WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

I feel like I should have the music from the movie Clint Eastwood stared in called “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” playing in the background as you read this blog article.

One of the added features of designing websites on WordPress are something called plugins. Plugins add features to a website without having to write code. I am a photographer and graphic designer at heart, but I also build custom WordPress websites. The last thing I want to do was build a website from scratch with code. I learned to do that in a few classes when I when back to school to study for my graphic arts degree. It was interesting, and I learned to navigate around the back end of a website, but it was not something I wanted to with the rest of my life.

I discovered WordPress about 10 years ago and my digital universe changed. WordPress is an open platform where around 25% of all business websites are designed on today. I load up a premium theme that has a page builder installed and much my work is drop and drag so my world as a graphic designer becomes much more visually creative.

Understanding WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

 

Plugins allow me to bring new added functions that do not come with WordPress right out of the box. These plugins will give a website security, SEO, image and page compression, website data tracking devices and so much more. Some plugins you install and activate, and they do what they were designed to do and other plugins you have to set up for them to function correctly.

Think of Plugins as little blocks of pre built code that will allow you to ad more custom code that is unique to your website. 

Since WordPress is an open source platform there are thousands of code programmers and millions of users involved. There are thousands of themes to choose from that are free but many have a premium price. The same hold true with plugins. Over the years I have learned which plugins are the ones to be trusted and many which are not. This is where The Good The Bad and The Ugly come into play.

Good plugins…

…far out way the bad and the ugly plugins. You just have to be careful of the ones you use. You can also have to many good plugins because the more plugins you have the slower the website runs. Websites can get bloated with to much code which in turn can slow them down from loading on a browser. You will want to make sure that the good plugins that are installed are serving a useful purpose. Deactivate and then delete those that are not being used so this will not happen. When it comes to a website, the less baggage the better. 

Bad plugins…

… can slow down a website, not work as intended or have a conflict with other plugins that will shut down parts of your website. This happens many times when the website does updates to the theme or plugins. I have even had a conflict so bad that I could not log into the back-end of my website to make any changes. I would then have to resort to connecting to the back-end of my hosting provider and work in the cPanel and disconnect all the plugins until my website opened up again and then turn each plugin back on one at a time to find out which plugin is causing the trouble.

What do WordPress Plugins Do?

Added Functions with WordPress Plugins

 

Ugly plugins…

… can cause security breaches to your website and allow the site to be hacked which will cause major headaches to fix. In the website maintenance part of our business these are issues we keep an eye on and fix when the need arises.

Plugin conflicts happen many times when the WordPress platform, themes and plugins are updated. They worked great when they are first installed but when the update occurred something broke or some code was missing. Remember, websites are nothing but a mass of code so it does not take much to cause a problem. Sometimes plugins do not play well together and that is where the conflict comes in. You see this all the time in other technologies when we update our computer programs, cell phones or other software.That is what software patches are all about. It can drive you crazy, but it is just part of the technical world we live in.

To learn more…

…about WordPress Plugins, go right to the source right here at WordPress Codex.

If you have any questions on WordPress plugins or anything else related to websites or the internet, please drop me a email with your questions.

If this blog article has been helpful to your understanding of website design, please sign up to the right to receive a email every time we post a new article. 

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Understanding WordPress Plugins. What do WordPress Plugins Do?

Conflicts with WordPress Plugins

Added Functions with WordPress Plugins

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