What are WP website plugins?
Plugins are used in WordPress websites to extend the functionality of the website. They offer a way to customize how WordPress websites work without the need to code the functionality from scratch. Plugins are used for everything from security to custom page layouts and everything in between. Every WordPress website uses plugins for one thing or another, typically for several things.
Plugins are an integral aspect of your WordPress (WP) website.
One of the biggest advantages of WordPress websites is the vast selection of plugins available. Plugins are an integral aspect of websites. Unfortunately, there are disadvantages that are equally crucial to how well a website operates. To be clear, plugins aren’t bad but they can go bad and that’s what we need to keep a close eye on.
Challenges With Plugins
When websites are built, if they’re built well, they’re built with plugins that are being maintained and updated by the plugin author. Just like we maintain our clients’ websites, a plugin creator must maintain his/her plugin to ensure it continues to work properly as WordPress updates their software.
The problem is that over time, plugins are often abandoned by the creator. Once a plugin is abandoned, it starts to create issues within a website. Whatever functionality that plugin was designed to handle will have issues because the functionality is no longer being supported properly.
Additionally, an abandoned plugin becomes a security risk. That means that if your website has unsupported, out-of-date plugins, your website is vulnerable to getting hacked.
You may be surprised to learn that there are no real regulations on plugins. Anyone can create a plugin, regardless of their skill level in coding. And when a plugin is abandoned by the creator, there’s no person or team to remove access to the plugin. People can continue installing abandoned plugins long after they’re no longer working properly.
Now multiply these issues by the number of plugins used in your website. — That’s why we build websites with minimal plugins because we know first hand the havoc plugins can cause.
Replacing plugins so that your website is only using supported plugins isn’t always an easy task. The deeper the functionality and the older the plugin, the more challenging this issue becomes.
What You Can Do
So, what does this have to do with you and your website?
The good news is if you’re a Type B Studio website maintenance client, there’s nothing for you to do. We’ve got you covered!
If you’re not a Type B Studio client, there are a couple of things you can do, depending on where you’re at in your website journey:
- If you’re planning to have a website built for you, make sure you ask the companies or contractors you’re considering what their process is for plugin selection. You want to make sure they’re not using plugins willy nilly that will end up creating issues for you later.
- If you already have a website built but you’re not sure if every plugin used in your website is necessary and the best option for your needs, you would benefit from a plugin audit. We can help. Contact us for more information.
Keep your plugins up to date and in good order and they will continue to serve you as they’re intended.