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WordPress Plug-in Hell

WordPress users must manage plug-ins carefully to avoid overloading their site and harming SEO. Overuse of resource-intensive plug-ins like JetPack and Yoast can lead to a sluggish site and HTTP 504 Errors. An effective strategy to identify problematic plug-ins is the ‘Plug-in Wipe Out Game,’ where all plug-ins are deactivated, then reactivated individually to test their impact on site performance. The author’s experience shows Yoast caused significant slowdown, indicating it may not handle large sites well, leading them to consider Rank Math as an alternative. Site performance is vital for search engine visibility, so finding the right balance of plug-ins is critical.

Wordpress staging site close up shot of a typewriter plug-ins

Staging Site for WordPress testing

I utilized a staging site provided by DreamHost to develop and try out new upgrades for their large financial site. Projects in progress include a theme change, testing a new mobile page creation plugin, and deciding between Yoast and MathRank for SEO. They learn from their initial errors on the staging site and plan to document their actions and streamline the plugins and ads on the site. They also note the challenges of designing mobile pages and testing SEO tools. For SEO testing, the author considers conducting tests on the live site, emphasizing the importance of site back-ups.