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 on your WordPress website — there are currently thousands available in the WordPress repository.
But with this unlimited flexibility comes responsibility, since each new plugin introduces its own set of potential issues, from site slowdowns to crashes and compatibility issues. 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 live site, get messages like “Internal server error,” or even the dreaded “White Screen of Death”? A plugin conflict is probably the culprit.
WordPress is an open-source platform, so anyone can create a plugin and upload it to the WordPress.org plugin repository. Since plugins are built by people with different skill levels, habits, and knowledge, it’s not uncommon for even premium 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 plugin developers’ support team fixes the issue – assuming that your request gets noticed and doesn’t just get buried deep in their support forums. 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 troubleshoot a plugin conflict is to manually deactivate each of your plugins, one by one, until the problem goes away. Not only can going through your WordPress dashboard deactivating loads of plugins take up half your day, but your site isn’t going to look or function properly while you’re figuring it out. You’ll typically have to look through loads of different tutorials and step-by-step guides written in support forums by other WordPress users from ages past – and there’s no guarantee that what worked for them will work for you.
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 save yourself all that time troubleshooting is to prevent conflicts before they occur by reducing 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
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 your site, resulting in warnings and damaging your SEO efforts. In most cases, potential clients or customers will just leave, and you might not even be able to access your WordPress admin panel to fix it, meaning that you’ll have to contact your hosting provider to fix the problem.
If you’re hacked, you could lose years of work, eCommerce 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 in to 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.
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.
- 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! You can also check out our web host FAQ to make sure that Jetpack will run smoothly on your chosen hosting company.
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