I’ve made this mistake in the past and it may have cost me a few readers. People get trigger happy with their plugins and readers can’t get to the content.
You need to remember that the content is the main reason someone might be reading your blog at any one point in time. If your blog takes 5 minutes to load there is a good chance they are going to bail.
I’ve set up a development blog for the purpose of testing my blogs speed when adding and updating plugins. The goal is to keep the load time down to seconds. This way I know my blog can handle the load when getting a rush of new readers from a social bookmarking site or high profile twitterer.
My basic rule of thumb is if the plugin isn’t beneficial to the reader I don’t use it. I have since removed all back links to blog directories and any traffic boosting programs. I even got rid of sociable because it added a half a second load time to the page.
There’s nothing I need to put in my sidebar I can’t create a new page for and its not worth the hassle.
So please use plugins that direct me to your best content and focus on helping me, the reader.
– Photo by Editor B