How WordPress Plugins Crashed a Six-Figure Website

There are times when a business grows that they decide to change the name of the business. In this case, the owner, Cassie, decided to move from a personal brand into a full business, Redefined Weight Loss. That would mean that they would have to move their website to a new domain. That’s typically not a problem… unless your website takes over two minutes to load!

So, how can this issue help your website? Read on to learn from the mistakes of others…

Finding the Problem

Before we could move the domain, I had to find the problem that was causing this issue. She has a lot of traffic going to her website, so it was something that needed to get fixed FAST as it was losing her thousands of dollars a day.

So, I did what every good WordPress technician does, look at the plugins…. and WOW did my mouth drop! This leads me to my first tip to those who run their website.

Don’t Use A Lot Of Plugins!

This site had over 50 plugins on their system! The worst part of it was that many of them simply were not needed or were not active. This is not something a six-figure business has time to worry about as it will greatly impact your websites performance.

You have dozens of plugins conflicting with each other, which was draining the resources. Once I determined that was the primary factor, there were other issues why the site was profoundly slow.

Update Your Plugins

What would happen if you didn’t change the oil in your car? It would eventually kill the engine. The same concept applies here. You have to continually, and regularly, update your plugins.

Updating your plugins keeps your code up-to-date. Code has to be updated regularly because hackers continually look for ways to break through the security measures provided by the plugins and WordPress.

On top of plugin conflicts, there were plugins that were not updated, causing HUGE security holes in the websites defenses. Even the best security plugin (which was installed) wouldn’t be able to stop a hacker very well at this point.

Conflicting Plugins

The biggest issue was removing the unnecessary plugins and identifying the conflicting plugins. It took over a week to do this!

One of the biggest takeaways from this is to properly maintain your WordPress platform and always consult with a professional when adding to your website.

You may be wondering, what else could go wrong? Midway between the move to the new domain it happened… the origin website crashed… and I wasn’t done with the move!

Fixing the Problem

Conflicting plugins can cause major issues. One of the most catastrophic issues is damaging the database associated with your website. Once the problem gets there, expect to pay a lot of money to fix it because you need a full stack developer to get involved.

Fortunately for my client, I know my way around the code and database WordPress uses.

I wont go into detail on this article on how I fixed the problem. The basic gist is that I had to manually copy information found in the origin database to the new domains database. It was very tedious and time consuming. And it all could have been avoided if the website was properly maintained.

Conclusion

Once all the problems were identified, I was able to get this site fixed and moved over. Unfortunately, it was still slow because many of the plugins conflict with one another. Still, it was fully operational and was no longer taking minutes to load.

The purpose of this post is to show that, like a car, you have to maintain your website. WordPress has an engine, the plugins are the bells-and-whistles (like a stereo), and the theme is the body, how it looks. They all have to work together, and once you need to add functionality to your website, you need someone that knows what they’re doing to prevent what happened here.

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