I woke up very early today and found that the layout of Mobility.ng was broken. Nothing else that I tried worked. Eventually, I found out that the break happened only when I was logged into the blog. When logged out, the site loaded as it should. Odd. Then I remembered that an update for a particular plugin, Jetpack by WordPress.com, was applied last night. My spider sense immediately went tingling. So, I de-activated that plugin to see if the problem was from there. True to my suspicion, once the plugin was disabled, everything went back to normal.
Plugins help add extra functionality to self-hosted WordPress blogs. But plugins can be a pain in the butts. A very bad pain. Update a plugin and it could break the layout of your site. Install a plugin and the server load from your blog may spike. Plugins are a blessing and a curse.
There are currently 18 active plugins on this blog, adding a range of functionality. I wonder what it would be like to run the blog without any active plugin. I can tell already that it would require extra work to manually add the functionality that some of those plugins add easily. But, hey….
Meanwhile, it is a good idea to keep your use of plugins to the minimum possible that you can get away it. And when your self-hosted WordPress blog breaks, check to see if you recently installed or updated a plugin. That is always a good place to start.