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5 Popular WordPress Plugins You Need to Ditch Now!

We all want to speed up our blogs and one of the easiest ways to do that is by removing WordPress Plugins that impact load speed, and provide little value for our readers. Personally I have nothing against any of these plugins or their developers.5 WordPress Plugins You Need to Ditch.pngAnd as far as I know, each one of them does a fine job of living up to the expectations of bloggers who install them (in terms of functionality and purpose). But quite frankly, in the grand scheme of things, we can certainly live without them.

Give These 5 WordPress Plugins the Boot!

Akismet – this spam detection plugin developed by the creators of WordPress is old skool. If you’re not using GASP – the GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin then you should follow the lead of hundreds of forward thinking WordPress bloggers who are. Akismet users often find their friends and close collaborators comments buried somewhere in the spam folder waiting to be rescued. In some cases, Akismet will automatically delete our friends comments and we never see them!

Zemanta – I am surprised to see that over 80,000 people have downloaded the Zemanta plugin, but it’s not necessary to have this plugin installed on your blog. Zemanta is a neat little piece of software that is used as a discovery tool and it will do an exceptional job of enhancing an otherwise boring blog post.  Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of Zemanta, and I even recorded a video tutorial to demonstrate how it works! But Zemanta is available as an extension for Chrome that performs the exact same job as the plugin. Zemanta is also available for Firefox and just about any browser you can imagine, not to mention the fact that Zemanta works with email too. It’s a great program, but this is another one of those popular WordPress Plugins you can remove from your dashboard right now! Download the browser extension here.

WP Greet Box plugin – this plugin will add a message at the top of your post similar to the following:

Useless WordPress plugins

Chances are, if your reader found your post on StumbleUpon, they certainly don’t need to be reminded to give you a thumbs up and chances are very slim that they will end up subscribing to your blog based on seeing this greet box. If you don’t believe me, remove the plugin for one week just to see if your subscription rate goes down. Or, try to remember the last time you subscribed to someone’s blog based on seeing this Greet Box.

Sexy Bookmarks – I took a poll on Facebook asking my blogging friends to tell me which one of their WordPress plugins they recently deactivated and by far Sexy Bookmarks was the top voted response. I visited a few of these blogs and found that most of them are using Digg Digg which floats alongside your post and serves as a constant reminder to your readers of how easy it is to share your content on multiple social networks.

I don’t use Sharebar here on Basic Blog Tips because I use Genesis with Appendipity, with sharing options and so many cool features built into the theme that I was able to eliminate a long list of WordPress plugins.

My Least Favorite of All WordPress Plugins

Facebook Comments – Facebook comments on your WordPress blog – really? If your a Facebook fan or if you’re trying to attract them, I’m sure you have a Like or Share button on your post. But the concept of having Facebook comments on your blog – instead of keeping them over on your Facebook page where they belong, boggles my mind. Ok I give in, maybe it’s just me because I’m not really into Facebook like I’m into Twitter. So here is my last little bit of arm-twisting.

Did you ever notice that it takes FOR EVER for the Facebook comments plugin to load. The more comments you have the longer it takes. When you think about it, that only makes sense, considering all of the hoops your blog has to jump through in order to go back and forth with Facebook fetching the data.

Just login to your dashboard and deactivate AND delete these unnecessary WordPress Plugins!

What other WordPress Plugins can we ditch?

BONUS PODCAST: Listen as I share my thoughts on how to “Optimize Your Blog: A WordPress Plugin Wish List

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Welcome! I'm Ileane and this blog was created to help you learn about WordPress blogging, Social Media Optimization, YouTube Tutorials and more. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and be the first to know when I upload a new tutorial.
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249 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Great article. I gave up on SexyBookmarks a while back as well.

    I would say that if you have All-in-One, Google Sitemap Generator, RSS Footer and Breadcrumbs plugins installed you should ditch them all and install Yoast WordPress SEO because it does the job of all four. One plugin has got to be better than four! :)

    • Hi Rob, I hear good things about Yoast and I use his plugin for Google Analytics. I need to dig into it though to make sure I’m getting the full benefit. He has a great blog too!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Blog Lady

        How much does it cost? Or is it free? I can’t find the info on the website. I’m happy with AIO SEO but a plugin that does the work of several others sounds interesting.

        I once tried a WP plugin that was supposed to automatically insert internal links in posts. Never worked. Don’t recall the name though.

    • Hi Bridie,

      Pop-ups are the worst thing ever invented for a WordPress blog. I gave up on my campaign to abolish them around a year ago. :)

      Thanks for the comment.

      • I totally agree with both of you on this aspect of online marketing. I absolutely hate it when a popup jumps out of nowhere while I am reading something on a site.
        This is my first clue to EXIT. Then an equally annoying plugin is the kind that will ask you to stay on the site 1, 2, or even 3 times. I RUN TO THE EXIT and never return.

    • Thanks Rob. This is the first time I have heard of Yoast and I am eager to check it out. I had been struggling with sitemaps for a while. If Yoast is multi-purpose I don’t see any reason for not installing it.

      • Another really cool thing about the latest Yoast revision is the ability to have as many as 5 different sitemaps submitted simultaneously to Bing,Yahoo,and Google.

        Works wonders for all of your tag pages.

    • Hello Rob, what a small internet.
      And of course Ileane, what an interesting read. It’s my first time here. I was just checking if Akismet was up to the job still. Seems maybe not!

      One brilliant plugin is P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler). From Godaddy – who’d have thought! I think many are becoming more aware that plugins slow you down, but this little tool helps you find the real culprits rather just the little useful ones that don’t do to much harm.

