If you’re familiar with WordPress, then you definitely know about plugins. Plugins are bolt on website solutions that quickly unlock functionality with little to no effort on your website. Want a data table for your site? Install a plugin. Want basic Google Analytics? Install a plugin. With the right plugins, life is easier for website management and enhancements, especially content contributors, developers, and business owners. However, there are a few pitfalls when building and managing your WordPress site with plugins.

Less WordPress Plugins is More

When your website is essentially a giant conglomerate of WordPress plugins, you’re definitely going to have a bad time. An excessive number of plugins installed on your website can impact the overall navigation across your website may drastically slowing down. At some point, it may prevent customers from converting on your website. Many plugins are multipurpose and can overlap other plugins, causing certain functionalities to run multiple times. As a result, your overall site performance is degraded, which negatively impacts your SEO and web ranking.

Conflicting WordPress Plugins

Without a proper implementation strategy for your website plugins, you may experience plugins conflicting with one another. What can happen is by installing Plugin A, you overwrite parts of your website that Plugin B needs to function. As a result. Plugin A can disable Plugin B or even worse, crash your whole website. That’s why extreme caution must be taken when installing plugins. The last thing you want to happen is your contact form submissions failing and losing a bunch of leads.

When in Doubt, Write Custom Code

Certain plugins are worth their weight in gold. Contact form database and migration plugins are among a few of them. However, there are times when you’ll realize that certain WordPress plugins are overly designed and can negatively impact your customer’s website experience.

Therefore, make sure you understand the full scope of your plugin. Test your website after implementing a new plugin to identify any shortcomings. If there are serious issues, then custom code may be the way to go. Custom code can be as simple as one line of code or as complex as hundreds of lines of code, granting you full control without another plugin. When faced with a buy/build decision, consult with a developer team like Uplancer for a deep dive behind the code.

Cost Benefits of Plugins

It’s not easy knowing whether a plugin was worth the installation. According to WordPress, there are tens of thousands of plugins available for your website. Many offer a freemium model where a free or paid version is exactly why you need for your website. However, you may find that there isn’t a plugin for the job and customer code the only way.

A good requirements for your website should identify problems that you’ll need to address. Once you’ve established the requirements, connect with your developer team to identify plugins that could work, and the costs for installing and managing them. Additionally, tools like PageSpeed can confirm whether your website performance was negatively impacted from a newly installed plugin.

The Bottom Line / TLDR

Plugins are the way to go for most modern websites. However, care must be taken when implementing them. If you’ve got a few in mind, make sure that you’re not overloading your website with them and that they don’t conflict with each other. Also, thoroughly review prospective plugins to better understand your options and if plugins aren’t an option, consider custom code.

Connect with Uplancer for a free consultation in optimizing your WordPress site and/or plugins. We can also help with identifying and installing plugin solutions, and building custom code for your website. Get in touch with us today!

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I've made plenty of mistakes throughout my career while working with companies of one to companies of 100,000+. I've often learned the hard way and have recognized teachings that could help others from making my same mistakes. That's why I'm sharing my learnings with you through 5-minute digital common sense articles, so that you can avoid wasting hours upon hours of learning the hard way like I did. Follow me on LinkedIn.

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