WordPress Plugins, Unplugged: Webinar Q & A

We recently presented a webinar titled, ‘WordPress Plugins, Unplugged’. We had over 500 questions asked in session, so we will try to answer as many common questions as possible during this blog.

Also, in case you were unable to catch the webinar live, you can find a copy of the slide deck here.

Are plugins extensions?

Yes! Plugins are extensions that increase the functionality of your WordPress site.

Are all plugins compatible with Gutenberg?

No, not all plugins have been tested with Gutenberg. By checking to see if a plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress in the plugin description, you should be able to tell if it’s been tested or not (you should be on version 5.0 or higher at this point). As usual, we suggest only installing and activating plugins one at a time in order to see how they interact with your website.

Are there any common issues you’re seeing with Gutenberg and older plugins?

Maybe not common, but there are some plugins that have had some functionality issues with the way things are displayed on a site. The good news is that most major plugins are completely compatible.

Does Bluehost offer a free SSL?

Yes! We do offer a free SSL on all WordPress sites. Follow these steps to install it on your site today.

How do I know if a plugin is being used on my site or if it should be deleted?

If a plugin is not being used, it will give you the option to ‘Activate’ it, which means it is currently deactivated. Another way to tell is to see if plugin is doing it’s job on your site. If you have a newsletter plugin installed and Activated, but there is no option to subscribe to a newsletter, this could mean the plugin is not being used.

When you search for a plugin, there are usually tons that come up. How do you decide which is better?

In all honesty, there will likely always be 100s of options for anything you search. You should decide based on whether the plugin is still being maintained by the developer (last update), the reviews and ratings, compatibility with your version of WordPress, and maybe even the number of times it’s been installed. You will just have to make a decision at some point, so I would just say the one that feels like it has the most readily available information that checks all of the boxes.

Is Akismet free?

Yes, here is the link for the plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/

Is Jetpack free?

Yes, here is the link for the plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/

What if you are just getting started and selecting a theme?

The default theme, Twenty Nineteen, will automatically be your theme. This theme works perfectly in a lot of cases and can be used until another theme is chosen. But don’t worry, we will have a webinar about themes soon.

Does Yoast work with Visual Composer?

It seems quite a few people listed this as an issue last year, but I do not see any current comments since the WordPress 5.0 release. Feel free to follow this thread on WordPress.org.

It seems quite a few people listed this as an issue last year, but I do not see any current comments since the WordPress 5.0 release. Feel free to follow this thread on WordPress.org.

Are there plugins that will show your latest posts or Tweets?

There are thousands of plugins that can do this. To choose one, I would start here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/search/social/

Should I use more than one security plugin?

Not always suggested as you may end up with a compatibility issue with the two running at the same time. If you want to know about two specific plugins, I would call or chat with our support team about them.

Is there an easy way to test plugins before publishing?

Yes, if you are a Bluehost customer, you can get access to a staging environment in order to test plugins on a copy of your site before testing on your live site. If your account was created after July 2017, you can simply click the Bluehost icon in the lefthand corner of your WordPress admin dashboard and choose the option for Staging, You’ll need to follow the prompts to complete this.

If you were a Bluehost customer before July 2017, we are updating your cpanel soon, so you will have the same ability shortly. Until then you can follow the below steps to access staging:

  • Download the plugin from here: http://blue.host/Ng4F30mCcod
  • Click on “Plugins”, then “Add New”
  • Click on “Upload Plugin”
  • Select the plugin zip file and upload to the WordPress site
  • Activate the plugin
  • Login to your WordPress site via WordPress Tools from the Bluehost cPanel

If you would like to see a visual representation of staging, please look at this slide deck and follow slides 43-59.

If I am a Bluehost customer, does this mean I use wordpress.org vs wordpress.com?

Yes, this is correct. WordPress.com is paid would come with hosting, therefore you would not need a web hosting company like Bluehost.

Which events calendar plugin would you suggest?

There are over 50,000 plugins on WordPress.org. I do not have a personal recommendation, although there are so many that are highly reviewed and rated. I would start with this search and try one to see if you like it!

My UpdraftPlus file is too large, how should I store it?

They give you the option to upload directly to the cloud. Consider doing it that way!

Slides can be found here.

Thanks for joining us. Please let us know if there are any other questions we can answer for you.

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