A Cautionary Guide To Using WordPress Plugins

michael

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A WordPress website owner is always faced with the challenge of choosing between plugins and creating a custom-built plugin. What exactly are wordpress plugins? Plugins help provide specific functions for a WordPress website. They are designed to be lean and lightweight and to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins offer custom functions and features so that users can tailor their site to their specific needs. However, there are some downsides to using WordPress plugins. Often times, they aren’t a “one-size-fits-all” type of plugin. To get the most out of a plugin, you would have to create it yourself. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons and some plugin examples:

What are some of the popular plugins that are used by ReadyArtwork?

Yoast

Yoast is a wordpress SEO plugin that helps website owners optimize their website content.

Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms provide advanced forms for WordPress websites. It allows users to quickly and easily integrate a variety of third party services such as Paypal and provides even deeper integration with WordPress through their optional add-ons.

Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms is an easy and flexible WordPress form builder. It comes with an abundance of settings, so users can fine tune any part of the form from the general setting to custom fields.

Easy Fancy Box

Easy Fancy Box provides easy and flexible lightweight solutions for image galleries. It supports all common image types including webp and image maps.

These plugins are extremely helpful and convenient but we know very little about how they were built and each plugin’s level of security. Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin, despite being used by millions of website owners, was recently vulnerable to hackers before the company released an update to fix the issue.

A word of caution for WordPress plugin users — make sure to perform updates from time to time to avoid the vulnerability from outdated plugins. Custom coding helps you build you website with unique styling and avoid the vulnerability from certain plugins.

The Difference Between a WordPress Plugin and a Plugin Built From Scratch

As previously mentioned, WordPress plugins are convenient and serve their purpose by providing a specific functionality. Plugins built from scratch can definitely help you create more custom-tailored functionality for your needs. The major downside to building a plugin from scratch would be the amount of time needed to build it. The onus would then be placed on you instead of the developer of a WordPress plugin to make sure that the plugin is secured and free from vulnerabilities.

There are pros and cons to both WordPress Plugins and custom-built plugins. If you are struggling with your decision between the two, let us help! Contact us today or give us a call at 626.400.4511 today!