How to Scan Your WordPress Site for Malicious Code (2021)

WordPress is the most popular Content Managment System (CMS) used for blogging and for various other purposes like for setting up an e-commerce store. WordPress is also the most popular platform for any type of website creation. Actually, WordPress has a market share of 27% among all websites on internet. Due to its huge popularity, WordPress has also become an easy target for hackers and internet abusers. Hackers always try to use different techniques and approaches to gain access to WordPress sites. If you want to save your website from such attacks then it is important that your website has a reliable security wall. WordPress CMS has many themes and Plugins to choose from which were created to have better look and feel and to add new features into the WordPress site. Some of these themes and plugins are free to use while for some you have to pay to use. Sometimes it also happens that the people who uploaded them tweak them for their own gain.

Some of the WordPress users want to use premium or paid Themes and plugins but they don’t want to pay for them hence they download them from hacking websites by illegal means where they are uploaded by hackers. There are chances that these kinds of files could have malicious codes, loopholes or backdoor installed in them. If you are also using any of such pirated theme or plugin then you are putting yourself in great danger and you could also possibly lose control of your website and data on your site and hence your credibility and reputation will also be at stake. Due to these reasons it is important to use a security plugin which has a malware scanner and some malicious code detection features. If you are not familiar with these security plugins then read on here as in this article I will talk about topmost tools and plugins to deal with malicious code in a WordPress theme or website.

MalCare Security Solution

MalCare is one of the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin out there. It was developed after analyzing over 240,000 websites over the course of 2 years. The plugin offers a set of powerful features like the Scanner that does not bog down your site and goes beyond just signature matching to find new and complex malware. The Automatic Cleaner wipes off all traces of malware from your site. It has a Firewall that prevents bad traffic from accessing your site and blocks bots trying to brute force into your site. Other notable features include Site Hardening that prohibits unauthorized users from making changes to your site and Site Management that allows you to keep track of all your site users and update themes, plugins and WordPress core from MalCare dashboard. MalCare also provides regular Backups (powered by BlogVault) that you access to up to 365 days of backups. And finally, there’s White-Labelling and Client Reporting that promises to make your life easier.

Theme Authenticity Checker

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) is a great plugin for scanning the theme files of your website to find out the malicious code which can put your WordPress site at risk. After installing TAC, this plugin will go through the source codes of all of your themes and will look for any unwanted code. If this plugin finds any code which is unwanted and can be used for hacking then it will create a complete report with full path address of the file, line numbers of code along with a small snapshot of the suspicious code. Although all theme developers should adhere to the WordPress coding standards some of the theme developers deviate from these standards which can be unintentional or even deliberately. Hence you should do a thorough check and if you find any such thing then you should stop using the theme immediately and should inform the theme author.

Exploit Scanner

Exploit Scanner can search all the files, comments, posts, database and other section of your WordPress site to find out any of the suspicious code. You can also customize the scan to search only the files or only the database or both database and files or scan by using different keywords. This plugin can also monitor the existing and newly installed plugins to find out suspicious file name. Kindly note that this plugin does not do anything on its own if it finds any suspicious thing. It creates a detailed report for the site administrator and he has to manually remove the suspicious things. Scanning process takes some time hence you should perform the scan when your server is not much active.

AntiVirus for WordPress

Antivirus for WordPress is an easy to use and very popular protection plugin which can help you in many ways. This plugin can scan the installed WordPress themes on your WordPress website for malicious code. This plugin can also scan your database tables and can find out the malicious injections too. By using this plugin you can get alerts for viruses in the admin panel. It also do a daily scan and you will get email notifications if it finds something suspicious. It is also possible to enable scheduled scan and get the scan report in your email. It can also whitelist your site. If you get any false alarms then you can mark the instances as no virus. This plugin also allows you to enable Google Safe Browsing feature to monitor malware and fishing activities. This plugin is available in many languages.

