The story starts with a slow website
Over the past several weeks I noticed that my site was getting slower and slower. Not from the outside perspective but when I was logged in and trying to write and publish posts.
Because I host this site at WP Engine my first step was to contact their support. I didn't know if it was just me or if it was something going on with their infrastructure.
It turns out it was just my site. They weren't doing upgrades or other maintenance that might have been the cause. And while they couldn't figure out what was going on, they did introduce me to a plugin I had somehow missed late last year when it was released.
Thankfully, it ended well (for me)
It's called Query Monitor, is free, and Sarah Gooding did a great job describing it for WP Tavern.
Thankfully, hosts like WP Engine and SiteGround have staging environments. So I quickly started looking at what was going on with the plugins on my site.
Within a couple hours of testing, I had found a few plugins that were contributing to the issue and deactivated them.
But I was lucky – what if you're not?
See, the thing is, I was lucky. Because I was fine deactivating the couple plugins that were worrisome.
What if they were key parts of my site's functionality? What if I couldn't deactivate them without causing serious issues on my site?
That's what I want to talk about today – what do you do if the plugin that you have on your site is a) critical and b) performing poorly?
But first, let's talk about Target
Were you like my family this past holiday season? Did you get a special letter from Target wishing you a merry – wait, no that wasn't it. Did they tell you that there may have been a breach and your card data may have been stolen?
Following that up, we got letters and emails from Chase letting us know they were going to be producing new cards for my wife (I luckily hadn't stepped into Target for the holidays).
And then it got worse. Because with each week, we heard more dribs and drabs about how bad it had actually been. The breach was larger than previously thought. PIN codes were actually stolen. And on it went.
If you experienced any part of this, you likely came away with the same three takeaways I did:
- Get in front of the story and make your own announcement
- Get all the info before making assurances
- Get professional help before you start communicating
But now you're wondering what this has to do with poor performing plugins, right?
Let me introduce you to Reaktiv Studios
If you were the CEO of Target, you'd be smart to look for a crisis management company. But let's say you own a website instead. And it's performing poorly.
What you need is a company that will help you figure out how bad things really are.
What you need is a company that will help you figure out what you'll need to fix.
What you need is a company that will help you fix the issues.
And that's why you need to put Andrew Norcross (known commonly by his twitter handle, Norcross) and his company, Reaktiv Studios, into your phone.
I have read the reports they create when they do a plugin analysis and it's sheer gold. It highlights all the risk and performance issues. And that's great if you're a plugin developer.
But it's even more important if you aren't the plugin developer and you simply need to make sure your own site and your customers don't suffer because a plugin may not be coded well.
So do me a favor – head over to Reaktiv Studios and check out what they call Code Therapy – it may just be what the doctor ordered.