Warning Signs to Skip Downloading WordPress Plugins

WordPress Security 12 min read
Last Update on November 27, 2022

Adding features that make things happen for people who visit your site often is the key to making your WordPress site work. For this, WordPress sites use a lot of plugins, which are tiny programs that add powerful features to your site’s structure.

Since WordPress runs 30% of the websites on the internet, many plugins exist in the WordPress repository. There is a good chance that many of these plugins are evil and want to infect your site’s database and files. Because of this, you need to do a few maintenance tasks regularly. But finding the right plugins can take time and requires many prerequisites.

Keep an eye out for these seven warning signs when looking for a plugin.

The Ratings For The Plugins Are Poor

The reliability and usefulness of the plugin are primarily determined by the ratings given to it. Ratings are compiled by people who have extensively interacted with a plugin and can help you assess its dependability. If a plugin has fewer than two stars and a lot of one-star and two-star reviews, you should avoid using it.

The Plugin Isn’t Updated

That might not be a sign of a risky plugin, but it’s better to count the signs. If a plugin isn’t updated and gives you a warning like the one shown here, you shouldn’t install it.

A WordPress website’s integrity could be compromised if a developer abandons a useful plugin for some reason, allowing hostile coders to take control of it and inject harmful code. People just starting with WordPress and setting up a site need to be extra careful with this one, even though it doesn’t have a critical tone. It’s because downloading such old plugins makes security holes easier to breach.

The Plugin Developer Is a Suspicious Online Entity

If you’ve been looking for a plugin that does a particular thing for a long time and then come across one that seems pretty new in the WordPress repository, always do a background check on the plugin’s developer. Google a little bit about them. You can trust them if they have their website; the same goes for their plugin. That should be a warning sign if you can’t find anything about them.

The Number Of Plugin Downloads Is Low

This one is pretty clear. If a plugin hasn’t been downloaded often, you shouldn’t choose it over others. The general rule is that if a bar has less than 1,000 downloads over a long period, you should stay away from it immediately. The number of active installations shows how many people who have downloaded a plugin are still using it.

The Plugin Is Incompatible With The Latest WP Version

The moderators of WordPress look at every plugin that gets uploaded. WordPress pays close attention to all listed plugins and makes it a point to give all the information about them to prove their credibility. In this case, it shows if the plugin is required to be updated to the latest version of WordPress. If this information is on a plugin’s page for many past updates, it’s a sign that you shouldn’t download it. If the plugin hasn’t been tested with many major releases of WordPress, you should stop using it immediately.

The Plugin Doesn’t List an Option For Support

Many developers have their plugins approved and added to the WordPress repository daily. Most of these plugins are better than average. But what makes a plugin safe and good enough for most people to use is that it can fix simple problems that users might have.

If you want to download and install a certain plugin, look at the support threads to see how many people are responding and if most problems are being fixed. If a plugin has no way to get help, don’t use it.

The Plugin Lacks Documentation

After downloading and installing a plugin, users can set it up with help from the developer’s documentation. The documentation is even more important if a plugin is complicated because it will include a complete installation guide, screenshots, and other important information. If this is not the case with the plugin you just found, there is a higher chance that it is dangerous. Even if it’s not dangerous, you might break your website by trying to set up the plugin in question.

Other red flags: Make sure the source is trustworthy if you find a WordPress plugin from a source outside of WordPress. Such as CodeCanyon or another major WordPress agency. If you know something about code, you can look at a few lines of the plugin’s code to see if it does anything bad. Also, a large plugin can hurt your site’s online reputation in many ways, so be careful. You can get help from WPFIX Pro to keep your WordPress site safe and ensure everything else is in order.

Conclusion

WordPress plugins can be awesome. Since the WordPress CMS was first released, the number of people who make themes and plugins has grown significantly. It also leaves the platform open to malicious coders who exploit other website owners’ losses. Malicious WordPress plugins can be stopped if you keep up with the latest security updates and pay attention to the warning signs above.

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