WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

I feel like I should have the music from the movie Clint Eastwood stared in called “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” playing in the background as you read this blog article.

One of the added features of designing websites on WordPress are something called plugins. Plugins add features to a website without having to write code. I am a photographer and graphic designer at heart, but I also build custom WordPress websites. The last thing I want to do was build a website from scratch with code. I learned to do that in a few classes when I when back to school to study for my graphic arts degree. It was interesting, and I learned to navigate around the back end of a website, but it was not something I wanted to with the rest of my life.

I discovered WordPress about 10 years ago and my digital universe changed. WordPress is an open platform where around 25% of all business websites are designed on today. I load up a premium theme that has a page builder installed and much my work is drop and drag so my world as a graphic designer becomes much more visually creative.

Understanding WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly


Plugins allow me to bring new added functions that do not come with WordPress right out of the box. These plugins will give a website security, SEO, image and page compression, website data tracking devices and so much more. Some plugins you install and activate, and they do what they were designed to do and other plugins you have to set up for them to function correctly.

Think of Plugins as little blocks of pre built code that will allow you to ad more custom code that is unique to your website. 

Since WordPress is an open source platform there are thousands of code programmers and millions of users involved. There are thousands of themes to choose from that are free but many have a premium price. The same hold true with plugins. Over the years I have learned which plugins are the ones to be trusted and many which are not. This is where The Good The Bad and The Ugly come into play.

Good plugins…

…far out way the bad and the ugly plugins. You just have to be careful of the ones you use. You can also have to many good plugins because the more plugins you have the slower the website runs. Websites can get bloated with to much code which in turn can slow them down from loading on a browser. You will want to make sure that the good plugins that are installed are serving a useful purpose. Deactivate and then delete those that are not being used so this will not happen. When it comes to a website, the less baggage the better. 

Bad plugins…

… can slow down a website, not work as intended or have a conflict with other plugins that will shut down parts of your website. This happens many times when the website does updates to the theme or plugins. I have even had a conflict so bad that I could not log into the back-end of my website to make any changes. I would then have to resort to connecting to the back-end of my hosting provider and work in the cPanel and disconnect all the plugins until my website opened up again and then turn each plugin back on one at a time to find out which plugin is causing the trouble.

What do WordPress Plugins Do?

Added Functions with WordPress Plugins


Ugly plugins…

… can cause security breaches to your website and allow the site to be hacked which will cause major headaches to fix. In the website maintenance part of our business these are issues we keep an eye on and fix when the need arises.

Plugin conflicts happen many times when the WordPress platform, themes and plugins are updated. They worked great when they are first installed but when the update occurred something broke or some code was missing. Remember, websites are nothing but a mass of code so it does not take much to cause a problem. Sometimes plugins do not play well together and that is where the conflict comes in. You see this all the time in other technologies when we update our computer programs, cell phones or other software.That is what software patches are all about. It can drive you crazy, but it is just part of the technical world we live in.

To learn more…

…about WordPress Plugins, go right to the source right here at WordPress Codex.

If you have any questions on WordPress plugins or anything else related to websites or the internet, please drop me a email with your questions.

If this blog article has been helpful to your understanding of website design, please sign up to the right to receive a email every time we post a new article. 

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Understanding WordPress Plugins. What do WordPress Plugins Do?

Conflicts with WordPress Plugins

Added Functions with WordPress Plugins

9 Signs it’s Time for a New Website

9 Signs it’s Time for a New Website

9 Signs it’s Time for a New Website

Your website is more than likely the first place of contact that prospective clients will have with you. It’s your store front. What kind of impression are you giving when they land there for the first time? What kind of message are you trying to convey?

At one time, it was a big deal just having a website but, those days are long gone. Does your website look out of date, with old features that were designed years ago? If you had a real business store front wouldn’t you redesign it and decorate it in a newer more current motif from time to time to attract new customers?

