Recently we were hired to correct some errors on an existing WordPress driven website and it was just stacked.
WordPress has a wonderfully intuitive plugin search and installer but it does not mean that you should install every plugin returned in the search results. It is simply providing a list which you need to scan through, and based on the ratings and reviews, make the decision to use ONE (1).
The website owner had loaded his WordPress system with over 800 plugins, many performing the similar task, and then another 200 plus themes. So much that conflicts developed and the site crashed.
We ended up deleting all plugins and developed a custom theme to do just what he needed.
Nothing is going to be absolutely simple. Time is required to make your website be ideally suitable to you and your visitors.
When researching WordPress plugins:
- Determine exactly what you really need. Usually it is based on a function you saw at another website. Type into the WordPress plugin search field as close a description of what you saw eg: 'slide show with slide text'. If you use just 'slideshow', the result list will be massive.
- From the returned results, read the description and if it interests you, click the Details link associated with the result and read until you are satisfied that it is for you. Do not judge based on the ratings only. A plugin will show 5 stars if only one person gave it five stars and that person may be the developer.
- Combine rating + download count + reviews to decide. The goal is to use stable plugins developed by stable authors.
- Install and activate the one you prefer and be sure to adjust the settings if included, then start using.
- If after testing you decide the plugin does not satisfy your needs, deactivate and delete. Do not incur clutter.
Many times the best plugins will have a price. Respect the developer's price and pay for it. If your website means business to you, invest properly in it to gain stable functionality.