DOTW: What WP Plugins or Services have you replaced and why? (Participation = 3 Hero Points)

This DOTW topic is inspired by the popularity of a recent post on our blog: The Slowest WordPress plugins (and Alternatives to Try Instead)

1. What essential(to you) plugins or services have you replaced due to performance issues?(or other issues - include the reason) and what plugin or service did you replace it with?

2. Are you using any essential plugins or services on your site now that are causing issues and you want to replace, but haven’t found adequate replacements for? If so, name them and include the reasons alternatives you've tried didn't work out(if applicable). Perhaps our community will know of some other alternatives :slight_smile:

I do want to quickly mention here that you should always reach out to the plugins/services support team first and see if they can resolve the issue before you decide to replace it. In many cases, issues are due to conflicts with other plugins - their support team may be able to provide a solution, but of course, that isn’t always the case as I’m sure we all have experienced first hand.


-At least one comment = 3 Hero Points(must participate within 7 days of thread post date)
-DOTW = Discussion of the Week
-Last DOTW: AMA with our GDPR Expert! Ronnie Burt

  • DigiBlueArc

    Hey Tyler, DOTW is a great series. It creates great discussions that lead to neat solutions. Thank you.

    I have a heck of a challenge sometimes with Beaver Builder being incompatible with domain mapping. They say it's multisite but I have isolated it to domain mapping. I also figured out one solution that seems to work so far.

    Solution: In the subdomain where the mapping takes place, I change the "Front End Redirect Should Be" from "Directed to Mapped (primary) Domain" to "Directed to Original Domain" while working in beaver builder, then I turn it back when I'm not using beaver builder.

    I'm hoping someone else using beaver builder has a better solution, or of course if you do.

    BTW: I have a paid version of beaver builder (agency level) which I purchased because it's supposed (Ha!) to be compatible with multisite.

    You're much appreciated,

    • Steve - Just Think BiG

      That's interesting DigiBlueArc.

      I'm a big fan of beaver Builder (paid version) and have been using it on more than one multisite with no issue - until recently, when I experienced a problem with domain validation in Domain Mapping (you can see the thread here).

      Essentially, all of my mapped domains turned 'Invalid' all of a sudden. The mapping still worked ok on the front end but you had to be more careful when working in admin. I didn't think of your work around, which may well have helped.

      I raised the issue with both WPMUDEV and Beaver Builder, both of whom said there was no problem. However, after raising the issue with them all but one of my mapped domains turned back to 'Valid' over the following 4/5 days - which was a little weird.

      Does this sound like the issue you've had?

      Like you, I'd very much like to see this issue addressed - or hear from anyone else with a better work around.

      Tyler - I'm also finding DOTW very useful. Thanks to you and the team at WPMUDEV

      Kindest regards,


    • Tyler Postle

      Hey Rick, glad you like the series! Hmm that sounds like it could be a bug in Domain Mapping or at least a compatibility issue with BB(which we def want to be compatible with), sounds different than Steve's issue.

      I don't know of a better solution myself but start a live chat or create a ticket here, if you haven't already:

      Our support team will help figure out what the problem is :slight_smile: grant Support Access as well if you don't mind - just in case they can't replicate it. Sounds like an odd one.

      • DigiBlueArc

        Hey Timothy, that's really awesome and I'm not surprised, you guys really do go the distance. Seriously, Thank you.

        Just an FYI. I just moved hosting (VPS) to a dedicated server on the cloud with liquidweb. I'm super pleased with the move, I no longer recommend host4geeks. I moved quickly because I needed Docker for my openchain (a open source blockchain). Docker comes integrated with Plesk (not cPanel, only a workaround) and unfortunately, Plesk doesn't have a solution yet for letsencrypt wildcard, which means I won't use multisite until they solve it. Sadly, I love multisite. However, automate makes single sites doable.

        I'm in a huge learning curve, still on Linux CentOS 7 but now with nginx instead of apache, I'm hoping there aren't many compatibility issues but having a challenge getting defender to finish its scan, hangs up at 63%. I'm having my programmer look at the issue. It's not spitting out errors.

        Kudos to your whole team, their attitudes are amazing and 90% of my plugins are dev. A member for life.

        Best regards,

  • Fabio Fava

    Hey there!

    1 - I've replaced my old Image Optimization with Smush Pro (love its Multisite mode). It just needs a very small fine-tuning on the plugin (like Smushing the images uploaded within a Post via WordPress App). Also replaced a plugin that white-labels the wp-login.php to Ultimate Branding. And last but not least, I've replaced Wordfence for our beloved Defender. I'm happy and moving more to WPMU DEV plugins.

    2 - Pretty much every bug I can find I always get to developers support, and the problems are normally solved on the next version. That's what I love most on WordPress: we can easily get in touch with developers and suggest things. Better: they (you) normally get it done! With WPMU DEV it's even nicer, our suggestions are taken seriously and implemented fast. And I'm always suggesting! :slight_smile:


  • DigitalPowerups

    I just deleted Jetpack from all my sites, except for the Woo ones that now require it. Pingdom showed an immediate speed boost.

