Plugins: the more the messier

When your only tool is WordPress, every problem looks like it needs a plugin.

If you want to modify the behavior of WordPress or enhance speed, security and SEO — sometimes a plugin is just what you need. There are some great plugins out there, and I rely on a handful for every site I develop.

At the same time, too many plugins may cause more problems than they solve.

While each individual plugin may be stable, you may experience software conflicts due to the interaction between different plugins, or between your plugins and your WordPress theme. In the worst case, some aspects of your website may stop functioning correctly.

For example, it may become impossible to edit your content unless you are able to find and disable a plugin that is no longer working properly. The more plugins you have, the harder it will be to detect which one(s) are causing the problem.

In addition:

  • A plugin may become outdated and no longer function correctly.
  • A plugin may contain a security hole that makes your website vulnerable to hacking.
  • A plugin may not use memory efficiently and can slow your website to a crawl.
  • The more plugins you have, the more memory they use, and the longer it takes for your website to load.

If your website is so complex that it needs more than a dozen plugins to function, perhaps it’s time to revisit how your website is built. In some cases, you might need the services of a web developer to create a new website for you, one that does not rely on a lot of plugins. Your developer should know how to integrate the different functions of your website without increasing the likelihood of problems down the road.

Feel free to contact me for a website assessment if you think your website may be experiencing some of the problems above.