Plugin Interactions Can Kill You

Medications

Plugin interactions can be deadly

Medications are supposed to help us heal and get better. However, sometimes one medication will interact with another and the results can be deadly. The pharmacist likes to know all other medications you are taking when they fill a new prescription.

You are the pharmacist for you blog.

When adding a plugin that is feature rich, (Like WordPress SEO) you have to make sure you don’t have competing plugins that will cause issues for your site.

I’m using WordPress SEO as an example because it does a lot for a single plugin. Here are a few things that recently caused significant issues for a friend of mine.

Ping

Besides having a dozen ping services setup in Settings-Writing WordPress SEO was sending out pings and so was a premium service plugin Pingler.

Every post was being pinged like a swarm of bees leaving the hive.

Be cautious of over pinging Google and other search engines. Send them a notice of a new post, no problem, Send the half a dozen . . .

Remove /Category/ from permalinks

This is a nice feature in WordPress SEO. There is a checkbox to get the category removed from the permalink when displaying categories.

My friend also had a plugin that removed the category from the permalinks activated. (CONFLICT) That’s not all, No where was it explained that if you have a post or page with the same name as a category (Would someone really do that?) Your category posts won’t show up because there are identical permalinks on your site.

WordPress SEO is amazing at submitting sitemaps. If you have it activated and setup it handles sitemaps like a champ. But what if you have two or three plugins creating sitemaps as well. I’ll not comment further on that one.

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Stew

I have several friends and clients that frequent tech groups like Active Rain or on Facebook where they gather infinite suggestions from “Experts” who are always freely giving out bad advice.

When WordPress SEO began to be noticed and written about a lot of people who were already using the All-In-One-SEO plugin were advised to get WordPress SEO because it was “Better”. What they didn’t happen to mention: DON’T HAVE BOTH OF THEM ACTIVE AT THE SAME TIME.

All of a sudden, sites started having issues. Google was blamed, The hosting company was blamed. A plugin was blamed. Their sites started to drop in the SERPs. Who was to blame? The site owner (That would be . . . YOU?) with both SEO plugins activated.

READ THE DIRECTION OR CURSE THE DARKNESS

There is a reason for documentation with plugins. The entire world isn’t run by simply clicking check boxes. Sometimes, you have to read.

You read contracts, You read Inspection Reports, You read to take continuing Ed classes; So why is it with the most important marketing tool we have on the web we don’t read the directions.

When installing a new plugin the first question to ask yourself; “Does this plugin do anything that I have another plugin doing now?” If so, The Highlander motto should be taken “There Can Be Only One“.

Comments

  1. Great advice Dave. I never really thought about some of these points. Very useful and helpful SEO advice.

  2. I am guilty of installing too many plugins because they sound good and are free or low cost, so how can they hurt. Lately I have been editing down my plugins to just those that I use. Never thought their combinations could be toxic. Thanks for the info!

  3. It’s true that not all plug-ins play nice but I’ve even had some problems with theme updates that made my custom property search stop working correctly. You are totally right that we take way to much advice from people who truly are not experts. You are not included in that group!