There is one thing that non-professionals do wrong when they are building their blogs. Time and time again. And this mistake costs them.
That mistake is being careless with plugins.
First day on WordPress
WordPress now powers around 25% of all websites. Why wouldn’t it? It’s very easy to use. Everything you need can be installed and updated with one click.
But that can also be a problem. If everything is virtually free and easy to install you start going through the list without much concern.
Most of the app pitches are well-written, I will give them that. But it is also our own carelessness that is at fault. We go through the store installing plugins for security, creating landing pages and contact forms, better SEO optimization, etc. I’ve noticed that in a lot of the cases the reason for this behavior is explained by saying the install is only to try out the plugin.
Hey, it is not the App Store (or Google Play). Whichever you prefer.
Everything you do impact your website.
First, often 80% of these plugins are never removed despite the fact they are never used.
Second, every plugin installed slows down your website
Third, you lose focus. Stop acting like a headless chicken and installing random plugins like they are going out of fashion. They are not going anywhere.
3 plugins you need to start out
When you build a website, or decide to review your plugins, make sure you have 3 plugins:
Akismet – to battle against spam. Trust me, even if you don’t have traffic, spam bots will find your new blog very soon.
Yoast SEO – for better SEO optimization. Read the description of the plugin and actually dedicate time to learn how it works.
Jetpack – sooner or later you will want to add pop-ups and subscription boxes to your website. Jetpack is a great start. Just like Yoast, you need to learn to use this plugin to get the most out of it.
Don’t install anything else. It may look necessary, or sexy, or fun. Listen, installing random plugins can cost you more than just load speed. Even if you are not building a commercial site, like these pokies game sites, even if you plan to only write your memoirs on your site, you don’t want to risk it getting hacked.
Even if it’s rare, there is a bigger point here. If you install 10 plugins in a day, you have certainly done zero research on them and, most likely, won’t have time to learn to use them.
So, these plugins will simply sit on your CMS, like apps on your smartphone you haven’t used for 5 months.
Just like the rising Minimalist movement suggests, focus on doing less with much quality than lots of different things badly. There is time to experiment but website plugins is not one.