WordPress Plugins for Beginners
WordPress plugins can make or break your website – literally!
Plugins like Divi, Elementor and Yoast SEO can work wonders for the appearance of and content within your site, but not keeping on top of plugins or understanding the ins and outs of them can cause a few dodgy site issues that can be difficult to fix.
To start with, let’s define what a plugin actually is.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
Put simply, a plugin is a piece of software that adds new functionality to your site. Whether that be a fancy slider, a contact form, a widget, or all of the above – it’s essentially a little added extra that improves how your site looks or functions.
Sounds harmless enough!
And for the most part, they are. However, plugins have a few flaws that can cause your website to crash. Here are the top ones to look out for:
Problems with Plugins
Some plugins don’t get on
If you put 30 people in a room, you can’t expect every single one of them to like each other. Some may butt heads, and the same goes for Plugins. Some Plugins, especially those that are all trying to do a similar thing to your site, clash, causing one or all of them to malfunction. Of course, this can lead to issues with your site, especially if you were relying on those plugins to keep everything running smoothly.
Before you go wild installing every plugin under the sun, check they’re going to get along with one another first.
Plugins can make your site vulnerable
Hackers love a loophole, and unfortunately, some of those loopholes are hidden within your plugins, especially if they’re not updated. While these threats can be identified and prevented before they happen, it’ll take a significant amount of time to comb through the code to find them. So, unless you have a few extra hours (or days!) on your hands, it’s best to leave plugin maintenance to a professional.
Auto-updates can cause auto-fails!
A bit of automation never hurt anyone, right? We wish! While automatically updating your plugins might seem like the most sensible thing to do, don’t! Plugins change all the time, and one minor tweak to their code could mean they’re no longer compatible with other plugins or themes on your site. This could lead to a broken site and a lot of wasted time spent trying to fix it!
When a plugin needs to be updated, it’s vital to check and double-check that the plugin in question is still going to work the way you want it to. Avoid that auto-update button like the plague!
Keeping on Top of your WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are amazing. They have the capacity to really elevate your website, make it unique to your business and provide the ultimate user experience for your audience. But they’re also temperamental and can be incredibly time-consuming when it comes to maintenance.
If you’re new to plugins or would like some support in keeping on top of them, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our WP Fiddly Bits team – they’re a brilliant bunch!