Developing a WordPress site is often an repetitive process. WordPress is very flexible, because of that you tend to try many different layouts, themes, and plugins. Then after testing, configuring and tweaking you finally come down to a setup that meets your needs, it is aesthetically pleasing, and performs reliably.
Then you take a look in your admin panel and notice that there are a dozens of different themes you have downloaded, as well as the six different social sharing plugins you tried before putting everything right. Once done with your website development, you start posting articles, new pages and get into your groove and kinda forget about the excessive software that is just sitting around.
Let’s be clear on that. You need to remove the WordPress themes and plugins that are no longer in use. There is absolutely no good reason to keep the unused assets.
Remove unused WordPress themes and plugins to improve security
Security is the number one reason you should remove old themes and plugins. From security point of view, a malicious individual might discover an exploit that leverages those unused themes and plugins.
Example from the real life is the case with the TimThumb in 2011, an image resizing utility that was included in many themes was discovered to be vulnerable to attack. If you had a theme that used TimThumb, your website was prone to attacks. Back then there was a massive amount of themes using this utility and all of them were vulnerable.
It is more than easy to forget about the old themes and plugins you tried and didn’t use. But each one of these old unused themes and plugins needs to be removed because each is an opening for security issues at the moment or in future.
Remove unused WordPress themes and plugins to improve performance
In addition to the security aspect, removing the unused plugins and themes help in a number of other subsidiary areas: reducing complexity and confusion when other people work on your WordPress website, reduction in the size of your backups, maintaining clean website database and file system, maybe even perhaps a nominal performance improvement.
Even the small improvements in the website performance will help you with the visitor satisfaction. This means that these few clicks for deleting the old unused themes and plugins are worthy to be done. It is a quick and easy way to assist in these efforts.
If you want to know the full performance impact of the various plugins in your WordPress installation, check out the great article by Asphalt Themes on 14 Free WordPress plugins to profile the plugin performance. These plugins will show you graphical representation of how each plugin in your installation is affecting your site’s performance.
Make it happen
Getting rid of unused plugins and themes is a straightforward process. All of your WordPress themes and plugins are listed in your admin panel, so each one can be deleted with a click. It’s fast, easy, and it’s a great way to help keep your website fast and secure.
So just do it right the next time you login in your WordPress admin dashboard!
Simply head on over to the menu items listed as Appearance > Themes and Plugins > Installed Plugins. Review the list of assets you have installed and take a few minutes to remove WordPress themes and plugins that are no longer in use.