WordPress Pitfalls: Avoid These Auto-Installed Plugins for a Faster, Cleaner Site

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When starting with WordPress, it’s important to be cautious about certain plugins that may come pre-installed or get automatically installed alongside other plugins. Here are some examples of plugins you should consider avoiding:

1. Hello Dolly

Why to avoid: It’s a very simple plugin that displays a random lyric from the song “Hello, Dolly!” in the admin dashboard. It doesn’t offer any functionality that enhances your website, so it’s often considered unnecessary bloat. As much as we love Louis Armstrong, we’ve gotta say “Goodbye, Dolly!” to this plugin. 

2. Jetpack

Why to avoid: While Jetpack offers a suite of features, it can be quite heavy on resources and may include functionalities that you don’t need. Some users find that it slows down their website and prefer to use more lightweight, specialized plugins instead.

3. Akismet Anti-Spam

Why to avoid: Akismet is useful for spam prevention, but it requires a subscription for commercial use. There are other free alternatives like Antispam Bee that might be more appropriate depending on your needs.

4. All-in-One SEO Pack (when bundled)

Why to avoid: This plugin is sometimes bundled with themes or other plugins. While it’s a popular SEO plugin, it can be heavy and not as user-friendly as other options like Yoast SEO or Rank Math.

5. OptinMonster (when bundled)

Why to avoid: This plugin is great for lead generation but can be overkill for small sites and may be automatically installed with certain themes. It often requires a premium subscription to unlock its full potential, which might not be necessary for all users.

6. MonsterInsights:

Why to avoid: Often bundled with themes, MonsterInsights simplifies Google Analytics setup but can add unnecessary load and is not always needed if you’re comfortable adding the tracking code manually or using lighter alternatives.

7. WP Forms Lite (when bundled)

Why to avoid: This is a decent form builder, but it’s often bundled with other themes or plugins. It may not offer enough features in the free version, leading you to pay for functionality you could get for free with other plugins like Contact Form 7 or Ninja Forms.

8. Page Builders (bundled)

Why to avoid: Plugins like WPBakery, Elementor, and Divi are powerful but can also be very resource-intensive. They are sometimes auto-installed with themes and can lead to slower website performance if not used properly.

9. File Access Plugins

Why to avoid: WP-phpMyAdmin seems handy for managing databases directly from your WordPress dashboard, but it’s risky business. It opens up your site to more potential attacks, exploits, and even full-blown breaches if your admin credentials are compromised. Plus, keeping both WordPress and phpMyAdmin updated can be a hassle. It’s smarter to stick to separate, more secure ways of managing your database, like standalone phpMyAdmin installations or tools provided by your hosting service. Better safe than sorry!

General Tips to Avoid Unnecessary Plugins

  • Check Theme Bundles: When you install a new theme, it might recommend or automatically install certain plugins. Assess whether you actually need these plugins.
  • Read Reviews and Ratings: Before keeping a pre-installed plugin, check its reviews and ratings on the WordPress plugin repository.
  • Evaluate Plugin Necessity: Determine if the plugin’s functionality is essential for your site. If it’s something minor or easily replicated with a bit of code, consider not using the plugin.
  • Watch for Performance Issues: Some plugins can significantly slow down your site. Use tools like GTmetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights to monitor your site’s performance and identify any problematic plugins.

Need help installing a plugin? Check out this Raney Day Designs blog to learn how: https://raneydaydesign.com/energize-your-website-with-plugin-power/ 

By being mindful of these points, you can keep your WordPress site lean, fast, and secure. We’ve got you covered!

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