4 Activate-and-Go Plugins - dummies

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Certain WordPress plugins are easy to use because they don’t have any settings or features to interact with — these are activate-and-go plugins. You simply activate them, and they do what they are intended to do.

As with WordPress plugins as a whole, activate-and-go plugins offer a wide variety of features. The following list offers a sampling of activate-and-go plugins that you’ll find useful on your website:

  • AJAX Comment Loading: When pages and posts get large numbers of comments, they sometimes load more slowly, making the site seem sluggish. The AJAX Comment Loading plugin makes such pages and posts load much more quickly by having the content load first without the comments and then quietly pulling down the comments separately.

  • BBQ: Block Bad Queries: The BBQ plugin helps protect your site against attackers trying to exploit specific security vulnerabilities. This plugin doesn’t require any configuration — it automatically scans all requests coming into the site and protects against bad ones.

  • Disable WordPress Core Updates: The ability for WordPress to automatically update itself has been a tremendous help to WordPress users. Keeping WordPress updated not only offers new features and enhancements, but it also helps keep your site safe from attackers. For some users, the notification to update WordPress can become a distraction, especially if the site is run by many people but a single person is responsible for handling the site updates.

    The Disable WordPress Core Updates plugin disables the automatic checks for new WordPress versions while also disabling any notifications that a new version is available. WordPress can still be updated from the Dashboard, but the notifications are no longer shown.

  • Hotfix: Every day, new updates are created for WordPress. Some of these updates add new features, and others fix bugs (defects in the software). Some updates may not be released in a WordPress version for weeks or months. The Hotfix plugin provides some of these new fixes automatically so that sites can avoid known issues while waiting for the new WordPress version.

To use any of these plugins, simply install and activate them. When the plugin is activated, it starts doing its job.

For some plugins, such as the BBQ or Hotfix plugins, seeing the results of activating the plugin may be underwhelming as they simply do their work behind the scenes and don’t really change anything that is visible to you. However, just because you don’t see any immediate change, that doesn’t mean that the plugins aren’t doing their job.