10 Essential Free Tools to Check Your Website Security in 2023

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If you’re looking for free web security check tools that will help keep your website safe and secure, then you’re in the right place. 

Poor website security can be costly. In fact, data breaches alone cost US businesses, on average, a whopping $4.35 million in 2022*. 

We all know the importance of web security, but how can you check yours and make sure your defenses are up to scratch? All of the tools in this list can help with this. The best part? They’re all free!

1 - Website Vulnerability Scanners

A website security scanner is automated software that searches for vulnerabilities on your website. 

A website vulnerability is a gap or hole in your defenses that could be exploited by hackers. 

If you have a vulnerability on your website, hackers can easily take advantage of it and steal data, inject codes, or even take control of the server. 

The website vulnerability scanners will search for any discrepancies within your web services, web servers, proxy servers, and web application servers. It will also scan your whole website and server and perform pseudo-attacks to see how your website defends itself. If there are any vulnerabilities, it will alert you to them.

The best free website vulnerability scanners for 2023:

  • OpenVAS
  • Nikto

2 - SSL/TLS Certificate Checkers

While most modern browsers recognize SSL and TLS certificates, sometimes a user will encounter an error. These errors are often caused by one of three things:

  • Unsecured connection
  • Expired certificate 
  • Untrusted certificate authority 

If a user gets an error when it comes to your SSL certificate, it can be detrimental to the trust you’ve built up with them and it may put you both at risk. 

The good news is that SSL and TLS certificate checkers can help you troubleshoot any installation and diagnostic issues, allowing you to rectify them before your users get a dreaded error message.  

The best free SSL/TLS certificate checkers for 2023:

  • SSL Labs
  • SSL Server Test
  • Qualys SSL Labs
  • DigiCert SSL Installation Diagnostics Tool

Find Out More

Unsure how to get an SSL certificate? Take a look at our step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process!

3 - Malware Scanners

Malware scanners are systems that scan web applications for malicious software, such as viruses and adware. 

Malware scanners provide wide coverage and scan almost every aspect of your website and server. The software will flag up any suspicious software and it helps you get rid of it too. 

What makes malware scanners so clever is the built-in malware library, which means it can flag any software that looks or behaves similarly to malware that is stored in its library. 

Malware scanners will usually run constantly in the background, but you can also opt to run an unscheduled scan if you’re worried your website has been compromised.  

VirusTotal checks your systems for malicious software that could put your business at risk.

The best free malware scanners for 2023:

  • Sucuri SiteCheck
  • VirusTotal
  • Quttera 

4 - Web Application Firewalls (WAF)

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is almost like a shield for your website and is considered a crucial website security check tool. 

A WAF will protect your website by filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the internet. It can typically protect websites from attacks like file inclusions, SQL injections, and cross-site forgery. 

A WAF protects the server by ensuring each user passes through it before gaining access to the website. 

Generally, there are two types of WAF:

  • A blocklist WAF, which protects the site against known attacks and by blocking entry to suspicious users.
  • An allowlist WAF  will only admit users that have been pre-approved. 

Most websites will use a hybrid approach and incorporate both. 

The best free WAF for 2023:

  • ModSecurity
  • Cloudfare WAF
  • Comodo WAF

5 - Password Strength Checkers

We all know the password rule: don’t use the same password for everything, don’t use your date of birth or pet’s name (too obvious), and do add symbols, numbers, and a mix of lower and upper case letters. 

Unfortunately, some passwords are still too weak, and weak passwords mean weak security. If a hacker gets hold of passwords, both from users and admins, it could be game over. 

The good news is that password strength checkers can help. Password strength checkers do exactly what they say: check the strength of a password. 

A strength checker will test how long it would take a hacker to guess the password by using sheer brute force (e.g. by testing every possible letter, number, and symbol combination). 

A password strength checker is a great way of checking whether or not your passwords are strong enough, or if you’re putting your login credentials and your website at risk. 

The best free password strength checkers for 2023:

  • Password Meter
  • Kaspersky Password Checker
  • LastPass Security Challenge 

6 - File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) Tools

File integrity monitoring is crucial if you need to spot any unauthorized changes to your website, or detect whether or not a file on your website has been tampered with. 

FIM tools will test and check your operating systems, databases, and software files to determine if they have been corrupted or compromised. 

