Moving On From Unneeded Plugins


Have you checked your WordPress plugins lately? I mean, really checked them? Making sure they’re up to date is one thing. Clearing out abandoned or outdated plugins is another. But are those active and up-to-date plugins needed, too?

There are many reasons why you may be wasting time maintaining plugins you no longer need. Perhaps you installed a plugin to handle content migration from another location. You may have used another for a one time database import or export. Switched shipping carriers? Then you likely switched to a new carrier plugin; did you remove the old one? Developing sites often requires trying out different plugin options, and it’s possible those plugins you didn’t end up using are still loitering about.

Updating plugins and testing those updates takes your valuable time, but the issues run deeper than that. The more plugins you have, the greater the vulnerability and incompatibility risks. Even if your site is healthy in that regard, some plugins impact performance. Those plugins you used once then forgot about could be causing slowdowns your site visitors shouldn’t have to endure.

So, what to do? It’s best to start by deleting any deactivated plugins, although I suggest backing them up first in case you don’t want to roll any back in (we do this via FTP). I also suggested deactivating live plugins before deleting them so you can test site functionality; it’s always possible the plugin you don’t recognize is serving an important purpose. Also, try removing just a couple at a time and letting the site go a few days without them before removing more. And finally, don’t forget to verify licensing to make sure you’re not set to auto renew a plugin you won’t be using!

If you would like assistance with managing your WordPress plugins—those you need and those you don’t—let us know and we’ll be happy to take a look.