Support » Plugin: Wordfence Security - Firewall & Malware Scan » WARNING! Takes your site down

  • curiomuseum


    So I was about to add WordFence to my 17 WordPress sites because my partner really liked the old version. I am glad I came on here and noticed the 1-star reviews before I did the install.

    But I am not on here giving a one star review for hearsay. We just had a new site that we took on from another developer crash twice in the past three weeks. GoDaddy explained that it was due to WordFence — we had to remove it to get the site stable again. My partner had also recently added the plugin to another one of his WP sites just a couple weeks ago and he has already received a warning from GoDaddy telling him that he needs to upgrade to a dedicated server to be able to handle his website — again completely due to WordFence.

    I hate to give a bad review to people who are obviously trying to do something good, but sadly these are just the facts…

    (My partner loved the functionality of the earlier version of this plugin by the way – but a site going down is non-negotiable…)

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • curiomuseum


    ps I understand that the WordFence developers say WF is just the straw that breaks the camel’s back… I get that it may be the one thing that tips the scales, but I have a feeling it’s because this is one HEAVY straw….

    Plugin Author WFSupport


    We’re sorry you had this experience. We recently have seen reports of updates breaking on some of the sites hosted on GoDaddy and a few other hosting providers.

    The issue for GoDaddy appears to be that they use a networked file system that can be extremely slow under load, though usually due to activity from other sites using the same file system. GoDaddy cPanel accounts are similarly limited in file transfer, but these limits are artificially imposed to prevent the site from impacting other accounts.
    The update process involves removing old files, unzipping the new plugin, and then copying over the new files to the plugin location. On some hosts, that process can exceed the max_execution_time or even the gateway timeout. It’s usually during the last part of the transfer when the new files are copied that issues can occur.
    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.
    Additionally, if the WAF has been optimized prior to a failed update, this can cause the site to display a 500 error.
    We are currently working towards optimizing both the size of the plugin and the number of files it contains, which should speed up both the unzip process and the copying process, as well as the removal process for the next update.
    General resource limitations put in place by the hosting company, such as CPU or memory usage limitations, could also be the problem for some hosts, but fewer files in the plugin should help with that as well.

    This might not fix every case, since if the file system or other resources are 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 are hopeful that, between the current release and the next few updates, the improvements we are working on will address the majority of cases.

    I use Godaddy Managed WordPress for years and switched to wordfence over a year ago w no issues at first. The last few months it seems some sites go white screen, and I have to manually delete the Wordfence plugin folder because Wordfence does not even show up in Plugins Directory in the admin even though it’s in the plugins folder.

    I pretty much use the same theme and plugins for a majority of my sites. Just found another one today where I happen to NOT see Wordfence running in lower left admin, so went to Plugins page and it was not listed. FTP in and the Wordfence folder is still sitting there…???

    Note I have auto updates on.

    Strange how it does not show up in Plugins admin….??? Again, this is not a one time thing, it is happening over and over again, where I have to delete the Wordfence folder and reinstall new. Then it’s fine until customer calls and says his site is down.

    Just an FYI.

    I recently had the same issue where the WordFense plugin disappears from WP admin. I host on GoDaddy. I also noticed when I tried to update any of the plugins that needed updated I would get the following message …

    Update Failed: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN”> 503 Service Unavailable Service Unavailable The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later. Apache Server at ****** Port 443

    I manually removed all of the WordFense files (at first thinking they were compromised) and I still get the error message. I am going to reach out to GoDaddy and see what they can tell me. I am not sure this is a WordFence issue (since it is now gone) but that fact that the plugin disappeared from admin seems somewhat related.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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