WordPress Plugins

Clef Review ~ Best WordPress Security Plugin

360 security plugin review
Written by Rachit Singh

Reviewed by:
On May 18, 2015
Last modified:May 30, 2015


Clef is free WordPress security plugin that helps you fight brute attacks by hiding password based login forms and integrating two factor login instead.

Clef is a brilliant WordPress security plugin for bloggers who are security concerned. Last night one of my co-bloggers told me that someone is trying to hack into his account from a few days. I first asked him to install login limits plugin and Brute force protection plugin. After this I started searching for a perfect security plugin, this was when I came across Clef, a superb security plugin. In this Review I’ll explain why you need to install Clef on your blog to maximize security and prevent your blog from being hacked.

As a blogger I put a lot of hard work in producing content. Over time Improving the quality and maximizing reach as much as I can. When I invest so much efforts and hard work in a work, I won’t like a hacker to hack into it and mess things up. This is why security is a prime concern for me. If you too invest quite a time in building up your blog, you would probably want your blog to secure and free from hackers. When it comes to tighten security there are a lot of plugins, one of them is clef. The plugin is available free of cost to download from WordPress plugin directory.

Clef Review ~ What is Clef and Why Clef ?

clef security plugin reviewAs I mentioned above, there are plenty of plugins available in the WP plugin directory. So you might ask, why choose clef ?

According to the WordPress security team passwords are the weakest link of any thing we do at the blog. If you strengthen your password, you’ll secure your blog from half of your problems. This plugin enables two factor authentication i.e you need to verify your login from your smartphone. This means even if someone hacks your password, he won’t be able to login to your dashboard to make any changes. The awesome plugin was developed by Dave Ross, Jesse Pollak , Andrew Rusell and LO, and has received an amazing rating of 4.9 out of 5 !

> How Clef Works to Secure your Blog

clef protection

Clef secures your login page by removing the password ( you can have a over ride page ) , and enabling a two factor authentication with your smartphone instead. The authentication is somewhat like QR code, but in the forms of moving bars. A pattern of bars is shown on login form and one is shown in your smartphone , you need to point your smartphone’s back camera to the login form and sync the pattern of moving bars to login to your dashboard. Amazing.. isn’t it ?

How to Setup Clef and Protect your Blog ?

I am glad you came this far, if you have made your mind to install clef, you’ve taken a positive decision. Clef offers max protection against brute force attacks and attempts to crack password. Setting up clef is quite simple, it takes only a couple of minutes. To setup you’d need two things in addition to your wordpress blog, clef wordpress plugin and clef’s smartphone app. Below are detailed instructions on how to setup Clef in order to maximize blog security and protection ~

1. Download and Install the Clef WordPress plugin for the directory. Upon activation you would be taken to clef page, Click on the Get Started button to start setting up.

2. In the next step, click on “Get the Clef app” , you can either enter your mobile number and get the link delivered to your mobile or download the app manually.

clef mobile app

3. Download and install the app, When you open the clef app , it would ask to register, Enter your Email, name and click register. After this select a four digit pin. You would also be asked to verify your email. Once registration is complete you’ll see the familiar lines on your smartphone.

4. Meanwhile there would be a similar pair of lines dancing inside your wordpress dashboard too. Place your back camera to the lines moving inside wp dashboard. Wait for a few seconds and you are done. Additionally the plugin would ask you to invite users too, you can invite users or click on “Continue and finish setup“.

And you are done setting up clef security.

> The Over-ride URL

There might be times when your phone is not with you. Sometimes phone hangs or stops working, sometimes smartphone gets stolen or sometimes the internet stops working in the phone. No matter what is the reason, there are can be times when you can’t login with your smartphone. Well, if you are facing problem in logging with clef you can try the regular password based login form by using the Over ride URL feature. You can activate the over-ride feature from the clef options.

override login

> The second way around 

You can also login with the usual password based for my deleting the plugin from the wp-contents/plugins directory. Deleting the plugin would restore the previous password based logins. Once logged in, you can again re-install and set-up the plugin again when you need.

Final words – Clef is one of the best security plugins you would ever need to install in your wordpress blog. The plugin almost removes the need of remembering and typing passwords. It also makes your blog more secure and less vulnerable to brute force attacks. Apart from clef there are a couple of plugins you should consider installing to maximize the security of your blog, they are – Wordfence, Bulletproof security, Sucuri security, Ithemes security, Acunetix WP security scan, All in one security and firewall, 6scan security.

Based on my experience I’d rate this plugin 4 out of 5 and would recommend it to every wordpress blogger. If you have used this plugin, let me know your experience and views in the comments below. The plugin can only be by-passed by someone who has access to your Ftp directory. Make sure you use a strong and complicated password for your FTP. Also, don’t forget to create and bookmark an over ride url page for times when you forget your smartphone or something weird happens. You can also log out using your smartphone, this makes usage much more comfortable.

So, Will you install clef ?

About the author

Rachit Singh

Professional Content Marketer who Founded Scribbify, and Hacknovations. Passionate Blogger & Content Marketer.

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  • I Agree Rachit, brute force attacks are increasing day by day. Although my blog never got hack but I will increase security by installing clef. Thanks for sharing bro.

    • You should tighten your security even if you’ve never been hacked. Don’t take risk the content on which you spend hours. Thanks for commenting buddy.

  • Last days ago some internet user try to open my wordpress account with out me permission …its like hacker attack …so I have started security plugins for safe my site
    ….Now I am happy to find Clef WordPress Security Plugin to here
    Thanks bro share this info for us

    • It is a nightmare to get your content wiped out by some hacker, security plugins tighten security and prevent your blog from being hacked. Its nice that you installed this plugin, let me know how it works out for you.
      Thanks for commenting bro.

  • Hi Rachit,

    Having just had a blog hacked, it has wasted me a lot of time to recover it from my backup.

    I use ManageWP to manage my blogs, and will ask them if Clef will work with that.


    • One of my friend got his blog hacked, after this he asked me to suggest him a plugin which can tighten his security and take it to next level. After much research I found clef. Although I’ve used it on my blog, but I am not sure if clef works on multi-blog plugins.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Thought I would tag this so you will maybe make an update to this article. Clef is built-in to WordPress now as a feature and it is compatible with multi-site, also it allows at the login screen the option to either use your phone to login or type a password.

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