5 Annoying WordPress Plugins

Annoyed (by Jsome1)

Usually I attempt to share useful WordPress information but today, I thought we could have some fun with 5 of the most annoying WordPress plugins. Seriously, what were they thinking? Do we really need any of these? Please note, I have not tested any of these. I am basing their annoyance level completely on the demo or description of it’s purpose.

As always, please let me know about other annoying WordPress plugins. Or, even if they aren’t annoying, ones that make you ask, “What were they thinking?”

Comment Approved Notifier – If you moderate comments, this plugin will automatically send out an email when the comment has been approved. I am willing to admit that there be a legitimate use for this plugin but why would I want to get an email telling me this. Am I so anxious to have my comment moderated that I must instantly know when it is available for the world to view?

Lolcats Widget – This plugin will retrieve the latest lolcat and display as a widget. If you don’t know what lolcats is/are, you can visit the site and review the about page. While lolcats are an interesting diversion, I see no reason to display the latest on your blog. I also think that lolcats have become as overused as “I can haz”, “FAIL”, “FTW”, and “Internets”. If you haven’t seen any of those terms before, follow a ton of people on Twitter, do nothing but stare at the tweets all day, and then pray these trends end soon.

Hangman Plugin – You know, just like the game. If you’ve needed to add this game to your blog, well, then this plugin is just for you.

Falling Snowflakes (Or Leaves) – If you want some seasonal cheer, you can add falling snowflakes (well, it’s called that but right now I see falling leaves) to your blog. Of course, this is best used if you don’t want anyone to actually be able to read any of your content.

Rock, Paper, Scissors – If you are completely bored with hangman, you can mix things up and add Rock Paper Scissors to your blog instead. Fun times will be had by all who visit!Hope you fun with all of these! And, if you are inclined to install all 5 on your site, please let me know so I can get some screenshots.

photo credit: Jsome1

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  1. says

    Thanks for the list, Kim. It was really funny. I am laughing especially hard at your comment about the leaf plugin. :-) And I like cats but lolcats must end for the good of humanity

  2. says

    Thankfully the only one of these that I’ve seen in the wild is the comment approved plugin. The others sound like they’d be more at home on Facebook than a WordPress blog.

    Hmm, wonder if I should make a WP plugin to let commenters throw zombies at each other, like so many of those lovely FB apps?

    andymurd’s last blog post – Anatomy Of A URL

  3. Kim Woodbridge says

    @Ron – Well, I always know that you will appreciate my sense of humor. I don’t mind lolcats as much as what goes along with it – “I can haz iPhone?” blerg.

    @Andy – LOL. You must get a lot of zombies thrown at you because this is the 2nd time you’ve mentioned this to me. I double dog dare you to write the plugin. And, you’re right, they are like facebook apps – I hadn’t even thought of that.

    @Kristi – You’re going to do a blog about cats? Cute! Now that plugin would make sense in that context.

  4. says


    Whew! I was a little scared to read this for fear of my plug-ins being used as parts of the list!

    Actually the only real concern is comment relish which gives folks an automatic email when they post a comment. I think it may annoy some, but no one’s called me on it (yet) :-)



    Tumblemoose’s last blog post – Query me this, Batman Part 2

  5. says

    I’m dropping everything I’m doing and installing all 5 of these plugins on my blog *right now!* Especially the leaf thing. My post yesterday barely passed standards and I need something to cover it up! And all those StumbleUpon visitors need a reason to leave (pun intended) my site even faster!

    Seriously, somebody has too much time on their hands. How much better the world would be if they put their talents to use with a good idea, like a really good footnote plugin!

    Thanks for the humor, Kim!

    Mike Nichols’s last blog post – Barriers to the Treatment of Social Phobia

  6. Kim Woodbridge says

    @Dee – One thing I failed to mention in the article is that some of the authors may be new to coding and wanted to try something simple for their first attempt at writing a plugin.

    @George – Comment Relish kind of annoys me but I decided not to include it. I wish it would just email someone the very first time they comment on a site but not after that. I read an article recently where one guy changes the text of it from time to time to keep it from getting too annoying and repetitive.

