WordPress Plugins to avoid.
Your host is perhaps the most important link to your blog’s prospective reader. Without a good hosting service, the world may not even know your Website exists.
Here are some interesting statistics.
According to the Aberdeen Group, a one second delay in page-load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.
According to the UK: Internet Statistics Compendium which includes Data from Rackspace, 38% of UK online shoppers abandon websites or apps that take more than 10 seconds to load.
Speed is a metric used by Google to rank search results, Google considers a page to be ‘slow’ if it takes longer than 1.5 seconds to load.
74% of users will leave after waiting five seconds for a mobile site to load.
Another interesting fact, Most blogs using WordPress are hosted on shared hosting plans.
Shared hosting simply means that many websites are hosted on a single web server, and that the server’s resources (CPU and RAM) are shared among every customer account on the machine.
Why Shared Hosting is Misunderstood
Shared hosting plans are pretty cheap but this does not mean they are not good. The major word that causes problems for shared hosting users is the word “Unlimited“.
Most WordPress installs are hosted on shared hosting plans and majority of these installs are by people new to blogging.
Hosting companies mislead customers with the “unlimited” tag that are placed on Shared Hosting plans. Unlimited data transfer bandwidth, unlimited website storage, unlimited emails and unlimited domains.
The truth is Shared hosting is the most limited hosting plan available on the web. Once you know this, you know just enough to enjoy a shared hosting plan.
The most common cause of site crashes on shared hosting plans are plugins.
Every plugin you activate makes WordPress a little slower. Some plugins are highly resource-intensive and do not play well with shared hosting. I have put together a list of popular wordpress plugins to avoid on shared hosting.
Five Popular WordPress Plugins To Avoid
1. Broken Link Checker
If you need to use this plugin, use during low traffic periods and disable the plugin once you are done with it. This plugin is highly server intensive and it could overwhelm your shared hosting server.
Broken Link Check (Online)
This online tool checks your websites for broken links. The free version of this tool has a 3000-page limit, but this should not be a problem for most WordPress installs.
Xenu Link Sleuth (Windows only)
Xenu’s Link Sleuth is a valuable free windows app that will let you check for broken links on your website.
Integrity (Macintosh only)
Integrity is a free Mac only app that Scans your site for broken links. The app checks images as well as all internal and external links.
2. Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin is server intensive and could easily strain your shared hosting server.
Use the inbuilt Sitemap option of the popular WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. This is the recommended option as it means you do not have to install another plugin.
This simple sitemap plugin does a good job. You can easily create and add a Sitemap file to Google Webmaster Tools without putting too much load on your server.
BWP GXS does not have a 50,000 URL limit, it is a fast plugin that generates your sitemap with much less resource.
3. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
Related Posts plugins are extremely database intensive. The indexing, sorting and all functions are carried out using your server’s resources.
These services run on their own dedicated servers, this means your server can rest easy. For a small blog, manually inter-linking your posts gets you better results.
The Related Posts feature under the popular Jetpack plugin is a great alternative, It scans your posts, analyzes them, and displays related posts your visitors. Unlike many other related post plugins, all the analysis, processing, and serving are done from Jetpack’s cloud, so there is no additional load on your server.
The nrelate related posts plugin is a less server intensive as all the heavy lifting is done by the nRelate servers. The nRelate plugin analyzes your website content and displays relevant related posts from your website. (This plugin has now been discontinued)
The SO Related Posts plugin puts you in direct control on what related content you want to display on each post. The plugin enables you to select what posts you want to display, the number of posts and the order in which the related posts are displayed, right from the post editor.
LinkWithin is a neat plugin that displays related posts from your blog archives under each post.Linkwithin doesn’t use eat up your server resources as it indexs all stories from your blog archive and displays them on relevant posts.
This plugin writes to the database on every page load, it is best to avoid this on shared hosting servers as this would eat up your your server resources.
The stats module in the Jetpack plugin is a good choice for tracking traffic.
Google Analytics does a good job of tracking your blog’s traffic.
5. WordPress Popular Posts
This widget plugin displays the most popular posts on your blog.This plugin should be avoided on shared hosting servers.
Why do you even need a plugin for this? simply head over to your site stats, note the 5/10 most popular blog posts and use the Text widget to display it on your sidebar.
The nrelate servers monitors your website and starts displaying your most popular content. This reduces the load on your server as the nrelate servers would do all the work. (The Plugin has been discontinued)
Backup plugins such as WP DB Backup, WP DB Manager, BackupWordPress should only be used when needed. Backups occupy a ton of disk space and since it interacts intensively with your database, it is best to use backup plugins at low traffic periods and deactivate it when you are done.
E-mail plugins should also be discouraged on shared hosting plans. Instead of draining your server to use the WordPress Email functionality,use specialized services such as MailChimp, AWeber and countless others.