In this article I’d like to discuss a handful of WordPress plugins that would probably serve you well to avoid using on your WordPress blogs or web sites. I will also discuss alternative options for some of the plugins, and then talk quickly about a couple security plugins worth installing.
For this “disallowed WordPress plugins” list I took my cues from WPEngine. WPEngine is a managed WordPress host which is known for security, reliability, speed, and scalability. If WPEngine doesn’t want the plugins installed on the WordPress sites on their servers, I don’t want them installed on mine either. Do you?
Now, there are some plugins on the WPEngine disallow list (like backup and caching plugins) that are only there because they would be redundant with their native services. Others are insecure, or inefficient. Most of them just hit the database too much and have strong potential to make the web site slow.
Video: Discussion About WordPress Plugins Not to Use
Watch the video below to see which plugins it’s best to avoid and why. I cover most of the same information in the text below.
List of WordPress Plugins to Avoid
Broken Link Checker – I personally use this plugin on one of my sites. I will be however looking into some alternatives now that I have seen this on the WPEngine disallow list. I like the features of this plugin and prior to this would have recommended it. It monitors your blog’s posts and pages to look for links (to other sites as well as internal) that go to a 404. It’ll email you when some are found and provide a simple interface to quickly edit, ignore, or remove the broken links. It also keeps you informed of sites linking to your site that find 404’s. You can then either create the page or contact the other web master to fix their links. It’s very handy and I like it but this is what WPEngine has to say about it:
“Overwhelms even our robust caching layer with an inordinate amount of HTTP requests.”
Enough said (well, once you learn that inordinate means “Unusually or disproportionately large”). So, rather than use a plugin, some “off-site” options are recommended. They suggest either a web based broken link checker, or some software to install to your computer so as not to affect the resources on your site. The software packages are: Xenu Link Sleuth for Windows, and Integrity for the Mac.
I’ll close this part of the article off here. In the next part I will cover the rest of what is presented in the above video, with a bit of extra commentary. I will be including alternative suggestions for popular plugins, and talking about two security plugins worth installing on all WordPress sites.