Earlier on this week we heard the news that one of the most popular and one of our preferred social media plugins had been urgently removed from the WordPress repository.
WordPress security experts Sucuri discovered that the Social Media Widget plugin had suffered a SPAM injection. Web sites and users running it were being advised to remove the plugin. As managed WordPress hosts we take this kind of news very seriously, we used the Social Media Widget plugin on a lot of our websites to easily add social media follow buttons in widget areas.
Though almost immediately after hearing the news, we were aware that the SMW guys had released an update that should have removed these issues, we decided to take action. We were keen to remove it, but had to quickly look for a replacement plugin – something that would be the ideal alternative to Social Media Widget plugin with another social media icons plugin.
We tried several and settled on one plugin: Social Media Icons Widget
The main reason that we chose this plugin is because the way it works is very similar to the Social Media Widget plugin that it replaces. Which allowed us to react immediately and replace the plugin on client sites, without having to spend time accomadating for the change.
Both plugins are very straightforward to use. You drag the widget to your sidebar, select which social media icons you want to display and add the links to your various social media profiles, right there in the widget.
The one advantage of the Social Media Icons Widget over the Social Media Widget would be choice. There are many more different styles of icon, so you can find an icon style that best matches the look of your website.
Its also important to mention that the guys behind Social Media Widget have been quick to respond, they have removed the malicious code and their plugin now sits back in the WordPress repository, along with the following apology ;
Our sincere apologies to the entire WordPress community for allowing the spam injection to infiltrate your websites. We trusted the wrong people with our plugin code and it will not happen again.
The moral of the story is then, if you are using Social Media Widget, don’t panic, just make sure you update to v 4.02, if you are looking for a replacement, try the Social Media Icons Widget. If you really don’t want to be concerned with the problems plugins can bring then it might be worthwhile you having a look at our UK based managed WordPress hosting packages .