  2. Ray

    I am not a big fan of askimet, but I also do not see how a simple check here to confirm you are not a spammer (growmap anti-spam plugin) does much good either. It is extremely simple for a bot and program to automatically check to see if the box exists regardless of the text and check the box. Just like captcha all of these methods have been automated for years now. There is decaptcha that knows any characters, a simple check box is even easier. Askimet stinks because there is not more control, or more control per website. It is more global. If it were more local to each individual site it would be better. There really is no perfect solution to spam at this time. Regarding plugins, just trim them down. Don’t use or enable more than you need. They really can put a huge strain on a website especially cheap shared hosting.

    • Ray, the only way you will be able to “see how a simple check here to confirm you are not a spammer” does any better is to install GASP for yourself.
      If someone has programmed a bot to click off the GASP box, at least they have the decency not to include some of the filthy trash in their comments that gets past Akismet.
      I haven’t seen any bots that I know of and I’ve been using GASP for close to a year. But you are right, there is no perfect solution to spam yet the bottom line is that GASP saves time by drastically reducing the amount of spam coming to my blog.

      • Jenna

        I agree. The checkbox works so much better. I was getting annoying amounts of spam and hen I added this and now rarely do I get spam comments.

  3. Hi Ileane
    Maybe it is time for me to replace Akismet with a more up-to-date plugin for antispam. I some times see some of my blogger friends marked as spam.
    Thanks for the tip :-)

    • Thomas, the really sad part about that is many people complained to Akismet about this going back at least a year ago, and from what I can tell they have never tried to address the issue. I was even going into the spam folder on my very own blog!! Can you imagine that??
      I contacted them and they responded about 2 weeks later but they never explained why it happened or what was done to fix it. I’ve also heard that your web host can put you in a “bad neighborhood” which will cause you to end up in spam. WTF!!

      You’ll like GASP and your friends that ended up in your spam folder will appreciate the switch as well.

  4. Ria

    I also noticed that some comments are not even in the spam folder… It’s time to clean-up our WP blogs and be more productive.

  5. Yep.. These plugins are something that we can really live without. I used sexy bookmarks for a while but decided to take it down too as it was taking too much time to load. As for GASP, it is still my favorite anti-spam plugin, although for some reason, it appears to be letting some “spammy” comments go through lately, I mean bot related.. Monitoring the situation for now :)

    • Hi DiTesco, Andy is integrating GASP into the premium version of CommentLuv (coming reallll soon) so if there are any holes in it, I’ll bet they will be plugged (pun intended) :)
      That’s one plugin I can’t wait to get my hot little hands on (premium CommentLuv) – how about you?

      • Just the wait is already “killing” me, lol. I did sign-up for the beta but was not lucky enough to get my hands on it earlier :) Waiting patiently

  6. Hi Ileane,
    What a relief! I’m not using any of those plugins. I do have a question for you. What are the advantages of using a Google Analytics plugin?

    Like DiTesco, I’m a huge advocate for GASP. It works so much better than Akismet.

    • Sherryl, I admit that I don’t use Yoast’s Google analytics plugin to it’s full potential, but it’s something that is always on my “to-do” list. With that being said, the advantages are for more advanced users of GA. The details including a video from Yoast can be found here http://yoast.com/wordpress/google-analytics/

      Here’s a snippet of what you can do with custom variables:

      Logged in users: speaks for itself, very useful on BuddyPress sites etc: where do people that are logged in go, where do others go. It stores the users primary user level in the variable, so you can even segment for just “subscribers”. (There’s an advanced option to ignore users of certain levels should you want to btw)
      Author name: track page views per author.
      Single category: if your posts are in only one category each, this allows you to track views per category.
      All categories: track multiple categories per post, a bit harder to view in Analytics, but could still be useful.
      Tags: track all tags for each post, has its limits but might be useful.
      Publication year: see what’s doing good and bad, more specifically whether your old posts are still getting traffic.
      Post type: especially with the new custom post type features in WordPress 3.0 this is very useful: if you’ve got movies, actors etc. set up as custom post types, this allows you to track how many page views each post type got.

      The plugin makes it much easier to setup these variables along with some other cool features.

  7. Oh nooooo! Not muh SexyBookmarks!!!

    Ileane, you’ve made me sad today. LOL I’ve been following your advice and now I have to think about this. When I took the poll, I did NOT see people talking about SexyBookmarks – maybe they voted later?

    Personally, I find floating stuff to be annoying pop-up wannabes. :) It’s mostly due to the befuddlement that assault my eyes, which expect scrolling things to, well, scroll! LOL

    The sad thing is, I don’t even know how effective Shareaholic is. Their own dashboard reports that I got four whole clicks in the last 30 days. Seriously?
    That ain’t sexy.

    Basically, I just want to give folks the option to share. Does the Sharebar have a “stand still, you!” option? On blog.estavamorioka.com, it is rock-steady, while on Dragonblogger.com, it will rise to the top and then stay put. On bivori.com, it actually disappears when you scroll to the top – ugh.

    With all those variations, I’m guessing the location of the code matters, Div-wise, speaking aitch tee em elly :)

    I may try it, though, if enough benefits become evident – like speed.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Mitch, that’s a great question you have there about ShareBar. I’ll have to see if I can get some help on answering that one, since I don’t use it.
      [Btw - how come you don't have your Sexy Bookmarks setup to include "via @anklebuster" at the end of the tweets?]
      The other cool thing about Sharebar is that you can add the Google Plus One button. Mitz did a video demonstrating how to add the code, take a look:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkkEZWIkuGs

      • Hi Ileane,

        Sorry I took so long. Gmail folded your reply to me with all the other replies from this thread and I forgot to expand the list :)

        I saw what you told Barry about SexyBookmarks. Whew! the Universe was off-kilter all weekend :)

        Okay, I never knew about the @anklebuster. Thanks for the video link!

