On April 21 this year, Wordfence celebrated our fifth year making the world’s best firewall and malware scan for WordPress. The date came and went as we continued to focus on innovating and securing our customers. Today Wordfence has been downloaded over 45 million times and maintains a 4.8 star rating out of 5 stars, from over 3000 reviews on the official WordPress plugin repository.
Today Wordfence is a team of 16 full-time employees, and our total team size is 30 people, including contractors. Most of our team is US-based, though we have several colleagues around the world in countries like Sweden and the UK.
Wordfence has become a big project and is now very popular. We protect over 2 million websites, including many of the best known businesses and universities in the world.
Most of our team’s energy is dedicated to our Premium customers. Our customer service team provides an extremely high level of support for those customers, and our engineering innovation is focused on improving the real-time protection we provide to Premium.
The community edition of Wordfence is free, and is actually the same software that our Premium customers run. The difference between free and Premium is the data we provide that powers Wordfence and the service you receive from our team.
Better Data Means Better Protection
Firewall Rules and Malware Signatures in Real Time for Premium
Wordfence at its core is a firewall and a malware scanner. But without data, a firewall does not know what to block, and a malware scan does not know what to detect.
Our team is constantly doing research to uncover the newest threats to WordPress. We discover new threats through investigating hacked WordPress sites, by logging attacks across WordPress sites and analyzing them, and through online research and collaboration with our partners.
When we find a new kind of attack, we turn that into a firewall rule and release it immediately to our Premium customers. When we discover a new kind of malware, we turn that into a detection signature and release it to our Premium customers.
This flow of firewall rules and malware signatures happens in real time for our Premium customers, and it is continuous. In contrast, our free customers receive this data with a 30-day delay.
The (Legendary) Wordfence Premium IP Blacklist
Last week we published research that shows that well over 50% of all the attacks we block are blocked by the Premium Wordfence IP Blacklist.
This is what that looks like represented graphically. Each color represents a unique Wordfence firewall rule and how many attacks it blocks per day. The blue represents everything that the Premium IP blacklist blocks.
The first time I saw the above data, I was pleasantly surprised. Our team has gotten so good at identifying bad IPs and blacklisting them for our Premium customers that we now block more attacks with the blacklist than we do with firewall rules.
Our IP blacklist is only available to Wordfence Premium customers and is extremely effective at blocking attacks. An additional benefit of the IP blacklist is that it completely blocks known attackers from your site. They can’t even do an initial scan to see your content, what version of WordPress you are running or to probe for other weaknesses.
Priority Server Processing For Premium Customers
Wordfence is not just a PHP plugin for WordPress. It comes with back-end services provided by applications that we run on our own physical servers, which are located at multiple data centers. Wordfence Premium customers receive priority processing on our back-end services. We provide a higher degree of reliability for Premium customers on our servers, and we prioritize Premium processing higher than our free customers.
The Wordfence team constantly releases new versions of the Wordfence plugin, and alongside those releases, they are also releasing new versions of our server code.
The main reason we provide server-based applications to help Wordfence is to offload much of the processing from your website onto our own machines. For example, we maintain a mirror of every version of every plugin, theme and core file for WordPress ever released. That is well over half a terabyte of data!
We also maintain our IP blacklists, URL and hostname blacklists and other data to help identify malicious behavior.
When you perform a scan, our databases do most of the work to determine if a file on your system is malicious. If that happened on your own hosting account, it would take a long time and would consume a large amount of disk space.
To run Wordfence without our back-end services, you would need over a terabyte of disk space, fast multi-core CPUs, at least 32 Gigabytes of memory and a fast 1-gigabit connection to the network. Most hosting accounts have about 1% of that network speed, and with far less memory, disk and CPU resources.
Exceptional Customer Service
Today I was again reminded of one of the most powerful things that our CS (customer service) team do for our customers: they represent you when having conversations with the engineering team. Later this week, we will be announcing a major improvement in Wordfence. When the engineering team unveiled it today, the CS team were all cheering, because they care deeply about you and making sure your problems are solved and that you are protected.
As a Premium Wordfence customer, you get access to our priority ticketing system. Our team works closely with you to secure your WordPress site.
The CS team works one-on-one with our customers to solve problems and help you get the best protection from Wordfence for your site. They respond within 24 hours during the week and are very passionate about securing WordPress and securing your website.
Most of our Wordfence CS team is US-based, and they are all WordPress and Wordfence experts. When you chat with Chloe, Tim, Andie or Asa, they are based in California, Tennessee, Florida and Sweden, respectively – to mention just a few of our amazing team members.
Free and Premium – We Are Glad to Have You on Board
Whether you use the free community edition of Wordfence to protect your site or you are one of our valued Premium customers, we are glad to have you as part of the Wordfence family of customers.
Our team cares deeply about securing your site, and we want you to have the best protection possible. That is why we encourage all our free community users to upgrade to Wordfence Premium. Our current pricing is $99 per year, which works out to just $8.25 per month. It’s an incredible deal.
Upgrade to Wordfence Premium, today, and get the best protection available for your WordPress website.
Mark Maunder – Wordfence Founder & CEO