WordPress Plugins: Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy
One of the most frequent complaints we get is that someones website is slow or that the server load on a VPS is extremely high. Time and time again, we investigate the issue only to find out, the user or a website on the VPS has a TON of WordPress plugins installed and activated. Sometimes multiple plugins doing the exact same task. Just like your computer at home, when you have a lot of startup programs running, your computer becomes slow and unresponsive, the same thing can happen to your website or VPS. The solution is easy however and your website or VPS can return back to its fast state. Below we will give you some tips to help improve the speed and resource management of websites that use WordPress.

1.) Remove any and all duplicate plugins. You do not need 5 SEO plugins, pick the one that works best for you and remove the rest.
2.) Remove unneeded and unused plugins. How often are you going to use the WordPress Importer? Just once, if that! Use it and remove it.
3.) Use only plugins that have been tried and tested. There are a lot of poorly written WordPress plugins out there that cause memory leaks and are inefficient at resource management. Do not use them, they are more trouble than they are worth.
4.) Keep WordPress and your plugins updated. Newer versions fix previous bugs, improve stability, and fix security holes. If you are using outdated plugins or even an outdated WordPress installation, your website is at risk.
5.) Spammers LOVE WordPress. Keep one good spammer plugin installed and remove the rest. We highly recommend Stop Spammers. It's fast, it's free, it gets the job done.
6.) Plugins that consistently modify images are real resource hogs. Look for one that modifies the image once, preferably on upload, and doesn't touch it again.

As with any piece of technology, the key is to keep it clean and keep it lean. If you fatten it up with a bunch of plugins, especially duplicate plugins, you only have yourself to blame for a sluggish website. Finally, if you run a VPS and have a lot of WordPress installations, we highly recommend installing a server side cache program such as Varnish (which we can install for you too). Not only does Varnish help speed up websites but it is less resource intensive than Apache. If you really want a fast responsive website, remove excess plugins and have us install Varnish.
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