Sure, your website is “doing its job” – customers are finding you and business is steady. But you don’t want your website to be good. You need it to be great! And if you manage a website with a lot of plugins, there’s an increased risk of problems. Recreating or integrating a plugin’s functionality into your theme can improve:
- site reliability
- user experience
- brand credibility
This article dives into the problem with too many WordPress plugins, and when to call in the website pros. Let’s go!
The problem: Plugins are slowing you down
Plugins can be helpful! They can improve security, provide analytics, optimize SEO, and connect your audience to your social media. On their own, plugins don’t make a website more prone to issues. However, when a number of different developers contribute code to your site, your risk increases. Varying code can also lead to design inconsistency, which affects how visitors see your brand.
Also, while plugin updates can be important for security and reliability, frequent updates can lead to issues, especially when they are not required. Having several plugins that load a lot of resources can noticeably slow down your website’s speed, frustrating visitors and potential new customers.
On top of all this, the more plugins your website uses, the more headache for you to manage. They can make your job harder and pull focus from more important aspects of your business, like improving website copy to increase conversions or creating marketing campaigns to drive new sales.
All of these elements are “moving parts” that can (and should) be kept to a minimum when possible!
The solution: Recreate or integrate plugin functionality into your theme
Be on the lookout for opportunities to recreate or integrate a plugin’s functionality with your WordPress theme. These kinds of changes can seriously increase site reliability and loading speed, and simplify site management.
How do you know when this solution makes sense? You should think about integration when:
- The functionality you’re replacing only requires a few lines of code
- A plugin does a lot more than you need it to, causing code bloat and a bulky backend experience
- A plugin dictates the look and feel of certain features on your website (styles are usually best left to the theme)
Take the time to wrangle your WordPress plugins. Keep the ones adding value and toss those that are weighing down your site. Not sure where to start? A good website partner can help you review active plugins to minimize risk and improve user experience.