Plenty of website developers that design WordPress sites use plugins, including our Chicago web design agency. Plugins make the site more functional and are a quick and easy way to tailor a site to meet your specific needs.
Plugins are pieces of software that adds more functionality to your site.
From a website development perspective, there’s a lot of debate over how many plugins are acceptable on a site. How many is too many?
The Problem With Plugins
A strong website will only use plugins when the design calls for it. For instance, small functional items like social media icons should be coded into the design template instead of using a plugin. Why? Because most social media plugins don’t fit the design of the site and they can actually cause more issues. Larger site functionality items like: galleries, forms, sliders, and ecommerce functions are a great use of plugins. Relying on too many plugins can actually bog down the site.
In general, plugins are a good thing. They make a site more user-friendly and capable of doing so much more than providing straight-up written content. The downside is that using too many plugins can cause your site to slow down. A slow site is equal to a poor user experience and Google rankings.
Choose Your Plugins Wisely
The WordPress Plugin Directory hosts hundreds of free plugins. Often times, the paid versions of plugins comes with additional support and security. Knowing when to use a free or premium plugin depends on what your site needs. For example, if you have an ecommerce site, downtime can be detrimental to the business. Paying to have extra support for an ecommerce plugin can help you when something goes wrong.
Website developers and managers must pick their plugins wisely. Plugin theme compatibility is important. You don’t want your web team installing an outdated plugin that won’t fit or work with the template.
Tip: Knowing what you want your site to do BEFORE designing it will help prevent you from going plugin crazy. This way you and your web team will confidently pick the right plugins.
How to Pick the Right WordPress Plugin like a Developer
Generally you can gauge how well a plugin is performing by a few factors: How often the developer of the plugin is updating the plugin and fixing bugs and continuing to make it more compatible with the latest WordPress updates. A developer will check things like “last updated” and “compatible up to”.
If you’re having trouble deciding which plugins to use, you can research them in WordPress. This is a great resource that provides you with feedback from developers. They will regularly update and comment on the latest plugins so you can gauge how well it is performing and whether or not it is compatible with your site.
Look for plugins that are frequently updated and where bugs are fixed. The last thing you want to do is install an outdated plugin that won’t fit or work with the template.
To find the right plugin for your needs, do a search for “WordPress Plugin” and the keywords for the type of functionality you are seeking. There’s bound to be a solution out there for you.
Struggling with plugins? Call us for a free, no obligation website consultation today.
Design & Promote is a Chicago web design agency based in Naperville, IL. We work with clients to design and improve websites and can help you navigate the world of plugins. If you’re struggling with plugins, aren’t sure which ones to use, or your site is running too slowly, contact us at 630-995-7109. We can take a look and make some recommendations that will make your site more functional and effective.