FIM tools work by comparing the version of the file on your website with a “baseline” version that is deemed to be uncorrupt and how the file should look. If an FIM tool determines that a file has been changed or compromised, it will trigger an alert. You can then conduct an investigation. 

The best free FIM tools for 2023:

  • Tripwire
  • Samhain 

7 - Security Headers Checkers

A security header is a part of an HTTP response that helps to secure the communication between the server and the user. It can also help to protect websites from an array of different threats and attacks. 

A security header checker will ensure the security headers are present on a website and configured properly. 

If the checker determines that the headers are not secure, it will alert the website owner and recommend the website settings are changed to secure the website. 

The best free security header checkers for 2023:

  • SecurityHeaders.io
  • Mozilla Observatory 
  • Nwebsec Scanne 

8 - DNS Health Checkers

A Domain Name System (DNS) is effectively the process of mapping your domain name to your IP address and routing users to the right website and page. 

Without a DNS, users would have to remember hundreds of IP addresses to find what they’re looking for online, which is less than ideal. 

A DNS health checker is an important way to check website security. The checker will monitor your DNS and flag any unexpected changes or localized outages to prevent an attack. 

While a DNS is essential for any website, it is one of the easiest ways for hackers to infiltrate your website and server, making DNS health checkers invaluable. 

The best free DNS health checkers for 2023:

  • DNSstuff
  • MXToolbox
  • IntoDNS

9 - Website Backup Solutions

In the event a hacker infiltrates your website, even the very best security solutions and experts won’t be able to restore your website to its former glory – unless there’s a backup.

Think of a website backup as the spare tire for your car. You hope you’ll never have to use it, but you wouldn’t drive a long distance without knowing it was primed and ready, just in case.. 

Website backup solutions make a complete copy of the website files and database, usually on a daily basis. This means your website can be restored to the most recent version, if required. 

A website backup solution works alongside all of the other website security checker tools we’ve mentioned in this article. 

UpdraftPlus is a WordPress plugin that backs up, restores, and clones your website.

The best free website backup solutions for 2023:

  • UpdraftPlus
  • Duplicator
  • BackWPup

10 - Website Performance Analyzers

A website performance analyzer allows you to track and monitor the overall performance of your website, usually against a set of metrics and technical aspects that impact the user experience and load speed of your website. 

Most website performance analyzers will allow you to monitor the performance of your website and keep an eye on aspects like broken links and time to the first byte. 

Why is this an important website security check? Your website’s performance and its security are directly linked. Sometimes the security solutions you install and run on your website can slow it down and hinder its performance. 

Running frequent website performance checks are important as they ensure your security solutions aren’t compromising your site’s performance. 

The best free website performance analyzers for 2023:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • GTmetrix 
  • Pingdom Website Speed Test

Free Tools to Check Your Website Security: Summary

Unlike many of our roundup lists, this isn’t about finding the best security tool for your website. Instead, your website will need most – if not all – of these website security check tools to ensure it remains safe and secure. 

To recap, the 10 essential free tools to check your website security are:

  1. Website vulnerability scanner
  2. SSL/TLS certificate checker 
  3. Malware scanner
  4. Web application firewall
  5. Password strength checker
  6. File integrity monitoring tool
  7. Security header checker
  8. DNS health checker
  9. Website backup solution 
  10. Website performance analyzer 

When it comes to building your website, nothing is more important than security. Overlooking it could have a catastrophic effect. Now that you know these free tools, check out our website security guide for more tips on securing your site, and our website security checklist for staying on top of your progress. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Web security protects your website from damage or theft of the hardware, systems, data, and software. These attacks include viruses and code injections from hackers and phishers. You can learn more about the various website attack types in our full article.

It’s a misconception that web security is expensive. In fact, as this article has shown, there are plenty of free tools you can use to keep your website safe and secure!

We cannot stress this enough, web security is so important. It’s no use building a fantastic website if you aren’t going to make sure it’s secure. The minute you leave it open to hackers and cybercriminals, you can lose the trust of your users, and you could also lose a lot of money as well!

Written by:

I’ve been a content writer for Website Builder Expert since 2021. Through almost a decade in the digital marketing industry, I’ve built up knowledge on everything from growing ecommerce businesses to building websites.
I love breaking down tricky topics into digestible and engaging content for readers. Breaking down the jargon and uncovering the best platforms, tools, and strategies, I’m a meticulous researcher who’s committed to providing our readers with tips and advice that’s tried and tested.

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