Skip navigation

How Many is Too Many WordPress Plugins?

WordPress PluginsIn “How Many WordPress Plugins Should You Install on Your Site?” WPBeginner asks a question I bring up in my workshops, training programs, and college courses: How many WordPress Plugins are too many.

The article brings up some valid points worth considering when choosing WordPress Plugins.

  1. Are WordPress Plugins a security risk? How would you know?
  2. Do WordPress Plugins slow down your site and impact performance?
  3. Does the ease of installing WordPress Plugins make a nightmare for professional developers and designers when their clients are free to add anything they want or make changes?
  4. How reliable and trustworthy are most WordPress Plugins?
  5. What do you do about a WordPress Plugin that isn’t compatible (or compatibility not listed) for a upgrade?
  6. Can the functionality you need in a Plugin be put within the Theme? How would you know and how would you go about it? What if you change the Theme?
  7. How do you choose between two WordPress Plugins that do the same thing?

As for the number one question, can WordPress Plugins slow down my site, here is what WPBeginner reports.

Before we go any further, let’s establish that it is NEVER too many plugins that are slowing down your site. It is always poorly coded plugins that are slowing down your website.

The answer to the question: “How many WordPress plugins should you install on your site” is as many as you need. When we tell this answer to folks, they are like you are being just as vague as others. How many plugins do you use on your site? Currently, there are 53 active plugins on WPBeginner. A good number of the plugins we are using can be seen on our Blueprint page.

According to Pingdom, our homepage load time ranges from 483ms – 1.7s depending on the time of the day…

At this point, you should have your question answered.

Truly, with 53 WordPress Plugins active on their site, those are fast loading times. The article goes on to explain the impact of performance and WordPress Plugins, seriously worth a read.

Lorelle’s Recommendations on Choosing WordPress Plugins

Here are suggestions and tips I give my students and clients on how to choose a WordPress Plugins.

  1. Take advantage of the WordPress Plugin Directory crowd sourced rating and feedback system. How do others rate these Plugins? What have been the issues reported in the ? It’s no different than reading the reviews and ratings on software or mobile apps.
  2. If you have problems or great joy with a WordPress Plugin, participate in the crowd sourced rating and feedback system on the WordPress Plugin Directory to help others make their decisions.
  3. Look at the compatibility versions and age of the Plugin. The Plugin Directory automatically “ages” the Plugins older than 2 years if they haven’t been updated or shown activity. It doesn’t mean the Plugin doesn’t work, it is just information to consider as you make a decision.
  4. Visit the Plugin Author’s site to see how they promote and support their Plugin. Do they have articles about their work on the Plugin and a lot of activity around it? Then it is likely to have a continued existence and be updated and well supported.
  5. RTFM. Seriously. Read the installation, screenshots, and all the documentation associated with the Plugin. If it is written poorly, how good do you think the code is? If it is well documented with helpful information, then that speaks loudly for the quality of the code and the attention to details by the author(s).
  6. When choosing between two or more versions of the same functionality, take into consideration the above points, and look closely at the feature details. There is usually some functionality that is different.
  7. When choosing between two or more versions, try them all. Most WordPress Plugins are free or free for the lite version. Try each one. Take notes. How are they different and the same. Which is easier, faster, and more efficient in handling the task? It may only take a few minutes. Remember, making a commitment to a WordPress Plugin could impact your site for years.
  8. Adding Plugin functionality to your WordPress Theme traps you with that Theme. If you wish to change the Theme, you will lose that functionality and have to add it to the new Theme. That might be out of your skill set or require too much time, thus constraining your ability to stay flexible with your WordPress Theme.
  9. Test your site’s bandwidth and speeds before installing the Plugin. A few days after installing and using the Plugin, test it again (or sooner depending upon the Plugin’s functionality and purpose). If you see noticeable difference, deactivate the Plugin and test again. The same or different?
  10. Talk to the Plugin author if you have questions or concerns. Most are amazingly open and helpful, but don’t consume their time. They also have lives and businesses, and more code to create.

At one time I had over 70 WordPress Plugins on one of my sites. has often mentioned meeting a man with over 300 WordPress Plugins active on his site. My clients tend to have 5-25, depending upon functionality and need. Some of the Plugins are to compensate for required functionality such as for comment spam, the File Gallery WordPress Plugin to replace the annoying and time-consuming native multimedia management of WordPress, and a contact form WordPress Plugin as WordPress does not currently have built-in contact form capabilities…these “required” Plugins add up.

As WPBeginner stated, the number of WordPress Plugins you need is the number you need, and not one more than that.

