Security Risks of WP Plugins that Allow Code Editing or Insertion

Many WordPress plugins offer the ability to add some small segment of code (also called a snippet) to your site. Most times, adding snippets of code to your site comes at the request of some third-party service that you are looking to add to your site. Some examples of this are a Google Analytics snippet to allow Google to monitor your traffic and get additional insights into how your customers are interacting with your website or perhaps a Facebook or Google advertising pixel to help track the performance of your ads.

Here are some problems that you can encounter when inserting code from other sources into your site:

  1. Improper Code – if something is wrong with the inserted code (for instance if your code is badly formatted or improperly written), your site can crash – including the WordPress admin area that you log into in order to manage the site. If you are using the admin area to manage your site and it becomes inaccessible, you won’t be able to revert the change that was made to resolve the problem!  This downtime can lead to loss of customers and sales.
  2. Malicious Code – if you insert code from untrusted sources, just like a computer virus – the code could do a variety of bad things, from enabling hackers to access your website to collecting and/or sending information about your customers to other malicious agents.

It is important to be vigilant and exact when entering custom code snippets. Because of this, you should be careful when adding code to your site and follow these best practices when adding code to your site.

Trust the Source of your Snippets

If you came across your code from a website, third-party service, or WordPress blog or tutorial, ensure that you only use code from sources that you are confident about and trust. Otherwise, there is the potential for unintentionally introducing malicious code to your website. Malicious code can be used to gain unauthorized access to your website, potentially leading to a range of malicious activities. If an attacker were to gain administrative privileges to your WordPress installation, they could make unauthorized changes, spread malware to your users, and even render the website completely inoperable. In the worst case, the attacker could even demand a ransom to restore access to your website.

Staying on top of where your code is coming from can help you prevent any potential issues. To ensure you’re getting quality code snippets, it’s a good idea to only rely on established and reliable places. If you’re ever unsure, look for another source!

Make Backups

It’s always a good idea to back up your website before adding any code to your WordPress site. This way, if anything goes wrong, you can quickly restore your site to its previous state. Trust us – it’ll save you heaps of time (and headaches!) if anything unexpected happens.

It’s a great idea to keep your WordPress website secure! There are lots of easy ways to backup your site – you can use a backup plugin, run backups from your WordPress host if it supports it, or do it yourself manually. We recommend taking a backup before making any code changes and doing it at least once a week to stay safe. A good WordPress hosting service will offer automated backups on a daily basis.


Custom code snippets can be a great way to easily add some functionality to your website ! But don’t forget to back up your site first, and keep an eye out for any security risks by making sure you know the source of your code and what it does before you add it to your site!

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