Don’t Fall For This Common WordPress Scam

WordPress is extremely popular. It powers over a fifth of the tens of millions of sites on the web. One of the reasons it’s so popular is the ease with which inexperienced people can build a site with WordPress. The ability of WordPress to empower millions by giving them a voice on the web is awe-inspiring. But there are those who would prey on the less-informed and take advantage of their lack of experience.

Don't Fall For This Common WordPress Scam
Don’t Fall For This Common WordPress Scam

WordPress is a modular system: much of its functionality is contained in third-party plugins and themes. For the most part, the plugin and theme ecosystem is at worst benign and at best incredibly useful. Unfortunately, parasitic “hackers” use plugins and themes as a vector for malware.

It usually works something like this. An individual who lacks to the skill to contribute something useful to the world will buy a premium WordPress plugin. The PHP code for plugins is easily modified. The malefactor will change the plugin’s code; they will add malware payloads and code to exploit the vulnerabilities in people’s browsers. The modified plugin will then be sold on a seemingly legitimate marketplace for a fraction of the original cost. To the inexperienced, it just looks like a great bargain.

The WordPress user suckered by the offer will install the plugin on their site, and it will work just as it’s supposed to. From the perspective of the site owner, they got what they needed. But the extra code in the plugin will infect the site’s users with malware, redirect them to dangerous sites, create thousands of additional pages for SEO poisoning, and any number of other unpleasant strategies that benefit the hackers.

The first thing a site owner is likely to know about the problem is when they get an email from Google informing them that their site is infected and has been blocked by browsers and dropped from the search index.

How To Avoid Being The Sucker

The advice here is quite simple. Don’t buy discounted themes and plugins you find on Google. Don’t download premium themes and plugins when they are offered for free. Always make sure that you are downloading from a recognized or reputable repository or developer.

Unless you really know what you are doing, for free themes and plugins stick to WordPress’ official repositories. Almost every free theme and plugin is there, and unless you have the expertise to check the code yourself or trust someone who does, it’s not worth the risk of downloading them elsewhere.

For premium plugins and themes, the situation is a little more complex. They are often sold via the developer’s site and theme marketplaces, and it can be tricky to assess the legitimacy of the source. Use your common sense: if it’s too good an offer to be true, avoid it. Research to find out who the developer of the plugin is, and make sure you are downloading from their site or from a reputable marketplace like ThemeForest.

Is WordPress A Good Foundation For Mobile Apps

Business site owners and bloggers can’t afford to ignore mobile. As PC sales stall and tablets and smartphones become ubiquitous, the revenue being generated from mobile interactions is skyrocketing. WordPress theme developers have been on the case for quite a while, with many responsive and mobile-first themes available that look good on devices of any size. But, even with responsive design, sites are missing out on many of the features that make mobile so powerful.

Is WordPress A Good For Mobile Apps

Without the ability to tie into a phone’s hardware, place icons or widgets on the device’s home screen, and access notification mechanisms, there are limits to what a site can do. To properly leverage the advantages of mobile, site owners should be thinking about mobile apps. But, mobile app development is expensive. Many businesses can’t afford to invest in the creation of a high-quality mobile application built from scratch by an experienced developer.

Is WordPress A Good For Mobile Apps
Is WordPress A Good For Mobile Apps

There have been plugins that can create an app “wrapper” for WordPress sites for some time. They solve half the problem: a web view of the site allows site owners to launch an app without having to invest in development, but this approach is seriously limited and usually doesn’t offer an experience for users that improves significantly on a visit to the site in a web browser.

AppPresser is a new breed of premium plugin that seeks to ease the process of making a WordPress site truly mobile without having to start from scratch. AppPresser is capable of taking a WordPress site and wrapping it in a native app, just like many previous plugins, but where it differs is that it makes available — for a price – extensions that allow the site to communicate with the phone’s hardware. For example, with the AppGeo extension, site owners can use a phone’s native geolocation tools, or with AppCamera, users can take and upload images to the site using a device’s camera.

Once the plugin has been properly integrated with the site, the app can be packaged ready for submission to the iOS app store or the Android Play Store. It’s a nifty plugin and out of the box it offers a range of useful features, but to get the maximum benefit it’s helpful to have at least some development experience. To make the most of AppPresser, you’ll need knowledge of JavaScript, which will allow you to use the Phonegap API that comes along with the plugin, writing your own custom integrations with the device hardware.

AppPresser is a clever solution for businesses and site owners who want to go mobile but don’t want to implement an expensive parallel development effort for a mobile application.