License Key

All Wordfence installations need a license key, also known as an API-key. The key can be a free key or a Premium key.

Wordfence License Key

Each Wordfence installation has a unique license key, also referred to as an “API-Key”. The license key is a string of letters and numbers that uniquely identifies your site. This key is used in several of Wordfence’s features to preserve the integrity of data and to make sure that any communication between your site and Wordfence Servers is secure.

When you first install Wordfence you are automatically configured to have the free version. Wordfence will contact our servers and automatically fetch a free license key which saves you having to come to our site and register. This gets you set up with our product as fast as possible.

If you decide to upgrade to the Premium version of Wordfence, you will need to go to wordfence.com and click on the “Get Wordfence Premium” button. When you purchase Premium you will receive a Premium license key. This license key needs to be installed on your site via your WordPress administration interface.

Note that we offer discounts when you buy or renew more than one license. You can read more about our pricing here.

How many license keys do I need to buy?

Each installation of the Wordfence plugin requires a unique Wordfence license key. If you have a WordPress Multisite, you only need one license key because a WordPress Multisite is a single installation of the WordPress file system and only has one installation of the Wordfence plugin.

You can not protect more than one WordPress installation (single or Multisite) with one premium license key unless it is a staging or development site of the accompanying production site. See the section below for staging sites to learn more about this.

Installing your premium license key

When you purchase the Premium version of Wordfence, you will receive a new license key that you need to install on your site to enable the Premium features. Your Premium license keys are stored in your user account on wordfence.com. You can retrieve them from your account at any time.

  1. Log in to wordfence.com with the account you created when you ordered the license key(s).
  2. Click the “LICENSES” menu item.
  3. Your license keys will be listed on the license key management page that will open.
  4. Copy the license key that you want to install.
  5. On your site, go to the Wordfence “Dashboard” > “Global Options” page.
  6. In the “Wordfence License” section, paste the license that key you copied from your wordfence.com account into the “License Key” field.
  7. Save the change and the Premium features will now be enabled.

Downgrading your license key

If you decide that you want to use your Premium license key on another site, or you want to discontinue your use of Wordfence Premium, then you can go to the “Dashboard” > “Global Options” page. In the “Wordfence License” section, click the button to downgrade to a free License key. This removes your Premium license key from your site’s database and automatically installs a free license key for your site from our servers. Premium features will be disabled immediately if you choose this option.  Remember to disable the automatic renewal for that license key in your wordfence.com account.  The automatic renewal can be disabled on the license key management page.

If you have decided that you want to use your license key on a different site then you will need to reset the license key in your account. In your account mark the check box for the license key and press the button to reset the selected license. You will see that the license key is no longer assigned to the original site and you can now install the license key on the other site.

Using a Wordfence license key on staging or development sites

A Premium license that is valid for a specific production site can also be used on corresponding staging and development sites. We are initially opening up this capability to the following common subdomains below and your license key will work automatically on these staging or development site subdomains. If you have different staging or development URLs then these will need to be enabled by Wordfence Premium support staff. Please send in your staging or development site URLs via our Premium support ticket system.

  • staging.example.com
  • stage.example.com
  • stg.example.com
  • new.example.com
  • dev.example.com
  • test.example.com
  • testing.example.com
  • local.example.com

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Move premium API-key to a different site

    Log in to your account at wordfence.com and reset the API-key. After having done that, you can install the key on a different site.

    You can also choose to downgrade the key via your Wordfence Options page and then install the key on the other site.

  • Do I need a key for both my staging and regular website?

    No. A Wordfence license can be used on a corresponding staging or dev site. To enable this functionality, send in the URL to your staging site to Wordfence premium support.

  • What is an API-key?

    An API-key is a unique identifier that Wordfence uses to verify that your site is actually your site and not another site. The key is a code; a long row of jumbled digits and letters. When you install the free version of Wordfence you are automatically assigned a free API-key. When you upgrade to Wordfence premium, you get a premium key which you need to install in place of the free key.

    Read more about API-Keys

  • Key is in use on another site

    If you get a message saying that your Premium license key is in use on another site, it can mean that your domain name has changed or that you have accidentally installed the same key on two different sites. If you want to use your license key on a different site then to fix this you will need to do the following:

    • Log in to wordfence.com.
    • Select the LICENSES menu item.
    • Mark the checkbox next to the license key that you want to use on a different site and then click on the RESET SELECTED LICENSES button.

    Once the license key has been reset then you can reinstall it on the other site.