One of the best parts about using WordPress is all of the plugins that you’re able to download. WordPress plugins are supposed to make blogging easier and allow you to customize your blog without any coding knowledge. They’re kind of like the flavoring for your blog. I love them and think they can be extremely useful to help enhance your blog and add some great functionality. However, you have to be careful about going overboard with them.
Installing tons of WordPress plugins is an easy way to slow down your site and take up space. So it’s usually a good practice to try to avoid installing unnecessary ones. But how do you know which plugins aren’t needed and which ones will really benefit you? Well that’s easy, I’m going to tell you! Now this is my personal list and while I’m sure some people will agree with some of my choices, there might be a little bit of controversy about a couple of them. So let’s get started.
Which WordPress Plugins Can You Delete?
1: Social Media Button Plugins
Getting people to like your blog’s Facebook page or follow you on Twitter is great. One of the most popular methods that bloggers use to do this is installing Social Media Button plugins because they make things “easier”. A lot of people don’t realize that you can actually get widgets directly from Facebook and Twitter to display social media buttons and boxes just by adding a line of code.
Using the code provided by Facebook and Twitter takes up less space because you’re not installing anything into your WP database. I use the widgets offered by Facebook and Twitter on this site as you can see on my sidebar. Check out this post on how to install Facebook and Twitter widgets on your blog.
2: Google Analytics
If for some reason you’re not using Google Analytics on your blog, you need to start right now. It gives you detailed information on your blog’s traffic. I know a lot of people rely on the WordPress statistics or maybe even use some type of traffic plugin but Google Analytics is my favorite analytical tool by far and I highly recommend it (don’t worry it’s 100% free). There are several plugins for Google analytics that just require you to paste in your Web Property ID and you’re all set. But that’s really unnecessary.
When you add a new web property to Google Analytics, you will receive a tracking code to paste into your blog’s header or footer. It completely eliminates the need to download any plugins.
Google analytics WordPress plugins aren’t necessarily huge files, but by manually inserting the code, you’ll be able to take your first steps into dealing with code. It’s really easy to do and Google supplies you with complete instructions. I may make a video tutorial later on if I see that people need help. Or you can always request it by tweeting or emailing me.
You should absolutely have a backup of your blog. Whether you use WordPress, Drupal, or another platform, backing up your site will save you a huge headache if something ever happens to it. I’m a frequent browser of blogging related sites and I constantly see people giving the advice of installing a plugin to handle backups. While plugins are definitely an option, they aren’t necessary.
A lot of these backup plugins can use up unnecessary space and the backups created might not have everything you need. Instead, you can easily create a backup by using an FTP client like FireFTP (my personal favorite). Just go into your client and copy over all of the files from your site. If your webhost uses CPanel, you should be able to create a backup through there as well. I use Hostgator and it’s very easy to go in and make a backup of your site.
I know, I’m just begging for negative feedback by listing this plugin. Akismet is highly praised by bloggers and internet marketers as the best way to remove spam. But I don’t use it on any of my blogs and have not had issues with spam comments. I’m not trying to take anything away from the plugin because I have used it in the past. But it’s just not really necessary. You can easily stop spam by using a Captcha plugin. You can see my post here about removing spam with a WordPress captcha plugin and watch the video I made below.
Sorry to the folks at Auttomatic who also happen to have created WordPress.com. Again, this isn’t mean to be a shot at the plugin, as it certainly can help decrease the amount of spam that you get but I have gotten the same success with a Captcha plugin that takes up less space and is much simpler to implement.
5: Video Players
On the off chance that you’re one of the people that have been suckered into downloading and installing one of these YouTube WordPress plugins to play videos on your site, delete it. It’s so easy to just embed your videos into your blog that there are very few reasons to install any type of video player plugin. Upload your videos to YouTube, Vimeo, or any other player. When you go through a video player plugin, you’re uploading and saving videos on your site and videos take up a lot of space. The plugins themselves also take up unnecessary space too. Plus, when you upload to YouTube you’re increasing your exposure and have an entirely new place to reach your readers. It’s a win win situation.
Wrapping It All Together
So there you have it. My list of 5 WordPress plugins that your blog can do without. Obviously this doesn’t mean that the plugins are awful, but they’re just the ones that I see a lot of bloggers using unnecessarily. Remember, there are alternatives to loading up your blog with every plugin you can find that looks interesting. Taking the time to learn some coding or using some other resources available to you can really help you speed up your site by saving space!