WordPress and Its 59,406 Free Plugins

by Georgia Monk on 22nd June 2022

As you may have heard WordPress now covers 43% of the internet so it’s easy to see it’s the favourite website content management system out there. Just one of the many reasons so many people choose WordPress is the functionality available and by that I mean 59,406 free plugins!

 

So first of all, what is a plugin?

A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that effectively “plugs in” additional functionality into your WordPress website. Similar to downloading an app on your phone, it’s an extension of code which is used to add extra functionality and features to your website. There are plugins for pretty much anything you can think of, from adding a custom slider, to optimising the SEO value of your site, to adding a content editor.

 

Free plugins? What’s the catch?

The disadvantage of all of these free plugins is that they may not do everything you need them to do. This could be because they have restrictions on the settings or they might not be as customisable as you need them to be. Therefore you have to add another plugin to add that last bit of functionality, or perhaps you have to compromise and accept you don’t get exactly what you want.

For the majority of website builds there is a great selection of free plugins that loads of developers use day in and day out. Some of our favourite examples have to include:

  • Contact form 7
    • A lightweight, well-trusted contact form
  • Yoast SEO
    • An SEO plugin which helps you to optimise your site through titles and meta descriptions
  • Woocommerce
    • E-commerce selling platform installed by over 5 million customers
  • Wordfence
    • Security enhancement including firewall and malware scan

These plugins are used by developers every single day which ensures they are tried and tested, with support available at a moment’s notice. As they are used so often it’s clear to see they are not vulnerable to breaking or likely to be incompatible with other reputable plugins.

 

Common mistakes

One of the biggest mistakes we see when people ask us for our help on their website is that they have too many and some unreliable plugins installed on their site. We have often seen in excess of 40 plugins installed on simple brochure sites, all adding a little bit of functionality here and there. The issue is, that all of these plugins take up storage, and each one comes with its own set of scripts and styles which load on every page, no doubt decreasing that google page speed score.

We often see multiple plugins installed to do a range of jobs which can be resolved by one plugin instead. For example, our pro licence of WP-Rocket includes a caching system, file optimisation, lazy loading for images and a scheduled database clean-up.

If you’re worried about your WordPress site speed and functionality then get in touch with us today to see how our web developers can help improve your website speed and performance.

Georgia Monk

Written by Georgia Monk

Georgia is our Lead Website Developer with a fantastic knowledge of the WordPress content management system. After completing her apprenticeship and working as a frontend developer at a local agency she joined our team. A typical day for Georgia involves building and maintaining websites for all of our clients. Georgia has a bright and bubbly personality that is reflected through her work. Despite being a web developer extraordinaire, at the weekend she’s a dance superstar running her own school. Some say she brings a whole new lease of life to the kick-ball-change, all we know is that she’s a huge chocolate lover and adores her new pet kittens!

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