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Plugins /

Third-party plugins

VIP does not maintain a list of pre-approved plugins.

Finding plugins

We suggest that you search the WordPress plugin repository for a plugin with the desired feature set, and give top candidates an evaluation before committing to use one in production.

Evaluating plugins

Before choosing and installing a plugin, we highly recommend that you evaluate potential plugins for the following qualities:

  • suitability to the problem you’re trying to solve
  • simplicity and usability
  • security and performance concerns
  • compatibility with the VIP Go platform

Some plugins may solve your problem in different ways. What works best for your organization is an assessment you will need to make. If you need help from VIP, feel free to open a support ticket discussing the problem you’re in need of solving, approaches you have taken, and any constraints, concerns, etc.

Some plugins are all-encompassing, and include many bells and whistles. Depending on how these are implemented, it can lead to bloated code and potentially cause performance issues if, for example, several classes and data structures are being loaded for every page request.

If you see a plugin that seems bloated, often an inspection of the (open) source code will reveal the few purely functional lines of code that solve your problem. You may not need the rest.

Plugins that are old can have uncorrected issues that affect security (such as poor output escaping), or performance (such as queries that do not scale). PHPCS scans and testing with real data and in the context of your production theme will reveal some of these issues, but others may need closer inspection of the code.

Plugins may also do things that don’t quite work on our platform. The only way to evaluate this is to actually test all its features on one of your non-production VIP environments.

PHPCS scanning

You can verify the code quality by downloading the plugin and running a PHPCS scan that will provide you with feedback on existing warnings and errors within the plugin’s code.

You should review the feedback from the PHPCS scan, and decide how to act on it including the possibility of seeking out a similar plugin with higher code quality. A guide to working with feedback from the VIP code analysis bot or PHPCS is available for your reference.

Note

The VIP code analysis bot performs the same PHPCS scan in a Pull Request that is available to you at any time by installing PHPCS using the WordPress-VIP-Go standard.

Testing on VIP Go

Many plugins make assumptions about the environment they run in. Unless a plugin has been built for an enterprise level platform, it may expect to make local filesystem changes, or expect the user to modify htaccess rules to make it work. Some plugins make remote requests to download a pro version. Some of this functionality will not work on the VIP platform.

To get a complete sense of a plugin’s performance and suitability, install it on a VIP non-production environment, sync your production data to that environment, and put it through its paces. Be sure to also use it with your theme and other plugins. Try to reproduce the production environment and conditions as closely as possible.

Review New Relic traces for signs that the plugin is inefficient.

Ensure every feature functions as expected, over a reasonable period of time.


Last updated: April 09, 2021