    @Mike – Let me know when you’ve finished installing them :-) We really have to get someone to write that footnote plugin for you. Glad you thought the article was funny.

  7. says

    Going downstairs now to tell my daughter I’m going to install the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” plugins since she’s always playing it. Not sure how you do it online – will be interesting to see … okay, maybe I’m not that interested!

    @Mike Nicholas … loved your comment.

    Trish Jones’s last blog post – Your Business Channel

  8. says

    For me, more than annoying plugins, I hate those plugins that are buggy. I had very bad experience with a couple of them including a feed footer, threaded comments and of late a Twitter Updater (my particular version).

    The worst thing is that sometimes your WP database also get screwed up because they add/modify tables that doesn’t get removed when you deactivate plugins.

    Ajith Edassery’s last blog post – Just 2 much! Two tiny widgets to improve the reach and accessibility of your content

  9. Kim Woodbridge says

    @Trish – Let me know when you’ve got Rock Paper Scissors loaded up ;-)

    @Ajith – It is best to be wary and to not use too many plugins. I recommend some useful ones from time to time but I think it’s best to use as few as possible. There are frequently conflicts between plugins and WordPress upgrades.

    @Ari – This blog is My Space – lol

    @Wesley :-) I hope to see some of these on your blog soon.

  10. says

    Yup, every one is annoying.

    There are others that may not be annoying, but are downright dangerous. When I look at a site that has trouble, I generally find it to be related to a rogue plugin. Those fit into a couple groups:

    1. Poorly coded – hits the database too often or is broken.
    2. Security risk – I’ve seen a gallery plugin that allowed a hacker to take over a server. Even putting phpmyadmin in your wp-admin is a problem.
    3. Lack of scalability – the google sitemaps plugin is excellent, but if you allow it to catalog over 5000 posts on most servers, it will kill the db connection.

    I blogged on just this topic this morning – http://www.allthingscahill.com/2008/11/my-wordpress-plugins/

  11. Kim Woodbridge says

    @Mark – Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I’m reviewing your article now. While some plugins, like Askimet, are absolutely necessary, it’s best to use as few as possible.

    I ran into a problem on my elephant blog with the related posts plugin. There are over 4,000 posts and a lot of tags and my host temporarily turned off my site due to excessive usage. I wrote about it in August when the problem happened.

    I’m not saying it’s a bad plugin it’s just best to be very wary

    @Wesley – I was just teasing. ;-)

  12. says

    There are many useless plugins out there and sorting through them is a job. THANK YOU for putting these on the list. Nice to be aware of, but even more than that, I thank you for the laugh this afternoon.

    I especially enjoyed “Falling Snowflakes”. Even if the blogs content was exceptional, covering it with the visual annoyance would detour almost anyone.

    By the way, which plugins are you using for comments? I like the touch of the Comment

    Tawny Press’s last blog post – Using Twitter to Enhance your Social Network

  13. says

    besides my post-reply to this i would like to ask Mike on what exactly a plugin he needs. I am actually looking for something to code and i have absolutely no idea what. i need to get my WP skills sharpened and i feel like everything has been already coded. for instance i was thinking about an IMDB plugin but when i started coding i searched a little and found out that there are at least 3! so guys any creative ideas are more than welcome!

    PS: you gave me an idea…. i’ll probably post a “give me ideas” post. it’s not that i have all the time of the world in my hands it’s just that i really need to sharpen my WP skills…

  14. says

    @stratosg – I’m trying out WP footnote plugins — there are 2 of them — and neither one of them is satisfactory due to 1) the way you have to code the footnotes in the text, and 2) the output, where it’s placed and how it looks.

    Take a look at this post, formatted with WP-Footnotes: Barriers to the Treatment of Social Phobia. The font size is too small and the footnotes fall all the way at the end of the post, with the ShareThis button between them and the FOOTNOTES label. I won’t get into how the text has to be formatted to get a footnote. It’s gross.

