How Many Plugins Does Your WordPress Site Really Need?

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Do you know which plugins are useful to your website and which (or how many) may be overkill? Do you know what attributes and functions your audience responds to and what turns them off?

Many websites go overboard. They utilize nearly every plugin out there. The goal, supposedly, is to provide a great user experience. Unfortunately, they end up accomplishing the opposite.

How Many Plugins Does Your Website Actually Need?

Each and every element on your website should have an effective function and purpose. Sometimes that’s not so simple to identify. Basically, if it doesn’t help you reach your goal then it’s best to get rid of it. Here’s why:

  • Many plugins and widgets deflect from your overall goal and purpose. For example, if you want a visitor to make a purchase then a pop-up graphic asking to subscribe to your blog is probably nothing more than a distraction.
  • A lot of plugins slow your website down. A fancy slider or a plugin that runs behind the scenes can slow down the upload time of your site’s files. If it takes too long for your site to upload then you’re for sure going to lose once-interested visitors – and that’s definitely not good.
  • More than a few plugins and widgets simply don’t offer tangible value. Think about it for a moment; what value does a fancy website slider really add to your customer’s experience? What value or benefit do they gain? If the answer is nothing, then remove it. If you are really fond of it, compare your page load speed with and without. If it doesn’t hurt anything, but you believe it enhances your brand or the site’s overall look and feel, keep it.

A plugin or widget is good when it adds value to your visitor’s experience. For example, a social networking feed can be unnecessary on some websites. However, if it helps build your following and create a community it might be a good feature. Some bells and whistles make sense.

Decision Time

So how do you decide if a website plugin or widget is necessary/beneficial? How do you know if you should keep it or eliminate it? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does it enhance your visitor√≠s experience?
  • Does it help you achieve a business goal?
  • Does it slow down your website upload time?
  • Does it distract the visitor from the goal of the page?

If you’re undecided, consider testing and tracking the data. Install and activate the plugin and then review the data. Take a look at how long people remain on the page the feature is active. If they spend less time on your page, then the new feature may be the reason.

If possible, test the feature itself. Are people interacting with it? What do they do once they’ve interacted with it? If people are staying on your website longer with the new feature, what action are they taking? Are they buying more? Are they signing up for your opt-in list? Are they reading more content?

Some plugins and widgets offer value. They support business growth. Know your audience, your goals and the purpose of each added feature. Pay attention to the data.