Be judicious in your WordPress Plugin choices and your WordPress web publishing life will be much easier.

Note to WordPress.com Users

If you are on , you may be among the few complaining or confused by the inability to add WordPress Plugins to your WordPress.com site. You cannot.

However, you are using WordPress Plugins on WordPress.com all the time. Much of its functionality is based upon WordPress Plugins such as the contact form, social media sharing, and the Writing Helper, among others. Installation is not permitted, but usage of the included Plugins will help you do just about everything you need to do.


Feed on Lorelle on WordPress Subscribe Feedburner iconVia Feedburner Subscribe by Email

Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

48 Comments

  1. Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Jetpack adds many of the functions most bloggers need with one plugin which is a great idea and you know it should be well coded because its developed by Automattic.

    I think the number also depends on your theme and whether your theme support offers specific code which is well written.

    Genesis offers a diverse range of code to add functions to your site without the need for plugins and they also offer a range of plugins developed specifically for this framework. You’d have to think these are amongst the best to use for this theme framework.

    Thesis is in the same boat as Genesis in this respect as they also offer a large range of code snippets.

    WordPress SEO by Yoast is another plugin which includes all the SEO features you need so you shouldn’t need another SEO plugin.

    I think 20 is about the maximum you need. Less the better in my opinion. If you can add direct code instead its probably better in some respects however the updating of that code in this case adds more time and effort.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      There is often too much functionality built into some WordPress Themes, and sometimes too little. The code snippet offerings and features are fantastic, but sometimes they are bloat. Hard to know sometimes, especially for the beginner. And when you change Themes…all the functionality you counted on is gone, trapped in the Theme. It is great for the Theme developer that it traps a user with a Theme as they depend upon those features, but tough when you can’t find the same features easily without the Theme. Hard call on that part of Themes verses Plugins, isn’t it.

      I adore WordPress SEO by Yoast. I loved being a part of the testing originally. Excellent recommendation. Too many SEO Plugins make life harder not easier, and changes nothing.

      Twenty is a good number, but it all depends. Some people need nothing more than Akismet and a contact form. Others need massive functionality.

      I think WPBeginner was right, echoing my own thoughts. Use as many as you need, but only what you need. I’m working on some very old sites right now, updating them, and reconsidering Plugin choices I made five years ago, so that mantra is going through my head plenty. LOL!

  2. Posted September 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Do your research before using a plugin, and make sure you download it directly from the WP site. Install all updates immediately thereafter.

    I am currently utilizing 38 active plugins on one of my sites, with another 15 that typically stay deactivated until I need them. I have had 50-something active plugins working fine together in the past, and the extra load was neglible. As wpsitesdotnet mentioned above, that’s more dependent on how well the plugin is coded, and that it follows strict WP standards. I have a test site I use just for that purpose, as a matter of fact. Maybe I should open my results to the public? Hmmm…

    And I second WordPress SEO by Yoast. It’s great. Even WP is using it now, deprecating their old code.

    BTW, mMay I ask what plugin (if any) you are using for the subscribe buttons under your signature? I REALLY like the way that looks.

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. See Adding a Signature To Personalize Your Blog Post for details. This is a WordPress.com site so the signature is created manually in HTML and has various shortcut methods to implement over the years. All manual, but that article refers to some other techniques with Plugins. I’m sure there are more. Trust me, this is NOT something you do not want to do. I do not advocate it. It is a PITA. Seriously. I did it for a specific design purpose and I’ve had to live with it ever since and I regret the decision.

      Thanks!

  3. Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I have 3-5 plugins on my site, and they satisfy me fully. Best regards!

    Alex Wyler | Russia

  4. Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    “5-25″ – es sometihing like thaat, or a bit abow if you like some experiments. Otherwise it’s going to be noisy on the plugin site.

  5. jeyamaria
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    During the last 5 years of living with WordPress, I gradually reduced my plugin requirement on most of my blogs and my clients blogs to three.
    Akismet – For Spam Filtering
    Wordpress SEO – Works fantastically all the time for SEO and for Sitemap
    Wp-Supercache – For caching and for CDN on AWS

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 3:29 am | Permalink

      What did you do to ‘reduce the plugin requirements’? Just threw them away and lost some functionality or features, or hard-coded what the client wanted into WP or the theme, or what?

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      That was what I was going to ask. Thanks!

