Being easy to use is sometimes works as a con for WordPress, especially when it comes to installing WordPress plugins. It is very-very (I want to say vary almost 100 times) easy to install plugins in WordPress, just: Search -> Install ->Activate. Due to this easiness novice users and developers tend to install every second plugin they stumble upon. Also if you search for anything on WordPress and you will find 10s of plugins with more or less similar features. Users are not able to decide which one to install so they go on hit and try tactics, even I see people installing multiple plugins for a single task e.g. social sharing. When they find the usable plugin, they forget to remove the plugins which they didn’t use. Most of the time they just deactivate it and leave it. Even if they delete it, in most cases, they don’t take the pain to delete the files and database tables related to that plugin (or they don’t even know how to do it).
What is an Inactive Plugin :
I refer to inactive plugins as the plugins which you installed but have not used for quite some time and also are not planning to use in near future. Such plugins are mostly installed while testing and trying. Any plugin which you temporarily deactivated due to some specific reason for now and planning to use in the future, shouldn’t be kept in the category of inactive plugins.
Are Inactive WordPress Plugins harmful for your website :
Just one word – YES
- Inactive plugins makes your website vulnerable to attacks like hacking / spamming, thus compromising WordPress security measures.
- These inactive plugins deteriorate the performance of your website with time. They still hold a space in your server and create resource shortage for active plugins. Thus inactive plugins can slow down your WordPress website.
- If activated by mistake they may break some other related functionality of your website.
- You will always forget to update them as they are not in use, which may lead to serious security breach.
- It will always be difficult to find the plugin you are actually using from the heap of inactive plugins. It may sometimes lead to confusion.
- There are almost a million plugin available for WordPress and all plugin authors are not ethical. Some of them create a backdoor entry in their plugins which can be exploited even if the plugin is lying inactive.
- In case you have limited server resources, you will never like an inactive plugin occupy these precious resources.
- As you are not regularly updating Inactive plugins, files from inactive plugins may be detected as potential virus / malware by the virus scanners on hosting. You hosting service provider will block your outbound port for this and may render a lot of your websites functionalities not working and also hinder your capability of installing new plugins.
Should you delete the Inactive WordPress Plugins Immediately :
Yes, you should. In order to keep your website safe, secure, and keeping your admin panel clean you should immediately delete inactive plugins. Make sure not to delete the plugin which you deactivated for some specific reason and may need later. Learn here How to Delete / Remove a Plugin completely from your WordPress website? Also, you should avoid installing unnecessary plugin on your website. Instead of testing and trying, you can go through our prescribed list of essential WordPress plugins which you must have on your WordPress Website.