Plugins extend your WordPress Website’s functionality but that doesn’t mean that they can’t bring about the downfall of your site.
Plugins especially nulled ones are among the top reasons why WordPress Websites get hacked in the first place.
These hackers add malicious code that can retrieve your Website’s information from the wp-config.php and send it to them and they’ll have a backdoor to your WordPress Website.
However, if your WordPress Website is hacked you can go through my article on How to Fix A Hacked WordPress Website and then fix yours.
So, most of you asking.. how do I check if a WordPress Plugin is safe? Well, that’s what I’ll share with you in this article.
Before you install or activate any plugin or theme on your website, you need to back up your WordPress Website and you can do so with the help of plugins if you wish.
Scan The Plugin for Vulnerabilities
The WPScan Vulnerability Database is the best place to check if a WordPress Plugin is safe or not.
As the name implies, the resource contains a list of unsafe WordPress Plugins which will no doubt cause harm to your website.
The Service enables you to search for a plugin’s name or even filter in alphabetical order, before you install a plugin on your website, make sure that you run it through this service, and if the plugin is present skip it ASAP!
Download WordPress Plugins from Trusted Sources
The only source of Free WordPress Plugins is The Official WordPress Repository. Come to think of it, if a plugin is free and doesn’t pose a security threat, why would the developer choose to not add it to the best Free Market?
It’s simply because all plugins uploaded to the WordPress Repository are tested the first time but I’m not sure about every update.
If you want to use a Premium Plugin or a Theme on your website, then Themeforest has everything you need at cheap prices.
Do not purchase plugins from any other site, Don’t even fall for sites that offer you paid plugins for free.
Check for Plugin’s Documentation
While this might not be 100% accurate, I believe that plugins that are safe to use have a website where the documentation is hosted.
Most plugins require a level of knowledge to use, that’s the need for Online Documentation, to guide the users every step of the way.
If a plugin isn’t documented and the Plugin’s developer doesn’t have a website where you can contact or read more about him or her, then the plugin should be deemed unsafe.
Check the Plugin’s Ratings and Reviews
Naturally, you have to go after WordPress Plugins that other WordPress users have already used so that you can go through the ratings and comments.
I don’t read the good review, I opt to read the bad reviews because I want to know the worst impact the plugin could have on my website.
If I can’t find a tangible reason to not install the plugin or the plugin doesn’t have any bad reviews, then I’ll deem the plugin safe and use it on my site.
Maintenance and Updates
A popular plugin with a lot of good reviews can be discontinued probably because someone infiltrated the code and as such, the plugin is left at a version for years.
When a plugin is no longer updated or maintained you shouldn’t install it on your website, both WordPress Repository and Themeforest have changelogs.
These enable you to keep track of plugin updates, see when the update was live as well as what was fixed or introduced.
Now that we’ve come to the end of this article, I hope that you’re now able to check if a WordPress Plugin is safe to use or not.
If you want to know more about WordPress Plugin, then it’s worth checking these articles out:
- Can WordPress Plugins Contain Viruses?
- Do Inactive Plugins Slow down your Website?
- Are WordPress Plugins Safe?
- The Best Donation Plugins for WordPress
- Checkout the best Affiliate Plugins for WordPress
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