WordPress is a pretty simple platform. There isn’t a lot of danger or ptifalls associated with it. I don’t want to scare anyone but there is one issue that can be quite dire. WordPress may infect you and your site with a disease…Plugin Fever. This plugin fever will start before you know it and will have you mindlessly activating plugin after plugin until the inevitable happens…plugin fever! Symptoms include;
lethargic response time
on page confusion
ugly design lesions
In some rare cases – outright fatal errors.
Chilling, I know! Luckily this disease is easily avoidable and fully curable. You just need to protect yourself with these steps:
1. Self Analysis – Take a step back and think about if you really need a plugin. Plugins add a lot of great features to a site but do you need to have each one that tickles your fancy? My guess is no. Take a look at your installed WordPress plugins and really think about if you need them. Does your plugin help generate traffic? Does it help keep people engaged? Does it offer a feature you need on your site? If you say no to all of these you might want to think about deleting that plugin. When you start adding plugin after plugin you are risking slowing your site. You also risk a possible conflict between plugins or a plugin and your theme.
2. Eliminate Redundancy – One of the quickest ways for plugin fever to set in is to have multiple plugins that do the same thing. Go through your plugins and see if any of them offer you the same functionality. If they do, then one of them is redundant. You don’t need 4 SEO plugins. You only need one XML sitemap generator. There are plugins that will help your visitors submit your site to social bookmarking sites — one will do the job. Every redundant plugin you have has a chance to break or slow down your site. Instantly remove any redundant plugins.
3. Upgrade – Once you have trimmed the number of plugins you use, make sure all of your plugins are upgraded. This is an easy process and should be taken care of quickly. Plugin upgrades will usually address security and any possible conflicts. You can do this in your back office easily so there are no excuses. Everyone has some plugins, and they need the same care you give the rest of your site.
These three steps can help ward off Plugin Fever. It is up to you to ensure your site is in perfect working order, and these three steps can help optimize your plugins. It is easy to get carried away with plugins since they can do just about everything. You need to remember that too many plugins can slow down or break your site. They can also conflict with each other and your theme so be very selective.
One last piece of advice. If you ever notice serious issues with your WordPress site – then deactivate all plugins and see if that fixes the issue. If it did, reactivate each plugin until you find the one that caused the error. Remove the error causing plugin. This will come in handy at least once in your WordPress days, that I can promise you. Good luck and may all your plugins run smoothly!