During several years of blogging, I have tried dozens of plugins.
In the beginning, I could have as many as 20 plugins installed, and my only excuse is that I didn’t know any better.
Why is having so many plugins installed a problem? Aren’t they supposed to be helpful to us bloggers?
As much as plugins are meant to be helpful, this is one instance where the saying “too much of a good thing” definitely rings true.
The reasons why too many plugins are bad for your blog?
Every plugin you install takes a certain amount of load time, and some are definitely worse than others. Once I realized the importance of page speed for conversions and ad revenue, I got into the habit of testing my site’s page load speed after every plugin installation. If there was a noticeable negative effect, I’d immediately uninstall that plugin.
Some plugins are worse than others, and not just with regard to page speed.
Poorly designed and coded plugins can cause conflicts of all kinds, resulting in problems of varying degrees up to and including crashing your site.
Although I use up to nine plugins on any given one of my sites for varying reasons, there are only four that I find are absolutely essential.
FD Feedburner Plugin
FD Feedburner redirects all feeds on a site to a single Feedburner feed, which is similar to “feeds.feedburner.com/TopWebBlogTips, the feedburner feed for this site. This is done simply and easily without having to alter templates or code, set up feeds, or modify code.
From this point on, readers need only access the main Feedburner feed and they will receive all of your site feeds.
WordPress users have been experiencing major issues caused by SpamBots, and I’ve been battling to maintain control of my blogs and keep them relatively spam free.
Then I found NoSpamNX – and I love it! This plugin adds invisible form fields to your site’s comment form to foil the SpamBots. I’ve gone from dealing with hundreds of spam comments a day to one or two a week.
W3 Total Cache
This plugin has a great positive effect on the page load speed of a site when set up correctly, and conversely will have a very negative effect if not set up correctly.
Setting up W3 Total Cache can be very confusing, especially for a beginner. I struggled with a high page speed for years until I finally found this plugin. Then I continued to struggle because I found the setup for this plugin so confusing.
Finally, I discovered a wonderful article on setting up this plugin on the “wpbeginner” site.
This plugin is a centralized manager for Google Adsense ads on a site.
Although placing ads in the sidebars, upper and lower widget areas is easy, there is no simple way to insert Adsense ads directly into posts and pages. This plugin solves that problem by allowing the blogger to input the different codes for the ads to run, and selecting the position in the post.
Once the position is set, it remains the same for all posts, so it is important to be aware of this when setting up the post so it looks attractive to the reader.