PlugIns: Pros, Cons & More! | As Seen On FBLive


This week’s FBLive was focused on PlugIns. Those little Add-Ons we all use to enhance, improve or add to the design and eye appeal of our sites. In this post, I’m sharing both the Pros and Cons of PlugIns and more to to help you make the most of them for your WordPress Site.

 

 

What Are PlugIns?

First off let’s be clear on what a PlugIn is. I love to compare PlugIns to Apps (applications) for your phone. We all use Apps to helps us function, enhance and even customize our phones. PlugIns help website owners do the same for their sites.

Just like Apps, PlugIns can be very helpful but they can also have their downfalls. I’m going to share a bit of how you can be sure you pick the right one for your site and the one that will work best for you in the long term life of your site.

PlugIn Pros

  • Enhance Your Site
  • Improve Functionality
  • Add Features

PlugIn Cons

  • Slow down your site
  • Take up space on your server
  • Impact normal site function

 

Don’t Be ‘PlugIn Happy’

I am a total App Fanatic. If you ask me to do something 9 times out of 10 I’m going to tell you “there’s an app for that”. That being said, there are times when having an App for every single thing can do you as much or more harm than good. The same thing applies for adding PlugIns on your site.

There are PlugIns available to do nearly anything you can imagine on your site. Yet that doesn’t mean you need to have them all. There are several questions you can ask yourself before you click install. You want to get what you want but also the PlugIns you need that will be best for your site for the long term.

Is It Redundant?

Be sure that the PlugIn you want doesn’t do something your site is able to do on it’s own.

WordPress themes and hosts often come with a preset number of options and features we often don’t even notice.

Widgets, Social Media Icons, Recent Posts, Top Posts, Site Backups

These are just a few of the options many themes or hosts provide as a part of your service. Don’t be redundant in your PlugIn choices. Why take up the space and speed of your site to add something you already have?

Does The Purpose Overlap?

Does this PlugIn do some of the same things the PlugIn you installed yesterday does? If so, why not do a comparison and select only one which can do multiple functions instead of many for one each?

Is it for Function or Design?

PlugIns which improve the functionality of your site are ones I would always recommend choosing over those which simply change the look.

Functionality would include:

Speed, SEO Ranking, Image Optimization, Cache, SPAM Catchers, etc.

Read The Fine Print

Now anytime I’m selecting the right PlugIn for my site I don’t simple go by the little blurb description given by the developer. Knowing exactly what a PlugIn does can be so important to filtering out the ones that are right for your site.

It’s In The Details

Read all of what the developer says this PlugIn can do, offer as well as how it will impact your site’s functionality elsewhere.

How much space will this PlugIn take on your server?

The more space a PlugIn takes up on your serve the more impact it can have on the speed of your site. Site speed can be a determining factor in readers and brands staying or moving on in just one click.

How many people have downloaded this PlugIn?

You want to now how many other people are using this PlugIn. Most times the more people who are downloading it the better the long term satisfaction it has. If I see a PlugIn with 200 downloads versus one with 200,000 – guess which one I’m more likely to try?

Check the screenshots

Is what they show what you want to see on your site? Sometimes a PlugIns description can say all you want to hear but once you see it in action it can be far from what it promised. Checking out the screenshots can help avoid this.

When was it last updated?

You don’t want a PlugIn that someone developed and forgot about. PlugIns just like Apps always need to maintained and updated in order to stay consistent and compatible with your site.

Stay Current

A big part of the Cons for PlugIns is that they can have the ability to throw off your site in other ways. The main time this happens is when you have an unsupported version of a PlugIn. PlugIns – just like Apps – need to be updated. When new features are released, bugs fixed or even simple maintenance done the developer will release an update. Ignoring these updates can cause things to get a bit wonky on your site.

Why Update?

I know some may wonder what’s the big deal? Why do I need to Update a PlugIn? Running an unsupported version of a PlugIn on your site can cause things in other areas of your site to stop working correctly. I can’t even tell you  how many times I have seen floating sidebars, crazy fonts and other crazy things happen all because of a PlugIn that hasn’t been updated.

How To Update.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to do a daily check on each of your PlugIns. The awesome thing about WordPress is your Dashboard will let you know when a developer has released an updated version of an installed Plugin. You will see a notification at the top of your screen as well as where you have your menu set to be. It will simply say update. Once you select your PlugIns tab you will see those with updates highlighted in orange. Just click and wait. It’s just that easy.

Now That You Know

Now that you know the Pros Cons and More about PlugIns do you feel you need a bit of help making sure your PlugIns are working best for your site?

Schedule a Consultation with me at TiffanyHaywood.com and we can not only see if your PlugIns are functioning correctly but update and review them as well.

Ask Your Questions Get Your Answers | Tiffany Haywood Blogger Consultations

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for notifications of my next FBLive…

 

 

Name your 3

Must Have PlugIns

in the comments below…

 

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TheMrsTee

Blogger, YouTuber & Media Influencer at TheMrsTee
Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.
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About TheMrsTee

Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.


