WordPress Plugin versus Custom Programming

I have not been listening to my own advice again.

Why do something that someone else has already done, and especially if it is actually easier to use their program than it is to do it myself?

The best example of this is WordPress Plugins. For the longest time I would code everything myself. As an example I did my own SEO programming and it worked well, but, I discovered as I moved from blog to blog I had to do a lot of extra work that I would not have to do if I had used a WordPress Plugin. So I started looking to replace all my custom programming with WordPress plugins, and I can not tell you how much easier it is to manage my blogs now.

I also found that in some cases the plugins were better than what I had done myself, ouch. But hey, that is the idea, use the software that gets the job done and is the easiest to maintain. I will say that in some cases I think a particular WordPress plugin can be improved, in that case I try to do one of two things, improve it and send it to the originator, or comment on the originating blog and give them my idea.

Here is a list of my current favorite WordPress plugins I am using on the majority of my blogs.

Akismet

All in One SEO Pack

Custom Query String Reloaded

CyberExcerpt

Get Recent Comments

Google Analytics

Google XML Sitemaps

Recommended Tags

Show Top Commentators

WP-ContactForm

Using WordPress Plugins can certainly help you manage your blog better without all the additional work. Just make sure to test each plugin carefully before rolling out in full production. I have found some plugins may cause problems with other plugins and that even the order in which you install them can sometimes cause issues. The best thing to do is setup a sub domain with WordPress that is not indexed in the search engines and use it as a test site.

10 thoughts on “WordPress Plugin versus Custom Programming

  1. Hi David,
    this is one of this posts with which I come up with alot of questions.

    1) All in One SEO Pack: which settings do you use for this plugin ?

    2) Google XML Sitemaps: in a post on BMB you suggested to use the software Gsite crawler to generate the sitemap. Do you now use this plugin instead ?

    3) I’ve noticed that you use a lot of tags and Google Custom Search keywords on the bottom of each post. Do you think that having so many tags and keywords could hurt ?

    ciao
    alex

  2. @Alex, Yes I did say that about the Sitemaps, but I changed due to volume of blogs. I use the default SEO Pack settings, except I add Tag Pages. The tag & CSE pages listed on each post have greatly increased my SERPS and income. I think tag pages are the most overlooked item on most blogs.

    @beth, I can not disagree with you, and there are few more picky than me. But when dealing with as many sites as I do, and limited time, it is nearly impossible to be that picky. Plus I have the advantage of being able to rewrite any plugin to fit my needs.

  3. @Garry, thanks for the mention, and I am glad I could help you.

    @George, thanks George. I know I have reinvented a few wheels in my day! Now, if you could drive down I 59 just south of you to Praseks Smokehouse and send me some kolaches!! Man, I miss South Texas.

  4. I think we all get lazy at one time or another. I like to code, but if there is already a program or script out there, I generally go with it rather than write my own. Can’t blame you for using a public plugin!

  5. Excellent website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Bless you!

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