Are Your Plugins On The Blacklist?
Sometimes good plugins go bad. This can happen for several reasons: they become outdated, there are no revisions or support, or they become redundant. Whatever the reason, these plugins end up on the blacklist. This means that servers won’t allow them or they don’t play nice with them. Before you use these plugins, or if you already have, you may want to reconsider and replace them. Each server has its own list of banned plugins. For today’s blog though, we are looking at some plugins that are blacklisted by WP Engine.
Having cached files on your website is important. It increases page loading speed and it makes your website perform better. It also saves space on your server if your plan limits how much space you can use. Caching is basically a memory of your pages that the server has so that when your site is pulled up, it uses that memory instead of having to pull and process the page fresh each time. Now the reason that WP Super Cache has been put on the blacklist is that most servers already cache your site which makes the extra plugin not needed. WP Engine will automatically remove this plugin since it’s not allowed on the server completely. Having unnecessary plugins will slow your site down and website speed is an important factor in getting conversions.
The reason this plugin is on the blacklist is similar to WP Super Cache. This plugin handles the security of your website to prevent hacking. However, may servers already have their own security in place. You would think the extra security would be better, but this plugin tends to not play well with the servers native security and causes problems. The best thing to do is to remove this plugin and avoid future security issues later.
There are good aspects to this plugin since it scans your website and lets you know of currently broken links. It will let you know if any broken links appear in the future too. However, one of the main reasons this plugin is blacklisted by WP Engine is the fact that while it is doing its scan, it floods the server caching with HTTP requests. Basically, it bogs down the server making it run slower which affects your website’s load time. There are some other plugins that you can use that works well with the WP Engine server. You can use Broken Link Check (similar name but different plugin), Link Checker (works with Mac or PC), or if you prefer a Mac only plugin you can use Integrity.
If you have an older site and this is installed…uninstall it immediately! This plugin was taken down and you can’t download it anymore which is why we didn’t link the name of this plugin. Back in 2015, Securi released a blog that shows that the SweetCAPTCHA plugin was used to distribute malware to your website. Website owners were seeing popups promoting tech support scams, fake dating sites, or downloads that contained dangerous malware. Hidden ad scripts were found in the coding of the website which could allow hackers or other third parties to enter your site through a back door, in spite of any security you had on your site.
The final plugin that we are going to talk about is the Hello Dolly plugin. Now I’m sure this plugin looks familiar as it is auto installed for every new WordPress site created. Now the description of the plugin doesn’t really explain what the plugin does. It’s actually very simple. Once you activate the plugin it will show a line from the “Hello Dolly” song performed by Louis Armstrong on your dashboard. Basically, this plugin is useless and gives no value to your website. It is mainly still there because of tradition and you can delete this plugin as it goes with the fact that unused plugins will slow your site down.
Before you install plugins to your site, it’s always good to do your research on them. Check if they have recent revisions or versions. If not, it may not work with newer versions of WordPress and you will have to replace it as the functionality of the plugin stops. The list of blacklisted plugins is pretty extensive but get with your hosting company to get their list of plugins they don’t recommend or that they flat out don’t allow. It will save you time and headache down the road.