        Cheers,

        Mitch

  8. Riya

    I have been using Akismet plugin but won’t use it now. As I have got a good alternative for it. Thanks for such useful post.

  9. I agree with most of these except for the “Sexy Bookmarks” – it seems there are two camps with this one, you either love it, or you hate it.

    Were there any others that came close?

    • Barry, I don’t hate Sexy Bookmarks, I even did a video tutorial for it back in the day (lol – last year).
      Actually it was my friends on Facebook who told me that they ditched it – so I had no choice but to include it in this post. But I will agree with them that as a person who visits a lot of blogs and retweets good content having access to the Sharebar is much more convenient than Sexy Bookmarks.

  10. Hello Ileane. Sementa is also available on Firefox and pushes it into your post area. Never knew there was a plugin. And once I got Cloudflare on my blog, even the Facebook plugin loads faster… And if I didn’t use FB, I would have met some people. With the plugin people also don’t have to put in a user name, email and URL making commenting faster if you’re logged into Fb already

    • Yup, Zemanta works with every browser and every blogging platform too. :)
      It’s a much bigger hassle for me to log in and out of Facebook (I’m the admin for the account at work) than it is for me to fill in my email. Chrome pre-fills my name and email address and I only need to type a letter or two.

      Thanks for your feedback Ivin.

  11. Faissal Alhaithami

    Ms. Ileane I guess WP Greet Box is a great plugin.. I’m using it now in my new blog and I can feel the increases of the subscribers since the time I installed it.. It’s not only about stumbleupon we can use it different way to increase the blog subscribers, it’s nice to use it to notice the visitors about the RSS and Email subscription. Thanks for the post.

        • I don’t mean to put words in her mouth but I think she meant that if it is working well for you then don’t change it.
          There are general guidelines that are good for newbie bloggers to follow and guidelines for bloggers to read about to see if they can improve their own personal experience. In your case you have experience with Greet Box and you shouldn’t change something that works.
          I use IBP for SEO and it tells me that I need to change a bunch of things on my site but I am ranked #2 on Google with my keyword. I wrote the company and asked them what to do and they said don’t change anything… I guess it comes down to some good ole common sense.
          I appreciate your testimony with Greet Box, I don’t think I had any real advantages with it but am always open to using it again if there is some special way to use it that I am not aware of. Did you tweak it somehow?

  12. James

    Hey Ileane, great post. Sexy bookmarks is the only one of those I had, but I agree. it doesn’t seem to be getting the clicks . Have a great weekend. Don’t get too overloaded. :)

    • Hi James, thanks for stopping by.
      I have a question – when you were using Sexy Bookmarks, which one of the social networks got the most clicks? Twitter, Facebook or something else?

  13. Though I had not use any of the plugin you mention, accept Akismet but I really cannot see the difference in deleting more plugin will speed up the blog speed.
    I’m actually using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) such as Cloudflare and MaxCDN to run my blog, which actually improve the speed load of my blog and also the security against bots, hacks and spams…

  14. Will

    Hi Ileane, I have yet to jump ship on sexy bookmarks. I use the same theme as you on my craftablog so like you said I don’t need it on there, however all my others I still use it. I also hate Facebook comments, makes no sense to me as well, why on earth would you want to get rid of Comluv!? Thanks for the post.

  15. reeha

    Anti spam plugin looks very useful for me. because i am very confused with spam filters that works 100% authentic.

  16. Jym

    Great stuff Ileane. Let’s clean things up a bit – there are too many plugins of questionable usefulness clogging up and slowing down the blogosphere as a whole

    Agreed – Akismet has to go. Sexy Bookmarks is oh so 2010. Greet box is annoying (I click-rid of it whenever it pops up on me). Have to confess I do have Greet box’s elder sibling ‘What Would Seth Godin Do’ running at the moment, though more to leave my readers a message about how to get dofollow backlinks from their comments on my blog.

    Others for the list? Have to echo Rob’s comment up at the top – WordPress SEO does the job of about 5 other plugins (and better too). Have to say I’m not a fan of the Twitter box at the bottom of posts. Have you tested to see if it actually gets any clicks? I vote for that one to go too.

    Mmmm…. wish I’d kept a list of all the plugins I deleted now :)

    • Hi Jym.
      I can’t publicly share to much about how I feel about Seth Godin or anything bearing his name *lol* but I find it very ironic that he doesn’t even use WordPress, yet there’s a plugin named after him???? Talk about “old skool”….

      Great point about the Twitter Anywhere box. I need to go into my bit.ly account and monitor the hit counts. Thanks for mentioning that!

      • Jym, you head the nail on the head (pun intended). I wouldn’t call what he’s doing “blogging” but the problem for me is that many people don’t realize that.

        I’d love to know how much the plugin developer had to pay for using his name.

        If anyone wants to use my name for a plugin (theme, browser, desktop wallpaper, whateva!) – get in touch :)

  17. Perfectly useful piece of information and advice Ileane. I love the way you’ve put it here. And AMEN on Facebook comments. I don’t see a need to wait forever to add a fb comment into a WordPress blog with no links back to my blog.

    Akismet? Does it still exist? Interesting!

  18. Okay, we’re going to totally disagree on the Akismet plugin. To me that’s the one I think everyone really does need to have more than any other. I keep having people say it deletes comments before you get to them but in the 5 years I’ve had my business blog it’s never happened unless I told it to. Then again, I’m pretty quick in looking at what’s in there, whereas some people might wait a week or even longer before looking.

