To Use or Not to Use that Plugin

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Guest post by Ryan R. Hughes

"There's a plugin for that." "Just download the
plugin
.” These are quotes that tend to haunt my dreams.
Picture1 Let me begin by stating
that WordPress plugins are wonderful things that can make carrying out an
extremely difficult task very simple. However, as with all good things in life
moderation is the key!

Lots of Plugins = Lots of Waiting

 

Without getting too technical, adding many plugins adds a lot of
bulky code that is required to be loaded with every page on your website. When
these stack up, your website can slow to a crawl and push your readers away.

To solve this, always make sure you are only utilizing plugins
for things you actually need to use them for. It’s also a good idea to ensure
you’re not using two plugins to accomplish the same goal. For example, using
two social media plugins when there’s one that accomplishes both goals.

Choosing the right Plugins

There are some general “rules of thumb” you can follow to ensure
you’re selecting the right plugins for use on your WordPress website.

  1. When was it last updated? – Plugins that aren’t updated regularly
    are more than likely not going to be good choices. WordPress is not a static
    platform and plugins must continually be updated to function properly. If you
    select a plugin that hasn’t been updated in a year, it’s likely the plugin
    won’t work at all on your website today. It’s also very possible that if
    it does work, any changes that cause issues in the future will go unresolved.
     
  2. What are the WordPress version requirements? – While I recommend always running the
    most up-to-date version of WordPress, sometimes that’s not possible. Perhaps
    you have specific coding that is being updated or a plugin that won’t work on
    the new platform already. Whatever the case may be, ensure you won’t create any
    headaches by installing a plugin that requires a version later than you
    currently have deployed.
  3. Number of Downloads and Ratings – It’s true that number of downloads
    and ratings aren’t an exact science, but it does allow you to draw some
    inferences. If something has been downloaded thousands, or even millions of
    times, and continues to hold a good rating, it’s probably a good plugin.
    Contrast that with a plugin that has low download numbers and low ratings.

What is your take on plugins? What are your favorites?
Ryan (2)

 About
the Author: 
Ryan
is an entrepreneur and partner at OodleTech, a southwest Ohio based digital
agency with a passion for design, technology, and user experience development.
Ryan and his team work with innovative technologies to unlock their full
potential.

 

 

  • http://www.fidoseofreality.com Carol Bryant

    Thanks for this post, Ryan. I am plagued with this thought and wonder how many is too many.

  • http://www.iordercloud.com/ Travis Birt

    The idea is to choose the right plugin for your website to easy search engine to crawl your sites.