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      These three are the must have plugins on most of my blogs I set up. If a client particularly needs a plugin, I try first to hard code that function into the theme. Relying on too many plugins and rectifying the problems arise from one of those plugins is time consuming and may scare away the clients from me. I always try to make sure not to get too many support requests from my clients. Reducing the number of plugins helps to achieve that. Pagespeed score, Web Page loading time, Less CPU load and Client’s trust on me are the primary factors I keep in mind while selecting a wordpress theme or a plugin. A plugin that breaks any of the above factors are not going to get into my blogs easily.

    • Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      As you go forward, you may find your clients becoming more WordPress savvy and resent the inclusion of bloat in their Themes, wishing more modularization with Plugins. That’s what I’ve found over the past five years.

  6. Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Does anyone else use plugins for extra security, too, such as OSE Firewall or similar? Malware scanners (although these aren’t typically activated until you need them)?

    I’ve also been using the ManageWP – Worker plugin for the last few months. I have a small army of blogs that are either mine or I maintain, and this particular service saves me HOURS of work each day by allowing me to do everything (for all my WP sites) from one dashboard. BTW, for personal bloggers, you can sign up for a free account and enter up to 5 sites.

    Add to those Super Cache and Widget Cache, a broken link/image checker, etc., and yeah, they stack up fairly quick on some of my sites. And I haven’t gotten into the plugins that are necessary (and usually much easier than coding) for client requests. The key, at least for me, is to test thoroughly before using them on a client site. Good plugins that are coded properly and up to WP standards, however, should never bump, and the extra load is typically negligible.

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree that fancy sliders, video and audio plugins, and such are typically not necessary (and can sometimes add quite a bit of load time, as well), but I have 7 plugins on ALL of my sites that are just purely for protection. And no, they don’t all do the same thing. ;) More often than not, the fewer plugins, the better, though.

    Now if I’m building a custom theme from scratch for a client, then I definitely prefer to hard code the functions directly into the theme.

    I’ve been dying to check out Jetpack, but I just haven’t had the time yet. I’ve been hearing rave reviews for it.

    • jtprattmedia
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:14 am | Permalink

      Security plugin is the first thing I install – usually Better WP Security (but there are many security plugins to choose from, and your mileage may vary).

      I think it’s good to make a short list you use on every WP website (if you build or manage a lot), and I end up using things like Excludes Pages from Navigation, or Revision Control, and Gravity forms by default on all sites. On most sites, I use ManageWP worker as well.

      Jetpack is great depending on the functionality that you need. I use it on every site because I prefer the official WordPress.com stats in my wp-admin (but some don’t). It also has things you used to need plugins for, like “subscribe to blog” widget, and a “subscribe to comments” feature (among other things). The sharing options aren’t bad either.

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      There are some amazing security Plugins now available, but also some older ones that have fallen by the wayside that I wish were revived.

      In the early days of WordPress, a friend of mine (you know who you are) worked very hard to create a “medic” for WordPress that would do a full inspection of your site and report on what needed fixing and updating, or could be optimized better. A nurse, if you will, doing a health checkup. I’d love to see that revived and updated to current standards as we sometimes just need a physical to see how we’re doing. The security scans are good, but they aren’t as good as one that includes those and digs in deeper to let us know what is bad code, doubtful code, and tests our cholesterol levels. :D

      Coding into the Theme is fine, but if you talk to a lot of developers and designers who have to work with these things after the fact, they dream of the death of much of the functions.php file. Modularization, adding what you need not the entire package, is often much smarter, one of the original reasons why WordPress developed the concept of WordPress Themes and Plugins. It modularized the design from the custom functionality and features, and from the core program.

      Hard coding features and functions into the Theme means the owner must be tied to that Theme, limiting some of their options. Great for continued business, not so great for the customer – sometimes. Sometimes it is good, but I like to think big picture on these things.

  7. Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I live in Quebec Canada, where every one is supposed to have a bilingual everything to succeed in business. I am looking for a plug in that would allow me to switch from English to French or vice versa. Can any one recommend a language switcher plugin?

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Google Translator is my go-to. Lots of language selections, too.

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      In some websites, on the upper right corner, I have seen a flag that represent a language. When people click on that flag, the whole WordPress site appears in a different language. I have translate all the text myself from English to French, but now, I wold like that when some one click on the “French” sign (or flag), they would see everything exactly the same but in French. I would never dare to use Google translator… I have seen some weird translations. I do not want WordPress to translate my text, the text is already translated, I just want people to be able to switch from English to French and vice versa with one click.