    Replaced Wordfence with Defender which I'm much happier with.

    I never really picked a camp between All in One SEO and Yoast, so now I swapped them for Smartcrawl.

    The only other plugins I use regularly are Divi + Bloom and Monarch and All of the Thrive Themes plugins.

  • Antonio

    I have started using WPMU Dev plugins a 2 days ago. Already swapped the non-WPMU Dev plugins with their WPMU Dev much more advanced counterparts on 5 websites. Just to clarify, I have been using the DIVI theme on all my websites.

    I have started with Hummingbird PRO and I was amazed. I did use SG-optimizer before which was the SiteGround`s native hosting plugin. It was okay, but did not give me as many options when it comes to page and browser caching. In relation to other performance plugins I have had conflicts with W3 total cache and the like before. So, Hummingbird Pro did make me snowball into several other WPMU Dev plugins.

    Then I swapped Yoast SEO for SmartCrawl. So far I am happier with SmartCrawl, which is also attributed to the fact that I am paying $49 for unlimited websites and dozens of great plugins while the licenses for the other plugins seem expensive.

    The next plugin swap was Wordfence for Defender. Then again, Defender seems very reliable and offers similar functionality to Wordfence.

    In the future, I will be testing many of the WPMU plugins and I will definitely use them instead of their competitors` plugins.

  • Patricia BT


    - First the bad thing to say :slight_smile: WPMUDev plugins replaced:
    I replaced Pro Site, first with WP Ultimo, then I completely abandoned the idea to have my clients on a multisite, and recently abandoned the idea to have clients, hahaha, well not exactly, but not the same type of services.
    I also tried some of other WPMUDev plugins but replaced with others, but it was some years ago, maybe your plugins have evolved, I'm talking about Membership, replaced by Paidmembership Pro, and Directory with GeoDirectory, Affiliate with WPAffiliates, and CustomPress with Toolset (but I haven't used extensively)

    - Now, Automattic plugins replaced:
    I replaced Akismet by Antispam bee, since years. I replaced Hello Dolly by ... nothing haha, and replaced most of the Jetpack functions by other plugins, I still have to find alternatives to some of the functions. However if I do an ecommerce site, I'll stick with WooCommerce.

    - Then Elegantthemes plugins replaced:
    I used to use Bloom, but I changed for ConvertPro by the team behind Astra theme, and will have a look at your Forminator. I'm also currently searching for a good replacement of Monarch

    - other plugins
    WPML: I replaced in new sites with MultilingualPress, and love it. However WPML has become good, I saw the difference on sites where I left it as is and simply updated to new versions, all the points they got bad rep on have improved a lot.

    I also replaced Wordfence by Defender, like in some of the other comments above. I replaced on new installs, anyway it was not a long time since I used Wordfence, and only had issues with it. I have also iThemes security and am comparing with Defender now, also comparing with SecuPress, as the developer of this plugin is THE French expert on security, I saw him in many WordCamps on security and trust him a lot on that topic.

    Galleries: I tried many gallery plugins in the past, such as NextGen or EazyGallery, in the end I use the native gallery of WordPress, but in conjunction of that great WPMedia Folder plugin by Joomunited (they do plugins for WP and Joomla, hence the name and the "fresh point of view"), which allows to put images into subfolders, and other great stuff

    SEO, I find Yoast SEO a bit "too much", so I'm currently trying other things, such as SEOPress

    Looking for alternative to MonsterInsights for Google analytics.

    I'll edit this post or comment again if I think of more :slight_smile:

  • Nataliya

    Hello Tyle, I replaced MarketPress eCommerce with Woocommerce due to lack of payment options for Russian market. I am using Yandex.Money wallet and Webmoney.
    I would like to replace Cyr-And-Lat plugin for 2 reasons: not everything translates in to Cyrillic and it hasn’t been updated for a long time
    I wish Coursepress could be more robust, if you read this plugin tickets - people struggle with this plugin all the time, not to mention every new update gives a lot of bugs. I am using it, but not very happy with reliability of this plugin.

  • Jack

    I'm in the process of replacing Cart66 Pro with WooCommerce (unfortunately neither Market Press or Woo function the way I need but Woo was closer) because they decided to stop supporting it and force their client's into a Cloud-Based Subscription product they run.

    Other than that I replace any small plugins (Default featured image, encrypt email, etc) with equivalent theme functions in a custom functionality plugin.

  • Jaxom

    Over the past two years I have replaced virtually every plugin that can be with WPMU.
    Yes there have been a few teething pains along the way and I have discovered the older sites usually throw up more errors or issues than ones done in the last 3 years. So backwards compatibility has sometimes been an issue an slowed the move to WPMU but we always over come the issue either directly through support or the forum as someone else has had the same or similar issue.
    The only issue I have with WPMU is Hummingbird and your CDN, on some sites it's great and on others I have to not use the CDN as it negatively effects the load speed

    The only plugin I regret is buying SEO Premium Redirection, total waste of money, doesn't work or throws all kinds of pages into redirects for no logical reason and slowed the site down something chronic and don't get me going on refunds..........


