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Why remove unused WordPress plugins

WordPress is a wonderful CMS and has a lot of advantages. You can add functionality to your website by installing and using plugins. There’s a good reason to be selective, though.

“But I love my plugins…”

If you have too many plugins on your website, it may slow to a crawl. That’ll result in frustrated visitors who’d rather leave than wait for a page to load. Although page speed has always been a factor, it is even more important now that the majority of website visitors are using mobile devices to browse the internet instead of desktop computers. And, we all know that mobile connections are slower. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a page to take twice as long to load on a mobile device than a wired connection.

Why too many plugins slow a website down

Many plugins load additional javascript and css files to your web pages.  The more files that have to be downloaded, the longer it will take. Think of toll booths on a highway during a holiday weekend. No FastLane here! The more cars there are, the longer it takes to get going.

Also, not all additional files are created equal. Much like sitting behind a tractor vs. a speedy little import; the bigger the file, the longer the wait.

If that’s not reason enough, these additional files are loaded on every page of your website; not just the page you use the plugin on.

Take inventory and be judicious

Look over your website. You’ll likely see a lot of elements that are driven by plugins: mega menus, mobile menus, slide shows, video players, contact forms, shopping carts, analytics and tracking, collapsing boxes, tabs, page builders… well, you get the point. There’s a WHOLE LOT of options. Some things are absolute essentials. Other things are just nice little do-dads that may only be used on 1 or 2 pages.

If you can cut back on the number of plugins you use, you’ll see a performance boost. You can measure the difference by using page speed tools, like Think with Google.

“Can’t I have my cake and eat it, too?”

Well, yes, but it’ll take a developer who really knows WordPress (ahem… shameless plug: fill out the form on this page). It’s not a quick fix. It’ll take time to evaluate the site, and map out a custom solution. In the end, though, you’ll have a well built and fast loading website. Just don’t keep adding more and more plugins. If you go this route, though, you really shouldn’t need to!


Product development firm HubSpot templates

Worked with a product development firm that specializes in medical equipment. The company designed the website internally. They needed someone to build out their designs on the HubSpot COS.

In order to streamline the development process, an examination of all of the developed comps was performed to identify design elements that could be reused across templates.

Custom modules were developed to bring to life the vision of the company while coding the site for speed and performance. Related CSS and Javascript files are only loaded on the pages that need them.

Global modules were developed to make maintaining the website simpler and more consistent where possible.

Made recommendations on how the content should  be entered into the COS, explaining the procs and cons of using blog templates or storing information in HubDB. The main blog, press and events were all developed as custom blog templates.

Developed the company’s portfolio section using custom modules that can be dragged and dropped into place to make organizing and re-ordering projects a breeze.

Developed the system templates to ensure that search, email subscription pages and error pages match the company’s brand.

Staged all of the templates with initial page content. Provided visual instructions and documentation including video screencasts for the staff member’s responsible for entering and updating content.

Launched the website, retired all of the old templates and assets, cleaned out the HubSpot instance including checking header and footer code and content settings.

The INI Group’s Initial Site Launch

We’ve just launched the new website for The INI Group. Tony Asaro, the Founder and CEO of The INI Group, and I have worked together on several projects over the years. He’s a very dynamic and knowledgeable person, which comes across in his videos. The site is still in its infancy. Keep your eye on the site as more content is added. The site will expand as an on-going resource to help people in the IT industry to keep up with the ever changing face of technology.

Congratulations, Tony. As always, it’s a pleasure working with you!

The INI Group

The INI Group is an analyst, consulting, research and strategy firm focused on the high tech industry. The website was designed and built by Valley Web Design Company. It features videos, podcasts, commentary, and blog posts specific to the technology industry. Our goal was to deliver an easy to maintain information rich website that is easy to navigate. The site’s initial launch in November 2018 is in it’s most basic state. The structure and architecture to support the site as it grows in content is already in place.

