More and more plugins orphaned

If you own a WordPress blog, you have at least one or two extensions activated. No wonder, because WordPress makes the use of plugins very easy. Just check the official plugin directory of WordPress.org search, find and install, your own blog has already been enhanced with another great feature. But every plugin also consumes memory, eats resources, often integrates scripts and other code, so it makes WordPress slower. And there is another problem, because many of the WordPress plugins are simply badly programmed and often outdated. A problem, which is now really rampant.

Almost half of all plugins are outdated

This recently found Luca Fracassi who presented some very interesting statistics. For example, only about 55 percent of all plugins in the official directory have been updated in the last 24 months. That means again, that about 45 percent of all WordPress plugins have been updated to WordPress.org are obsolete and have not been renewed within the last 24 months.

In figures, this is about 22,000 extensions that have received an update in the last two years. 19,000, on the other hand, are obsolete and, after two years without updates, might not even meet the minimum standards plugins should have to work safely and efficiently. Pretty hefty numbers, I think.

Lack of updates and motivation

Of course there are many reasons for missing updates. In the best case, an extension simply does not need an update, but this is very rarely the case, because WordPress also changes standards from time to time or existing ways become more efficient and possible with less code. It is more likely that the developer simply didn't succeed, doesn't find the time for free work anymore, outsources the plugin and offers a premium version, or simply doesn't feel like it anymore.

Anything is possible, because on WordPress.org anyone, really anyone can offer an extension. And as I said so aptly elsewhere: Even my grandma could do that after she fought her way through a tutorial. But how good the resulting WordPress plugin would be, should be clear to everyone.

Check quality of WordPress plugins

All this is the reason why you should not install WordPress plugins just like that. Before you even mention an extension, take a close look at when the last update was uploaded. Does the developer give support, is he available to answer questions, what are the ratings of the plugin and how long have the extensions been around? Has it been maintained for years, or did it just come out a week ago.

For many, motivation is high in the first few months, but then many hobby developers start to become careless. Also a reason why I am a fan of premium plugins. But even there the permanent support is by no means guaranteed. Especially not when sales are slow and the big financial success is missing. Codecanyon now offers support periods, which was bitterly necessary, because many of the premium plugins for WordPress offered there were also orphaned and unkempt.

Especially with complex functions that cannot be easily switched off later on, this means that you will have to develop the plugins yourself or have them developed by a freelancer in case of an emergency, if they should no longer be maintained. If only because of threatening security holes.

WordPress runs best without plugins

In the end, all this means that you should be careful when choosing a plugin. The general rule is to install as few extensions as possible, just for a good performance. Too many plugins paralyze WordPress very fast and moreover it's mostly the extensions that are spamming your blog with security holes.

And if these gaps are not closed because there are no more updates, you are a permanent target for attackers. So please, take a close look at each plugin and check its quality before you carelessly integrate it into your WordPress blog. Less is often more and without plugins WordPress still runs fastest, safest, simply best.

About Christian

My name is Christian and I am co-founder of the platform fastWP. Here in the magazine I am responsible for the more "technical" topics but I like to write about SEO, which has been my passion for over 10 years now.

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