WordPress Plugins Recommendations

Our general advice for WordPress users is: "don't install dozens of plugins."  A good security plugin is a must have, and a good caching plugin is a must have as well. But most of the other plugins are optional in our experience.  Remember that website performance and speed will go down due to poorly coded plugins. More plugins mean more work for the server and less performance for your site.  A lean website gives your customers a faster, more pleasant experience on your site. 

Do Install:

1. A good caching plugin such as: WP Super Cache. More details:http://www.hostwired.com/accounts/knowledgebase.php?action=displayarticle&id=20 
2. A Captcha plugin: It protects your website from spam by means of math logic.  This keeps most bots from posting their ads in your comment section, saving you the time of cleaning up your site. For example: http://wordpress.org/plugins/captcha/ 
3. A good security and anti-bruteforce plugin: One of the largest wastes of CPU these days is by the wp_login.php page during brute force attacks (which hackers POST over and over to the wp-login.php page trying to guess the admin user's password). The wp-login.php page does a CPU intensive crypt hashing of the password and then compares the crypted password against the crypted password in the DB. It does this so plain text passwords do not need to be stored in the DB. The problem is that WordPress does not limit the number of failed login attempts. A hacker could try to log in many thousands of times and WordPress is not smart enough to block the hacker's IP. So wp-login.php gets hit repeatedly and runs a CPU intensive crypt function every time. With a good security pluggin, WordPress can auto-block each IP that generates a bunch of failed logins in a short period of time. A good security pluggin massively reduces CPU usage.For example: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-denyhosts/

Do NOT Install:

1. SEO plugins and sepcially the 'All In One SEO'. Actually we suggest NOT using a SEO plugin. Good SEO work can be done without plugins. It may take more time but the result is usually better and safer. But if you cannot do that, then we would suggest: http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/ and we strongly recommend avoiding ALLinOne SEO plugin!
2. All related posts plugins (WordPress Related Posts, YARPP) can cause significantly higher load times in most cases.
3. WPRobot3 and other auto-posters can also cause high load issues.
4. StatPress and other wordpress statistics software should also be disabled as these also can consume too much CPU in certain cases. Use Google Analytics instead for statistics as well as Webalizer which already comes by default on your account.
5. WP Post Views is also a plugin that you'll want to avoid as it causes significant resource usage.
6. Any other plugins that are not vital to your Wordpress should be disabled.
7. One of the worst culprit is the open comment form on the wordpress. If comments are not required, please turn them off completely because the comments are spiking the server. If you need the comments open, please add a human recognition system like captcha. 

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