I’ve made lists sharing my favorite plugins but never made a list of bad plugins. These are probably equally important to know as they’re known to cause many issues with sites, causing poor performance or conflicting with other plugins. I include the most popular “bad” ones below.
Bad WordPress plugins:
- Jetpack – probably public enemy #1. Shame on WordPress/Automattic for pushing resource hog on unsuspecting users. Jetpack is awful and slow even when you disable all modules. Between you and I, I think it’s there to spy on your sites and report back to Automattic. They only add “features” to it to justify you having it installed. Every feature it has you can find elsewhere for better performance. Want stats? Go with Google Analytics. Want image compression? Go with ShortPixel. Want related posts or content embeds, there are plugins for this! Want security features? Look elsewhere! (You can also check Toolbelt which is inspired by and similar to Jetpack, but better!)
- Slider Revolution (REV Slider) – awful bloated image slider plugin that comes bundled with many bloated themes. You can always take it out and replace with Metaslider or Smart Slider 3. Soliloquy used to be great/lightweight but has now been surpassed.
- UberMenu – seems fancy but mega bloat! It loads more CSS/JS than even a WordPress theme. If you really need a fancy menu, I suggest using Max Mega Menu instead.
- Contact Form 7 – I hate it for 2 main reasons: loading global its CSS/JS on every page, and not storing entries by default. Use Caldera instead.
- Thrive Comments – slow!
- Thrive Leads – tons of slow admin-ajax requests. Bloated. Not for serious production sites and absolutely awful if you have lots of traffic.
- Most pagebuilders in general.
- Redirection – please put redirects in your htacess or NGINX server config!
OK plugins, but some caveats:
- Widget Options – great plugin but adds about 150kb of autoload. It’s ok for a lightweight site but I think a little heavy for already big sites.
- Query Monitor – great for diagnosing things but don’t leave it running. It’ll slow down your admin section.
I’ll be adding more to this list regularly. Have others I should know about? Leave a comment below!
Hi there and thanks for the article. I thought about starting a WP blog like this but you beat me to it.
Please let me know if you are accepting independent contributors as I have many plugins I would like to write about.
For starters, W3 Total Cache. Worst.
I could totally use the contribution! Send me the list and why you hate them! 😀
Yeah w3 total cache is the worst of cache plugins. Instead of making my site faster it made my site super slow! I”m using wp-optimize now. It offers caching, image comprising, database cleaning and minify your css and js.
So you can add w3 total cache to the list and put other plugins like wp-optimize or wp super cache as alternatives.
Hi Johnny, looking for a Contact Form 7 alternative but seems Caldera see no more updates. Do you have any recommendations? Just need something basic which is reasonably user friendly and has file upload in the free version
Fluent Forms is the best PAID & FREE forms plugin for me. I don’t know if the free version has file upload, though. But it’s so worth paying for. You won’t go wrong in paying for it.
Gutenberg now needs to be here too 🙂 great list
Hahaha. Not on my site, it won’t. I (and to many other developers) love Gutenberg. 🙂
Slider Revolution was always complex to me but I didn’t bother trying other options since it came with most themes. Any case, I was fine with it in the past but they made a huge overhaul and changed up the entire user interface which had me struggling to work. In addition to relearning the entire plugin (basically a bloated app), I struggled to set different parameters for mobile responsive design. It’s not intuitive at all and definitely not user-friendly. I’ve been making websites for 15 years and this is the first time I’ve ever given up trying to learn something new because I got a headache from it. I installed a different slider plugin and I’m happy with it. If anyone is reading this, try something else. I didn’t pay extra because the plugin came with most of my themes but I highly recommend trying something else first.