Wordfence Plugin Configuration

As explained on our page about WordPress security plugins, we generally don’t recommend using plugins like Wordfence, and we don’t use anything like this on our own site. But if you do use Wordfence, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t slow down your site.

The main way Wordfence slows down sites is by repeatedly scanning gigabytes of files like images, .zip backups, and so on. It doesn’t scan these by default, at least in recent versions, because even the authors of Wordfence don’t think it’s necessary, and we agree.

In addition, the Wordfence “Live Traffic View” consumes significant resources and should be disabled if you don’t routinely use it. The Wordfence documentation says that “you may consider disabling live traffic to reduce the load on your web server”.

What should I do?

To make sure Wordfence isn’t unnecessarily slowing down your site, go to the Wordfence “Options” and verify two things:

  • In the “Basic Options” section, uncheck Enable Live Traffic View if you don’t regularly use that feature
  • In the “Scans to include” section, uncheck Scan images, binary, and other files as if they were executable