Plug-Ins aren’t always ‘Plug-and-Play’

Published on February 10th, 2016

What’s wrong with plug-ins?

Installing a plug-in without hiring a proper expert can often be a slippery slope. A number of businesses may end up wasting a lot of unnecessary time on plug-ins. But it might just be a common and straight-forward case of ‘buyer-beware.’

Are you a small business who manage your own websites and plug-ins without expert knowledge? This will be something that is in your best interests to read.

Quite simply, a ‘plug-in’ can be defined as:

a software component that adds or extends the functionality to an existing computer program or website.

So if you’ve ever installed breadcrumbs to see where people are going on your site or if you’ve been collecting emails on your MailChimp account from your website. If you’ve added an Instagram feed to your website’s homepage, or even if you’ve needed a simple CAPTCHA on your site to protect it from spam, it is likely that these functionalities have been enabled by plug-ins.

Plug-ins are great in the business-speaking world when looking for solutions to missing website functionalities, but over the years the word has taken on a new meaning almost entirely.

“There’s a plug-in for that.”

There are countless times that we hear and use this phrase in the web industry, and many customers seem to understand it quite well. In today’s modern day and age, most processes are automated and many functions are completed at the click of a finger. As a result, the word “plug-in” has almost become a buzz word that easily translates to most businesses as: “adds functionality with the flick of a switch.”

Unfortunately, this ‘switch’ required to turn make these plug-ins work within your website can require a whole lot of coding and customising prior to actually having some good use behind them. Many customers can end up breaking their websites trying to make these changes themselves, and it’s a problem that we see all too often. Which is where we come in.


WordPress sites have access to thousands of free, and paid, plug-ins. If you have admin access to WordPress, you’ll see a menu area specifically dedicated to them.

Where we can help.

Many customers seek out our help after buying plug-ins. The most common reason for this is because they haven’t worked on their site without an expert level of customisation.

Small business owners can get themselves into a rut. Maybe they click the “publish” or “update” button, and things just don’t work how they want to. Or maybe they don’t work at all.

In some cases, it is best to get rid of the plug-in altogether and go with a custom-made approach. Plug-ins are often a “one-size-fits-most” solution, with many extra features, or “bloat”, that you will never use. In most cases, a tailored solution, like those we develop for our customers every day, is preferable.

A plug-in may offer super helpful functions for your site. However, you may require hours of customisation. You may also require expert coding before a plug-in is well and truly ready to work on your website. Need help installing a plug-in? Ask us here.

– The Team at Webtron.

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