issue flagged by the scanner, let the analyst manually clean files and databases
STEP 5: Pay for the cleanup (you’ll pay upfront in most instances, though)
Now, you can get a set number of cleanups, limitless cleanups, or even a one-time cleanup, depending on company policy.
What does it really mean?
Maybe you have to:
- Pay for a set package ($1,000 for 10 cleanups in a package contract, for example)
- For infinite cleanups, pay a monthly membership fee
- Charge a steep price for a single cleanup ($150 for 1 cleanup, for example)
Fast question: Are you really going to pay through your nose every time your site gets hacked because your website is down, while losing customers?
For an e-commerce platform, this is particularly true.
Every second that your website is down, how much money do you lose?
Forget about a second being compromised, just believe it’s out of service.
If you have unlimited cleanups, the removal of malware can be a costly matter. But, in any case, once the site is cleaned up, make sure to apply WordPress hardening features.
Backup Before You Clean Up!
There will be cases in which the malware has totally fucked up the code of your website. There is actually much to do in such situations other than to attempt a cleanup.
But the vast majority of malware is built to remain as well-concealed as possible.
So, your site won’t be noticeably impacted by the most advanced malware. Rather, in a way that is difficult to identify or anticipate, they can make unpredictable appearances in how your site behaves.
If that really is the case, then we suggest that you take a complete backup of your website and store it offline.
Here’s the thing: after the malware gets removed, you could end up with a clean website that is totally ruined.
Take out the backup if that happens and approach a more proficient malware cleaner for better outcomes.
Also, if they mark your site to be compromised, your web host will pull the plug on your site entirely. Having a backup would make sure that because of some malware infection that may be easy to patch, you don’t lose your whole site and all your data.
That’s pretty much the only thing you need to do before a malware cleaner gets started.
Top Security Plugins Compared
It’s time to do a detailed breakdown of the top WordPress malware removal plugins now.
Disclaimer: We don’t intend to disrespect or demean any of the plugins listed in this article. The contents of this article are true to the best of our knowledge. In reality, some items may vary or be outdated.
Why Sucuri’s Malware Removal Shocked Us
The free version of Sucuri doesn’t allow malware cleanup. But a server-level scanner that flags infected files comes with the Pro edition of Sucuri.
You can file a ticket with Sucuri once you have got a good image of the infected data.
Upon receipt of the fare, the request will be forwarded to their security analysts who:
- Delete infections from malware and fix hacked files
- For an integrity search, sweep your website
- Delete the website’s blacklist alerts
- Repairing problems with the brand image in search engine results
- Advice on patches and post-hack measures available
You can depend on the round-the-clock cleanup service from Sucuri that is built into each package’s cost. The best thing is that unrestricted cleanups are provided.
The response time and repair time are 12 hours on average. But the only issue is that the ticketing system is manual and having a full resolution will take longer for customers. They advertise automatic cleanup, but after raising a ticket, the cleanup only takes place.
During this time, a lot more damage can happen.
It’s actually untested if Sucuri can handle cleaning up any complex malware or if their cleanup processes have some limitations.
We are working on that, though. And hopefully, we’ll have something good for you soon.
Why Wordfence Malware Removal Is a Bad Option
Wordfence has a server-based scanner that provides a scan that is more accurate than almost all remote scanners. With their dashboard, the cleaner comes built-in too.
Wordfence functions on a mantra fairly close to Sucuri:
- Scanning the pages
- Spot the files being hacked
- Demand a cleanup
- Wait to come up with a solution for their trusty engineers
Wordfence can deliver thorough cleanups, whether it is removing malware or restoring hacked files.
Wordfence also does not have an auto-clean alternative, though. This is not the worst part of it:
- For repeat hacks, you get fined
- There is a rise in costs for an already costly operation.
- Turnaround time is not guaranteed and it can take days to clean the site.
- High false positives will make you pay for the service incorrectly.
- The cleanup of vast areas is much more costly.
You need to log in to their dashboard and request a cleanup in order to clean your site.
Again, this is a time-consuming procedure and by the time Wordfence specialists get to your service request, it can leave space for a lot of things to go wrong.
How MalCare’s Malware Removal Plugin Triumphs
MalCare provides a one-click cleanup so we can locate the exact malware. This is undoubtedly one of MalCare’s cleaner’s most significant features.
We would not flood you with false alarms because the scanner and the cleaner are part of the same parcel. We give you an alert by email and a one-click solution for cleanup when there is a cause for concern.
All you have to do is link your website via FTP to the MalCare dashboard.
MalCare will automatically clean the website without any interference from our technicians, according to our internal reports, 90 percent of the time.
We do it manually in the unlikely case that the MalCare algorithm does not already know how to patch the malware. This is where the next time it happens, our deep learning algorithms kick in and immediately learn how to fix it.
So, we’re just getting stronger as time advances.
Combine this with the fact that you also get top-of-the-line backup, staging, and merging facilities, and you have at your disposal a versatile toolkit.
What this implies is that you can as well:
- Take Backups with one click
- For research, set up one-click staging sites
- One-click to combine the test site with the live site
Of definition, these are all secondary characteristics.
For a malware cleaner, they are not really necessary.
But because now you don’t have to go hunting for a bunch of plugins to do stuff you’d have to do anyway, the fact that they are there counts.
The Final Verdict
So, you already know how to search your site for compromised files and malware.
You know precisely what to do to clean it up, too.
Now, setting up hardcore protections for your website so that you don’t get hacked again is the wisest course of action.
We suggest starting with our login security post. Next, that’s up!
But the main reason we did this experiment was to find out if there was a better job for the other cleaners on the market than us.
This was also a nice way for us to discover our own flaws and strengths.
Thanks for that, then. Soon we will see all of you!