While you can tackle a hacked site manually, it’s a long and tedious process. And any delay in malware clean up can spell disaster on your website. Google will blacklist your website to prevent Google users from visiting your hacked site. Your hosting provider will suspend your site to protect other clients from the impact of a hacked website. To prevent a domino effect like that, your best bet is to use a WordPress malware removal plugin.
But here’s a catch too. Your panic infused search for a malware removal plugin can easily go awry. You may end up with a super expensive, inefficient tool that also has a long turnaround time.
Fixing a hacked WordPress site can be a nightmare – without the proper tool. This is why we reviewed the most popular WordPress malware removal plugins and checked their turn around time along with a few other features that go into making an efficient malware removal plugin.
If your website is hacked and infected with malware, you can clean it immediately using our WordPress malware removal plugin – MalCare. The plugin comes with an industry-first one-click malware removal option. And after cleaning your site, MalCare will continue to protect your website against future hack attempts.
We spoke of turnaround time being one criterion of deeming a malware removal plugin as a good solution. But there a few other benchmarks of a good malware cleaner.
How to Select WordPress Malware Removal Plugin?
Given the number of options available, it can be hard to choose a good malware removal plugin. Knowing what to look for can make the job easy. Here’s what a good WordPress malware removal plugin will offer:
1. Complete Malware Removal
Back in the day, WordPress websites were simple and they consisted only of a handful of files, folders and database tables. Hackers had limited options to hide their malicious codes. If a site was hacked, a plugin could easily find and remove malicious code from the WordPress files and folder.
But over the years, WordPress has evolved into a more complex ecosystem. It’s still easy to create a WordPress website and manage it but the backend has become a growing machine with complex parts that run with the help of hundreds of files, folders, and database tables.
Plugins now have to scan through a large volume of files, folders, and optimized database tables.
Unfortunately, some malware removal plugins still use outdated methods to detect and clean malware. They search in locations where hackers used to hide malware a long time ago. And fail to detect malware when they are located elsewhere.
You need a malware remover that looks into every nook and corner of your WordPress website to find and terminate the malware.
2. Removal of New & Complex Malware
Every malware bears a unique signature or pattern. Most malware removal plugins use a reference list of known patterns. If it finds a code that matches its list, it will identify it as malware. It’ll alert you about it so that you can clean it.
It may sound like a fine way of detecting and cleaning the malware but by matching patterns you can’t find new and complex malware. New types of malware come with a completely new set of signatures. Moreover, hackers can change the pattern while retaining the power to carry out malicious deeds. Plugins that only rely on signature or pattern matching fails to find new, complex and, unknown malware.
Moreover, hackers have learned to disguise malicious codes in ways that go undetected by pattern matching plugins.
Choose a plugin that does not rely on old school methods to find and remove malware.
3. Instant Malware Removal
The core task of a cleaner is to remove malware and remove it fast. Delay in the removal of malware can set in motion other disasters like Google blacklisting and web host suspension. And yet, many plugins fail to clean a hacked website quickly because they are tied to a process that goes something like this –
Once you find out that your website contains malware, you have to contact the developers of the malware removal plugin and raise a ticket detailing your find and requesting a cleanup. One of the developers will investigate your website and then proceed to clean it. The turnaround time of this process can range between a few hours to a few days.
This is why we advocate an instant automated clean-up process. A plugin should consider the disadvantages of the established process and offer a better solution.
Based on the above factors, we’ve detailed 5 of the malware removal plugins we think you should consider.
5 Best WordPress Malware Removal Plugins
1. MalCare Security Plugin
Loved by thousands of developers and agencies, MalCare is the first plugin to offer an automatic instant cleaner. This makes it the fastest malware removal plugin out there. It cleans your website before Google blacklists it or your WordPress hosting takes it down.
What Stands Out?
Instant Malware Removal: Knowing the perils of a delay, MalCare offers an instant cleaner that will help clean your website quickly. The cleaner is automated hence you don’t have to raise a ticket and wait on a developer to clean your site.
Removes New & Complex Malware: The plugin does not just look for known patterns and signatures, it examines the code very closely to find new and complex malicious codes that go undetected in many other popular malware removal plugins.
Complete Malware Removal: Malware can be found in both files and the database on your WordPress website. You can rely on MalCare to detect and remove malware from files as well as the database.
- When MalCare finds a particular menacing malware with complex code, it prompts you to alert the team who’d manually check the malicious code before removing it.
MalCare premium plan starts at $8.25 per month.
Sucuri is the most popular WordPress security plugin. Sucuri’s malware removal works not just on WordPress but also on other platforms like Joomla, Magento, Drupal, etc.
What Stands Out?
Removes Website Malware: Sucuri removes malware infection from your files and database. It removes malicious codes, files, link injections, and SEO spam keywords.
Removes Blacklist Status: The plugin will submit blacklist removal requests on your behalf in case you were blacklisted by Google or other search engines.
Platform Agnostic: The malware removal service is not limited to WordPress. It’ll clean your site even if it’s hosted on other CMS’ like Joomla and Drupal.
- The initial response time is slow which can be an extremely frustrating experience.
- The process of getting your website clean is time-consuming. You have to contact the team who’d assign security personnel to access your site. The personnel will investigate your site and then proceed to clean it.
