When it comes to website security, WordPress plugins can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they can add powerful features and functionality to your website. On the other hand, they can also introduce security risks if not properly managed. So, is the risk of using WordPress plugins worth taking?The answer is yes, but with caution.
While some plugins may carry security risks, these risks can be mitigated by performing basic due diligence before installing any plugin and by installing updates regularly. To ensure that you are using safe plugins, it is important to learn how to evaluate and select quality plugins before installing them. When selecting a plugin, it is best to choose one from a reputable source such as the WordPress plugin repository, CodeCanyon, or another third-party store you trust. The WordPress repository examines each plugin before it becomes available to the public and CodeCanyon also has its own review system.
Additionally, look for plugins with millions of downloads, high ratings, and developers who have built a positive reputation in the community by creating bug-free plugins and providing top-notch support. It is also important to note that while the core WordPress software is very secure, the plugins and themes you install can leave your website exposed to vulnerabilities. According to a Wordfence survey of hacked website owners, more than 60% of website owners who knew how the hacker got in attributed it to a plugin or theme vulnerability. When evaluating a plugin, look for how long it has been since the last update. If it has been more than six months since the last update, this may mean that the developer has lost interest in the application and will no longer continue to improve the plugin. Additionally, do a Google search for words like “unsafe”, “hacked”, and “compromised” along with the name of the plugin to see if there have been any reported security issues. If you cannot find the developer in the plugin repository or on a third-party marketplace like CodeCanyon, it is best to avoid using that plugin.
Additionally, look for plugins with at least 5000 active installations as this indicates that the plugin is popular and well-maintained. If it is not, but the latest WordPress update came out recently in recent days, give it a couple more. Finally, for plugins you buy on CodeCanyon, consider using the free Envato Market add-on to help you automatically update plugins. In conclusion, while there are risks associated with using WordPress plugins, these risks can be minimized by taking proper precautions when selecting and installing plugins. By choosing plugins from reputable sources and performing basic due diligence before installation, you can significantly reduce your website's vulnerability to security threats.