Everyone gets all excited about WordPress when they find that nearly any feature they could want can be added through a plugin system, but there are issues with depending on plugins that people should consider before loading up on additional features.
Delays in Releases
One of the biggest issues that occurs in the WordPress plugin world is that the plugin developers can’t keep up with the developments in the WordPress core. A great example of this is PodPress, a very popular podcasting plugin for WordPress that still, after two months, does not have a new release to work with WordPress 2.6.
One day the plugin that you enjoy using might just disappear. The developer giving up on supporting it, and if it isn’t very popular in the wider circles, then there will most likely not be anyone there to pick up where they left off. This looked like it was going to happen to the very popular All in One SEO plugin, but at the last minute, someone else committed themselves to furthering the plugin.
Troubleshooting performance issues is nearly impossible if you are like myself and install multiple plugins all at once. Then to find where the bottleneck in performance came from you have to deactivate them. Sometimes though, issues don’t arise until a combination of plugins are active, or you do certain things that they weren’t developed for.
An issue I had on College Crunch, a WordPress powered blog, was that I had made many pages, rather than posts, and in doing so, a plugin that effected how I managed pages started having issues, causing the page management screen to be blank. I deactivated every plugin that I thought interacted with pages, but it was one that was related to searching and SEO. I didn’t realize this until someone else turned it off resolving the issue immediately. I would have never guessed, and so I had blamed WordPress, the web host, and everything else. I definitely felt like I had egg on my face after that, and will definitely endeavor to blame WordPress plugins before anything else.
The more plugins you add to your WordPress blog, the more chances you’ll have to expose yourself to one of the many downsides of a community oriented plugin system. I love WordPress because of its plugins, but I have had my share of frustrations due to them as well.
About the author
David Peralty is the owner the “eXtra For Every Publisher” blog, also know as XFEP. He’s got a strong background in the online environment gathered while working with companies such as Splashpress Media and PicApp. He’s currently a Project Manager over at CollegeCrunch.org. If you still haven’t subscribed to his blog, you’re really missing out on things that you shouldn’t miss.