  • theProduct

    I'm still using iThemes Security Pro, but would love to see a more expanded featureset of Defender so that I can phase it out, since it is one of the main reasons I keep my iThemes licence active (well, I also have one site using the iThemes "Rotating Text" plugin, but I'm sure I can find an alternative for that if I were to fully replace iThemes Security Pro, haha).

    Gravity Forms is still one of the great many loves of my life. Hoping that the new form plugin by WPMU will one day grow up big and strong, but I'm not quite willing to swap nearly 100 sites and all their forms just yet :wink:

    For performance tweaking, I currently use a delicate (albeit fussy as hell and seemingly always in need of a different configuration on each site) mix of W3 Total Cache + Autoptimize + CloudFlare. Oh my word, it's a pain in the ass to get the balance right, but when you do - damn it's fast.

    I haven't done enough testing with WPMU's performance optimization/compression tools, but over the coming weeks I'm planning on seeing what features replace what I already have vs. what will play alongside it best.

    Most importantly, I'm still using InfiniteWP as my main central management/update dashboard over WPMU's "The Hub" (see this thread ([THE HUB] MAKE THE HUB *DO*, NOT JUST *SHOW*) as to why).

    On that note, InfiniteWP's centrally managed backup tool also usurps both Snapshot Pro and BackupBuddy for the time being, because configuring that many individual backups just isn't going to happen.... however "Cloner" will likely replace "BackupBuddy" in some situations (especially if I'm able to ditch my iThemes licence per above).


  • Greg

    Thank you for this topic, it's very interesting.

    Mostly, I try not to use third-party plug-ins for things that are easy to do.
    Also, I have a hosting provider that takes great care of performance, security and backups, which is actually the best way I found to solve plug-in madness : not needing plugins. I guess that for people with very specific needs, this is actually an issue, but for me it is a real gain in loading time and upkeep times !

  • KloppStop

    I have replaced YoastSEO with SmartCrawl, so far Im liking it much better and wanting to convert some of my old sites with it as well.

    although the biggest feature I need in a plug in is a Testimony Rotator, I have tried many but none seem to fit all the requirements without costing an arm and both legs. haha. Is there something in the WPMUDev list I am missing for a Testimony/Comment/Review slider/Rotator? Any suggestions would be helpful.

    I have also been working on replacing Ninja Forms with Forminator.

  • djohns

    I replaced Snapshot with Updraft Plus after a massive restore failure about 2 years ago.

    Replaced Ultimate Branding with Loginstyle so I could have placeholders and not just labels, as well as social logins but am moving back to Ultimate Branding d/t conflict between my BuddyPress registration plugin and Loginstyle.

    Dropped Membership 2 Pro for eMember as Membership 2 Pro did not have manual user approval at the time. And apparently the way to set that up remains clunky.

    Currently considering swapping out Wordfence for Defender, and Caldera Forms (free) for Forminator.

    Using Popup Pro as I like the interface.

    Likely to be giving BuddyPress Group Calendar and BuddyPress Group email a try soon.

    Will be trying Automessage if I can figure out how to use it with manually approving BuddyPress users.

  • Danny Holt


    I am part of the support team over at Beaver Builder and although, I still need to setup a multisite server using the WPMU Dev plugin. I think the issue is related to your domains being different i.e. when you enable the builder it is loading on the "mapped" domain, but you aren't logged in (you're logged in on the unmapped domain) which is why it isn't working.

    Usually, this can be resolved by making sure both domains are the same, can you check for me and let me know. I will also set up a test server in the next day or so and see if I can recreate the issue. :slight_smile:



      Danny I always prefer to have my own/client sites using the original network addresses for login and admin for a variety of reason... security is a big one, at server and eg. CloudFlare page rules...
      also, login/admin at original network address helps make some other cool multisite|multi-network stuff work well...
      eg. in one WP have a 'stage' network and a 'live' network - and the flow is push sites from 'stage' network to 'live' network and then re-map :slight_smile:
      Cheers, Max


    I stopped using Domain Mapping and Pro Sites.

    Then, I started using Domain Mapping again --> ONLY because it is so awesome and works *pretty good* with JJJ's wp-multi-network (do multiple multisite networks in one WP) and I'd love to see support for multi-network be polished (mostly backend stuff affecting network superadmins).

    I have replaced Pro Sites with WPUltimo, mostly because it integrates with WooCommerce to do billing and because it supports use with multi-networks (many features in early stage though) - however, I choose not to use its integration of Mercator for domain mapping because I have found that currently WPMUDEV's Domain Mapping plugin is just better, in so many ways large and small... eg. correctly dealing with permalinks :slight_smile:

    So, yeah, Domain Mapping + WP-Mulit-Network is what I'd like to see some work on...
    ...and then other WPMUDEV plugins as well (though many already work quite well with multi-networks, eg. Ultimate Branding).

    Any case, I'm glad y'all have trimmed your focus a bit; confident that this will help make the great stuff even better :slight_smile:

    Ceers, Max
    (ps. enjoy some errata: 42 days == 10! seconds)

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