Ultimate Blog Security: A VaultPress Premium Alternative? (WordPress)

Filed as Reviews on November 30, 2010 10:48 pm

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After reporting about the impressive improvements regarding VaultPress’s security feature (which is available to premium users), we received an interesting comment from one of their rivals.

I have a site called http://www.ultimateblogsecurity.com which allows you to *prevent* getting hacked in the first place. WordPress exposes a number of security vulnerabilities during installation (and upgrade to new versions!) that are easy but cumbersome to fix. We allow you to fix those in one click, and the pricing is reasonable too.

Founded by Chris Neumann and Eugene Pyvovarov, Ultimate Blog Security is a service that scans your WordPress blog in order to find and close security holes and exploits that could be used by a potential hacker.

Thus far the service does not offer a backup solution like VaultPress or blogVault, although the company plans on launching one in the future in order to challenge Automattic (the company behind VaultPress and WordPress) by offering a similar service at a greatly reduced price.

Price Points

When it comes to securing your WordPress blog, VaultPress offers users 2 plans: $20/month per blog for VaultPress basic and $50/month for VaultPress premium (note: beta users are being charged $15/month and $40/month, respectively).

Ultimate Blog Security however offers WordPress fans the ability to pay $10/month per blog or $25 every three months per blog for the privilege of having your WordPress blog scanned.

The company also offers users the ability to buy a lifetime account (as in pay once and use it forever without a recurring fee) which costs only $100 per blog for new users.

As an additional bonus the company allows users to test out their service for free by scanning a blog once in order to find current security holes, as well as providing a fix for them too (note: you may need to upgrade to premium in order to fix critical issues).

Login Credentials

Facebook LogoUnlike VaultPress which requires a WP.com user account, Ultimate Blog Security allows users to login to their service using a variety of services which include Twitter, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, WordPress.com and even OpenID.

In fact the only way one can currently sign up to Ultimate Blog Security is through one of the third party services, although truth be told most users have an account upon at least one platforms mentioned above (with the exception being OpenID which is used mainly by geeks).

While its understandable why Automattic chose to keep logins limited to one service (as supporting multiple platforms can turn into a nightmare), allowing users to choose a third party service helps reduce the number of logins the average user has to remember.

Freedom To Choose (Installation)

Last but not least Ultimate Blog Security allows users to choose between connecting a blog to their service via FTP (or File Transfer Protocol for you non-geeks) as well as through a free plugin.

While some geeks may prefer the FTP route, truth be told the plugin seems to be a better alternative as it not only provides more details, but grades you on how secure your blog is.

After having Ultimate Blog Security scan one of my blogs the service was able to identify 41 security holes that I needed to fix (several of them critical), giving my blog overall a lowly “C.”

Note: Chris (the founder) did inform me that granting them FTP access gives makes it easier for the company to close security holes in order to avoid encountering folders with incorrect permissions, although the plugin is available as an option for users.

Achilles Heel

Aside from the lack of backup (which Ultimate Blog Security is planning on eventually rolling out), if there was one area where the company fails against VaultPress, it would have to be the frequency of the former’s scans.

Unlike VaultPress Premium which scans your site in real time, Ultimate Blog Security only scans your blog once a week.

While this may satisfy some users (i.e. personal bloggers or sites infrequently updated), the scheduled scanning may not please professional bloggers who can not afford to have their site exploited for longer than an hour (let alone days).

Even though the team behind Ultimate Blog Security promises to help users fix their blog if it’s ever exploited, the delay in discovering a hack could result in Google reducing your blog’s page rank due to “malicious links” being discovered upon their site.

Should you use Ultimate Blog Security?

While I personally prefer real time security, if going premium via VaultPress is beyond ones budget, users should opt to choose Ultimate Blog Security (or a similar service) in order to help provide an extra layer of security for their blog.

Have you tested Ultimate Blog Security upon your weblog? If so, what are you thoughts regarding the service?

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