If WordPress Plugins Were Alcoholic How Drunk Would Your Site Be?

Booze

When I step into the liquor store, I get excited. I’m like a kid in a candy store. Now I do not see walking into the liquor store as an opportunity to get really really drunk. I see it as window shopping. I have a set ‘booze budget’ and I have list of alcoholic beverages that I really enjoy. If I were to break out the credit card and buy every single bottle that I thought would be enjoyable passing my lips, two major things would happen:

  1. My credit card would be maxed
  2. I would have a severe hangover

We have heard this a bazillion times before: Everything is good in moderation. Most people do not head into a liquor store and purchase everything in site as we know the consequences. The same thing should apply to your WordPress plugins.

Many times when I log into someone’s WordPress site, the first thing I notice is the obscene amount of plugins that are installed. Its insane. Quite often there will be from 2-10 plugins installed that do the same thing. It’s like going to the liquor store in looking for a bottle of rum and walking out with a bottle of Sailor Jerry’s, Bacardi, Captain Morgans, and Brugal. They all have their unique flavour and style, but essentially they all accomplish the same thing.As with your plugins, you do not need 5 different social media sharing plugins, or 3 different related post plugins. Pick the one that fits your taste, install it and use it. If you see something better that comes along do some research, test a bit and install if you find it that it works better than your original plugin (and deactivate/delete the old plugin).

Every plugin that you have activated on your site will have to load every time someone visits your website. The more plugins you have running the longer it takes for the site to load. This will lead to people becoming impatient with the load time and leaving your website.

If you decide to go plugin shopping keep a few things in mind:

  1. Will this plugin help accomplish my website goals?
  2. Do I have a plugin that does this already?
  3. Is there a better way to achieve what I am trying to do?

Also having multiple plugins that do the same thing can lead to confusing your visitors. If they want to share your content on Facebook, but there is 9 wasy to do it things get a little confusing. Have you ever been to someone house and you want to turn on the TV, only to find 4 remotes sitting on the coffee table?

Next time you decide to go plugin crazy think about how it affects the loading time and user interaction.

5 Comments on 'If WordPress Plugins Were Alcoholic How Drunk Would Your Site Be?'

  1. Nice analogy to get the point across Chris. I do worry that you can name 4 different brands of rum off the top of your head though!

  2. Antho says:

    Hey Chris,
    Ideas make more sense to me when presented via analogy. Well done. Moderation. Great tip for this newbie blogger too!

  3. Chris Whiteley says:

    @Nick: I could have named a few more as well. Yo ho ho I enjoy my rum

    @Antho: Analogies, metaphors & similes its how I roll. My personal favourite analogy I cooked up was the Milk Analogy for the ‘Social Capital’ post: http://sageinternet.com/2010/social-media/case-emergency-social-capital/

  4. S Emerson says:

    We see this a lot when trying to optimize client blogs. When asked why they have this plugin or that plugin sometimes they don’t even know why.

    All the “Must have” plugins lists don’t exactly help either.

  5. Good article Chris. As I was reading this, I was getting “drunk” on iPhone apps. Very easy to get carried away with these and I do not even use a jailbroken iPhone.

    I have now pared down the iPhone apps to a few that I use regularly and now don’t waste a lot of time updating apps that I seldom use. The same would be true for WordPress plug-ins

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