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22 thoughts on “PlugIns: Pros, Cons & More! | As Seen On FBLive

  • Crystal~theafterschoolhouse

    Hi Mrs. Tee!! I haven’t tried any plugins yet. Don’t laugh- I still don’t have a pin button. I’m just using what wordpress has to offer but I think I’m ready to move up in the world. What would you suggest for the pin button? There are so many out there, gosh I’m so glad I found this piece about plugins on YOUR site!!

    • TheMrsTee Post author

      Hi Crystal!! I’m not laughing. It’s actually a good thing if your theme and host provide all you need. Using PlugIns is more about quality than quantity. My Pin In option is actually a part of my theme but I would select a PlugIn that has been updated recently (less than 6 months ago) and states clearly that is it compatible with your version of WordPress. You can go to the PlugIns tab on your dashboard and search PinIt button and select from there. If you would like to look into more PlugIn options or for me to take a look at your site feel free to schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation and we can take a look.

    • TheMrsTee Post author

      When you check the detailed description of the PlugIn most developers will tell you the amount of space they take up . It is normally shown on the right hand side. You can also check within your File Manager in your cPanel and you should see it but that would only be after it is in installed. I hope this helps.

  • Valerie

    Great ideas here for WordPress bloggers. I'm a Blogger Blogger so we don't have the plug-in option. I am amazed at how many more options there are for plug-ins on WordPress than on Blogger. I can't do the tech side so that's why I stick with Blogger.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks so much Valerie! Oh I didn’t realize that. There are definitely many options but being picky is a good thing. It doesn’t even need a lot of tech background to use them.

  • Mommy Hates Cooking

    Great tips! One of the main reasons I chose to use WordPress when I started blogging was because of all of the plugins. I found myself completely overwhelmed with all of the options, which resulted in me installing unneeded plugins. So thankful to have learned from those mistakes!

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks so much!! Aren’t they awesome?!?! They can be overwhelming but keeping a few guidelines in mind picking the right ones can be so fun and useful to your site.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks so much!! Oh okay…well if you find yourself stuck schedule a FREE 15 minute Chat and I can see how I can help you get everything running smoothly. Just click the Need Blog Help tab in my menu 😉 Thanks so much for joining us at #MMBH this week!!

  • Emerald

    I'm so thankful for plugins, they make my life so much easier. Because of them, I can run my site more effectively. My favorite plugin is called Smush I believe. It reduces the size of pictures so my site won't load slowly. I may upgrade and get the paid version because I like it so much!

    • MrsTee Post author

      Me too. They can be a true blessing in many ways. It is just very important to be sure you select the right ones for what you need. I actually use Ewww Image Optimizer to help with the size of my images and avoid slowing down my load time. It’s great when you find a PlugIn that does everything you need without issues… thanks so much for coming by!

  • sageandsimple

    This is a great overview, but another thing to consider is that plugins, especially if you don't keep them updated, can make your site vulnerable to hackers. My site just fell victim to the dreaded Pharma Hack and it was implemented via an out of date plugin! I love what plugins do for my site, but I wish I'd have known more about the risks they can cause with site security.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Yes! You are so right! I completely forgot to include that possibility. Thanks for pointing that out! It’s amazing how something as simple as keeping a PlugIn up to date can impact the rest of your site. It’s so important! I’m so glad you were able to restore everything.

  • Jenn

    I just recently noticed something is really slowing down my site. I assumed it is either my photos or my even my hosting package, but now i think I need to check out and rethink some of my wp plugins. I never thought about plugins being an issue.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Hi Jenn! Yes, takin ga look at your PlugIns can help resolve a lot of issues you may not even realize are connected to them. Try checking if you have any that need to be updates as well as the file size of the PlugIn itself. If you can find 1 PlugIn to do the job of two that can help on the pace you take up on your server as well as your load speed.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Hi Stephanie! You’re right but only if you haven’t selected ‘the right’ plugins. Slow loading times can have a lot of other factors as well such as large image files… I agree though. You can loose a reader if your site takes to long to load. It can also impact your Google ranking.

  • Paula Schuck

    This is an excellent post. As a blogger, I try to stay away from too many plugins. Of course, they're fun. It's almost like collecting toys. They all do something super fun. BUT too many plugins can bog down the site, and sometimes they conflict and your site blows up altogether. True story….

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks so much Paula! That is always a good way to make sure you don’t run into any PlugIn related issues. You’re so right!! It can be so easy to just want the next best one but being selective is key.

  • Marysa

    I just completely redid my site, thanks to hackers. I started off the new year with a fresh start, to say the least! I had so many plugins on the old site, it is nice to pick and choose and not clutter my website with a lot of things. And yes, always keep them up to date! One that I just added is Akismet, to reduce spam comments, and it has helped tremendously (highly recommend).

    • MrsTee Post author

      Wow! Well that would not be the reason I’d want to do it but having a fresh start can be a great way to kick things off! Clutter is exactly what they can become if we aren’t careful. Oh yes, Akismet is one I always recommend! It cleans and reduces spam and also helps in cutting down the time you would have to invest to do it manually. Great one Marysa!