    No way anyone should go with just GASP. I use both, and they work wonders together. If there’s another plugin that’s better than Akismet, I don’t know it.

    • Hi Mitch!
      Due to circumstances beyond my control, my response to your comment vanished! (imagine that).
      Therefore, I decided to record my comment and share it with you on Google+ privately. After you get a chance to view the video, let me know so that I can unleash it and share it with the world before it self destructs….LMAO!

  19. Ned Carey

    I have never used any of the above other than Akismet. I know some people have found regular commenters in their spam box but I have found only two legitimate comments there. For me it has been 99.9% accurate and effective.

    Of course I don’t get near the number of comments you do. I will check out GrowMaps plugin.

    (Power outage – I hope this isn’t a duplicate)

  20. MegB

    You are very right concern to All this plugins.

    As I personally believe the same for the very first one i.e. Akismet and the reason is same what you have mentioned that it can automatically delet our friends comment.

    • Hi MegB, you noticed it too I see. Many people don’t think Akismet is deleting comments and I really wish it didn’t, but the truth of the matter is that it happens. There is a setting you can change and I linked to it earlier. But if you’re using GASP now, you don’t even need it.

  21. Peter

    I disagree with you about the WP greet box I use it on every wordpress site because its easy to install and easy to use. But the others you should really ditch they aren’t useful and you don’t really need them.

    • Peter, if you like Great Box, my all means keep it. Personally I don’t see much value in it. But most likely our readers have a different demographic. Thanks for the comment Peter.

    • Gerald, It’s hard to believe that people are still be suckered into signing up for stuff with those annoying pop-ups. Yes I said “suckered” and I stand by it! Whew – glad I got that off my chest. Thanks friend. Hi-Five!

  22. Brankica

    Hey Ileane, I think Sexy bookmarks is a really bad plugin, you can’t even set all the things the way you would usually set it, like adding Twitter handle, etc.

    I removed Akismet at the very beginning. I literally hate that plugin. I don’t think I have used Zemanta, but since you put the Chrome bug in my, I will be checking the extension as soon as I finish the comment.

    I also wrote and recommended WP Greeting box at the beginning but I think it adds to the clutter and I didn’t not see any drop in RSS subscriptions after removing it.

    Last, Facebook comments is a perfect plugin – if you have a Facebook related blog and nothing else.

    • Zarah Alvie

      Hi Brankica,
      The name may be a little “edgy” for some, SexyBookmarks has proven time and time again to be an extremely useful and successful tool in getting your readers to actually submit your articles to numerous social bookmarking sites.

    • Brankica, you almost had me about the Facebook Comments Plugin. I went over to AllFacebook.com and guess what? They don’t even use it! What more proof does anyone need than that.

  23. Tracy

    Does it make me “old skool” that I was honestly shocked to see Akismet on your list? Guess I need to brush up on the best and brightest plugins available. Thanks for the list and for the great alternatives to these dinosaurs!

  24. I already got rid of 2 of the 5 (Sexy Bookmarks and Zemanta), I never used Facebook Comments, and I’m about to get rid of the WP Greet Box plugin.

    I never thought about replacing Akismet before, never heard about a problem with my comments, so not sure about that one, but I’ll read more about it and keep an eye on it before I decide.

  25. I agree with all of them but the WP Greet Box. Only because I let people know when they visit that I am a dofollow blog and that if they leave me a comment I’ll do the same. That’s the main reason I use that box, really for no other reason.

    I quit using Facebook comments because I kept getting an error message on it. The darn thing would just never show up. I got sick of messing with it to be honest with you. But I have heard a lot of complaints that it really slows down their load time. I guest posted over at Mavis’ blog on the 19th and while I responded to comments all last week, that darn blog took forever to load. She’s also got Facebook comments so not sure it that’s the culprit or not. For that alone, it’s not worth it to me.

    Thanks for sharing this one Irene. I agree with you on the rest of them for sure.

    Adrienne

    • Hi Adrienne, I just left your place :)

      You have a really clean uncluttered design so there is a good chance that people will see the greet box. But do you have any idea if they actually read what it says? I know I never do. Do you read the greet box when you visit other blogs? Maybe it’s just me but I zoom right past it.
      You have such well written and interesting content, I’m willing to bet that you won’t miss out on one single comment if you take that box down.

      Please let me know if you have done any testing on the effectiveness of that greeting.

      Thanks for your comment Adrienne, I always look forward to our little chats.

      • Thanks Ileane, I appreciate you saying that.

        I use to read them all the time but on the blogs I visit often I no longer do because of course, I already know what it says. But for new bloggers, that’s why I’ve left it up.

        I never really tested it to see so I guess it definitely would’t hurt taking it down and seeing if there is any difference in a months time. I have a feeling there won’t be. You know, that gut instinct I’m feeling.

        Thanks for stopping by my place and I’m going to download the plug-in and get that all set up. I’m excited…

        Adrienne

    • Hey Adrienne,

      I ditched the WP greeting plugin for the What Would Seth Godin Do plugin. I’m able to generate leads from it as well :)

      I always read greeting messages on other people’s blogs, lol!

      Cheers,
      Mavis

  26. Very true Ileane! Its time to remove some plugins.

    Regarding Akismet, I still enable it. For some time used GASP alone. It can effectively eliminate the bots but still the human bots and RSS spamming is trouble. GASP and Akismet combined solved the problem.

    I prefer Insights plugin rather than Zemanta. Insights lets you to search for interesting and related articles, wiki, images and so on to insert and link to from your post.

    • Hi Suresh, you will love the premium version of CommentLuv which has GASP built-in along with the trackback validation.
      I wonder if Insights has an extension or some other way to use it besides a plugin.
      I’m glad you found a combination that works for you Suresh.