Sucuri Security

Sucuri is a well reputed and widely used malware scanning WordPress plugin. The main features offered by Sucuri are monitoring files which are uploaded onto the WordPress website, Security Activity Monitoring, security notifications, blacklist monitoring and many others. You will also get a remote malware scanning feature with this free Sucuri SiteCheck Scanner. This plugin is also popular for a powerful website firewall addon which you have to buy from their site. After that you have to activate this addon to make your website even more secure. Sucuri can make sure that your website is safe from potential abusers and hackers and that all of your files in your website are safe. If you have already installed and activated the Sucuri Security Plugin then you don’t need to look for any other security plugin to find out malicious code or loopholes in your site.

Anti-Malware and Brute-Force Firewall Security by ELI

Anti-Malware is a WordPress plugin which can be used to scan and remove viruses, malicious things and threats which may be present on your WordPress site. This plugin can search for malware, adware and various other types of security threats and vulnerabilities in your website. This plugin offers many features like quick scan, scheduled scan, customized scan, complete scan etc and this plugin can also  remove the known threats automatically. You can register the plugin for free at  If you do not know how to code in phone home scripting then it is upto whether you want to use this plugin or not as it uses the phone home features to check for updates hence you may need to learn how to work in this script if you use this plugin. This plugin can also remove specific threats like SoakSoak exploiting the vulnerability of Revolution Slider. You can keep your website safe from the latest threats by downloading new definition updates from their official site.

WP Antivirus Site Protection

WP Antivirus Site Protection is a popular security plugin which can help your WordPress site to remain safe and secure. This plugin can scan WordPress themes and all other files which you have uploaded on your WordPress website. Now let me tell you about some of the main features of WP Antivirus Site Protection Plugin which are as follows: Scanning of each uploaded file or your website, updating their virus database regularly, sending alerts and notifications via email, removal of malware and more. This plugin can detect most of the common threats like adware, spyware, worms, backdoors, rootkits, fraud tools and trojan horses.  Other than the theme files, this plugin also scans other files like plugin files, uploads etc. Use this plugin if you are using free themes and plugins which are downloaded from torrent sites or pirated sites. The central virus database of this plugin is updated daily. You can also mark some code as safe if you wish. This plugin has some more additional features too which you can get by paying for them to get even more security.

Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security is one of the most popular security plugin for WordPress. You can try this Wordfence plugin if you want to defend your website against cyber threats. This plugin provides real time protection against known attackers, blocks a whole malicious network if detected, two-factor authentication, scan for known backdoors and much more. Most of these services offered are free but if you want to get some more advanced features then you have to pay for it. If you are already using Wordfence Security plugin then you don’t need to use any other plugin. This plugin has powerful inbuilt features to scan for potential backdoors, suspicious code or any other security vulnerability. This plugin can also access the source code of your WordPress website to compare it with the official and original WordPress repository to make sure that the code at your site doesn’t contain any malicious code and that everything is fine.

Centrora Security

Centrora Security is a popular security plugin for WordPress having native support for WordPress multi-site. This plugin has been modified from OSE Firewall security and can help you in protecting your website from getting hacked and it can also prevent cyber attacks on your site. It has a inbuilt malware identifier and security scanner which will let you find out any hidden malicious code, security threats, spams, SQL injection attack, or any other type of vulnerabilities. Its virus scan engine is completely redesigned and now performs more than 20 times faster than it was before. If this plugin  detects some threat then it will send an instant report to the site administrator. It also has some other useful tools like IP Management, AntiSpam etc.


Hackers generally use malicious code and take advantage of poor coding which has some vulnerabilities. When we talk about security, noone can guarantee that their product or plugin is absolutely safe. Hence it is important to use reliable security plugins to safeguard your WordPress site. The above Plugins which we have just discussed are the best WordPress plugins to detect any malicious code in any WordPress site. These plugins are widely used by WordPress developers across the world and they are quite successful too. Also they have amazing past and great track record which proves they have provided amazing level of WordPress security. We hope that this article will help you to choose the right WordPress security Plugin to protect your WordPress website from malicious codes and hacking attacks.

Author Bio: Alex Jones is a skilled WordPress developer linked with WordPrax Ltd., a leading WordPress CMS Development driven by innovation. She has shown her prowess in handling WordPress projects with high-end and dynamic outputs. A technical blogger- Alex has written numerous articles on WordPress and other technical topics.

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