WordPress: Disallowed Plugins

We try to give our hosting clients as much freedom as possible, but there are times when it is necessary for us to make decisions against allowing accounts to run certain scripts which have proven to either impact performance of the overall server in a negative way, slam the database server with multiple write attempts and/or requests, create security vulnerability, or quite simply utilize system resources to execute redundant processes. Here are a few of the WordPress plugins we’ve had to ban (or at least discourage) from being used on accounts hosted on eDP Hosting and Adminstration’s servers:

DISCOURAGED:

Plugins listed below are allowed, but are highly discouraged due to the potential for server strain or the fact that we run similar processes automatically, like back ups.

  • Back-up plugins such as WP DB Backup or BackupWordPress: These drain system resources if a significant number of them are running simultaneously and also tend to run at unpredictable times of day which during peak traffic hours can impair performance and create high load times. We run backups of every account twice weekly on shared hosting accounts and daily on business and enterprise-level servers. We also offer on-demand backup of your entire account or individual items such as your home directory or selected databases via your cPanel – in the Files section, click on Backup Wizard to initiate a new backup. Once downloaded, it can be removed from your home directory to conserve disk space.
  • Related post plugins: It is highly recommended that you use a service like Link Within, nRelate, or Reverb to accomplish this rather than plugins such as Yet Another Related Post Plugin. Using plugins that use database queries with each page load can have negative impacts on site and server performance and can result in outages when run simultaneously on multiple sites due to database hangups when too many requests are made at once.
  • Broken Link Checker: We have not yet completely banned this plugin but we would prefer to use services like BrokenLinkCheck.com to replace the functionality off-site since this plugin uses a great deal of resources. It is required, however, that if you are running the plugin on our servers, the settings should be configured to cease scanning if the load is above 3 CPU.
  • Non-Approved Caching Plugins: We do not dictate which caching system our clients utilize, but many do more harm than good especially when wrong settings are configured. They can actually use more resources which is counterproductive considering their purpose. The recommended caching plugin is WP Super Cache and we do offer free configuration of the plugin for hosting clients.
  • StatPress: This plugin can potentially create an enormous database table which results in instability and can become corrupt, requiring repair and as such, is discouraged. Options for off-site statistics reporting are Google Analytics and StatCounter.
  • WP PostViews: Multiple database records are create on each post save, which can overwhelm the MySQL server and result in excessive database table size. We recommend clients keep a close eye on the database size of sites that utilize it.

BANNED:

  • WordPress core update notification disablers: Keeping scripts up to date is REQUIRED for all WordPress-powered sites hosted by eDP H&A. Disabling the check system for new versions available means that your account will be running outdated scripts within your plugins, themes, and WordPress platform which pose security threats, make installations vulnerable to attacks, and create the potential for the server to become infected or compromised.
  • WP DB Manager, WP phpMyAdmin or similar database-manipulating plugins: Plugins of this nature are generally dangerous in the wrong hands as one bad move can drop important data or crash the database server; not to mention, there is a high risk of an exploit of this plugin which is a major security vulnerability. You are always able to perform database tasks from phpMyAdmin which is available within your cPanel.
  • Giveaway Countdown version 1.8 and under: This plugin floods the database with write requests hundreds of thousands of times per day without posts even being published. ONLY version 1.9+ is allowed to be installed and activated on our servers.

RECENTLY UNBANNED:

  • Giveaway Countdown: This plugin was banned after we found MILLIONS of records being written to the database without posts even being published. The developer corrected this issue and we allowed the UPDATED plugin back onto our servers, but it is still on our watch list. ONLY VERSION 1.9+ IS ALLOWED. All prior versions are BANNED.

If you are running any banned plugins, please remove them promptly. If you are unsure as to whether a plugin you are running is considered to be in the same family as a discouraged or banned plugin, please contact customer support. This list will change over time – please check it every few months to ensure that you are in compliance. Any plugin that slams the database with requests or creates high load WILL be either discouraged or completely banned depending on the circumstances.

LAST UPDATED: March 5, 2014

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