The SNO Report: What to Know About Plugins

Plugins are a great perk of being part of the WordPress community, which you are by way of your SNO site by the way. There’s a massive library of ready-to-install plugins at your disposal, right on your dashboard, and some of them actually add nice features and enhancements to your site. We’ll get to that.

Before you go frolicking into those fields, there are a few things you need to know — because, as helpful and sensible as some of them can be, plugins can also cause problems.

  • Always ask us first if what you’re trying to accomplish on your site by finding a plugin, like displaying Facebook and Twitter feeds, is already easy to do without one. (Other examples: Photo galleries, contact forms, social media icons, Google analytics.)

  • Because plugins are so quick to install, it’s easy to get really clicky, but having fewer plugins means your site will be faster and less at risk of bugging out that we’d have to help you fix. Just something to keep in mind…

  • You do not need to download plugins for caching or site backups. We do that already.

  • If you pull up your plugins page and find that you have more than 25 active (or whatever number feels like too much to you) and don’t know where they came from, send us a support request and we’ll clean it up for you.

  • Plugins are tools built by, literally, any WordPress user, so you’re going to find a lot of choices of plugins to download that do exactly the same thing. Do your due diligence before installing five weather plugins. View their details, like screenshots, updates history, user ratings and number of active installs, and use that to inform your decision on which plugin to install.

And now here are five commonly-used plugins by our customers that you might be interested in.

  • Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed, or the top result when you search for Instagram. This is our go-to when asked how to embed an Instagram feed, one of the few social media platforms that can’t be easily embedded on your site without a plugin.

  • One Click Accessibility helps your reader make your website easier on them by enabling them to do things like increase the font size to read.

  • Translate WordPress with GTranslate is a Google Translate plugin that lets your reader change the language they view your site in. It’s not perfect but another tool that improves your site’s accessibility.

  • WP2Social Auto Publish streamlines posting new articles on your social media accounts. You can always do it yourself (and you’ll be able to be more creative that way), but nevertheless we’re still asked about these kinds of tools.

  • Weather Atlas Widget adds an available widget on your site to display local weather. Though sometimes clunky, it’s a nifty little tool.