Are Abandoned Plugins Dangerous?

One of the many things that attracts users to WordPress is the ability to use plugins to customize the online experience for businesses and readers alike. What happens when a plugin becomes abandoned or neglected by its developers over time? Generally, the plugin itself will let you know when it needs to be updated by giving you an alert in your dashboard, so it can be easy to miss when one slips into obsolescence. 

If a plugin is abandoned, alerts will stop. So how do you know if the plugin is abandoned or just doesn’t have any current updates? You don’t have the time or energy to devote to combing through every plugin on your client’s site every year, month, or week, so you may let them sit there. What harm can they cause? But these abandoned plugins can be dangerous. Here’s how and what you can do about it. 

Site Owners are Responsible for Plugins

Since WordPress is a hands-off platform, all individual site maintenance up is the responsibility of each owner. That means the plugins used for your site are ultimately your responsibility. For as long as they are working, and are regularly updated, this should be fine. As soon as updates stop, they could open your client’s site up to vulnerabilities that may pose a major problem in the future. 

Manually Checking Plugins that Haven’t Been Updated

A good rule of thumb for site maintenance is to check into any plugins that haven’t been updated in six months or more. That means if you are using ten different plugins for your client’s site, you need to manually check each of them to see if they’re still active and viable. If they’re not, you may need to source an alternate plugin to handle the same general functions. 

What to Do if You’re Overwhelmed

As you can imagine, depending on the number of plugins you’re using per site, the process of manually checking into the plugins can quickly become overwhelming. And you’re not likely to be maintaining just one client site at a time. You can easily be buried beneath the minutia of research and implementation rather than web design. 

There’s good news. You don’t have to do it yourself. You can partner with a company specializing in the back-end technology of WordPress to ensure the plugins you use are up to date, safe, and functional. If a problem occurs, you don’t have to worry about the process to resolve it, that can be handled by a team of IT professionals. 

Do you want to focus on the design you do best?Don’t worry about the security of plugins for your clients’ sites. Contact Site Trustee today.