Choose Your Plugins Wisely

WP Plugin ImageEarlier I had a chance to look at two WordPress powered blogs inwhich the load time was affected due to outdated plugins that were no longer maintained officially. Let me share more details on both sites how un-maintained plugins can cause performance issues, if you don’t watch the signs and if you don’t fix those immediately.

Google XML Sitemaps with Multisite support

This plugin was used at a high traffic multisite blog network because my client (who runs the network) thought it works just like Google XML Sitemaps with the support for multisite network. He was correct. As Mario, the author, clearly mentioned in the plugin overview, it is indeed based on Google XML Sitemaps plugin that has its own performance issues and SEO related issues that anyone can overcome with little tricks. The author clearly mentioned that he doesn’t have enough time to support this plugin and the issues associated with it.

Debug Log

In another blog, I couldn’t figure out the cause of the performance degrade straightaway. So, I went ahead and enabled debug log that displays the error noticed and warnings created by the theme and plugins. Within a few hours of enabling the debug log, the size of the debug.log file grew to nearly 200 MB in size. That’s a lot if you understand the reasons. It was mainly due to outdated plugins that were throwing thousands of errors on each page load!

Lesson Learned

  1. Even though the plugin authors put hundreds or thousands of hours to create or fork a plugin, please make sure each author still has the same interest to support it when he or she started writing the plugin.
  2. Debug.log file is your friend. Use it wisely to choose the right plugins.

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