There’s a reason why WordPress plugins are so popular - they offer a huge boost in functionality and features to your website that it wouldn’t otherwise have. Plugins are necessary in order to provide an otherwise basic website with a whole new range of possibilities, including the ability to start an online store, create a podcast and build a photography website. However, with over 50,000 plugins to choose from, at what point have you downloaded too many plugins? We’re going to take a look at the potential problems that come along with too many WordPress plugins and whether or not you’ve overindulged.
There are a number of reasons why too many WordPress plugins can cause a problem for your website - including security breaches, bad performance, slow loading speeds, and even site crashes. These can significantly impact the user’s experience and make your website (in their eyes) virtually unusable.
Brad Smith of Torquemag.io expands on why there is such thing as too many WordPress plugins:
So, how are you supposed to know if you’re using too many plugins? If you’re not experiencing any obvious delays, the general rule of thumb is that you should never exceed 20 plugins, although there are exceptions to this. If your site is hosted on either shared or budget cloud hosting, you’ll ideally use no more than 5 plugins.
Machielle Thomas of Bluehost.com expands on how to know if you’re using too many WordPress plugins:
“A small blog site or a one-person eCommerce venture might need five or fewer key plugins, while a larger site or one that’s run on a hosting package with more server space, such as a Virtual Private Server, could comfortably manage more than 20 plugins for highly specialized functions. If every active plugin you’ve installed is secure and performing a needed function for your site, you probably aren’t using too many. But your plugin collection may need some pruning if you have:
Inactive plugins that haven’t been deleted
Outdated plugins that are no longer being updated or supported
Multiple plugins that overlap or duplicate functions
Plugins that don’t add essential functions or features to your site”.
If you have a look through your existing plugins (especially if you already have a number of them downloaded), you may be surprised at how many are either outdated, or that you no longer use. There are also a number of options available that can help you customize your existing plugins.
Robert Giaquinto of Greengeeks.com tells us more about managing your existing plugins:
“If a plugin is older and no longer receiving normal updates, you need to replace it. The longer the plugin goes without an update, the more likely it will introduce a security vulnerability to your website. WordPress plugins are full of customization options that allow you to set how the plugin behaves. In most cases, you can lessen the impact a plugin will have on your website. By applying better WordPress plugins and user management techniques, you are unlikely to impact your website in a negative way.”
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