Yes, you have made smaller updates to the content and have even added new photo’s, but how do you know it’s not time for a complete overhaul to your website?

9 Signs it’s Time for a New Website

1.) Your Website Looks Outdated

If your website is 5 years old or more it’s probably showing its age. People notice. Fonts, backgrounds, images and content layout will tell people how old your website is. Modern technology is constantly changing and so are website layouts and designs. Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Take some time and see what new innovations they might be using to be relevant and modern looking. 

2.) It’s Hard to Edit and Update Your Website

If you are calling your website developer to make small changes on your website, then it is definitely time for a website redesign. New content management systems such as WordPress have changed a lot in the last couple of years. You want to be able to make some changes on your own and not have to use code or a website developer. That is all possible now if you have the right platform and theme installed on the website.

3.) Is Your Website Hard to Navigate?

Your website should be easily navigable for your customers. They should be able to quickly and easily find what they came to your website for. Is your website having high a bounce rate? If it is, then it could be because your customers are having a hard time navigating the site.

Time for a New Website?

4.)  Is Your Website Mobile Responsive?

Mobile responsive means your website is mobile friendly. How does the website look on mobile devices such as cell phones and iPads? Over 50% of all online browsing is currently being done on these small devices and the percentage is only going to get larger with more people using them in the coming years. You want your website to look good small.

Time for a New Website?

5.) SSL Certificate is Essential

This has become a big deal with Google now. If your website only shows http// then you do not have an SSL certificate. If it does, it will have a “S” at the end after the “P” as in https//. The “S” stands for security and it means your website is secure.

No SSL certificate and Google will now give a warning for people not to enter your website or tell them that they enter at their own risk. You will also see a green lock and the word “Secure” at the front of the browser address just before the https//. You defiantly want to go green. To learn more about why SSL certificates are essential. 

Why I Need a New Website

Website Redesign

6.) Your Embarrassed to Give Out Your Website Address

This is a big sign you need a new website. That may seem funny at first but, it is really not. You want to be proud of who are and what you do, so what better way than to have a great looking and functional website to show this.

7.) Your Website Is Not Delivering

Is your website delivering leads and traffic like it used to? A new website will definitely get you back in the game. How do you know for sure it’s not delivering? The only way to know for sure is to have some kind of tracking device. We recommend Google Analytics to give you hard data on what is really going on with your website. This will give you some idea on what needs to be changed and where your ongoing upgrades need to be made.

8.) My Website Loads Slow

One sure way that will turn away potential customers is to have a slow loading website. People have no patience anymore and will not hang around for a website to load slowly. A slow loading website gives out the signal that you are no longer relevant and there is something wrong with your business. Optimize everything on your website especially the photographs.

Website Redesign

Why I Need a New Website

9.) Search Engine Rankings

Are your search engine rankings low? Search engine algorithms have changed a lot over the last few years. Search engine optimization (SEO) and focus keywords are still BIG but high-quality content has caught up as far as Google is concerned. This is also why having a blog on your website is so essential. It brings in fresh new quality content to your website on a regular basis. We use a SEO plugin called Yoast on all our wordpress websites that we design. They have a lot great information about SEO and how it helps to drive traffic to your website.

In Conclusion

Give your website a long hard look and run by some of the questions I have brought up and see if you need to make some changes to your digital store front. You are good at what you do so show it by putting your best visual foot forward. You will be glad you did.

If you would like to know more about our Website Design or Graphic Arts business, please give us a call our email us. 

We would love to help grow your business through digital and print media.

We have written other articles…

…that you might be interested in when it comes to promoting your business in the digital age. Here are three: 1.)  5 Reasons Why Email Lists Are Important 2.) How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed 3.) 8 Benefits of Blogging From Your Business Website. We have written many more so check out our blog archive.

9 Signs it’s Time for a New Website

Time for a New Website?

Why I Need a New Website

Website Redesign WordPress. My Old Website Needs Help

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