WordPress: To Plugin or Not To Plugin

I recently posted about my favourite WordPress plugins. The blog wasn’t live yet but I shared it with a few folks in preparation for our launch. I got some feedback and wanted to share it with you.

A client was advised that WordPress plugins can be problematic. Also, that while they help WordPress do more, they also slow down your website, leave it at risk to attack, and can cause problem if they don’t keep up with WordPress updates.

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), or in other words it’s the system you use to create, publish, and modify the stuff on your website.  What makes WordPress special is that it is open source (no cost, no licensing), highly scalable (for small, large, and growing sites), and extendible (it can do more than you can imagine).

Every website requires specific features and functionality. With WordPress you can add to the main features and functionality with ease.

There are people all over the world working on WordPress software.  It also means that you have a wide array of options when building or updating your site.

Some of those options are professionally developed and updated regularly to ensure they remain functional and secure. Others are developed by individuals to contribute to the community.  Not all plugins are good, some could even leave your site with security concerns.

Some suggest plugins, in general, are bad. A rigid position like that fails to acknowledge that WordPress is designed to be extended with themes and plugins. While some are poorly developed, many work wonders reliably and securely.

The alternative is to develop your own software, which is much costlier. If you opt to join the 60 million websites powered by WordPress you’ll also have to make sure your plugins stay ahead of the unparalleled updates provided by the CMS. That means you’ll not only be reinventing the wheel but doing so over and over again!

Why bother with all of that work when you could simply take advantage of the endless options already available?

My Advice:  Do your research, use the extendible power of WordPress to your advantage, and make smart, informed choices.

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