Forward-thinking businessowners carefully decide which plugins to include on their website, and when they don’t know, they hire D4 Advanced Media. Plugins are pieces of software that enhance or bring new functionality to a website. The “plug-in” aspect denotes that the user is augmenting the base code of the site instead of rewriting it. In this article we help businessowners better understand the use of WP plugins, when a site has too many, the repercussions of having too many and superior alternatives to plugins.

How Do I Know If I Have Too Many WP Plugins?

Graphic that includes a Jenga tower and text that says, "Your site's code is a Jenga tower. The higher you build the tower with poor code, the more susceptible it is to breaking with the removal of even one piece."

There is no fixed rule for how many plugins are necessary for your site. The key is determining which plugins are necessary and which are not.

Part of this formula is the complexity of your site. If you are a freelance photographer, for example, your website may serve only as a portfolio for your work and as a means for prospective clients to contact you. A site of this type may function well with only a single plugin such as Gravity Forms.

Other types of website require additional functionality. E-commerce websites, for example, often require extensive product catalogues with the ability apply multiple changes to groups of products quickly. These sites also generally require a mechanism for purchasing products. A robust e-commerce site often requires several plugins.

Seldomly used plugins on basic sites can often be removed to increase site health and performance.

It’s best to use as few plugins as possible to achieve the desired functionality.

When a site has too many plugins, especially 3rd party plugins, it becomes difficult to keep the plugins updated. With out-of-date plugins, it can be difficult to quickly determine how certain pieces of code affect one another. Changing one small detail to a site that relies on out-of-date or poorly coded plugins can break the site.

D4 Advanced Media builds websites with strong foundations of code. A strong foundation will include functionality in the core code, and it will also allow the core code to cooperate with necessary plugins.

What Can Happen When My Site Has Too Many WP Plugins?

A website overburdened with unnecessary plugins can load slowly, fall victim to hacking, behave unpredictably, crash and make it extremely difficult to alter styling and functionality after the initial design.

Why Is Website Speed Important?

According to Torquemag, “40% of visitors will exit a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.”

Pageload speed and corresponding page exits graph

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You can’t afford to lose visitors due to slow page loading!

The number of visitors to your site is an important metric for several reasons. For one, your website visitors are often the people you are targeting for leads, sales and brand engagement. Additionally, pageviews and sessions are important metrics in how Google ranks your site in its search results.

How Do Plugins Make My Site Vulnerable to Hacking?

Torquemag cites a study by Wordfence when they say, “At least 47 percent of all WordPress vulnerabilities are Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities … This occurs when malicious scripts are added to the code of a plugin.”

When hackers use Cross Site Scripting to turn your plugins against you, their malicious scripts can lead to a breach of confidential information, difficult to contain spam, unpredictable site behavior, crashes, lost sales, reputation damage and SEO penalties.

After a site hack, we at D4 Advanced Media help our clients update all relevant passwords, isolate and delete corrupted code and apply a website backup if necessary. We also help to restore SEO rank and brand reputation.

You Need Proactive Website Maintenance

Although D4 Advanced Media excels at damage mitigation after a digital attack, we prefer to safeguard our client’s sites from the start.

We apply tried and true procedures to web design and website redesign projects. Here is a quick recap of the steps we take to safeguard our clients’ sites against unnecessary, disruptive plugins and their associated issues.

Graphic that includes a Jenga tower and text that says, "At D4 Advanced Media, we write code that can stand the test of time."
  1. Assess the of necessity of current and available plugins
  2. Uninstall and remove unnecessary plugins
  3. Assess the quality of code for necessary plugins
  4. Swap poorly coded but necessary plugins with D4-created plugins or those from reputable sources
  5. Once plugin changes are made, we test site functionality on all relevant devices and across different web browsers
  6. If the need arises, we can custom-design a plugin or build additional functionality directly into a site’s core code
  7. Once we streamline the functionality of a site, we apply updates as necessary with our website maintenance retainers. Keeping your plugins and CMS updated is critical to your site’s health and performance.

Periodic website redesign is necessary for keeping a brand fresh and engaging for current and prospective customers. The ease at which the styling and functionality of a site can be manipulated is key to staying within a budget during the redesign process.

Websites that have undergone our tried and true process can be easily manipulated after the initial design.

Our design process enhances your website security and saves you money!

Whether you and your team are starting out with a new website or you’re looking for help in elevating your already successful brand, we would be honored to quote your project.

Give us a call at 775-636-9986 or use our contact form to set up your first meeting.