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 all the 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. Wordfence Premium customers run full scans 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. E.g., a scan scheduled for 1pm will run sometime between 1pm and 2pm. This slight randomization prevents large amount of scans from starting at the exact same time.
Configuring a scan schedule
Wordfence displays the current time your WordPress site uses at the top of the scan scheduling page. You can go to the Settings/General menu to change your timezone. Use the links provided on the scan scheduling page in Wordfence as shortcuts to select scan times. Try clicking the links several times to advance the time. 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 web hosts. Scheduled scans may be delayed if other sites’ scans are running at the same time on your web host, 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Both Premium and free users will still get automatic daily scans checking for WordPress core updates, outdated themes and plugins, and themes and plugins with known vulnerabilities.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 dashboard as many times as needed. In general, if you don’t have an extremely large site and you’re 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 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’re in the United States, we generally recommend that you schedule your scans between 8PM and 5AM local time for most websites. This is the time of lowest traffic for most websites in North America.
The same applies to sites with an audience in another country. Try to schedule your scan between 8PM and 5AM local time for your website audience. So even if you’re hosting in the USA, if your audience is in the United Kingdom, schedule your scans between 8PM and 5AM London time.
Scheduling your scans out of 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 – the ability to schedule scans at a time that suits you.