    If you are interested in exploring a footnote plugin, feel free to email me at mike at anxietypanichealth.com and we’ll talk some more.


    Mike Nichols’s last blog post – Barriers to the Treatment of Social Phobia

  15. says

    Kim, that’s exactly the type of problem I see with live stats types plugins. Writing to the database all the time, etc. I saw one of my high volume sites with a table that had over 7.8 million rows for a Top Post By Category plugin.

    The kicker? That plugin wasn’t even being used, it was just mindlessly tracking users.

    You might want to try supercache to cut down on the bandwidth usage. Although it does cause problems on some blogs.

  16. Kim Woodbridge says

    @Tawnya – Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I’m glad you got a laugh at the article. I’m not quite sure what you are asking me about my comments – what is it that you like about them?

    @stratosg – Thanks for visiting and for commenting. I saw your article this morning but was undecided as to whether I should comment or not. I’m sorry if this upset you in any way. I certainly do not mean to discount anyone’s hard work – and it had occured to me that these plugins may have been written as a way to learn how to create a plugin. Kristi actually wants to use your plugin on the cats blog that she is working on.

    Mike would be thrilled to work with you on a footnote plugin and has responded.

    @Wesley – (Anti) Social Friends are not related to top commenters. Except for Train for Humanity they are all sites or individuals that I have some sort of professional relationship with.

    @Mike – Thanks for coming back and providing more information for stratosg

    @Mark – I tried supercache on that other site but could never tell if was actually working. I’ve been neglecting that site for awhile so I do need to spend some time figuring out how to correct some of the problems.

    Over 7 million rows?!? That’s unbelievable.

  17. says

    @Kim As i said on my post “negative” comments are considered a feedback and i actually thank you for taking time to see into my work. I wrote the post just to be clear to my readers not to be “mean” on you. I will definitely take on Mike’s offer and you might see some work done that way :)

  18. Kim Woodbridge says

    @Tawny – Yes – comment luv is great. It helps all us get to know each other better.

    @stratosg – I didn’t think you were being mean :-) I think it’s wonderful that you and Mike are going to look into this new plugin. Then something awesome would come out of a very silly post.

  19. Kim Woodbridge says

    Wesley – I think there is a conflict with the part of the code and CSS file that are making the comments alternate colors. I thought that might happen.

    Here’s a list of WordPress themes that at least have a little blue in theme and have demos. http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/tags/blue

    The width of your current posts doesn’t matter. They will grow or shrink to fit the size of the content area on a different theme.

  20. says

    Heh, I guess I don’t spend enough time browsing wordpress plug-ins because I didn’t know about any of these. ;)

    The only plug-in that annoys me that I see used a lot is whatever one subscribes visitors to comments on blog entries. I don’t mind that per se, but every now and then I’ll come across blogs that have it checked by default (and I don’t always notice and uncheck it). I deal with enough email already–I don’t want to get a notice every time someone leaves a comment on a blog.

    Okay, done griping. ;)

    Lindsay’s last blog post – How to Create Financial Independence with Your Writing (AKA Be a Dairy Farmer, Not a Cattle Rancher)

  21. Kim Woodbridge says

    @Lindsay – I had to logout to see if I had subscribe to comments checked by default ;-) Whew!

    I can’t believe you didn’t know about any of these plugins ;-)

  22. says

    I must be picky, but I looked through 4 pages and it seems that every theme I look at I find something I don’t like about it. I feel like my current theme matches my personality really well, and it’s simple and easy to navigate. Maybe it would help me if you could give me some specifics about what is unappealing about it. I know that it’s often hard to put such feelings into words (at least for me) but if you could try it might really help me.

    Wesley’s last blog post – I want an online bookstore.

  23. Kim Woodbridge says

    Wesley – I have a hard time finding themes that I like too. Or I will think I’ve found the perfect theme and then when I install it it doesn’t work properly. That’s why I learned how to edit them.

    I don’t think I ever said your current theme was unappealing – I like the header image. I think I would change the background to a different blue and add some more information and a photo to the about page.


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