While plugins may initially solve certain WordPress issues your team may discover, installing them haphazardly can potentially cause more problems down the road. Sometimes plugins are useful, but when you get too many interacting and running on your nonprofit’s website, compatibility issues may arise. Your site speed could change drastically from installing one or two unneeded plugins. Site security can be compromised from using out of date plugins, or plugins that are no longer supported.
The majority of the time, plugins can fix a problem relatively quickly. Though they may seem like an easy solution, often plugins are outdated or have no support going forward. While your WordPress stays updated, your outdated plugins tend to break and drive you, or your developer, crazy trying to figure out why there is a big red error message displaying. The simple way to fix these issues is to ask about a plugin before installing it.
Site speed is a major issue these days. Installing plugin after plugin only slows the site down. Every plugin that you install has to load its own files, causing the site speed to drop quickly. Keeping the amount of plugins installed on your site to a minimum can only help with load times for your viewers. Remember: A slow loading site can cause visitors to leave your nonprofit’s website quickly or not view your site.
Installing too many plugins may also cause major security risks. When you install insecure plugins, they could bring major security bugs or increased vulnerability with them to your site. Some lower-rated plugins that are no longer supported with updates could compromise your nonprofit’s website. One easy way to avoid this is to pay attention to plugin ratings. Lower ratings either mean it’s a new plugin that could still have a bugs to work out, or that the author may not support it fully causing issues for users.
The easiest way to avoid the above issues is to present these questions to your developer. They should be able to point to the right plugins or avoid using them all together. Plugins really can clutter the back end of a good site making it slower, causing errors, or even becoming a security risk. So save yourself and your nonprofit’s developer from headaches by researching before installing any plugins. Without the proper understanding of the intricate interactions these additions will have with your site behind the scenes, you run the risk of doing more harm than good.