By default, everyone utilizing WordPress (WP) uses plugins. These tools allow you to accomplish more with your site.
The fantastic thing is that hundreds of plugins are available to aid you with your WP site.
There are plugins for SEO, security, social media integration, and a whole host of other things. Some plugins help your site seem better, more immersive and load faster. However, some can slow your site down or even increase security risks.
Before you dive into WordPress plugins, let’s look closely at seven things to know about using WP plugins:
1. WordPress Has a Lot of Built-in Features
WordPress comes with plenty of functionality out of the box, so unless you’re looking to add additional functionality, you may not need plugins.
Adding too many plugins to your website might substantially slow it down. If you only want to add functionality, chances are the WP core already has it.
As a result, you should install plugins as needed, especially if the capability is not built-in to WordPress.
2. WordPress Plugins Come Free or Paid
Like WordPress’ own free utilities, the WP plugin library has a variety of free plugins. These plugins don’t usually come with as much support as paid or premium plugins, although some do.
If you choose to purchase a premium plugin, read the reviews before integrating them into your site.
3. Plugins for WordPress Are Not Compatible with All Versions
Since WordPress is constantly evolving, plugins must also evolve if they are to remain relevant. For that reason, not all plugins are compatible with your current WP version.
Check the plugin library and download compatible versions of the plugins you want to make sure they operate correctly.
If you need to search for plugins and find the ones compatible with your specific WP version, use the Plugin Compatibility Checker. Plugins that are incompatible with your version will appear in red.
4. WordPress Plugins Can Raise Your Security Threats
The more plugins you integrate into your WP site, the more chance you have of a security breach. The more plugins you add, the more opportunity an attacker can inject malicious code into your site. As such, the more opportunity for you to lose control of your website.
5. WordPress Plugins Can Slow Your Site Down
Installing too many plugins might cause your site to slow down. While that’s true, it’s not necessarily the number of plugins you install that will slow down your site, but the size of the plugin.
A solid hosting plan and enough resources may allow you to install more plugins to your site and reap the benefits of their increased functionality.
Adding extra plugins might cause your site to crash if you don’t have enough resources or aren’t on a suitable hosting plan.
6. You Can Configure WP Plugins to Auto-Update
Even if a plugin isn’t compatible with your site, you might still want to update it simply because it may make your site more secure.
Ensure you know what plugins you are using and keep them up to date so that you don’t find yourself vulnerable to new exploits.
7. Not All WP Plugins Are Created Equal
Don’t forget that not all plugins are created equally. Some are poorly coded or poorly maintained.
You might want to look at how many downloads a plugin has, the date it was last updated and the number of active installations.
You can also read through the reviews of the plugin. If a plugin has a lot of bad reviews, it might be a sign that the creator is no longer maintaining it, and it’s time to find a new solution.
WordPress plugins are great, but you need to know how to get the most out of them, when to use them and when to leave them alone. There are thousands of WP plugins to choose from, so finding the right one for your site could be both exciting and challenging. Ensure you find the right plugins based on your specific needs and boost your website to greater levels for 2022.
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