Professional Consultant Website

A professional consultant needed a website to promote his services. The solution was a fresh installation of WordPress with a custom theme. The site is designed to make maintenance as simple as possible. The latest content and upcoming events are automatically promoted on the homepage.  The events displayed are the 3 closest future events. The website also promotes articles, videos, podcasts, and books produced by this individual. YouTube videos are embedded on the website and adjust in size based on the device size of the site visitor.

Access Telemarket

Access Telemarket hired us to redesign their existing web site. The project goals were to project a professional image, organize the web site content, make the site SEO friendly, and add a content management system (CMS) so the client can add and edit content when needed.

web content details

We researched appropriate keyword phrases for Access Telemarket and worked with them to refine their content to improve their ranking in search engine results.

custom web programming details

We built a custom web application that allows Access employees to update their own website content. The CMS powers all of the content pages, including the case studies and client testimonials sections.

online marketing details

We created several text and image ads for a pay-per-click online ad campaign. Access Telemarket has reported to us that they are getting more calls from the campaign, and are getting better quality leads.

Cloud Computing Consulting Firm

Worked with the internal design team of a premier cloud services and software company for enterprises moving to AWS, Google, Microsoft and other leading cloud platforms.

The staff of this client has the technical expertise to manage content and enter HTML. To ensure consistency across the site, short codes were developed as part of the custom WordPress theme to create the article blocks used throughout the site. These blocks of content are responsive and change format based on the size of the screen the site visitor is using.

The main post template was coded to allow an incredible amount of flexibility in the layout which is controlled with a series of optional custom fields.

This theme features, related content, tags to sort and group content in addition to categories, optional promotional areas that can be turned on and off, sub-navigation menus that can be added to a group of pages using a drop down menu, author biographies to build thought leadership for contributors, and more.

Recruiting Firm HubSpot Website

A recruiting firm with a specialized niche needed a design refresh for their HubSpot website. Built a set of custom COS templates of the given design.

This website features a robust resource center which features books for sale on third party websites, videos, presentations, external blog posts and hand-picked internal blog posts. The resources are stored in HubDB tables, which are easy to maintain. Each resource type has its own table fields that are specific to the type of resource. The results are combined and sorted by date and displayed in a wall. Each resource type has a different look, making it easy to recognize what a resource is just by looking at it. Users can filter the resource center by selecting a specific resource type at the top of the page. Videos in a series are re-sorted in order by season and episode when selected.

The blog listing page has a featured blog post that spans the top of the screen and 12 blog posts below that are displayed as evenly sized and spaced blocks. The blog post page has a related posts section based on the post’s topics. The sidebar of the blog post template features a site wide call-to-action and promotes the company’s email newsletter.

Leadership Training Website

This company is a leader in providing executive training. The site was completely redesigned and built on the HubSpot COS. The web site contains several program registration pages, landing pages, and a blog.

Custom programming: the site includes registration pages with HubL code that adjusts the content of the page in response to the user’s input. Registration and pricing information changes based on the date. The closer to the event, the less the discount. Users submit their payment via an payment gateway.

“I shared the comps with a few others on our team – everyone is really excited about the direction here!”
—MC, Director of Marketing

Online continuing education program

Valley Web Design Company created the continuing education program for and SCA. This program allows participants to download course materials, pay for and take a post-test online to receive contact hours.

Account reps of the sponsor can purchase coupons and hand them out to prospective clients. These coupons allow the participants to take the course for free.

There is also an administration interface that allows the program administrator to view participant information, print cover letters, certificates of completion for participants, and corrected quizzes for mailing to the participant.

If you can dream it, we can build it!

Action Community Counseling

Action Community Counseling is a private practice that is actively involved in the community to bring awareness about mental health, and works with a diverse population in the Merrimack Valley. We designed their logo and built an elegant website for them in a very timely manner. We also helped them determine what types of content would be useful for their audience.

The website is fully responsive, adjusting to the width of the device being used to access the website.

web content details

The client had much of their content in order, which we always welcome. During our initial consultation, we suggested several additions, which were implemented for the initial website launch.

web design details

The client wanted soothing colors for a relaxed feel. We developed several possible color schemes for them and built out the website adhering to the selected theme. We also designed their logo.