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WordPress Plugin Addiction

WordPress Plugin Addiction is on the rise but what is it? What are the signs and symptoms? Let us explain…

As a child, and even sometimes today with Apple or other technology, I had the affliction of ‘shiny new toy’ disease.

Put simply, anything new dominated my attention for a few days/weeks/months and sometimes longer (but that was rare) and then, I’d discard said toy/technology in favour of whatever caught my eye next.

Now, we at Dorset Tech think WordPress is awesome.

It powers a whopping 35% of sites on the web today (January 2020, W3Techs survey.) It’s open-source, highly configurable and very extendable via a huge repository of plugins.

The thing is, a lot of WordPress sites suffer from ‘shiny new plugin’ disease, especially if the web designer/developer is a little inexperienced. And some cases are hugely damaging to websites.

Or to give it its proper title, WordPress Plugin Addiction.

WordPress has literally thousands and thousands of plugins that will allow your WordPress site to have virtually any functionality you can think of. They make things easy; the majority are free and are a cinch (mostly) to install.

The problem is that just because you can use lots of plugins to make your site do everything except make the tea, doing so will be to the detriment of your new WordPress site. This is the start of WordPress Plugin Addiction.

In today’s world with speedy broadband, faster devices et al, we don’t like to wait for anything. That goes for seeing a website pop up onto our screens, whether it be monitor, tablet or phone. It has to be fast or we lose interest and browse elsewhere.

That’s why speed is a very influential ranking factor for websites by search engines. The faster the site loads, the better. Guess what WordPress plugin addiction can cause? Yep, a serious case of slow.

A website with lots of plugins will be slower. Fact.

There are also other factors in the speed of a website, of course, but for now, plugins are the target.

Like lots of others, in the early days, I needed to solve a problem and the fastest way to solve a WordPress issue – especially for functionality – is install a plugin, configure it, test it and away we go. The problem was that I might spend hours searching for the perfect solution plugin and I’d try them.

And then I’d forget about them or tell myself that I’ll leave them there. You know, in case I might need it later on. This might go on for several iterations. I wouldn’t think about the (now bloating) effect on the website and lack of speed. I just wanted to solve the problem.

Not forgetting potential security risks or conflicts on the website. After all, anybody can write and publish a WordPress plugin. This means that quality is often variable, putting it politely.

These days, we at Dorset Tech have beaten our WordPress Plugin Addiction.

They say experience is a great teacher and it’s true. Some of our staff have been building websites for nearly 20 years and they have experienced most of the pitfalls and got around them safely, ensuring that any website we build, runs like a highly tuned engine – no WPA (WordPress Plugin Addiction) here.

We only ever use plugins that are just what we need. These plugins are either essential to run the site or provide functionality. Our WordPress Plugin addiction extends only to ones that we know and trust. If we need to install one we’ve not encountered before, we’ll test it almost to destruction before making it live on a site – we’re stringent about our quality control.

So, next time somebody offers to build you a WordPress site, the local geek or ‘Dave’ down the pub, ask them if they’ve beaten their own WordPress Plugin Addiction. If not, come and see Dorset’s best web agency at Dorset Tech.

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