There are things in life that you should do, you have to do and the do-if-you-wants.
WordPress guilty pleasures are obviously in the last one.
However, unlike watching Korean romantic dramas or music so bad that no-one should know about it, WordPress guilty pleasures look almost like work.
Or at least my wife sees them as “working after work”.
And that is a good thing.
At least I don’t have to explain myself too much. I just go with the usual “this is something I have to do” and there are no more questions asked.
And what are my WordPress guilty pleasures? Well, mine are generally in one broad category, that we could call “finding simplest possible solutions to problems that don’t need fixing” and they cover…
Removing simple plugins
There are WordPress plugins that do a ton of complicated things (like our own privacy-first analytics plugin for WordPress) and those that do 1 or 2 very simple things.
And while using the second ones are good for making quick changes, they are, in most cases, easy replicable by a few lines of PHP, JS or CSS. And these are exactly the ones I like to change.
And not because they don’t work or make my site behave like a slowpoke. They work and they are pretty light. But I still like to replace them with something even lighter.
Recently I find myself often removing small Gutenberg block plugins. Ones that add a checklist with icons, a small slider here or there (there are still no good ones if you ask me) or a post list.
Gutenberg blocks and GenerateBlocks plugin spiced with a bit of my custom CSS and JS can do a lot of what I need without the extra effort.
And this is my first WordPress guilty pleasure.
Testing site-speed optimisation plugins and solutions
The thing is that I don’t optimise my sites too much in terms of speed. Maybe I am unlucky but I frequently come across problems while doing that.
Recently combining JS files broke my front-end, compressing images made their colors look weird and using varnish cache made woocommerce cart preserve its content between sessions of different users!
That’s why I prefer to stick with the basic stuff that I know won’t break a thing. But I still try new optimisations, tools and solutions.
And this is another of my WordPress guilty pleasures.
Tweaking site layout and content
I don’t know about you but every time I write something – even an SMS to a friend – I have to read what I have just written. And the same is with my WordPress sites. I like tweaking them.
However, unlike emails, which can’t be changed once they are sent – WordPress texts, colors, fonts and layouts can be changed. And I do it pretty often. Small things here and there sometimes make no difference but I do them anyway.
On the sidenote…
Interestingly, in the past I didn’t do it too much because making changes in WP was problematic – I hated the TinyMCE text editor in WP, I didn’t like opening code editor to change colors or make any other minute tweaks. They were a pain.
Now, when Gutenberg is all grown up, changing texts and modifying some design elements is a breeze. And the theme I use – GeneratePress (it’s a referral link because it’s a great theme with great pricing) – is also pretty flexible so making changes to e.g. all fonts on the site is really easy.
Obsessively watching traffic statistics
Every time I add something new to the site I can’t help myself but to watch the stats for up to a week.
And I don’t mean any useful stats. I mean vanity stats that give me zero information on how the content performs.
It may sound weird from someone who built a powerful, privacy-focused WordPress analytics plugin, but it’s true. To my defense, I do it only when the piece of content cannot be easily “translated” to KPIs or cannot be measured. Like (most) blog posts.
If I were to play a psychologist I would say that it is probably because I like knowing that my content is appreciated. But hey, don’t we all?
Am I trying to change that?
No, not really. I am good with my WordPress guilty pleasures an I like the fact that some of them are even faintly useful. The only thing I don’t like about them is that they take time and sometimes make me lose focus. But I can live with that.
But it’s just me. I wonder what your WordPress guilty pleasures are! Don’t be shy and share in the comments below. Let the world know!