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately, all auto-translators suck badly. :D I see what your saying now, though. There is a plugin at ‘http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/xili-language/’ that MIGHT be able to do what you’re looking for. I’ve never used it myself, so I can’t say for use. Hope it helps you. – Brad

    • Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      I’ve written about Translation and Multilingual WordPress Plugins, and some of these are still going, which means they are worth investigating further.

      As Bradley said, many suck but they have improved greatly.

      Research has found that if you have a large contingency of foreign visitors, serving up their languages with proficient translations will get you further than machine auto translation, and restrict the bandwidth and database hits on your site by generating all these translated versions for languages for which you have few visitors.

      Good for you for wanting to do this and make your site more accessible, but even the top bloggers who once offered this, like myself, have stopped due to the effort costing more than it was worth in time, money, and energy, as well as poor translation. Savvy users know how to cruise the web in their own language with translators.

      I’m still on my soap box to put translation DIRECTLY into browsers that convert the page to my language upon arrival, opening up all the content around the world to me.

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Brad, I will try it this week. If it works, I will let you know. :)

    • Posted September 29, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Google’s on-page translator has an option where you can have the plugin pre-translate the original pages in however many languages you need, and according to the documentation, this also allows them all to be crawled individually, resulting in hundreds to thousands more links for your site across the globe. It seems to me the extra resources might well be worth the price for possibly thousands of new global visitors.

    • Posted October 2, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I failed at my attempt to have a multilingual site. I will have to put that project on the drawer and come back to it later. If any one has some experience with metalanguage sites or metalanguage plugins please let me know

    • Posted October 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Don’t give up that fast, Alain. :) It is definitely possible because I’ve seen it done MANY times. For instance: http://veodesign.com They have a bit of browser code or a Geo plugin that figures out where I’m from and then redirects me to either the English or French Site. Look over to the right by the Home button and you’ll notice an ‘fr’ and ‘en’ to change the language. It CAN be done.

      This might not be a perfect match, but may still work:
      http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/qtranslate/

      http://wordpress.org/support/topic/a-bilingual-blog-solution?replies=17

      http://oncleben31.cc/en/multisite-language-switcher-theme/

      See? Not impossible at all. WP users have been working with the idea for a LONG time now.

    • Posted October 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      @Alain – I didn’t even knew this existed until I just asked a friend a few minutes ago.

      http://wpml.org/

      Sounds like it might be what you need. Hope it works.

    • Posted October 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much. I just joined a Facebook Montreal WordPress group where most of them have the same situation as I and this is the plugin that all of them recommended.

      I have to say it. One of the greatest thing about WordPress is its community.

    • Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      LOL! Ain’t the WordPress Community wonderful! Don’t forget to check out the Montreal WordPress meetup group for in-person meetings, and the WordCamp in Montreal is amazing. Glad Bradley and others could help!

  8. Posted October 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Great post Lorelle!

    I would only add that when choosing between two or more plugins that do the same thing, “trying them all” should happen on a test install, maybe a local one, since not all plugins have an uninstall script which will delete their options, transients, caches or even database tables upon plugin deletion.

    “Trying out” a lot of plugins in a live environment for a long period of time, may result in a slow website with 0 plugins and the default theme — I had one add over ten thousand rows in the wp_options table with autoload set to yes. That + persistent object caching = nightmare which makes newbies think that “WordPress is slow.”

    Thanks for the write-up!

    ~ Konstantin

  9. Posted October 2, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle

    Just a quick note.

    I installed Jetpack for its stats and social sharing snippets to find out that it started to use a lot of memory of my VPS running on an Apache Server. It generated Out Of Memory (OOM) issues and resulted in a wacky server. After adding some memory it seems to work better.

    As I know you run this blog on WordPress.com, I have a feeling that memory use is a matter you might not frequently encounter. Moreover it does get little attention from the good WordPress community itself.

    Particularly some plugins with cron jobs such as Broken Links Checker (a must in my view with a larger site) and a combination with Vaultpress may take up a lot of memory.

    When you are on shared hosting they may kick you off your plan and force you to a VPS or similar.

    It all started for me already somewhere between WordPress 2.4 and WordPress 2.8.

    If you search the forums on the subject any suggestion to curtail memory loads are suppressed by the admins…

    So I would not agree that you could not have too many plugins. I would say “It depends” It is not for nothing that you cannot use all plugins you want on WordPress.com

    • Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Memory issues with Jetpack have been discussed and I believe that it has improved greatly as they work on it. Many Plugins that work with cron jobs, especially large ones, take a toll on memory issues.

