• Dennis Kelly


    The plugin seems to have been doing well until yesterday when I learn that my site was down due to a WordFence update that I did not even initiate. Couldn’t get back in to the admin portal, so, I had to restore the site from the previous day and deactivate the plugin.

    I saw no immediate way to contact for support.

    I will NOT be adding this plugin back to the site.

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  • Plugin Author WFSupport


    Thanks for your thoughts about the plugin. I wish you had reached out in the forums (which are staffed daily) or in a question sent to us directly. Both have really good response times. Additionally, since you do seem to be familiar with how support works in other plugins, I’m not sure why you didn’t post right away in them.

    Most likely it’s a problem we occasionally see where updates occasionally break on some managed hosting platforms or hosts with limited resources.

    The issue is that these hosting situations tend to use a networked file system that can be extremely slow under load, though usually not from the site itself but from other sites using the same file system. Additionally some cpanel accounts are similarly limited in file transfer, but that’s largely artificially limited to prevent it from impacting other accounts using managed WordPress.

    The update process involves removing old files, unzipping the new plugin, and then copying over the new files to the plugin location. That can easily exceed the 30 second max_execution time or even the 60 second gateway timeout which can’t be increased in the local .user.ini file. It’s usually during the last part of the transfer when the new files are copied. If the file transfer dies when the files are halfway through being copied you can see some very odd effects, but what usually happens is the update fails.

    We found a couple of items where we could trim a couple of hundred files off the Wordfence plugin and reduce the size of it substantially, and did so, which speeds up both the unzip process and the copying process as well as the removal process and included them a while back. General resource limitations put in place by the hosting companies, like CPU or memory usage limitations, could also be the problem for some hosts but fewer files in the plugin would help with that as well.

    This might not fix every case, since if the file system is under high usage updates are likely going to fail no matter what plugin is being updated. Still, we are trying everything we can to ensure updates work even under circumstances we can’t control. We will continue to improve processes, reduce resource usage, and look for new ways to improve things on our side to make sure that we provide the best security plugin value to you.

    I hope this helps. In the few cases we have seen with this it doesn’t seem to be a repeat issue. If it has been for you, I’d advise turning off auto updates on the Wordfence Dashboard > Global Options page.


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