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Blocking IPs In WordPress: Should You Do It?

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the pros and cons of blocking IPs in WordPress, provide step-by-step instructions on manual methods, and showcase popular plugins.

| April 5, 2021 | 10 Min Read

WordPress, being the world's most popular content management system, is vulnerable to various security threats. One effective way to enhance the security of your WordPress site is by blocking unwanted or malicious IP addresses. In this article, we'll delve into the why, how, and what of blocking IPs in WordPress, exploring the pros and cons of this security measure.

Is Blocking IPs Effective? 8 Perspectives From Security Experts

WordPress Experts generally acknowledge the value of blocking IPs as part of a comprehensive security strategy. However, opinions may vary on the effectiveness and necessity of IP blocking, and some experts emphasize the importance of combining multiple security measures for robust protection. Here are some common perspectives from security experts:

#1 - Security Measures Integration

Experts often recommend a multi-layered security approach. IP blocking can be one layer, but it should complement other security measures such as strong passwords, regular updates, and the use of security plugins.

#2 - Use of Web Application Firewalls (WAFs)

Some experts suggest employing Web Application Firewalls, either through hosting providers or third-party services, as they can provide advanced threat detection and protection without solely relying on IP blocking.

#3 - Risk of False Positives

Many experts caution about the risk of false positives when blocking IPs. Mistakenly blocking legitimate users can lead to a poor user experience and potential loss of traffic.

#4 - Dynamic IP Challenges

Experts acknowledge the challenge of dealing with users on dynamic IP addresses. Blocking a specific IP may not be effective if an attacker can quickly switch to a different IP.

#5 - Monitoring and Analytics

It's essential to continually monitor and analyze traffic to identify patterns and potential threats. Some experts recommend using analytics tools to gain insights into your website's traffic and user behavior.

#6 - Regular Updates of IP Blocking Rules

Security experts emphasize the importance of regularly updating IP blocking rules and configurations. Threat landscapes evolve, and keeping the security measures up-to-date is crucial.

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#7 - Education and User Awareness

Some experts advocate for educating users about security best practices to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to attacks. This includes avoiding suspicious links, using strong passwords, and keeping software up-to-date.

#8 - Consideration of IP Spoofing

Experts often note that IP blocking may not be foolproof, especially against attackers using IP spoofing techniques. This highlights the need for a holistic security strategy.

How To Block IP Addresses In WordPress

There are several methods to block IPs in WordPress, ranging from manual techniques to using plugins. Here are two methods we recommend.

Manual IP Blocking (Simple)

manual IP blocking in wordpress.

Step #1: Access your server's .htaccess file.

Step #2: Add the following code to block a specific IP: Replace with the IP address you want to block.

Using WordPress Plugins To Block IPs (Recommended)

There are various plugins designed to simplify the IP blocking process. Some popular options include:

The login page stands out as the most vulnerable section of your website. The primary motivation behind implementing IP blocking is to safeguard your site against unauthorized access. Among the top-rated login security plugins, Limit Login Attempts Reloaded takes the lead with an impressive track record of over 2 million active installations and an outstanding user rating of 4.9/5.

How To Prevent IPs From Making Logins with Limit Login Attempts Reloaded

  1. Install and activate the Limit Login Attempts Reloaded Plugin
  2. Access the "logs" tab, and add IPs to the denylist.
  3. For premium users, utilize the block by country feature for enhanced protection.


  • Simplified Login Security: Focuses specifically on login security, helping prevent brute force attacks by limiting login attempts.
  • Block entire countries with a few clicks.
  • Customization Options: Offers customizable settings, allowing users to define specific rules for blocking IPs based on login attempts.


  • Only blocks IPs for login pages.
  • Since it focuses on login protection, it may not address other potential threats.

Wordfence Security

Wordfence is a robust security plugin for WordPress renowned for its multifaceted approach to site protection. Specifically, in the realm of IP blocking, Wordfence employs a firewall that allows users to proactively block malicious IP addresses. With real-time threat defense and an intuitive user interface, Wordfence stands as a comprehensive solution for safeguarding WordPress sites against unauthorized access and potential security threats.

How to block IPs with Wordfence

  1. Install and activate the Wordfence Security plugin
  2. Navigate to "Firewall" and add the IP addresses you want to block.


