(or what plug ins do I use?)
As few as possible. Preferably none.
Plug in shopping surely is fun, even I’ll admit that. You’re happy about each new acquisition, look proudly over your collection, and indeed played a bit with each and every one of them.
Back in my blind days I had anywhere between 6 and 42 plugins installed per site. Every new plugin promised the final turn to the best… and in some weird way filled me with a sense of accomplishment.
But then? Talk about wilting…
To make long things short: Free plugins frequently suffer from vanishing developer syndrome – next WP update on the market and all the support gone for good.
Cash & carry commercial plugins hardly fare any better. Once they had their launch “pay day”, they are already doomed to die from insufficient nutrition and never reach upgraded states.
You know any exceptions? Sadly neither do I.
Plugins make bad partners. They hardly ever harmonize with each other (nor with you, if you gave it closer consideration.)
When I actually thought about all the hoops I’d been jumping through, I realized plugin choreography was a time consuming and frustrating affair lacking not only beautiful dancers, but also and most importantly scalability.
Which is to say: as long as you have only one site, you can surely remember each and every one of its 57 plugins.
But who on earth wants to have a one sited affair? Especially in these days when we all know that real moneymaking marketing invariably involves a big lot of sites?
Now you want to remember which plugins play along nicely on which site and in which version number? Let alone debugging and fine-tuning them?
Which is why the various WPManagement tools out there can’t possibly perform. They for the most part are just multi-plugin jugglers, which centralize a problem instead of solving it.
But hey, these management tools were made by people, who never really experienced modern market warfare.
Nor did I five years ago. I started off with a handful of sites and felt totally happy when they even brought cash.
It was just later that I started thinking about scalability – though simple it may seem.
If you can get five sites performing, how do you get 500 sites performing just as well but without any additional effort?
And only if you can, you have a right to talk about scalability.
But scalability is the clue on the internet market. You just have to accept that Internet marketing is not, cannot and never will be your good ole’ mom & pop shop – and therefore survival is depending on scalability.
Don’t believe me? Well, look around, how many of your childhood’s mom & pop shops actually survived?
And unfortunately your 5 site Internet network will get flushed down the drain just as well. Only faster.
This will happen the very day when a mean pro fills your favorite niche with his 500 site fleet. Remember what Wal-Mart did to Mom & Pop shop.
Not going to happen? He won’t find my niche?
Read my post “How I test a market niche” and you’ll know that fateful day is near. Once reality sets in, you’ll realize the urgency to fill your niches before other people do.
So don’t try to conquer “new horizons” while already forfeiting your home turf advantage.
So now what plugin do I use for this purpose?
But even I have to compromise once in a while. AT the core of every one of my sites ticks the STAR Node plugin. And that’s about enough.
There are very few exceptions. I still might want another plugin if and only if a site gets heavily spammed.
Another case is sites reaching resource limits from too heavy traffic. Once that happens, I use a cache plugin to reduce the load.
Anything else I could realistically need is already built into Mothership.
And as anything worthwhile and scalable will come up in the future, I’ll add it to Mothership. As will others via WarpWorx App Station.