wordpress plugins

From time to time, we get requests for information on how to install a specific plugin, or we notice that certain plugins have been added to a site while working on behalf of a client. 

Our web hosting clients are welcome to install just about any plugin they like; it is, after all, their site. Though some hosting companies, such as Kinsta and WPEngine, do restrict what plugins can be installed, we do not have such a policy. 

Of course, we are always wary of compatibility and any impact on performance, but instead of banning any particular plugin, we work with clients to determine the best way to gain the feature or function they are looking for. 

However, with this said, there are certain plugins you don’t need when hosting your site with FatLab, LLC. This is because we already provide the relative service as part of our standard hosting offering; this may be a plugin or built into our infrastructure. 

Examples of Plugins and Services You Don’t Need

Here are some examples of functions you do not need to add as a client of FatLab because we already provide the same or similar service:

WordPress backup services

Website Backup Plugins and Services

All sites hosted by FatLab are automatically backed up in multiple places. We keep a minimum of a week’s worth of file and database backups within our hosting infrastructure; the latest is available within the site’s hosting account via SFTP. 

In addition to inner-network and on-server backups, we also back up both files and databases off-site for 90 days. 

We are able to provide you with a copy of any day’s archive or reinstate your site to a previous state very quickly. We can even reinstate a specific date’s backup to a staging site so you can review a past version without affecting your live site.  

Common Backup Plugins You Don’t Need

  • JetPack
  • Duplicator
  • BackWPup
  • UpdraftPlus
  • BlogVault
  • BackupBuddy

Wordpress performance optimizations

Image Optimization Plugins and Services

We provide several layers of image optimization to our hosting clients at no additional charge. This includes access to our agency plan for unlimited image optimization through Imagify.io, automatic mobile optimization through the CloudFlare CDN, and automatic next-generation image conversion (WebP) and delivery via Imagify. 

In addition to image file size compression and next-gen image creation, we automatically handle lazy load and video thumbnail loading via our provided performance services. 

Common Image Optimization Plugins You Don’t Need:

  • Smush
  • Optimus
  • EWWW 
  • ShortPixel
  • Imsanity
  • reSmush.it
  • Kraken
  • WP Compress

wordpress firewall waf services

Security Plugins, Firewalls, and WAF Services

At FatLab, we take security incredibly seriously and leave nothing to chance. Absolutely every single site hosted with us is protected by a real-time Web Application Firewall (WAF).

Cloudflare typically provides this service, and we utilize their enterprise-level services. For various reasons, we may choose an alternative WAF for some clients, but all sites are protected by a WAF, with no exceptions. 

The firewall service for each site provides DDoS protection (Layers 3, 4, and 7), OSWAP top 10, and PCI DSS compliance. In addition, this service provides virtual patching for WordPress’s known vulnerabilities.

This is a true real-time firewall that utilizes data from millions of websites and networks all over the world to provide real-time protection against the ever-changing threats of the internet. This is not a plugin.

We don’t like security plugins because, by the time they go into action, the threat has already hit your site and server, and they must be kept up to date. Our protections stop the threat before it enters our network. 

Popular WordPress Security Plugins You Don’t Need:

  • iThemes Security
  • WordFence 
  • All in One WP Security & Firewall
  • BulletProof Security
  • JetPack
  • Security Ninja

wordpress speed optimizations

Performance Optimizers/Page Caching Plugins

It’s always tempting to try and make your site run just a little bit faster; however, running multiple performance optimizer plugins at once can often result in system conflicts that have the opposite effects or other bad results. 

At FatLab, we provide every website with a premium license to WP-Rocket and configure the plugin for their particular website. WP-Rocket provides script, image, CSS optimizations, page caching, and other website performance-related services. 

In addition, this particular plugin ties in nicely with our specific server configurations, which use technologies like Varnish, Memcached, and Nigix. This ensures your website runs smoothly and quickly while clearing server caches when required. 

UPDATE: As of June 2023, we will replace WP-Rocket with the Breeze plugin as we transition clients to the new full-page edge caching service.

Common Performance Plugins You Don’t Need:

  • Perfmatters
  • Nitro Pack
  • WP Fastest Cache
  • Cache Enabler
  • WP Super Cache
  • W3 Total Cache
  • WP Super Minify
  • JetPack

wordpress spam control

Form or Comment Spam Control Plugins or Services

No one like comments or form spam, and though it may be impossible to stop it all, we provide great protection against spam attacks and receiving anything more than occasional emails or comments. 

We subscribe to Askimet, which is owned and managed by the same company as WordPress. This service can inspect each comment and form entry your site receives and analyze it against millions of data points, successfully blocking over 99% of spam attacks and messages. 

Askimet works great with WordPress comments, Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, GiveWP, and other popular WordPress plugins allowing website input. 

Popular Antispam Plugins You Don’t Need

  • Antispam Bee
  • Cleantalk
  • Titan Antispam & Security
  • Spam Destroyer
  • WordPress Zero Spam
  • Captcha
  • reCaptcha

Sometimes, it makes sense to combine Askimet and other services like Google reCaptcha, but remember that is what we are here to help with. 

What if You Really Want to Use a Conflicting Service or Plugin

Hey, it’s your site, not ours. We have put together a best-of-class hosting environment that ensures security, performance, and stability. However, if you absolutely want to use an alternative service with your site, that will most likely be OK. 

In some cases, we can allow your services to run alongside ours without conflict; other times, we can turn ours off and allow you to run your own. In some cases, such as security, we may just put up a fight. 

Again, we have no banned plugin list and are willing to work with you. Our goal is simple: to keep your site running in a manner that makes the most sense for your business.