40 Non-Recommended WordPress Plugins [Use at Your Own Risk]

There are a lot of roundups featuring recommended WordPress plugins around the web. But what about those extensions which are to be avoided? The topic has a distinctively negative tint, but it must be covered in order to protect you from plugins that do more harm than good.

And who can separate the wheat from the chaff better than the guys who optimize WordPress for living? We have analyzed the plugins disallowed by the 4 major managed hosting providers: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple and Imagely, and found out that some of them are featured more than once. If you are planning to move to one of those hostings, you should be aware of what you will have to leave behind.

But even if your shared hosting plan is enough for you right now, you can use this post to improve your website’s performance and stability by removing the plugins, which consume too many server resources.

We promise that you won’t miss the removed plugins, as each of them has great alternatives, which we have also listed. Let’s get started.

Plugins that will overload your server:

Related posts

Mentioned here are the WordPress plugins used to provide your website with widgets displaying similar, popular and featured posts. Although these have nothing to do with the functionality of managed hosting itself, many of them are accused of inefficient use of server resources. This problem is also acute when using shared web hosting.

Alternatives: Jetpack has been developed by Automattic, which means it is always up-to-date and 100% compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Moreover, it removes the need for additional statistic plugins.

Among other solutions are: Outbrain, LinkWithin, Contextly.

contextual-related-posts - a plugin for WordPress that allows you to display a list of related posts on your website and in your feed.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

similar-postsan obsolete related posts plugin.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

wordpress-popular-postsa widget that displays the most popular posts on your blog.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

yet-another-related-posts-plugin – (YARPP) is a useful and versatile plugin, so consider using it on shared hosting.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

yet-another-featured-posts-plugin - not mentioned by Imagely for some reason. In all other respects this plugin is pretty much the same as the previous one.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: resource-intensive

seo-alrpis a combined SEO/related posts plugin, which is extremely database intensive.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

SEO

Keeping your posts SEO-optimized is the first step towards the growth of organic traffic. This aspect of site management is not in the competence of hosting providers, so you will have to take care of it yourself. The pitfall here is that the choice is so broad that it is hard to find a truly professional solution with decent functionality. The plugins listed in this section are very resource-heavy, that’s why they are either banned, or just not recommended by all the four hosting providers.

Alternatives: Yoast SEO is a recognized leader in this field. It is time-tested and updated frequently. Another must-have tool serving this purpose is Google Analytics, but you, probably, already know that.

broken-link-checkernot recommended due to the stress it causes to the server.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

fuzzy-seo-boosterthis plugin harms scalability causing MySQL issues, especially with large websites.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

google-sitemap-generator and google-xml-sitemaps-with-multisite-support replace them with Yoast SEO.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

Statistics

Such plugins are very resource-heavy, and they also often interfere with inbuilt caching. Performance is also a major issue on shared hosting, so they are not recommended there as well.

Alternatives: The most obvious solutions to this problem is integration with Google Analytics or using Jetpack.

jr-referrerthe recent websites your visitors have found you from.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: resource-intensive

wp-slimstata comprehensive statistics plugin. It can be effectively replaced by Google Analytics.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: resource-intensive

statpress an obsolete and unsupported statistics WordPress plugin.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, MediaTemple
Issue: resource-intensive

wp-postviewsdisplays the number of views for each post.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

Plugins you don't need anymore:

Backup

Having an up-to date backup of your website is extremely important, but it’s not an issue if you have chosen one of the managed hosting providers. You can forget about backing up your data manually unless you are bent on security.

Alternatives: all managed hosting providers will handle the backups for you automatically. However, if you want to play it safe, we recommend VaultPress and BackupBuddy, which allow you to make offsite backups.

ezpz-one-click-backupa backup plugin, which was useful in the past, but hasn’t been updated for 4 years. Incompatible with most managed hosting providers, and is not recommended for shared hosting due to the existence of more advanced alternatives.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: duplicate functionality, obsolete

the-codetree-backup – a simple utility used to backup WordPress plugins, themes, uploads and database.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: duplicate functionality, obsolete

wponlinebackupanother abandoned and unsupported backup plugin.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: duplicate functionality, obsolete

backupwordpress – although this plugin is banned by managed hosting providers, it is up-to-date and highly rated, that’s why we recommend using it on shared hosting.
Blacklisted by: WPEngine, Imagely
Issue: duplicate functionality

wp-db-backup – this plugin is banned by WPEngine and Imagely, but surprisingly recommended by GoDaddy and MediaTemple.
Blacklisted by: WPEngine, Imagely
Issue: duplicate functionality

updraftan unsupported version of UpdraftPlus. There is no problem here, just use UpdraftPlus, which is not forbidden.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, MediaTemple (UpDraft Plus is allowed)
Issue: duplicate functionality, obsolete

versionpress – this plugin needs access to server level functions, which is a big no-no for managed hosting. But feel free to use it in any other case: VersionPress has got very positive reviews from many respectable tech blogs.
Blacklisted by: ManageWP, Imagely
Issue: duplicate functionality, security (potentially)

Cache

Caching is another core functionality offered in all managed hosting plans, so you don’t need any specific plugins for that. In addition, some caching plugins may interfere with inbuilt solutions, and cause utterly unexpected problems.

