Taking inspiration from Puff Daddy’s “Mo Money, Mo Problems”, today we’re talking about the over-use of plugins on WordPress websites.
Before we move on, first up, what are plugins?
Plugins are third-party pieces of software designed to extend the functionality of WordPress.
So, as I was saying…
Mo plugins, mo problems
Plugins can be wonderful things, they extend the functionality of WordPress to turn the blogging platform into online shops, marketplaces, member portals and so on.
However, they can be dangerous. The more plugins you have, the more third-party code you’re introducing to your website.
With that comes:
- More potential entry points;
- More potential conflicts with other plugins and themes;
- A bigger drain on server resources.
What does that all mean? In plain terms, more plugins on your website:
- Increase the chance of it being maliciously attacked successfully;
- Increase the chance of it breaking;
- Will cause slower page load speeds.
Especially, if you’re installing plugins from developers/authors with low creditability, poor reputation or just not many active installs (as in, it hasn’t been tested by the many).
That’s a key point we’ve stumbled upon there. Plugins can be created by just about anyone. So you should be cautious when installing on your website, especially if your website contains customer data, or processes financial transactions.
You should check the plugin’s:
- Support forum, see how many open and unresolved tickets it has. Lots = Bad;
- Company, investigate who created the plugin.
“But we need all those plugins”
Do you? Maybe you do. But I’d be willing to bet some are just legacy plugins of functionality you used to use. Or maybe the plugin was a good idea at the time, was used for a short while and then never again.
We all could do with a bit of a spring cleaning
Overtime, plugins get collected and forgotten about.
It’s important to make sure you’re operating with only what you truly need.
However, we don’t just stop there, we also review the plugins on their websites periodically to make sure they’re still fit for purpose and working at peak performance.
What does that mean?
We actively look to almagate plugins, remove plugins and streamline plugins.
We like to keep a tight ship.
Is your site in need of a bit of spring cleaning?
If so, contact us for a chat or a free quote.