If you have been using WordPress as your web hosting provider, you know that even the small-scale aspect in WordPress needs a plugin. WordPress plugins can make a significant difference on your website. It can make your site functional and add numerous functionalities that give you the chance to get the most out of your website.
There is an influx of WordPress plugins available today, as about 57,000+ plugins are available on the internet that you can find in the online market these days.
Some are exceptional and even help your productivity, while some can cause harm to your website. To be safe, you should be able to tell right away if a particular plugin is okay for use or better be skipped.
Warnings Signs To Look After In A WordPress Plugin
You do not need to have a background in coding or web development to tell if a specific plugin is safe or can bring harm to your website. You need to be on the lookout for warning signs that will help you determine if WordPress plugins are safe for your site or not.
1. Low Active Downloads
WordPress plugins that have a low active download should not be overlooked. Every plugin you can find displays the number of active downloads. This number represents the number of people that have downloaded the plugin and are still using it.
Seeing this number can give an idea if people downloaded and installed the plugin on their website. However, it would be wise to check the age of the plugin. If it is just released recently and has a low count of active downloads, it does not necessarily mean that it is safe to use.
However, if the release date can be traced back to several months or years, and it still has a low active count, you can shy away from these particular unsafe WordPress plugins and look for other alternatives.
2. Poor Ratings
If it has a low score, then you better not associate your website with that particular WordPress plugins.
Ratings are the complication of feedback from users about a specific plugin, so when it has a low rating, nothing can beat its scream that a plugin is not worth your time.
3. Non-existent Developer Support
Before downloading or installing a specific plugin, you should develop the practice of going through reviews to do a thorough background check. However, if you can find little or nothing about a developer’s support to the plugin you are eyeing, it is not a good sign.
It would be best if you had support from the plugin’s developer, especially when you face some issues as it can affect your website’s performance. It would be wise also to check the response time from the developer. If you cannot find any information about the developer’s support of the plugin you want, you can opt not to use it instead.
4. Tarnished Developer’s Reputation
As you do your research about a specific plugin, you can extend your hunt for the developer’s background. Check the information associated with the developer. Some developers intentionally put harmful codes into WordPress plugins that act as the vehicle to spread the harmful codes.
To determine if a plugin or plugin’s developer is not safe or not, you can go to Google Search and look for the developer. Raise a red flag if there is little to no information that can be found online. Should you be able to find the developer, check its history. If no background or other works are associated with the developer, raise your red flag again and be wary.
5. Suspicious Codes
This warning signal may be hard to decide if you do not have any background or history of coding skills. Moreover, if you have an idea or are familiar with file structures, you can always check if the codes used are all in place. If anything looks suspicious, drop these unsafe WordPress plugins and look for new ones to use.
6. Outdated For A Long Time
For a plugin to work efficiently and effectively, it needs to be updated frequently. If you are looking at a plugin that has not been updated recently, think twice before downloading it.
You can check in WordPress as well in market places where you can find plugins if when was the last time the plugin was updated. If it is already outdated for three months, then you can go and look for another one. WordPress plugins updates that are older than three months are not deemed to be used safely.
7. Plugin Is Too Big
Web developers always advise that installing too many plugins on your WordPress website, that can negatively impact your site’s performance. Plugins that are too big can also have the same effect. Before any plugin, always check its size. If it is too big, it can slow down your website. It can also affect your site security in the long run.
8. Online Experts Says It’s No Good
It is always beneficial to read or watch reviews of online experts and authorities. Since they are considered thought leaders in their niche, you can trust that a particular plugin is up to no good. Instead, you can check out their recommendation rather than risking your website by installing a plugin tagged as unsafe WordPress plugins by technology authorities.
Using WordPress plugins can make your website soar to its full capabilities. It can extend features on your site that are essentials in meeting your success.
However, the use of plugins can turn sour if you accidentally downloaded and installed an unsafe one. It can introduce problems on your website and break all of your hard work instead of helping it to the top.
Save yourself the stress of losing your site by checking any plugin before installing it. Always be on the lookout for warning signs and raise the red flag before you compromise everything.
Maricar Morga worked as a marketing professional for almost a decade. She became part of the biggest real estate company/mall operator in the Philippines and handled concerts, events and community service-related activities. One of her activities became a nominee in the ICSC Asia-Pacific Shopping Center Awards 2018. Leaving her corporate job for good to pursue her dreams, she has now ventured in the path of content writing and currently writes for Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand. A Harry Potter fan, she loves to watch animated series and movies during her spare time.