Alternatives: none are needed, as this is your hosting provider’s job.

wp-cachea simple caching plugin with the most basic functionality.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: duplicate functionality

wp-file-cache – this one is banned by all the four providers.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: duplicate functionality

wp-super-cachethis plugin is compatible with Imagely.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: duplicate functionality

w3-total-cacheJust another caching plugin. As you might have noticed, this section is not very exciting. Simply avoid any plugins, which provide caching functionality.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: duplicate functionality

wordfence - conflicts with the functionality of WPEngine and Imagely managed hosting, plus has some security issues.
Blacklisted by: WPEngine, Imagely
Issue: duplicate functionality, security (especially its Live Scanning and Caching features)

Database

The plugins below have been developed for effective database management. On managed hosting they will only hinder.

adminera full-featured MySQL management tool written in PHP. Don’t take it wrong – it’s great, it just doesn’t work with managed hosting.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: duplicate functionality

portable-phpmyadmin – this plugin is extremely unsafe, as it exposes your database to unregistered users.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: duplicate functionality, security

wordpress-gzip-compressionduplicates the functionality of managed hosting.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: duplicate functionality

wp-phpmyadminFirstly, you can access phpMyAdmin without a plugin. Secondly, this one can expose server information. Thirdly, this plugin hasn’t been updated for 9 years.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: duplicate functionality, security

wp-dbmanager – although it is banned by WPEngine and Imagely, GoDaddy and MediaTemple recommend it as an on-demand solution. It’s up to you to decide, whether to use it, or not.
Blacklisted by: WPEngine, Imagely (Recommended by GoDaddy and MediaTemple)
Issue: duplicate functionality

Hosting-specific

In this section we list the most common plugins used by specific hosting providers to ensure smooth integration with their service. Obviously, they are useless anywhere else, and should be removed.

Alternatives: you can replace them with other nonfunctional plugins. Just kidding, don’t do that.

sgcachepressA cache plugin provided by SiteGround. It works properly pretty much only with the SiteGround hosting, so it is unlikely that you will be able to use it elsewhere.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: nonfunctional

synthesisa default plugin for Synthesis managed hosting.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: nonfunctional

wpengine-commona default plugin coming with WPEngine installations.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, MediaTemple, Imagely (WPEngine includes it by default)
Issue: nonfunctional

Miscellaneous

Here are the most common that do not fit other categories. Some of them are really useful, some are completely useless. The only thing that unites them is that they should be avoided.

wp-copysafe-pdfa plugin used to create protected PDF files. Not recommended due to the known security issues.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, MediaTemple
Issue: security

toolspackthis plugins has backdoors, which are potentially dangerous for your website. Check out this post to learn more.
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, WPEngine, MediaTemple
Issue: security

wordpress-beta-testermanaged hosting providers take security seriously, that’s why they are not going to allow you take part in any beta tests, or install potentially unstable versions of software. Just get over it. After all, you’ve purchased that expensive hosting plan not because you want to play with fire, right?
Blacklisted by: GoDaddy, MediaTemple, Imagely
Issue: security

ewww-image-optimizerthe good news is that there is a cloud version of this plugin. Feel free to use it in order to speed up your website.
Blacklisted by: WPEngine, Imagely
Issue: resource-intensive

wp-mailinglistthere are many more convenient ways of running email marketing campaigns. It’s not that WP MailingList has security issues; just the guys behind WPEngine think you should use more secure and professional tools, and they are right.
Alternatives: The first tool that comes to mind is MailChimp. But you can use any other similar service as soon as it satisfies your needs (Constant Contact, Aweber, etc.).
Blacklisted by: WPEngine, Imagely
Issue: security

hello.phpHello Dolly is the longest-living plugin having been included into each and every WordPress installation since 2004, but not this time. It is useless for any practical purposes, so it won’t be installed. Sorry Matt (c) WPEngine.
Blacklisted by: WPEngine (GoDaddy and MediaTemple don’t install it by default)
Issue: nonfunctional

Conclusion

The list of banned plugins may seem quite extensive, but in fact it covers only 0.1% of the total number of plugins available on wordpress.org. So, the chances to never encounter them are pretty high.

If you have other examples of such plugins on your mind, please feel free to share them with our community.

Need a help with plugin installation? Ask TemplateMonster Service Center to help! Based on our experience and customers’ needs we recommend essential set of 7 WordPress plugins.

1) Onpage SEO plugin to help you with SEO Optimization of your pages
2) Google Analytics plugin to track your visitors
3) Advanced editor for posts and pages to make editing easier
4) Image Optimizer to reduce sizes of your images for web without losing quality
5) Sitemap plugin to generate sitemap.xml for your website and automatically update it after any change you make (vital for search engines)
6) Plugin to change login page URL in order to secure it from hackers attacks
7) Plugin for customization of admin panel
We’ll install these plugins just for $79. This offer is already in your shopping cart! Check it now!


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Jeremy Blackwood

Coffee addict, social media junkie, data miner contributing technical articles and informative pieces to MonsterPost. Reach him on Medium.

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