I may be biased since we’ve used it for over a decade, but I think WordPress is a fantastic platform. Millions of people use it to power their websites! And one of the great things about WordPress is the massive library of plugins available for free. But with tons of free options comes legitimate safety concerns.
Let’s look at whether WordPress plugins are safe and what you can do to keep your website safe when using them.
Where can you get safe WordPress plugins?
Your first stop for safe WordPress plugins should be the official WordPress repository. Plugins available there have gone through a vetting process to ensure they’re safe. Of course, their team isn’t perfect, so check how many downloads the plugin has and how well it’s rated.
Next, you can look for premium, paid plugins by reputable, well-established companies. These plugin providers have a vested interest in making sure their products are safe and secure. Find a plugin that fits your need, make sure the investment is something you can afford, then do some research online to see the general consensus about the company’s reputation. If you can’t find anything about them online, don’t risk it.
What about free plugins from other sources?
Just because a plugin is available for free on another site doesn’t mean it’s not safe. In fact, many developers release their plugins for free. If you find a plugin you like that’s available for free elsewhere, be sure to do your research on the author before you install it.
Some premium plugins provide a free version, usually through the official WordPress repository. However, if you find a website that claims to offer the paid version for free, don’t use it! It’s most likely laced with malware that will hijack your website.
How do I keep my website safe?
Before you install a plugin, be sure to back up your website. That way, if something does go wrong, you can always revert to a previous version. Be sure to test the backup! That way, you can ensure the backup works before you actually need it to work.
Another way to ensure your website’s safety is regularly updating your plugins. As new security threats are discovered, reputable plugin developers will release updates that address these threats. By keeping your plugins up-to-date, you’ll quickly take care of any issues.
If you’re not sure your WordPress website is safe, or if you don’t have the time to keep your plugins updated, we may be able to help with managed hosting. With managed hosting, we take care of all that for you so you can focus on your business. If that appeals to you, reach out so we can have a conversation and see if we can help.