  • Comprehensive Security Suite: Wordfence offers a range of security features beyond IP blocking, including malware scanning, firewall protection, and login attempt monitoring.
  • Real-time Threat Defense: The firewall feature operates in real-time, providing instant protection against emerging threats.
  • User-Friendly Interface: With an intuitive dashboard, Wordfence makes it easy for users to manage and configure security settings.


  • Resource Intensive: Some users report that Wordfence can be resource-intensive, potentially affecting site performance on lower-end hosting plans.
  • Premium Features: While the basic IP blocking functionality is free, advanced features require a premium subscription.

Sucuri Security

Sucuri Security is a premium WordPress plugin acclaimed for its comprehensive security features, and in the context of IP blocking, it excels at defending websites from unauthorized access. Sucuri utilizes a global threat database to detect and block malicious IP addresses in real-time, providing an effective shield against emerging security threats. Beyond IP blocking, Sucuri enhances website integrity through file monitoring and optimizes performance with its built-in Content Delivery Network (CDN).

How to block IPs with Sucuri

  1. Install and activate the Sucuri Security plugin.
  2. Access the "Firewall" section and add IPs to the blacklist.


  • Global Threat Detection: Sucuri maintains a global threat database, offering protection based on real-time data from across the internet.
  • Website Integrity Monitoring: Beyond IP blocking, Sucuri provides file integrity monitoring to detect unauthorized changes to your site.
  • Performance Optimization: Sucuri includes a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for improved site speed and performance.


  • Cost: Sucuri is a premium service, and while it provides robust security features, users must subscribe to a paid plan for full access.
  • CDN Limitations: The CDN may have limitations compared to standalone CDN services.

Important Considerations Regarding Blocking IPs in WordPress

The act of blocking IP addresses is akin to playing the game Whac-a-mole, where the task is never truly completed. There will always be additional IP addresses requiring blocking. It is important to recognize that blocking ALL IPs is impractical, as an IP considered dangerous today may be assigned to a legitimate user tomorrow, resulting in the loss of relevant traffic.

When it comes to brute force protection, a more effective approach is to implement measures that render unauthorized access unfeasible, employing automated and efficient methods. For example, the IP intelligence feature with Limit Login Attempts Reloaded accomplishes this objective by eliminating the need to block any IP addresses manually. Unless you derive satisfaction from continuously adding IPs to a block list, your time would be better spent on other endeavors.


Implementing IP blocking in WordPress serves as a pivotal element in fortifying the security of your website. While the approach offers tangible benefits such as enhanced protection against unauthorized access and improved site performance, it is crucial to weigh the potential downsides, including the risk of false positives and the dynamic nature of IP addresses. Whether opting for manual methods or leveraging dedicated plugins like Limit Login Attempts Reloaded, a well-considered IP blocking strategy, integrated within a broader security framework, contributes significantly to safeguarding your WordPress site against an evolving landscape of cyber threats. Regular monitoring, adaptation, and a holistic security approach remain key in maintaining the resilience of your WordPress ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider blocking IPs in WordPress?

You should consider Blocking IPs in WordPress because it is crucial for enhancing the security of your website. It helps prevent unauthorized access, protects against brute force attacks, and minimizes the risk of malicious activities, ultimately safeguarding your site and its sensitive information.

Are there any downsides to blocking IPs in WordPress?

Yes, there are potential downsides to IP blocking. One common challenge is the risk of false positives, where legitimate users might be mistakenly blocked. Additionally, IP blocking may not be foolproof against advanced threats using techniques like IP spoofing. It's essential to weigh these considerations against the security benefits.

How can I manually block IPs in WordPress?

You can manually block IPs in WordPress by editing the .htaccess file on your server. You can add specific code to deny access to certain IP addresses. However, it's crucial to exercise caution and double-check the accuracy of the IP addresses you intend to block to avoid unintentional restrictions.

Which WordPress plugins are recommended for IP blocking, and how do they differ?

There are several plugins designed for IP blocking in WordPress, each with its own strengths. Popular choices for IP blocking include Limit Login Attempts Reloaded, Wordfence Security and Sucuri Security. Limit Login Attempts Reloaded focuses on login security, Wordfence offers a comprehensive security suite, and Sucuri excels in global threat detection. Understanding their features and differences can help you choose the plugin that best suits your website's needs.

About the Author

Greg Fisher is the CMO and co-founder of Limit Login Attempts Reloaded, spearheading the company’s content and user acquisition.