  27. Great article! Choosing which plugins would be the best to use for a blog can be so overwhelming. I’ve taken a note of your suggestions and I’ll try them out.

  28. Couldn’t agree more – akismet is so old and outdated. I remember not liking it 5 years ago when I started using WordPress. Can’t say I’m as familiar with the other plugins but I’ll have to check them out.

  29. Based on a conversation with Vernessa Taylor @CoachNotesBlog, I’m about to ditch Disqus. Also, I am going to get rid of Fluency Admin. The WP 3.2 dashboard looks very similar, therefore, I really don’t see a need.

    • Hi Marcie, I heard mention of Fluency, but I never tried it. Thanks for letting me not to waste my energy. :)

      Thanks for your comment. Chat soon!

  30. OK, as for Akismet I intend to keep it because GASP is letting some bot spam slip by and does nothing to combat human spam which Akismet does very well.

    The only other plugin that I do use that I will get rid off now that I’ve read this post is Zemanta and I must thank you for that.

    • Hi Sire, now that Andy is released CommentLuv Premium in beta I think we can bug him about the little bugger that have slipped by. I’m sure that will be addressed as it come built into the paid version of CL.
      Glad to give you the heads up about Zemanta. It’s such a cool extension :)

  31. Hi Ileane,
    I have been using Akismet for blocking the spams but it seems I have to remove that plugin now. Could you tell me how to install that plugin? I have downloaded it.

  32. Laurie, you’re the first one to make that point and you are so right. That’s how we ended up with some of these plugins in the first place. But we have to put on the brakes at some point. Thank you.

  33. Holy crap. Look at all these comments. Yep, I would agree that Akismet is junk and the Facebook comments. Please. I’m over Facebook. So will everyone else soon enough :)

    • John, if you would have asked me before I published this post if I thought there would be a lot of comments I probably would have been wrong. This just shows we still need to spread the word about GASP and I really don’t see anyone taking up for Facebook comments yet, so you know what that means. FAIL!

  34. Very interesting about those plugins, actually I always use Akismet on all my blogs and I don’t ind any problems on it.. I will check that GASP plugin. Thanks for that interesting posts!

  35. Craig Sowerby

    Hi Ileane,

    I have had trouble in the past with Akismet, putting genuine comments in the spam folder. I also got rid of sexy book marks and now use the digg digg plugin

    I think it looks far more professional

    Craig

    • Hi Craig, I actually like the way you have Digg Digg set up on your blog. It’s very similar to the Sharebar and you’re right it does look professional. Thanks for stopping by Craig!

  36. I couldn’t agree with you more about all of these plugins, especially WP Greet Box and Sexy Bookmarks, in fact the only one I actually use at the moment is Akismet, and i’m so glad I read this, I might have some good comments buried, which isn’t a nice thought really. Especially if people have put a lot of effort into commenting:( – It’s only a few months I’ve been using it though so hopefully it hasn’t buried too many legit comments. Thanks :)

  37. Hi Ileane,

    I have already ditched Sexy bookmarks. As for Akismet, I can’t since G.A.S.P doesn’t work for my site (due to some reason that is clearly “unknown” to me).

    As for the others, I don’t use them expect WP Greet Box. But, after reading this, I have decided to ditch that too.

    Thank you for the post, Ileane!

    Surely helped!

    Jeevan Jacob John

    • Jeevan, did you ever talk to Andy about GASP not working on your blog. I know you have Genesis theme and he uses that one too. I bet he can give you a hand – get in touch with him on Twitter @CommentLuv.

      You’re welcome, and I hope you get it resolved.

  38. Hi Steve, I tried Live Writer and my friend Justin from DragonBlogger uses it but I didn’t care for it too much. I don’t even use ScribeFire like I use to. Honestly I think WordPress has be addicted to all the little bells and whistles and I feel lost without them. I’m also becoming hooked on using the SEOPressor plugin, and it’s easier to just use it from scratch.
    Thanks for the tip, maybe someone else is considering using Live Writer.

  39. By the way, I’m missing something. Talking about this Zemanta thing, which I never know about… I can see how it would help if you used it on your blog. I can’t figure out how it helps if you use it in your browser. I mean, you’d see other things, but how does it help your blog?

    • Mitch, have you ever watched my Zemanta tutorial? The plugin and the extension work exactly the same way – which is why it makes sense to use the extension and ditch the plugin! Here goes:

      • Nope, hadn’t seen that before. But here’s my follow up question before I try it out. I notice that you create your posts in WYSIWYG. I have mine set to HTML, because I hate WYSIWYG. Will it work for me in that format as well?

        • Hi Mitch. Nope :(
          Zemanta does not work at all in HTML view. Two thumbs up for using HTML though. I peak at it every now and then, but I rarely use it when I’m actually writing. When I grow up I wanna be just like you!

  40. Great video on Akismet Ileane! I got banned which really annoyed me as I always try to write thoughtful comments that value add to the community. When I contacted them they told me that the comments on my blog may be considered as spam. What? Since when do I have to write a paragraph to answer somebody’s comments on my own blog? Anyway, I use GASP now by Andy Bailey he’s a champ and I have just applied for his beta tester for CommentLuv Premium. Since installing GASP I have not had one single spam comment – awesome.

  41. I was wondering about the greeting one. I had it in with the rest of my plugins but never did activate it. There’s a couple of plugins out there that will work better than the one.

    Although I have a like button and Facebook is on my sharebar, the comment thing just looks kind of confusing sitting there above the regular comment section.

    • Glynis, I find the Facebook Comments plugin rather confusing too. I can never decide which comments I want to read first, the ones in the Facebook section or the real ones. Most of the time I just say – forget it! LOL!

