HTTP Headers

HTTP Headers icon
The HTTP Headers Plugin for WordPress adds headers to all responses on your WordPress website. It also allows to enable CORS for specific requests. Additionally, you can activate HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) for improved security of your WordPress website
What We Think:
Highly recommended!

HTTP Headers: A Comprehensive Review

Websites are powered by a combination of technologies, including HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, but what makes them possible is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). HTTP headers are the primary tools used in the web development cycle to transfer website data across the Internet. By default, WordPress does not include any built-in features to manage headers, but there is an easy solution in the form of the “HTTP Headers” plugin.

HTTP Headers: Breakdown

This screenshot shows up the dashboard with categories of the supported headers.

The HTTP Headers plugin provides an intuitive way for website admins to manage their site’s HTTP headers. With this plugin, users can control all the headers that WordPress sends during the page load request. This includes the ability to customize the default headers for different types of content, set various access control directives, and provide additional security through use of the X-Frame-Options header. Additionally, advanced users are able to set the appropriate cache-control headers and related settings for their sites.

The plugin comes with several easy-to-understand configuration options that make it simple for beginners and future-ready enough for advanced users. For starters, users can enable or disable all headers with a single toggle switch. They can then explore the various available options, or customize existing ones to their specific needs.

The plugin can also be used to validate the correctness of current settings. This can comes in handy when debugging, as it is possible to check the headers any webpage sends, along with the their specific values. Moreover, the plugin also works well with many caching and performance plugins. It offers support for popular cache plugins like WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache so users can set accurate cache headers, allowing for efficient storage and serving of web content.

Pros of Using HTTP Headers

404 Support: Using the HTTP Headers WordPress plugin gives you the ability to set custom 404 pages with detailed messages about why the page was not found. This makes it easier for users to understand why there was a problem and how they can fix it quickly.

Security: HTTP Headers WordPress plugin allows you to define the Security header to better secure your website. This can help protect against DDOS and other malicious attacks, as well as provide access control to limit who can access certain pages.

Caching: The HTTP Headers WordPress plugin also allows you to set up web caching for quicker loading of pages. This reduces the strain on the server and speeds up the website overall when a user visits it. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and a better user experience overall.

Search Engine Optimization: The Headers plugin also helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It allows you to set custom HTTP Response Headers and meta tags to help search engine crawlers better index your website and can also help improve your ranking in SERPs.

Analytics: The Statistics tab in the HTTP Headers plugin enables you to review various performance metrics such as page load time, response time, uptime, and more. This can help you identify any potential bottlenecks and make your website as efficient as possible.

Cons of Using HTTP Headers

Missing Important Security Headers: Using the HTTP Headers plugin may lead to some important security headers being missed out. That leaves the website vulnerable to various cyber attacks which can lead to serious damages. No matter how well the HTTP Headers plugin is written, it is impossible to detect and add every header, so some important ones might be left out unintentionally and catastrophically.

Compatibility Issues: Adding additional HTTP headers to the WordPress website can lead to some compatibility issues with browsers or even some third-party services. For instance, some headers may not be recognized by some browsers or third-parties, which can lead to some unexpected behavior. The compatibility check must be done after using this plugin, making sure that all the additional headers declared by the plugin are correctly recognized and executed by the target browsers and services.

Adding too Many Headers: Although HTTP Headers plugin is very useful, there is a risk that too many headers can be added in the response. This may lead to an increased processing time of the requests, because the process of searching for the right header can last longer. This, in turn, might lead to slower response times, potentially making the website slower to load.

Reducing Website Performance: While HTTP Headers plugin should not reduce noticeably the website performance, there are some cases where the additional headers added by the plugin can slow down the website loading time. This is because the additional headers can add to the website's page size, meaning that the client browser has to download more data when requesting the page, potentially reducing the website performance.

Rise of False Positive Errors: Using the HTTP Headers plugin can sometimes result in false positive errors, especially when using the plugin to verify its operation. If the headers are declared incorrectly or if there is some kind of conflict in the response, the verification process can raise false errors even when everything is correct and functioning. That means the plugin's user must be very careful when using the plugin and checking for any errors.

88% Highly recommended!

In conclusion

The HTTP Headers plugin is an essential tool for WordPress administrators looking to streamline their website performance. It provides an easy-to-manage interface to maximize the efficiency of any website by adjusting HTTP headers. With full control over headers, users can ensure their websites conform to modern security standards and cache correctly, resulting in a faster loading time and improved user experience. The plugin’s intuitive configuration settings make it an ideal choice for both beginners and advanced users.

Plugin Specifications
  • Version: 1.19.1
  • Last Updated: 10 months ago
  • Installs: 40,000+
  • WP Version: 3.2+
  • Tested Until: 6.3.2
  • PHP Version: 5.3 or higher
Use Case Examples
  • Preventing Caching
    HTTP Headers is a WordPress plugin that provides the ability to set and install specific HTTP headers in order to avoid caching on a given website. By using this plugin you can ensure content is always fresh and up-to-date for all viewers. Additionally, this plugin helps to fix issues when a website is displayed incorrectly with outdated content. Furthermore, HTTP Headers allows for the prevention of cross site scripting (XSS) attacks, as it allows for the inclusion of the X-XSS-Protection header, which can be used to disable certain types of XSS attacks.
  • Enabling Compression
  • Implementing Security
  • Improving SEO
  • Enforcing Message Privacy
  • custom headers
  • headers
  • http header
  • http-headers
  • security