Wordfence provides continuous real-time security for your site. There are two types of automatic scans, full scans and quick scans. The quick scan does a limited amount of checks, whereas the full scan does a full scan type you currently have selected.
If you are using the free version of Wordfence, a quick scan runs every day, and a full scan runs every 72 hours. The Premium version of Wordfence also has a daily quick scan and a full scan runs every 24 hours by default. Premium customers can also customize how often their sites are scanned with the “Scan Scheduling” feature.
Please note that all Wordfence Scans run within one hour of the scheduled time. For example, a scan scheduled for 1 PM will run sometime between 1 PM and 2 PM. This slight randomization prevents a large amount of scans from starting at the exact same time.
Configuring a scan schedule
Use the buttons provided on the scan scheduling page in Wordfence as shortcuts to select scan times. You can also manually select scan start times for each day.
We manage the scan times for more efficient use of our servers and the servers of shared hosting providers. Scheduled scans may be delayed if other sites’ scans are running at the same time on your server, typically by 30 minutes or less, with a “fast lane” server for Premium customers guaranteeing Premium scans take priority over free scans.
Both Premium and free users will still get automatic daily scans checking for WordPress core updates, outdated themes and plugins, and themes and plugins with known vulnerabilities.
Both Premium and free users can still run manual scans from the “Scan” page as many times as needed. In general, if you do not have an extremely large site and you are on a server with plenty of resources, we recommend you scan once every 24 hours. If your site has limited resources or is extremely busy, we suggest you scan at a minimum of once a week, preferably on weekends, depending on your traffic patterns.
What time should you scan?
Try to schedule your scans at the time of lowest activity on your website. If you are in the United States, we generally recommend that you schedule your scans between 8 PM and 5 AM local time for most sites. This is the time of lowest traffic for most sites in North America.
The same applies to sites with an audience in another country. Try to schedule your scan between 8 PM and 5 AM local time for your site audience. Therefore, even if your hosting provider is in the USA, and your audience is in the United Kingdom, then schedule your scans between 8 PM and 5 AM London time.
Scheduling your scans outside of business hours ensures that your website resources are not being used for scans during peak hours. That is one of the benefits of a Premium membership where you have the ability to schedule scans at a time that suits your site.