The Fruze is a minimalist website. I built it, in part, because I wanted to experiment with the default WordPress theme and to see if I could score well on Google page speed and mobile-friendly tests if I kept the site neat and tidy free from bloat.
I knew from running several WordPress blogs that plugins can kill page speed and mobile-friendliness. Even Google’s own WordPress plugin, SiteKit, messes up your Google mobile-friendliness test (and maybe your speed test as a result?). This is because Google’s own Robot.txt file blocks your site, causing the appearance of an error, so it is nothing to worry about, probably. And you cant even fix it (unless you delete the plugin).
I also hate updating plugins all the time. Anyone who has worked on WordPress sites for a while will share my pain.
Also, once upon a time, a plugin spread malware to my whole suite of websites I had hosted on Siteground. It was a Gravity Form third party addon plugin that hadn’t been updated in years. Stay away from plugins that haven’t been updated in a while! They can and do cause viruses.
I learned that unless you really, really, really need a specific plugin, avoid them.
Hence, I wanted to see what running a blog was like with no plugins.
By the way, here is my page speed score and mobile-friendly test results with no plugins – amazing, right? P.S., at the time I published this post, I was hosting with Godaddy, which has poor load times.
However, my no-plugin idea quickly failed. Shortly after the launch of this site, I realized that I needed at least one plugin: an anti-spam comment plugin.
I can’t code well enough to make my own, so I have to use a third-party plugin for these things.
I wanted the anti-spam comment plugin because, well, I got spam comments. This is one of the first blogs I have opened up comments on, and I did not realize that scammers will come to your comment section quickly. They came to this site within the first few weeks, and I had no backlinks or promotions. Not sure how they found me.
I do not want to waste any more time moderating these shady comments.
So I downloaded Akismet: Spam Protection for WordPress. You can click the link to download it yourself or you can navigate to your WordPress dashboard, click Plugins, click Add New, and then search for “Akismet“.
Akismet is a popular plugin, used by millions, so I think it is pretty safe and fast.
After activating the Akismet plugin, I tested my site with Google page speed and mobile-friendliness tests again, and there were no deductions or issues. Maybe one plugin won’t hurt after all.
Special Note: If you don’t plan on having comments on your site, then you don’t even need this one plugin! You could easily have no plugins.
Good luck on your new WordPress blog! Let me know in the comment section about your must-have WordPress plugin(s) or let me know how your site did with zero plugins. I would be interested to know.