The problem with WordPress plugins is that they can be both wonderful and harmful.
- They’re wonderful because they can simplify almost any coding process you have in addition to being extremely customizable.
- They’re harmful because they can really mess up your website, if you don’t exercise caution when installing them.
Why Are WordPress Plugins Harmful?
Plugins are harmful because they tend to be unregulated. Creators build plugins with the best intentions, but they tend to not update them as much as they should. As the plugins become forgotten, they also become more vulnerable to harmful to things like spam bots, crashes, and brute force attacks.
What To Check For:
There are couple things you can check to make sure you are using a plugin that will help rather than hurt your site.
1. Last update date – Be wary if the last update for a plugin was over 6 months ago.
2. Ratings – It’s 5-star or nothing if you want to be careful.
3. Reviews – Read them. Someone out there might be trying to warn you.
4. Number of downloads – There is safety in numbers, especially if it’s free.
5. Creator – Is it a reputable creator, or unknown creator?
6. Free vs. licensed – Paid plugins are keeping up with their updates. By paying you are providing the developer with an incentive to update their product.
Unnecessary And Potentially Harmful WordPress Plugins
A number of plugins are recommended to be avoided. There are several plugins that have already been blacklisted by major web hosts.
1. Various Backup Plugins
It is extremely important to have backup for your WordPress blog or site but don’t waste your time installing the following:
- The Codetree Backup
- EZPZ One Click Backup
- WP DB Backup
They perform a duplicate, unnecessary function.
2. Various Stats Plugins
WordPress plugins that record and process statistics are resource-intensive. If you get one, you need to make sure it is efficient and is not going to consume a lot of your limited server resources. Avoid using these blacklisted statistics plugins:
- JR Referrer,
- WP Slimstat,
- Statpress, and
- WP Postviews.
They have already been banned for being resource-intensive.
3. Various SEO Plugins
If you have been a WordPress blogger or website owner for a long time, you likely have encountered the Yoast SEO plugin. There should be no more need for the following resource-intensive plugins:
- Fuzzy SEO Booster
- Broken Link Checker
- Google Sitemap Generator.
4. Database management plugins
WordPress plugins you may want to avoid are:
- Portable PHPMyAdmin.
- WordPress GZIP Compression,
- WP DBManager.
The functions they serve are already addressed by most web hosts.
5. Security Issues
Consider ditching or veering away from plugins known to have security issues.
- WP Copysafe PDF
- WordPress Beta Tester
- WP Mailinglist.
If you want to ensure a fast and secure WordPress business website, you should stay away from these plugins.
6. Image Optimization
If you are looking for a plugin for image optimization, avoid
- Ewww Image Optimizer
It sucks up a lot of resources without offering anything spectacular.
Moreover, don’t be misled into believing that a plugin’s age is a cue for its being a good plugin to use. Hello Dolly or Hello.php, for example, is one of the oldest WordPress plugins around. However, it has already ceased to be useful. It has already been blacklisted by WPEngine for being nonfunctional. It no longer has any practical purpose for modern blogs and sites.
Plugins can enhance your WordPress blog. Just make sure you are choosing the right plugins to install.