Disallowed Plugins by WPEngine

Disallowed Plugins by WPEngine

With over 40,000 plugins in the WordPress plugin repository, WPEngine only forbid a relative handful. There are pretty good odds that if you want to use a plugin on WPEngine infrastructure, you should feel free to use it! It’s your blog after all.But what about the disallowed plugins by WPEngine? Most of them, honestly, fall into a couple different classes of plugins. First, are the ones that we ban because they collide with the solutions that WPEngine put into place as part of service offerings and they don’t perform.
Caching Plugins Most caching plugins do not cooperate with WPEngine custom caching environment. As a result, WPEngine can’t have them running in parallel with our solution. In fact, whenever WPEngine maintenance scripts see these on the filesystem, they are automatically removed from your install:

  • WP Super Cache
  • WP File Cache
  • W3 Total Cache
  • WordFence

(Some) Backup Plugins

WPEngine already take multiple, nightly backups of your site. These are done in an efficient, automated manner and the data is kept securely outside of your WordPress install. We make these backups available for you to rollback to (or download) whenever you’d like.

If you feel more secure with a secondary, off-site backup we permit and recommend VaultPress on our servers.

In general, however, we discourage the use of backup plugins. They needlessly duplicate WPEngine built-in functionality, rely on a large amount of local storage and can store files in an insecure manner. Not only that, many of these plugins run their backup jobs at inopportune times. This can slow database connectivity with extra — and sometimes very large — MySQL queries and cause timeouts on larger sites.

  • WP DB Backup — Though, to the author’s credit, he recommends not saving backups to the local file system.
  • WP DB Manager — Local storage is the only option here, and .htaccess protection is recommended, but disk space usage is a definite concern.
  • BackupWordPress — While the plugin is not insecure, it duplicates a number of files on disk that are already in our backups.
  • VersionPress — In order to function properly, this plugin needs access to server level functions that we disallow for security purposes.

Server & MySQL Thrashing Plugins

There’s another class of plugins (plugin site) that WPEngine disallow simply because they cause a high load on WPEngine servers or create an unnatural number of MySQL queries.

  • Broken Link Checker — Overwhelms even our robust caching layer with an inordinate amount of HTTP requests.
  • MyReviewPlugin — Slams the database with a fairly significant amount of writes.
  • LinkMan — Much like the MyReviewPlugin above, LinkMan utilizes an unscalable amount of database writes.
  • Fuzzy SEO Booster — Causes MySQL issues as a site becomes more popular.
  • WP PostViews — Inefficiently writes to the database on every page load.
    • To track traffic in a more scalable manner, both the stats module in Automattic’s Jetpack plugin and Google Analytics work wonderfully.
  • Tweet Blender — Does not play nicely with our caching layer and can cause increased server load.

Related Posts Plugins




Almost all “Related Posts” plugins suffer from the same fundamental problems regarding MySQL, indexing and search. All of these problems make the plugins themselves extremely database intensive. The ones that we’ve banned outright are:

  • Dynamic Related Posts
  • SEO Auto Links & Related Posts
  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
  • Similar Posts
  • Contextual Related Posts

There are dedicated services allow you to offload related post functionality to their servers.

If you’re interested in providing related posts on your site, it is advised that you look into one of the services listed above instead.

Broken Link Checker Alternatives

If you used the Broken Link Checker plugin and wish we hadn’t banned it, we recommend that you use one of the following tools to check your site for broken links:

It’s not a plugin, and won’t make the server unhappy: http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/. An even better solution to using a website to scan for broken links would be an application that you install on your computer:

Duplicate Behavior Plugins

Like the caching & backup plugins, these all duplicate things that we can already do for you in a more efficient, scalable, and configurable manner.

  • No Revisions — We disable revisions for all customers by default. For further information on why please click here.
  • Force Strong Passwords — We already install & activate this plugin for you.
  • WordFence — This duplicates many security as well as caching functions that exist natively in our environment and can cause issues for them.
  • Bad Behavior — This plugin attempts to block a number of hosts that we already disallow.

E-mail Plugins

Just because you are able to send emails with WordPress, that doesn’t always mean that you should. Especially when there are specialized services like MailChimpConstant ContactAWeber and countless others. Each one offers complete email solutions for your business and will provide you with the optimal results.

If your domain’s email provider offers its own SMTP server, you are welcome to configure that as your outgoing server. But you should check with your email provider about their bulk mail, opt-in mail and anti-spam policies before doing that.

Basically, when WPEngine customers want to send emails, they want them to have the same best-in-class service for that as well. So WPEngine recommend using 3rd party services like the ones listed above. To that end, WPEngine  disallowed the following plugin as it allows you to send email blasts with WordPress.

  • WP Mailing List

We’ve also written a blog post about emailing with WordPress you’re looking for a bit more information.

Miscellaneous Plugins

Other plugins that WPEngine decided to proactively remove include:

  • Hello Dolly! — Sorry, Matt.
  • WP phpMyAdmin — Disallowed due to a fairly major security issue. We also offer phpMyAdmin access without a plugin.
  • Sweet Captcha — After our partners at Sucuri revealed that the Sweet Captcha service was used to distribute adware, we have decided to follow the WordPress Plugin Repo’s lead and ban the plugin outright.
  • EWWW Image Optimizer – While the original version can cause stress on the server to the point of negative impact, the Cloud version of the plugin located here is a great alternative that offloads the computing to the Cloud.

Additional Scripts

Some frequently used scripts are known to contain vulnerabilities. WPEngine system scans the files structure to identify these scripts. Scripts that are insecure will be disallowed, and ones with an available update will be automatically patched.

  • TimThumb — Older versions of TimThumb are known to contain vulnerabilities. When WPEngine system scan identifies an older version, it will automatically update the script. After the upgrade has been completed, the system will notify you by email.
  • Uploadify — Access to this script is blocked due to known security threats. The reasoning behind this was largely informed by this blog post from WPEngine partners at Sucuri.

Complete List




These are the files and folders that we are explicitly searching for when we scan for disallowed plugins. Compare this against your “wp-content/plugins/” directory to see if anything you have installed that may conflict.

adminer
async-google-analytics
backup
backup-scheduler
backupwordpress
backwpup
bad-behavior
broken-link-checker
content-molecules
contextual-related-posts
duplicator
dynamic-related-posts
ewww-image-optimizer
ezpz-one-click-backup
file-commander
fuzzy-seo-booster
gd-system-plugin
gd-system-plugin.php
google-xml-sitemaps-with-multisite-support
hc-custom-wp-admin-url
hcs.php
hello.php
jr-referrer
jumpple
missed-schedule
no-revisions
ozh-who-sees-ads
portable-phpmyadmin
quick-cache
quick-cache-pro
recommend-a-friend
seo-alrp
si-captcha-for-wordpress
similar-posts
spamreferrerblock
ssclassic
sspro
super-post
superslider
sweetcaptcha-revolutionary-free-captcha-service
text-passwords
the-codetree-backup
toolspack
ToolsPack
tweet-blender
versionpress
w3-total-cache
wordfence
wordpress-gzip-compression
wp-cache
wp-database-optimizer
wp-db-backup
wp-dbmanager
wp-engine-snapshot
wp-file-cache
wp-mailinglist
wp-phpmyadmin
wp-postviews
wp-slimstat
wp-super-cache
wp-symposium-alerts
wpengine-migrate
wpengine-migrate.tar.gz
wpengine-migrate.zip
wpengine-snapshot
wpengine-snapshot.tar.gz
wponlinebackup
yet-another-featured-posts-plugin
yet-another-related-posts-plugin

Source:WP Engine Support

Tagged with:

Leave a Reply