WordPress Firewall vs WordPress Antivirus: Which One to Choose?


WordPress Antivirus vs. WordPress Firewall: The threats that WordPress sites face today are unlike any other CMS. It’s no surprise that WordPress sites are the most popular target for hackers, with over 60 million sites using the platform. Every minute, 90,978 hacking attempts are made on WordPress websites. Furthermore, after your website has been compromised, the hackers can use it to carry out malicious activities such as sending spam emails, targeting other websites, inserting spam links, redirecting your visitors to their pages, and so on.

All of this necessitates the search for security solutions by site owners.

Hundreds of protection and recovery solutions are available on the market today. Your quest for the perfect security solution will quickly leave you perplexed and exhausted. The two most popular security mechanisms that site owners search for have been the ‘WordPress firewall’ and ‘WordPress antivirus’ over the years. We’ll look at these security services in this post to see which one is better or more suited to providing WordPress security.

WordPress Antivirus vs. WordPress Firewall

WordPress Firewall

Buildings have firewalls to keep a fire from spreading before it is contained or one side of the wall has burned out. Website firewalls are also used to protect websites from security breaches. A website firewall serves as a gatekeeper, sitting in front of the site to prevent or reduce threats such as hacking attempts. WordPress firewall is a firewall designed specifically for WordPress websites, as the name implies.

How Does a WordPress Firewall Work?

Understanding how firewalls operate allows us to assess the level of protection they offer to websites. Let’s have a look at how a very basic WordPress firewall works:

When a visitor requests entry to your site, the request is routed via the firewall first. To decide if a request is malicious or legitimate, the firewall applies a set of predetermined rules. If the request is suspicious or malicious (for example, if it comes from a known IP address), the firewall prevents it from accessing your website.

There are three main forms of WordPress firewalls from which to choose, depending on where you want the security measure to be deployed. A plugin-based firewall, a cloud-based firewall, and an in-built firewall are all available.

  • On a WordPress platform, plugin-based firewalls can be built just like every other plugin. To avoid popular hacking attempts, they sit close to your site. They come with pre-set guidelines for determining the legitimacy of a request to access your website.
  • Cloud-based firewalls, on the other hand, are separate from the internet, so when anyone wants to access it, the request is routed via the cloud firewall. It checks the validity of the request using a variety of technologies.
  • Then there’s the built-in firewall that comes with a web host. These firewalls are more concerned with securing the hosting provider’s infrastructure than with protecting the websites. The sites are safeguarded as part of their overall security strategy.

Let’s look at the many benefits and drawbacks of using WordPress firewalls now that we understand how they function and provide protection to your WordPress account.

Pros of WordPress Firewall

  • A firewall protects your WordPress site from malicious traffic.
  • It can be set up to avoid unique attacks such as SQL injection, brute force attacks, and even attacks that take advantage of plugin flaws.
  • It aids in the reduction of security threats and the likelihood of security breaches.

Cons of WordPress Firewall

  • WordPress firewalls can’t prevent the site from being hacked. It can only deter hackers and reduce the likelihood of a breach.
  • They can sometimes block legitimate requests or visitors from your site.
  • Some WordPress firewalls need custom configuration, which is inconvenient for site owners who don’t want to spend time setting up the firewall.
  • The firewall also doesn’t search or detect malware, and it doesn’t clean them from compromised websites.

As you can see, while the WordPress firewall offers some security for WordPress pages, it falls short of providing full security. Let’s look at WordPress antivirus and the types of security it offers to websites.

WordPress Antivirus

WordPress antiviruses are designed to search websites for malware that could cause the site to become infected. Antivirus software usually has two functions: first, it scans and removes malware from a website, and second, it cleans it.

How Does a WordPress Antivirus Work?

Scanning entails a comprehensive examination of all files and directories on a website in order to detect any malware infestation. Checking files for current malware, i.e. malware that is usually found on websites, is a common technique. A simple website scanner runs through a list of known malware to see if any of them are present on the site. The term for this procedure is “signature matching.”

An antivirus cleans your WordPress website by deleting all infected files. It is recommended that you clean your site as soon as possible to mitigate damage.

Pros of WordPress Antivirus

  • It could result in Google blacklisting, loss of visitors, and spam visitors, among other items. File Inclusion, Arbitrary Code Execution, Backdoors, Pharma Hack, SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and other attacks are all protected by a strong WordPress antivirus.
  • We’ve seen cases where hackers delete posts and pages while changing files to further their own goals. Malware removal protects your website from further harm.
  • Both backdoors will be taken care of if you had a decent WordPress antivirus. Hackers use backdoors to gain remote access to a website. Since certain antiviruses skip backdoors when cleaning a site, the consistency of the cleaner is critical to consider when selecting an antivirus.

Cons of WordPress Antivirus

  • Antivirus software will not protect the website from hacking attempts. It only kicks in after your site has been compromised and infected with malware.
  • WordPress antiviruses are unable to detect new or complex malware because they depend on signature matching to search for known current malware.
  • Antivirus software for websites is infamous for producing a high number of false positives. Every other day, it throws users into a panic.
  • They aren’t built to figure out where a hack came from, so hackers can always break into your site the same way they did before you cleaned it up.
  • Most WordPress antiviruses use a ticket-based cleaning system, which means that if your site is compromised, you’ll need to submit a ticket to get it cleaned. Time is of the essence when dealing with a compromised website. Any delay could result in the site being blacklisted by Google or web hosts suspending it.
  • Cleaning hacked websites is also a costly endeavor. Cleaning up doesn’t necessarily result in a long-term solution. Many site owners have encountered a recurrence of hacking even after cleaning their WordPress pages.

Over to You

With so many advantages and disadvantages on their plates, it’s clear that protection is a complicated issue, and no single tool can guarantee foolproof security. The only way forward is to take steps to reduce security risks. It is critical to choose a tool that will protect you on all fronts. MalCare, for example, is a security solution that includes both a WordPress firewall and an antivirus. It will not only secure your website but also assist you in repairing it if it is hacked. Before you buy a security service, we recommend that you carefully consider your security choices and learn about the features that a good security service must-have.