July is Clean Up Unused Plugins Month

Dustpan and brushI’m declaring this to be “Clean-up Un-used Plug-ins Month

I know I didn’t need the hyphens. I’m trying to be a little creative as a Dial-up Geek.

I’m always installing new plug-ins here at the lab to test and see if they will add functionality or enhance the presentation of the blog.

However, sometimes I don’t have a real use for them, or I replace that functionality with a different plug-in. But I don’t deactivate the old or unused plug-in.
Why this is important to you

Plug-ins can add code to your posts

Three things can happen:

  1. You slow down the load time of your blog because it is going out and getting something that plug-in needs and it isn’t even active.
  2. You are moving the content of your blog down further on the page for the search engine bots.
  3. You (in some cases) are providing one way links out to those plug-in author sites and all you did was activate the plug-in.

These are Great Plug-ins Podpress and Next Gen Gallery

I activated each of these plug-ins to do some experimenting which I never got around to doing.   While looking at my page source today (because I changed do follow plug-ing)   I noticed a lot of lines of code going out to these two plug-ins.   I knew I hadn’t used either one.   I deactivated them and as expected the code went away and my page was smaller with 6 less lines of code and javascript calls.

Cleaning it up in July

Open any post and view source.   If you see a lot of calls to plugin files you aren’t using on your blog then I would suggest you deactive them.   Some plugins don’t put code or calls on your blog.   But you might want to deactivate any plugins you aren’t using even if they don’t add additional code and load time.

With everything else we have to do it is hard to set aside some time to do a little house cleaning.   Now is the time to Unplug those Plug-ins you aren’t using.


  1. Hey Dave;

    We must live in parallel universes somehow…June and July have turned into spring cleaning for blogs months for me.

    I have a ton of unused plugins installed and it is time…grin. Between that an all of the upgrades to 2.5 and warding off hackers, not much sleep!

  2. @EricBlackwell – Our Paths don’t cross near as often as they should.

    Hope things are better, been following your posts on BHB. Sorry you got hit. Takes a lot of time and effort to recover.

    I have about 6 blogs I should upgrade to 2.5. Play the odds game at not getting hit. But my themes break on 2.5 so have to replace them which is a headache and deterrent to getting the job done.

    Hope you are having a good summer.

  3. You are correct. They should cross more often!

    My family and I head to Orlando next week for the Autism Society convention again…sadly not this time in AZ…

    Sorry to hear about 2.5 breaking your themes, I have been lucky to date with mine.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about NextGen…great plugin…did a single property blog with it…really flexible and integrates nicely…i am working on using it in a header next..will let you know how it goes.

    Happy 4th, my friend!

  4. @EricBlackwell – I’ve not had good luck with NextGen. I can never get the pages to look right. I don’t know what it is, spent a lot of time trying to get it to display, but never does. It might be the theme css interfering.

    Here is an example of what happens when I try and use it http://is.gd/Lw1

    If you can spot what is causing this I would appreciate it, but only if you can do it without investing time.

    I’m still using lightbox, coolplayer and Slide to display individual images on my single property sites.

    Can you provide a site with the NextGen functioning?

  5. I did this one for Holly White in Nashville. http://www.livinginbellerive.com It does not use the gallery feature, but the slideshow feature. I will be doing two vacation home rental ones this weekend. They will have both gallery AND slideshow functions working. This nashville one uses Ryan Ward’s single Property theme. It rocks IMO and has good directions so that most folks can find their way through it just fine.

  6. @EricBlackwell – Never tried the slideshow, guess I forgot all about that aspect of it.

    I really wish I could get the gallery part to format.

  7. I will find out what the right “aspirin to Mt Dew ratio” is for that this weekend and let you know! (grin) Take care.


  8. Another good thing to do to help speed up page load time is get rid of those unnecessary php calls in the theme itself. For example, you don’t need “php bloginfo(‘name’); wp_title()” – You can just write your blog title there instead. Getting rid of unused plug-ins though is hands down the easiest way to make the pages load faster.

  9. Agreed Chelle.

    Also, moving NEEDED bits of code down to the footer file can speed load time on some themes as well.

  10. Sorry if this is off topic, but speaking of plugins. What’s the name of the plugin that alerts visitors with a message that says “if you’re new hear, please subscribe” I have seen it on a few blogs but I haven’t been able to figure out the plugin name.


  11. @Brad Carroll – Dakno – That is the “What Would Seth Grodin Do” plugin. I do think it does help add subscribers by reminding them it is easy to subscribe and and follow new posts.

  12. Thanks Dave. I have been searching for that plugin for some time!