Pick the right plugins for your WordPress site

Pick the right plugins for your WordPress site

Pop quiz: How many WordPress plugins do you have on your WordPress website? Go look.

Got more than 4 plugins? More than 10? Did you know that every plugin lowers your site speed on Google SpeedTest by 3 points?

wordpress pluginsThe best WP plugins can provide a magical experience – add features and functions to your WordPress site with just the click of a button.

And the WordPress plugin repository offers a seemingly endless treasure trove of options to extend your WordPress website and create a better experience for your users. Need help setting up your SEO? There’s a plugin for that. Want to feed your latest Instagram posts into your footer? Just search for a plugins, install and activate, right? Well, not so fast.

Not all WP plugins are healthy for your WordPress site, and too many “junky” plugins can really slow things down (beware the yucky WP plugin bloat). It’s important to pick your WP plugins wisely, because some can really hurt your site. They’re snippets of code authored by strangers, after all. The open source community that created and grew WordPress is largely wonderful, but it does require a roadmap.

Here’s a handy checklist to help you pick the best plugin for your WordPress site:

  1. Has it been tested with the current version of WordPress? Or at least, the version your site is running? How to tell what WordPress version your site is running
  2. When was the plugin last updated? If it’s been more than 4 months or so, that might be a sign no one is manning the controls or keeping it up-to-date.
  3. How many support tickets are there? Has the plugin developer been replying? It’s always wisest to choose plugins that clearly have a team behind them, paying attention to the ever-changing security and code landscape.
  4. Does it have a good star rating? Plugins in the WordPress plugin repository are rated, just like restaurants on Yelp. Click through to read the issues reported by the best and worst reviewers just like you might before buying an Amazon mattress.
  5. Can it be accomplished without a plugin? The fastest sites are the leanest, and the web loves speed. Your site visitors are giving you 15 seconds, max. They don’t want to wait for a splashy graphics show with music – they just want you and what you have to offer.
  6. Will I remember to keep it up-to-date? Because nothing is more dangerous to the health of your WordPress website than an out-of-date plugin. Skipping updates leaves the back door open to hacks and other threats. Adopt a system or reach out for help, we’re here for you
Wix vs. WordPress – We break it down

Wix vs. WordPress – We break it down

Wix vs WordPress? We break it down

 

Which is better – Wix or WordPress? Which CMS is easiest to set up? Which has the best templates and themes for a professional look and feel? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple. Comparing Wix and WordPress for your small business website can make your head spin!

 

WordPress as a CMS vs. all the rest

 

In web speak and tech acronyms, CMS stands for Content Management System, or the tool that turns the back-end of our websites into a friendlier interface for adding posts, images, products, etc. Before we had these tools to make web interfaces look like Word, your website would consist of a set of hard-coded files on a server somewhere. WPCompendium.org sums it up well in this quick history lesson, but essentially, the creation of the CMS made it a whole lot easier to keep sites fresh and alive by making them easy to edit without code.

What is a CMS? Image from WPCompendium.org

So you need a CMS – Now which one?

The best CMS for you depends on what you want to do with your new website. Wix and Squarespace are super simple to set up and require zero code or tech experience. If you can shop online and use Amazon Prime, you can use these tools.

Wix is perfect for beginners, but limiting when you want to grow

Wix works out-of-the-box to give you a snazzy design and a slick site. Wix is an all-in-one website builder that charges by the month and is ideal for beginners and those with zero code experience. Got an idea and want to gauge interest online? Use Wix. Got products to sell and data to collect and sort from your customers? Then you might hit a wall.

Where do you fall on the Wix vs WordPress chart below?

Got products to sell online?

If your store is at all complex, we recommend WordPress. Wix has eCommerce tools that work well for most, but if anything needs to be customized, your hands might be tied. With WordPress + WooCommerce, you can run your store like the slickest spots at the mall, and all with the security, speed, and peace of mind of self-hosting.

Need a simple landing page, and fast?

Then you might be better off with Wix. It’s true that WordPress has a learning curve, and depending on your starting point, it might be steep. We offer WordPress training and one-on-one support via Office Hours, but if you’re in a hurry and you really want to DIY your website, head to Wix and set something up. Wix is ideal for a quick one-pager that tells people who you are and what you offer. You can always expand upon it later!

Got a specific design in mind?

WordPress can be built-for-you, Wix is already built. So if you have a custom website design that you’ve created, commissioned or purchased, you will need to set it up in WordPress. But good news! This no longer means you need a custom theme. Theme frameworks like Divi and site builder tools are making it easier to have custom designs in WordPress. 

Tight on budget - and time?

If you’re lacking tech skills but want to set up your own site, Wix might be the perfect solution. A lot goes in to setting up a WordPress site right, and once launched, the site will only be successful if it’s given regular care and attention. WordPress is a commitment, but one that pays off. Contact me to learn more >