There are tons of plugins both in the WordPress Repository and from Premium Developers. There are so many that it can be overwhelming and confusing. Being plugins use resources, it behooves every WordPress site owner to choose their plugins wisely and with discretion.
What prompted this post are the WordPress dashboards I login to. I find 30 or more plugins, many with duplicative features gobbling up resources, some outdated, some no longer supported, others just deactivated. Wasted resources. Security Risks. Increased potential for conflicts. All of which can easily be avoided.
The 5 Plugins I start with on every new WordPress install are:
- Contact Form 7 and Really Simple CAPTCHA: Simple to use forms with bot blocking CAPTCHA.
- Login Security Solution : Security against brute force attacks by tracking IP, name, password; requiring very strong passwords. Idle timeout. Maintenance mode lockdown.
- WordPress SEO: Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.
- WP-DBManager: Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.
- W3 Total Cache: Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.
After getting the above basics in place…
The only plugins that should be installed are those that:
- Perform a necessary feature or function.
- Enhance the user experience.
Plugins that are only for fun or fluff are not worth the resources they would need — especially if you have a site that gets decent traffic.
You also want to stick with plugins that:
- Have great reviews for operation and support.
- Are kept up to date as WordPress updates.
Keep on top of updating your plugins when you see the notice in your dashboard. Many times updates are for security hardening or bugs. When you no longer want to use a plugin, deactivate it and delete it from your site. Only those plugins that are actively being used should be visible in Appearance > Plugins.
Being selective about the plugins you install and then keeping those plugins updated is part of having a secure and efficient WordPress site. Now, go get a grip on your WordPress plugins!
At your service,