  42. I had problems with SexyBookmarks for awhile, but I fixed them up. It was less trouble than I had with the Sharebar. It’s my theme that’s the problem, though, so that will be addressed this month hopefully.

    I’ve also had Facebook comments installed for awhile. When I had a month-long event awhile back there were a lot of FB commenters (well a lot by my standards), but since the not many at all.

    I think this is a good time to dump those comments for good. I’m glad I read this piece because I did feel good that I wasn’t using the other plugins lol

  43. Hi Ileane, I just got rid of Zemanta myself. It’s an interesting tool, but I couldn’t stand the fact they insert a tracking pixel at the bottom of each post. Worse yet, you’d think they could make a small tracking pixel, but instead it takes up several lines of whitespace.

    I’m debating GASP and will probably check it out…you’re the second person to mention it to me this week, so I must be missing out on something.

    • Geoff, I don’t use Zemanta nearly as much as I used to, but it came in handy the other day when I needed an image for a guest post. Thanks for sharing your point of view.

  44. I personally have a “spring clean” every month or so when I notice my loading speed is rising.

    I have a tendency to test all kinds of wordpress plugins all the time and because of this plugins will tend to stack up. I delete them after realizing they are virtually worthless.

    • Cristain, that’s funny. Testing is always a good thing and most of these plugins look so appealing it’s hard to resist. Thanks for the chuckle.

  45. One of the points of this recommendation was for website loading time to improve. Does anyone have some kind of a benchmark document on plugins?

    Take Sexy Bookmarks, which I use on the majority of my blogs, if it is a thing of preference that is one thing but if it uses twice the resources as Share Bar or some other social networking toolbar I would ditch it.

    One thing I like about Sexy Bookmarks is I have activated the ones that are best for me to bookmark on. This way once I make a post I can bookmark my post on all the ones that I have activated with accounts.

    Benchmark Document on Plugins Anyone?

  46. Great post Ileane. I recently ran across a notification in Facebook and when I followed it took me back to a comment I had left on someones blog. Someone had liked my comment. I don’t even think I realized at the time it was Facebook comments but I thought that was pretty snazzy. I thought about adding it to my own blog but like you said Facebook can be slow and the thought of slowing my blog down was definitely a disadvantage. I also love my disqus comments and wasn’t ready to give that up just yet.

    Recent plugins I uploaded and immediately got rid of was ipic and pic protect. I was looking for a plug in that would allow me to protect my images. Neither of these work by the way… I don’t think anything does.

    • Hi Tami, great to see you here! I noticed the other day that you were using something to protect your content. It happened when I was trying to submit one of your posts over at Blog Engage (you know I love sharing your content). When I couldn’t copy and paste, I just gave up. LOL

      • Ileane sorry about that, I have been having issues with my blogs being completely copied (all the way to my copyright) and then reposted on other websites, of course with out my permission. I just disabled the plug in today.

  47. I also forgot to mention that I was using slide share which is similar to the sharebar you mentioned in your blog post. I got rid of it because it was slowing down my website as well. I’m just using Really Simple Share for now.

    • My daughter has a cool slider over on Estava Morioka but it’s built into the theme. In fact, that’s exactly why she picked that theme! It’s called Avenue and she loves it.

  48. Now this is something new :)

    I took out some of my plug-ins mentioned by you for the same reasons, for example like the Sexy Bookmarks and WP Greet Box!

    As for spam, I use AntiSpam bee plug-in as my first line of defense and then Akismet. Gonna be reading the GASP plug-in you mentioned now after this

  49. Hi Mitch, I need to dedicate about 2 days to learning HTML. I have a subscription to Lynda.com and I need to use it more often. I heard W3Schools is great too. Thanks for the tip.

    • Learning languages is empowering.

      I know you’ll get a kick out what you can do with a bit of code.

      Lynda.com sounds neat! I’m more of a spelunker, though. I get more satisfaction from exploring.

      Cheers,

      Mitch

    • Hi Tim! Great to see you here. I think you’ll like GASP and in the long run you’ll get more comments if you install CommentLuv too.

  50. I want to thank you for yet another wonderful article. I am always on the look-out for great WordPress tips to recommend to my own readers. Thanks for taking the time to write this article. It’s exactly what I was looking for. Truly fantabulous post.

  51. Hey Ileane,

    Great list you have here. I ditched all of them but Facebook Comments. I just love the fact that the comments and my post links get posted on my friends’ walls and their friends can click to check out my content :)

    I’m not sure what’s going on with GASP – I have been getting spammy comments lately :(… Hopefully with the new CommentLuv Premium, there will be some improvements.

    Thanks for sharing, Ileane.

    All the best,
    Mavis

    • Mavis, thanks for sharing the benefits you’re seeing with Facebook comments. The integration of GASP with CommentLuv premium should offer an enhanced level of control over spam. I like the trackback controls too.

  52. Thanks for the heads up, I was using multiple of these plugins and was not aware of the majority of these facts. I especially like the Zemanta Firefox plugin, did not know that existed, which is great, because Zemanta tends to slow down the server when running. Also, I was using Digg Digg, now I am switching to sharebar for certain. I appreciate it, good post, keep up the good work and thanks again.

    • Hi Whitney! Welcome to Basic Blog Tips! I’m glad you found out about Zemanta. That plugin does the exact same thing as the extension, so it’s makes more sense to use the extension. Maybe one day you’ll give the Chrome browser a try too.

