There are many good information out there across the web that tell you how to optimize WordPress blogs. There are also many bad tips that tell you how to speed up and make WordPress blogs SEO friendly, but in the wrong way. If you’re new to managing your blogs with WordPress, these tips and tutorials can have positive as well as negative (if not done correctly) effect on your websites or blogs.
So, what should new users do? With all these conflicting information about managing WordPress, I decided to go my own way and focus on the common sense approach.
Below, I will detail my principles for managing a WordPress blog and tell you why I don’t use all the fancy and popular WordPress plugins out there. I have been running and managing WordPress blogs for over 4 years now, and I’ve gotten the same results… speed, ease of management and security when it comes to my blogs.
I am of the belief that installing many unnecessary plugins and using WordPress themes that are bulky with lots of features and customization, can greatly impact your blog performance. I know this because it has happened to me several times. Also, adding third-party scripts to enhance your blogs design can also impact your blog’s performance.
I managed WordPress differently. My philosophy is, less is more. The fewer plugins, the lighter the theme, the better WordPress runs. I don’t run third-party scripts, except for AdSense code (need money) as well as Akismet to protect my blogs against spam.
I used to have plugins that are recommended by WordPress professionals, not anymore. I only run three ( 3 ) plugins. Akismet, Google AdSense Plugin and Google XML Sitemap. These are the only three plugins I run across all my blogs.
The fewer the better. Now, other WordPress blogs will feature something like WordPress SEO, W3 Total Cache and other popular plugins.. I don’t run those. These are the only plugins in the image above that I run across my blogs.
I don’t run WordPress caching plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache because I run a Nginx webserver and have caching enabled through PHP-FPM. It’s great and caches very well. So no need for W3 Total Cache or other WordPress caching plugins.
I also don’t run WordPress SEO plugins, a very popular plugins that WordPress professionals will highly recommended. I don’t do SEO anymore.. Google is able to index my content very effectively without the use of SEO plugins and I have not lost any ranking positions since I removed WordPress SEO plugins.
I don’t recommend that you go and uninstall WordPress SEO plugins.. It might be useful, but my theme and custom SEO strategies work perfect for my blogs.
Another reason I stay away from unnecessary plugins is that, some of these plugins are not developed securely and as the results allow your sites to be hacked through them. I am not saying all plugins are bad, but the fewer the better.
So, to summarize; running unnecessary WordPress plugins will slow download you blogs, create security vulnerability and create bad user experience. Also SEO is overrated in my view. Google and other search engines are plenty able to scan your content and index them correctly. Good sitemaps can also help search engines with correctly indexing your content. Install the absolute minimal plugins, invest in great WordPress themes that are SEO friendly and lightweight without unnecessary scripts and customization and update WordPress regularly.
That’s my approach and it has worked ever since.