The Sucuri premium plan starts at $199.99 per year.
Wordfence is another reputed WordPress security plugin. A worthy highlight of the plugin is that it consults search engines like Google to remove malware from your WordPress website.
What Stands Out?
Complete Malware Removal: Wordfence removes malicious codes and links from posts, pages even comments left on your website.
In-Depth Investigation Report: After removing the malware, Wordfence offers an in-depth report on what they found while investigating and removing malicious codes from your hacked WordPress sites.
Investigates Vulnerabilities: Quiet often websites are hacked due to vulnerabilities present on your website. Wordfence investigates and reports on how the hackers gained entry.
- The malware removal process is time-consuming which can lead to frustration. Moreover, delays in cleanups can snowball the situation.
Wordfence premium plan starts at $99 per year.
Founded in 2008, SiteLock offers security measures to WordPress and Joomla. The plugin champions automation and hence offers automated cleaning and hack prevention measures.
What Stands Out?
Automatic Malware Removal: Depending on the security package you subscribe to, SiteLock will clean malware from your website automatically.
Automated Vulnerability Patching: When enabled, the plugin will patch security vulnerabilities found on your WordPress core files automatically.
- Many site owners have complained about SiteLock’s deceptive billing practices.
- The plugin fails in early malware detection and on occasion, has failed to remove malware completely.
SiteLock’s premium version starts at $149.99 per year.
Quttera was launched nearly a decade ago. The solution has cleaned hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites since then. Besides WordPress websites, Quttera also scans Joomla, Magento and Drupal websites.
What Stands Out?
Complete Malware Removal: Malware analysts from Quttera web malware scanner will access your website, investigate and clean your infected website to ensure there are no leftovers.
Google Blacklist Removal: If your website is blacklisted, the plugin shoulders the responsibility of requesting Google Search blacklist removal.
- The process to remove malware can be time-consuming. After you detect malware infection on your website, you will have to log into your Quttera dashboard and fill in a form. After submitting the form, a malware analyst is assigned to your website who then investigates and proceeds to clean WordPress site.
Quttera premium plan starts at $49 per year.
Is Removing Malware Enough to Secure Your Site?
No, it isn’t! Cleaning your website will not guarantee that your website is safe from future hack attempts. But you can take certain measures to ensure that your website is being protected 24×7.
i. Keep Your Website Updated
In a WordPress website, you receive updates to the core, plugins and themes. Too many updates can be annoying hence site owners tend to skip updates and are unaware of the damage this can cause.
When developers find security holes in a theme and plugin or even the core, they release a patch in the form of an update. When you skip an update, the security holes remain unpatched making your website vulnerable to a hack attempt.
This is why it’s so important to keep your website updated. Ensure that you are taking out time every week to update your WordPress website.
ii. Protect Your WordPress Login Page
Hackers target the WordPress login page more than any other page on a website. They program bots to guess the login credentials correctly. A bot can try out hundreds of common credentials within a minute. If a bot cracks your credentials, then a hacker will gain access to your site. Using your site, they can carry out their misdeeds that will have severe repercussions on you.
You can protect your WordPress login page by using CAPTCHA protection. If you install MalCare, which is our first choice among the WordPress malware removal plugins, then CAPTCHA protection should already be enabled on your website. After 3 failed login attempts, MalCare blocks the user from accessing the login page for a specific period of time. This means bots will be blocked from attacking your login page after a few tries.
iii. Set Up a Firewall
Would it be great, if you could identify and prevent bots from trying to access your login page in the first place? A WordPress firewall can help you do just that. The firewall will filter traffic coming to your website. Traffic with malicious intent will be blocked and the rest will be allowed to access your website.
This will protect not just the login page but your entire website.
If you are using a security plugin like MalCare, then the website firewall is enabled automatically.
iv. Harden Your Website
The security of a WordPress website is a combined effort, one where the security plugin and the user is involved. The more security measures you take, the better are the chances of keeping hackers and bots out.
WordPress recommends taking certain measures to harden your website. To implement those measures, you’d have to have technical knowledge of WordPress. So it’s best to take website hardening measures using a plugin like MalCare.
v. Take Regular Backups
While you can take every security measure you can, mishaps can occur. Websites can be hacked and data can be lost which for a WooCommerce website can spell disaster. But if you have a backup, it’ll ensure that you don’t lose your data. In times of need, you can restore your website back to normal.
That said, choosing a good backup plugin is not easy. Here’s a guide that can help you find the best WordPress backup plugins.
With that, we come to the end of how to ensure that your website remains safe in the future.
A lot of factors may come into play when you have to make a decision on which malware removal plugin to get. This could include the plugin’s secure features, the clean-up time it takes, your budget, etc.
If your site is hacked, you need a plugin that will enable you to clean up the hack fast and effectively. Though all plugins have their own advantages and disadvantages, the one that ticks all the right boxes for us is MalCare.
The plugin is easy to set up and it automatically scans your WordPress website. Lastly, you can clean up your website on your own with just a click. So you’ll be hack-free and protected from future hacks in a few minutes.
Once you’ve cleaned your site, we recommend checking out our WordPress Security Guide.
Remove Malware Instantly With MalCare Now!