  53. My AntiSpamBee plug-in cut all the automated spam except for a type of spam that always links to this finance blog site, so annoying

    I still have Akismet as the secondary protection and so far I’ve only got around 4-6 spam emails a day and 300 automated spams were blocked by AntiSpamBee, very happy

    • Hi Michael, I’m not sure how AntiSpamBee works. Nice to see you getting rid of so much spam with it though. Thanks for sharing that one!

      • It basically randomize the form fields behind the scene so all automated bots will be thrown away/blocked automatically (as they can’t guess what the form fields are).

        People don’t need to tick on anything or enter any CAPTCHA, it’s all done behind the scene :)

        • Michael, thanks for explaining how AntiSpamBee work. It’s funny, since I’m not a spammer I would never notice if the fields were switched around. That’s kinda neat.
          I wonder why it’s not helping much on Justin’s blog, since you guys have similar content.

  54. I’m not sure if I totally agree with you about the speed of your blog, but I’m 100% with you about Facebook.

    Seriously, what’s with that?! Perhaps, I’m just bitter about how invasive Facebook is, but I’d like somebody to explain this for me.

    • Ana, – I think I’m bitter about Facebook too :) no so much the privacy as the constant changes and annoying behavior of the platform. Thanks for stopping by Ana.

  55. I also not use share bar and avoid using plugins which works on front end as they might end up slowing front end for the readers. Thesis theme is good in handling these things.
    Also Now I think we can remove bit more plugin with Commentluv+…

  56. *gasp* Akismet is old skool? Wow, I am so behind the times on this. I did notice that Akismet often flags as spam a lot of legit pingbacks.

    Ah, so I am off to check GASP now. Thanks for the tip, I never knew there was a better alternative to Akismet.

  57. Ok Thankfully I am up top date on this one as I do not use any of these plugins but Sexy Bookmarks.

    I dumped Akismet too, because it was putting so many comments from my legit commentators into spam folder. And now since GASP is already integrated with CLUV premium, I dont even need another plugin for spam comments.

    About Zemanta – It was lasts year that the popularity of loured me in as well, I Installed it and after a few minutes of playing around, I just couldn’t understand what was so especial about this plugin.

  58. I think with a few searches on Google, you can find good alternatives for the plugins listed here. I guess the wide usage of some of these plugins is brought on by the fact that they were popular before. We are so lazy that we don’t even look for better alternatives which is why most of us still have Akismet installed but not activated. ;)

  59. I use Askismet, CommentLuv, and IntenseDebate. I never check my Askimet folder but I did recently find some comments in my IntenseDebate spam folder that should not have been there. You have to manually delete a comment in IntenseDebate for it to go away permanently.

    I was considering dumping Sexy Bookmarks mostly because of that annoying greeting box to download the Shareaholic plugin. I was just going to manually install a Facebook like, Retweet, and StumbleUpon button onto each post.

    I was already taking the Facebook comment box off of all of my blogs because it takes entirely to long to load. Instead, I am just putting FB Like Buttons.

    Thanks especially for Pingdom. I was just trying to remember the plugin to check blog load speed and now I don’t have to. :-)

  60. Ileane,
    Great photo of you on your blog. I am giving up on Sexy Bookmarks as well since I read the post you did about plugins that bog your blog down. Akismet has been gone for a long time now thanks to you.

    Your blog sure has helped me a lot!

  61. Awesome article. I disabled sexy bookmarks too in the last 6 months on all my blogs and replaced with the simple “Twitter, facebook, G+ only” Plugin. With commentluv premium the beautiful thing is that it has GASP already integrated!

    And you are right about the WPgreetbox. I think that’s kinda 2008 style. ;-) People know where they come from. ;-)

    Greetings,
    André

  62. Hi, I’ve been having some issues on my blog with it hitting my resource limits :( and have been trying to solve it for some time now.

    I do have the new commentluv premium with GASP included, will it really replace Akismet? By uninstalling Akismet will i not leave myself wide open?

    I’m intigued by the Yoast plugin so will go and check it out. Sure would be good to reduce the number of plugins and do away with my resource issue ;)

    Barry

    • Hi Barry, great to see you commenting here, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback.

      Who is your webhost? I was having problems with CPU throttling on Blue Host, so I moved over to Host Gator and now all is well.

      Another thing I did was install the WP Optimizer plugin to clean up some databases and things like post revisions – it did a great job and I should do a post about it soon.

      • Hi Ileane, I’m with D9 hosting but have just started using CloudFlare to help with the throttling of my resources.

        Thanks for the tip on the WP Optimizer plugin, I’ll give it a try and see how it helps.

        Thanks Ileane,

        Take care, Barry

  63. Ms. Ileane,

    You are right, dump akismet like the plague! Love GASP for spam and love the CommentLuv premium now has that built in. Absolutely don’t like sharebar because if you have a small screen or the wrong resolution, that bar floating on the left don’t show up! This has happened more than once to me. I ‘m on the phone with a client and they’re telling me to click on the FB share or whatever! Only it ain’t their till I hit the CTRL+ Minus key to shrink the blog down. Love Digg Digg myself. And I totally agree, putting your FB comments on your Blog don’t make no sense!!! However, I do have a FB fan page, and I put stuff on that (like a recent video of YOURS!!!!) that I don’t put on my blog, so maybe the readers would benefit if I had a feed for my FB fan page on my blog? Who knows? So many choices! Love your blog though!!!
    Take Care,

    Jupiter Jim

  64. Oh My Gosh!

    I like to zoom in on blogs to make the text easier to read. I just noticed a sliver in the upper left hand corner. Zoomed out only to find your ShareBar! I’m not kidding! I’m not trying to be funny. It’s just that some people will never see the share buttons there! Just sayin’

    Love Your Blog!
    — Jupiter Jim

    • Hi Jim, thanks for letting me know! The share bar is really temporary and the only reason I added it was for the Google+1 widget. The good thing is that I’m getting a lot more of them in just the last two weeks. Before that I had ZERO!!

