Simplify

I got the chance to attend WordCamp LA this past weekend and I loved it. This was the first WordCamp I attend so I didn't know what to expect. All in all, the event was great and thanks to Austin Passy and all the people that worked with him to put it together. In Ali G's famous werd: Respect!

Ben Huh spoke there, Ben (pictured here next to me. Oh yeah and that's Austin Passy in the background) runs the ICanHasCheezburger network. He is one of the reason I actually decided to attend WordCamp. I think I decided I needed to meet this guy right after I watched this video. Anybody that runs a network with 1 Billion page views a month knows what they're doing.

So what did I get from Ben's Talk?

Simplicity. You need it.

I'll tell you more about his talk later on, It was both entertaining and much more informative than I'm making it out to be. But here's what I've done to embrace his advice.

Simplify.

I've removed extra plugins I didn't really need, and I made a list of plugins that can probably be easily absorbed into a Thesis function instead. Plugins are great, but do you really need them? Are they adding value to your site? I had 44 active plugins when I got home last night, Geez! how did it get to be that many? Vaguely, I think this is why:

::Stumbling through cool websites...::: Uh, Oh, ah, that's a cool effect, I want it on my website... run over to WordPress plugin repo and install a plugin that does *that*.

44 F*n Plugins! So I took the axe to some of them, here's the list. Please don't think that I'm knocking on the plugins at all, they're all great plugins but I just don't need them right now. They don't add value to what I'm trying to do.

Acronyms. I used this in a technical healthcare website that I work on because there are hundreds of healthcare IT terms that people don't know. There, on that website, it is useful. In mine it isn't. Most of you coming to read this blog know what YMMV, BRB, LOL, AFAIK, and other acronyms stand for. I don't need to tell you. Plugin Disabled!

All In One SEO. Fuggit, I'm using Thesis I should have all the SEO I need for a personal Blog. Focus on this and rather than stressing over SEO, produce better content. Plugin Disabled!

Ask Apache Google 404. Great plugin when you use it right and when you need it. For now, I don't need it and it doesn't even look good when somebody gets a 404. Plugin Disabled!

My Dashboards. A simple plugin that gives me links to my other blogs' dashboards directly from the dashboard on this blog. Meh, a bit useless since I use the Delicious sidebar in Firefox and that's how I jump to different sections throughout my blogs. Plugin Disabled.

WP re-Captcha. Great captcha plugin, if Akismet isn't doing the job for you, then you might want to look at this plugin. For now with a low comment volume and my drive to simplify, I don't need it. Plugin Disabled.

Photo Dropper. I don't need it anymore, it just kind of came over from another site when I started this one. It sucks up too much of my time when I need to or want to find an image to display with my content. Most terms I've searched on don't have any pictures related to the term (thanks Flickr for bogus tags) or aren't good pictures. Plugin Disabled.

WordPress Video Plugin. I'm a bit mixed about this one, most video websites give you an embed code that you can use. I think I'm going to try that route for now. This plugin adds one more plugin to break or update and it ads more cpu processing to the blog. Plugin Disabled.

WP-Photagger. It adds tagging to your photos, like in FaceBook. I don't need this right now. Plugin Disabled.

That brought my active plugin count down to 36. Now onto the ones I might be able to suck into a functions file in Thesis and be done with it.

Plugins targeted for re-engineering:

Sexy Bookmarks. Don't get me wrong, I think this plugin kicks ass, but... I also don't need a gazillion social networks to add to my posts and I think there are very easy ways to add the buttons and functionality I need directly at the theme level.

TweetSuite. I think I might just combine the Sexy Bookmarks & Tweet Suite functionality at some point, I'm not sure about this one.

Hackadelic Series & Notes. Two great plugins; I couldn't just disable them because I actually use them quite a bit. But I think they can certainly be done with custom fields and some re-factoring of the custom functions file.