Introducing Wordfence 7
Wordfence is the most popular WordPress security software in the world for good reason. The protection offered by the endpoint firewall outperforms alternatives. The scanner delivers the best detection in the industry. A long list of other features like country blocking, two-factor authentication and password auditing make Wordfence the best and most comprehensive security solution available for WordPress.
From the beginning, our development efforts have always focused on function over form. Having rapidly innovated for so many years, the resulting software does an extraordinary job of protecting WordPress websites, but it is also quite complex. Last summer we decided it was time to make a major investment in the user experience, making Wordfence not only the best security software available, but also intuitive and incredibly easy to use.
For the last 6 months we have been hard at work rebuilding the Wordfence user interface from the ground up. Today’s release of Wordfence 7 revolutionizes WordPress security by making a deep and complex product easier and more intuitive to use. We think Wordfence 7 is amazing, and we know you will, too.
Overview of Changes in Wordfence 7
Our goal with Wordfence 7 was simple: make Wordfence intuitive and easy to use for all users.
It needed to be easy for the novice to understand and configure without taking away any functionality from more advanced users.
To achieve that, we made the following high-level changes:
- Updated our design framework to use modern interface standards
- Focused more on the core Wordfence security features, like firewall and scan, and less on everything else
- Eliminated the ‘Options’ page and added options sections for each feature
- Added feature status indicators for core features
- Added a help page with links to documentation and support options
Based on current UI/UX patterns and trends, we’ve built a framework using standard interface and experience approaches. The dashboard and feature pages provide configuration status, alerts and reporting. Detailed configuration screens are easily accessible with relevant links throughout the experience. Status summaries are interactive, guiding the user directly to the security hardening opportunities and giving you real-time information on the impact of any changes you make. The resulting software is more discoverable, approachable and user-friendly.
Feature Status Circles
One of our objectives with Wordfence 7 is to provide security hardening opportunities to users in a simple, intuitive way. With that in mind, we are introducing status circles. They provide a clear status summary for each feature. By hovering over the status circle, you will trigger a popover detailing the list of things you can do to improve the percentage shown. All popovers include a link to detailed documentation.
We also include status circles on the scan and firewall options pages, giving you immediate feedback as you improve your security posture.
Here’s an example of the status circles on the new scan page in action:
The new version of the dashboard is similar to the one we added in Wordfence 6, but is now less busy and even more useful. We added feature status sections for the firewall, scan and Wordfence Premium. You’ll still find notifications here, primarily based on scan results. Global options for the plugin are now accessible via the link on this page (more on our options page approach later).
Finally, we removed most of the charts from this page, leaving just a high-level Firewall Summary and a chart of attacks across the Wordfence network.
We reduced the number of navigation options from 8 to 6. The two most important features, firewall and scan, are still available in the main navigation. Blocking is now accessible in the Firewall section and Live Traffic has been moved to Tools. Links for both features can be added back to the main navigation via their respective options, for those of you who prefer it.
The Options page has been removed completely in favor of a new approach.
New Options Sections
Prior to Wordfence 7, the majority of the Wordfence configuration options were on a single page. While there are some advantages to that approach, we found that it caused a majority of our users to never discover many useful features and options.
With Wordfence 7, you will now find an options link on all major feature pages. Global options are now accessible via a link on the Dashboard page. All options links can be found next to a gray gear icon.
We know that security is a complex topic, and that configuring Wordfence can be challenging for less technical users, especially with some of the more exotic hosting configurations we sometimes come across. In an effort to make it easier to find the documentation or support you need, we added a Help page to the plugin. It includes links to our documentation organized by feature, along with links to our most popular help articles. Links to our free and Premium support options are also available, and you will find links to the new help section throughout the plugin.
Alongside this project, we also completely revamped our documentation for the product. Our old documentation will still be available for a while, but we will no longer be updating it going forward.
New Firewall Interface
The firewall interface has changed significantly. The main firewall page now includes four status circles, providing a broad overview of your site’s configuration status at the top. All firewall-related options are now accessible via the options link on this page. All firewall-related reporting is now available here as well.
Blocking and Rate Limiting are also now available via links on this page.
New Scan Interface
We’re really excited about the new scan interface. It’s exceptionally functional, very usable, and beautiful at the same time. At the top you’ll find status circles, summarizing your current configuration status. Below that, you will find the “Start new scan” button, along with links to Help and Options.
The Scan Options area is now where you set up scheduled scans. We removed the Scan Summary section and replaced it with a new status summary bar, displaying what the scanner is working on. The Scan Detailed Activity is now hidden by default, but you can reveal it by clicking the “show log” link above the results table.
The scan findings table has been revamped to show a summary view of each finding by default. You can view the details of the finding, and take action on it, by clicking the “Details” icon.
We also added statistics to the top of the table showing a summary of what the scanner found the last time it ran.
The Blocking interface has been completely redesigned. IP, Country and Custom Pattern blocking features have all been combined, and block count reporting is now available for each blocking rule you create. You can now manage and monitor the effectiveness of blocking rules in one place.
The Diagnostics page has been completely redesigned. All diagnostics sections are now collapsible, and collapsed by default, to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
We replaced the product tour with a new guide that runs as you access each area of the plugin. We will be leveraging this new capability when we roll out new features that require more in-depth explanations, including the launch of Wordfence 7.
Live Traffic has been completely redesigned. The traffic table now shows summary data for each observation. You can view more detailed information by clicking the “View” icon. Viewing whois information and seeing recent traffic is now presented in a beautiful popover.
Wordfence has always included a great comment spam filter. Unfortunately, it was buried in the Options page, split into two different sections. In Wordfence 7, it now has its own page in the Tools section, which now includes basic reporting.
It took us many months to get this right, and many people contributed to making this release happen. A big thank you to the hundreds of beta testers who helped us over the last couple of weeks. Your feedback has been invaluable.
With today’s release, we are excited to bring Wordfence 7 to the global Wordfence user community!
If you do find an issue, please submit tickets via Premium support or the forums so we can get them fixed. And as always, we welcome your comments here.