How to Avoid Common WordPress Plugin Problems with Jetpack

One of WordPress’s biggest benefits is plugins, which let you expand your site’s functionality to meet your exact needs. There are no limits to the type or number of plugins you can install and activate — there are currently thousands available in the WordPress repository

But with this unlimited flexibility comes responsibility, since each plugin introduces its own set of potential issues, from site slowdowns to crashes. With a little knowledge and a little Jetpack, you can resolve the three most common challenges — or prevent them from happening in the first place.

1. Plugin conflicts

Do you see visible strings of code on the front-end of your site, or get messages like “Internal server error”? A plugin conflict is probably the culprit.

WordPress is an open source platform, so anyone can create a plugin. Since plugins are built by people with different skill levels, habits, and knowledge, it’s not uncommon for plugins to conflict with one another. Plugins can also conflict with WordPress core updates. In either case, the only real solution is to disable the problematic plugin until the developers fix the issue. This means either losing the functionality it provides, or finding another plugin that does what you need. 

Solution: fix the issue or prevent conflicts before they occur

The typical way to identify a plugin conflict is to manually deactivate each of your plugins, one by one, until the problem goes away. Not only can this take up half your day, but your site isn’t going to look or function properly while you’re figuring it out. 

If you use Jetpack and know the general time frame when the problems started, you have a quick fix in Jetpack Activity. The activity log shows the actions you take on your site, including plugin updates and installations. Use it to learn which plugin caused the problem, remove it and get your site working properly again, and then look for other options.

The best way to prevent conflicts before they occur is to reduce the number of plugins that you use. Look for multi-functional plugins that meet multiple needs like Jetpack, which provides the functionality of dozens of plugins, including:

  • Detailed site statistics and analytics
  • A high-speed CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Lazy loading for images
  • Social sharing
  • Related posts
  • Infinite scrolling
  • Downtime monitoring
  • Brute force attack prevention
  • XML sitemaps
  • Custom CSS
  • Contact forms
  • Sidebar customization
  • Real-time backups and restores
  • Security scanning
  • Spam filtering

Check out the full list of Jetpack features. 

And since Jetpack was built and is maintained by Automattic, the people behind WordPress.com, you can be confident the code is well-written and doesn’t conflict with WordPress core.

2. Security risks

Every plugin you install introduces a level of risk, since code vulnerabilities can serve as access points for malicious attackers. As soon as a plugin or update is released, hackers go to work trying to penetrate them. 

Vulnerabilities can come from poorly written code or out-of-date plugins with easy entry points. Poorly written code allows hackers to inject malware, hijack your files, and in extreme cases, demand a ransom payment. Google might blacklist it, resulting in warnings and costing you valuable search engine rankings. In most cases, potential clients or customers will just leave.

If you’re hacked, you could lose years of work, sales, or your reputation. Business sites could lose critical information like online menus, service offerings, or client portals. 

There are a variety of security plugins that offer protection against malware, brute force attacks, and more. But which one should you use? How many do you need? Will they conflict with each other?

Solution: Jetpack’s all-in-one security suite

Jetpack provides a variety of free and paid security features that protect you from more than just plugin threats:

  • Website monitoring notifies you when your site goes down.
  • Brute force protection protects your site from traditional and distributed brute force attacks.
  • Security scanning includes anti-virus, malware, and threat detection for your WordPress site, along with one-click resolutions.
  • Secure sign-on allows you to use your WordPress.com credentials to register for and sign into your self-hosted websites quickly and securely.
  • Spam prevention automatically filters comments, pingbacks, and comment form submissions.
  • Backups keep snapshots of your site either daily or in real-time, and lets you restore a prior version with a click.

This holistic approach to security protects your site from all angles and allows you to focus on running your business or blog without worrying about hackers. Learn more about how Jetpack Backup provides peace of mind.

3. Poor website performance

Generally speaking, the more plugins you install, the more slowly your site will load. And the longer a website takes to load, the fewer visitors stick around. According to Google, 53% of people on phones and tablets leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. 

More plugins result in more code being run, more database lookups, and more server requests. When you combine the time it takes to load plugins with the time it takes to load other resources — images, CSS, Javascript, PHP, design elements, videos, etc. — your visitors’ browsers are doing a lot of work.

Solution: Speed up your site with Jetpack

Since speed is critical for happy users and good search engine rankings, Jetpack includes several features focused specifically on performance:

  • Lazy Images: only loads images on the screen, and loads other images as the user scrolls. 
  • Site Accelerator: optimizes and serves images and static files (like CSS and JavaScript) from a global network of servers.
  • Video Hosting: uses WordPress.com to serve your media so you can enjoy fast, reliable playback without slowing down your site with heavy video files.

Enable any or all of these features with just one click — no need to deal with complicated settings. 

The ultimate way to avoid WordPress plugin problems 

Plugins can help you build an amazing site. They can also lead to security vulnerabilities, slow websites, conflicts, and crashes. No matter what plugin issues you face, Jetpack can help. It provides the functionality of dozens of plugins, helping you to identify problems, restore backups, protect your site from hackers, and reduce your load time. 

If you’re ready to get started, read our Getting Started with Jetpack guide and get familiar with all of Jetpack’s tools, or check out the full feature list!

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Comments

  1. Hebta says:

    Hey thanks for the guide but I can not install any even the free because I am on free plan. What do you think?

    Like

    • Dat Hoang says:

      Hello Hebta,

      If you have a WordPress.com site, most of Jetpack features are available in your site already. You do not need to install Jetpack for it.

      If you’re using a self-hosted site, could you contact us via this contact form and give us more details?

      Like

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