WordPress is one of the most widely used off-the-shelf solutions for quickly setting up a fully functional website. One of the main reasons for this popularity is the plugin system, which allows the base software to extend its capabilities in thousands of ways. From image galleries to e-commerce to social media integration, there’s likely to be a plugin available to suit your needs, moving WordPress far away from its origins as a pure blogging solution.
However, the main strength of this plugin system is also a potential weakness. Anyone can develop their own plugin and release it for others to use, and while the WordPress plugin repository performs some basic checks on the software submitted to it, there’s no real guarantee that any particular plugin will be written to a high standard. This can easily result in “badly behaved” plugins conflicting with each other, or simply running slowly because of poor development techniques.
An Example: Coupon Code Plugins
We had some trouble with one of our sites when we decided to run a coupon code plugin as a way to add value to users. We supplied free godaddy renewal coupons for readers of our blog who also happened to be webmasters (thanks to CouponGo.org for supplying us with these promo codes). What happened is, after we installed and activated this plugin, there was a massive slowdown in our website’s performance.
After troubleshooting, we discovered that there was nothing wrong with the plugin itself, but that it conflicted with the WordPress theme we were using. We were able to change the theme, and the website ended up working beautifully afterwards.
If you find that your WordPress installation is running more slowly than you’d like, then one of the first places to look for a solution is within the range of plugins … Read the rest