      Hesham has promised me that he will add the Plus 1 the next time he updates the theme. Then I’ll be happy to get rid of the share bar.

      Chat soon Jim!

  65. When I read this post I immediately removed Akismet and installed GASP. I am so thankful for this blog and all the information that Ileane and guest bloggers provide. It really helps a learning curve.

  66. I never thought that Akismet is one of the plugin.

    Well, maybe you’re right. I’ll be changing my plugin to Sharebar rather than sexy bookmark. Thanks for the post.

    • Sharebar rocks doesn’t it? Don’t forget to add the Buffer button. I really like that it gives people the option to buffer the retweet for later. That way they can visit more posts on my blog and buffer them so that they don’t feel like they are sending back-to-back tweets from the same blog. :)

    • Hi Kevin, thanks so much for bringing your positive spirit here and on my YouTube channel. I feel blessed :)

      I’m glad you’re enjoying Zemanta.

      Have a great holiday Kevin!

  67. No one mentionned the Hello Dolly that comes automatically with the WordPress installation. I systematically delete it … I don’t even really know why they put that on (eventhough I read the description of it).

    • LOL! Hi Eric, even though Hello Dolly is a default plugin, it’s not really what I call “popular”. But I agree that it’s the first one that needs to get dumped. :)

  68. Glad I found this article, I recently read an article saying Sexy Bookmarks was good but maybe I’ll try sharebar instead since you recommend it!

  69. Never thought about how removing unwanted plugins will help with the speed and functionality…. but it makes a lot of sense.

  70. Just found this post through the 7 links. I gotta say that one of the disadvantages of having amazing flexibility is the wastage of time. Plugins in wordpress is one example of that. The hunt for new and slick plugins is never ending. Initially I used to spend a lot of time on hunting for plugins.

    These days I keep them minimal. Unless a plugin is absolutely necessary, I don’t use it.

    • Hi Amanda, I guess you can look at the positive side and now you know to put all of that behind you. At the same time you probably learned a ton about WordPress during the process of experimenting with plugins. I did most of my experimenting by watching others – except for the Akismet thing which I learned the hard way! LOL
      Thanks for sharing your story Amanda. Chat soon!

  71. I soooo hear you, Ileane – especially about Akismet!

    My comments on other blogs get rejected on a regular basis because of it; need I to say more?

    FB comments: I actually go back and forth on this one considering how much potential traffic FB can bring. Not really sure the comments help it that much though.

    • Hi Ana! I see some blogs that only have Facebook comments – a lot of podcasters are doing that on their blogs. Like you said, it’s hard to tell if seeing a comment in the ticker is sending any traffic to the blog. I think it’s good for people who want to send traffic to Facebook and not the other way around :)
      Nice to see you hear Ana. Chat soon!

  72. I actually liked Sexy Bookmarks but removed it from my sites after I found a ton of errors in both webmaster tools and SEOMoz. It was creating some weird references in the code of the site that made it look like I had hundreds of 404 errors throughout the site.

    • Hi AstroGremlin, I appreciate that you mentioned the Google+ and the Buffer button. I added those two myself and it has helped increase sharing on my posts. Mitz always does a super job with her videos. Thanks for the shout out.

  73. I am pretty new to WordPress and blogging in general. This is probably the most helpful blog that I have found so far. I have someone helping me with my blog but I know that I need to learn to do things on my own. What are some of the best resources to read. There is so much on the Internet that I don’t want to get analysis paralysis.

  74. SexyBookmarks actually conflicts with some well known and loved plug-ins within some WordPress themes such as ABB flex. I also think these Google +1 buttons are intrusive.

  75. Hi Ileane!. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post. Its well wriiten and quite impressive. Nice information given about imporatnt plugins and they are helpful to me. I will also share this post with others. Thanks again. Chers!!

  76. I am newbie to this website..WordPress is becoming the most used website building platform used for all websites being built today..Word press plugins plays very important role for achieving higher page ranking in Google. Its my good luck that i visited this website and come to know about innovative information about plugins which i am not aware of.

  77. I must say that the disadvantage of having amazing flexibility is in reality a wastage of time! Plugins in wordpress are never ending!

  78. I am not using any plugins that you mentioned. Most of these are of high size and also effects your blog loading time. I prefer the blog with less plugins.

  79. I have using akismet until this checkbox plugin came to my rescue and I now don’t have to deal with the junk database that akismet used to create, even Facebook plugin look good on website like Techcrunch only where people might share article on Facebook, as they provide fresh news. But on sites other than that there is no point in having it as it slows down the site .

    • Bishwajeet, I see some bloggers that have only Facebook comments on their sites and others that have two commenting systems. I can’t even make up my mind which one to use. LOL!

  80. Thanks for your article that has these plugins on them. I currently use askimet and have had problems like you said.

    Will have to take a look into the alternative.

    • Hi Samuel, let me know what you use in place of Akismet. I have CommentLuv Premium and it includes an enhanced version of GASP.

    • Kharim, I think you and I are on the same path when it comes to a lot of things including themes, blogskins, plugins…..LOL!!

  81. Although I’ve just started using WP on my other site, its just very good know about these plugins. Very Informative.

  82. Even I had bad experience with Akismet. Last time When I checked comment’s spam folder, I found genuine comments marked as spam by this plugin. I have removed it and switched to G.A.S.P.

  83. i am the biggest hater of Akismet…this is the most stupid plugin that has ever been made yet it is so popular. i use GASP and its great…Ana has written a detailed post on the negative effects of Akismat. it is totally S**t

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