      Again, “it depends” because it depends upon your usage and what you are asking of your site through the use of WordPress Plugins. Most of us get caught up in the excitement and add Plugin after Plugin, whether we need them or not. We forget they are there. We aren’t careful like you to go though and really test things, or even know where to begin. In that case, I always recommend minimalism. Use only what you can’t live without.

      For those that understand the complexities of bandwidth and memory issues, it is important to test drive Plugins to see the impact on your site.

      There is more awareness than ever before, and more standards in place, to ensure WordPress Plugins are more secure and written to higher specifications for memory leaks and intensive consumption of resources. Plugin authors are learning, and users are learning as well, thus improving.

      Web hosts are learning even slower, offer shared hosting plans down to the minimum so they can charge more sooner, and forcing you onto a higher paid service. They are also less responsive when helping someone deal with memory and bandwidth issues, with poorly trained customer service folks and assumptions that if you know enough to get a website, you know enough to be a web site rocket scientist. Hosts are having to step up to the plate when users start taking their money away…I won’t name names…yet…but you know who they are.

  10. tomontheroofblog
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Good article! Personally I use only popular plugins, most of which are rated with 5 stars. I assume that they should be coded rather well. In addition I used a plugin for profiling the performance of the installed plugins. I removed the slowest ones and found faster substitutes, in some cases a single plugin replacing two. I also removed all those which were not necessary and in addition uninstalled the inactive ones. Whenever possible I coded the needed functionality into the code. Taken together this gave me a noticeable speed improvement. I do however keep all the plugins which I need and am not trying to reduce their number at all costs.

    • Posted October 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Were the Plugins you removed, as recommended by the Plugin that scanned the others, any 5 star Plugins? Which scanning tool did you use to evaluate this?

      Thanks.

  11. Posted October 7, 2012 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your tips. Talking about contact form plugins I’d like to mention the Visual form builder which I converted to recently. Very easy to use and enough functionality for most of us, I believe. Even the support is quite good, very good considering the low ($10) price tag on the “pro” version.
    Kj

    • Posted October 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      There are many comment WordPress Plugins, free and not. Glad you found one that is helpful to you. Comment forms, registration forms, etc., are critical to a successful site.

  12. minhrichdad
    Posted October 7, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    For users wordpress plugins is indispensable. But to choose the necessary plugin is important. I listed a number of plugins needed
    Essential Plugins for WordPress
    Akismet: This plugin has “packed” the same version of WordPress installation, you only need to have an account to activate it. Unless you want to spam your own blog, this is the first Plugins to deactivate. Compact but truly effective in combating spam.
    Sitemap Generator
    Plugins allow you to create a website diagram contains the entire structure of contents, page, article in the sequence is quite scientific. Sitemap is HTML as sitemap of VietSEO (to distinguish XML sitemap to Google / Yahoo). This version has been my fix for the friendly with search engine and fix overflow page.
    Organizer: Allows you to create and upload files from the browser to the server without using FTP. Especially useful with Blogs members and more files management. It also allows you to manage, Image Editing easily.
    Objection Redirection: This plugin is one of the best plugins. It allows to redirect the old URLs or change to a new path that does not have to edit the configuration file. Htaccess.
    Google Sitemaps: Google Webmaster Central is one of the most useful tools for Webmaster. It allows you to analyze the statistics of Google on your site, from which reasonable adjustments to optimize Web pages. This plugin update and build the XML sitemap diagram for each newly created page (category, article, etc.) and ping the search engines Google or Yahoo to update new content. An indispensable plugins.
    Wordpress Database Backup: If there is a plugin that you absolutely must have then this is the plugin you need. This plugin allows you to back up all or part of the data that you want. There is also support functional recovery, optimize, repair or modify the database. Data Manager helps you simplify a lot of work related to the database.
    Permalink Redirect: A necessary tool when changing the path or path structure, site, domain.

    • Posted October 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      For some people, these would be considered essential, but not for everyone. The sitemap generator and Google sitemap Plugins are banned by some hosting services, for reasons that I can guess but I don’t know for sure. FTP is often done with an FTP Client rather than through the WordPress Administration Panels, and if file uploading is done rarely, you shouldn’t require a Plugin.

      Redirection and permalink Plugins are not necessary for everyone, though essential for those converting their sites to WordPress or with older sites with vast collections of content.

      You are right about Akismet. Hard to do anything on the web without some control against spam.

  13. Gouti
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    The Number of WP plugins would also depend on your webhost.If you use shared hosting,having Plugins with High Database queries or those which consume system resources(e.g Google sitemaps with many posts in the sitemap)would not be allowed, But on better Hosting options , you can use as many as Necessary.

    • Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this is true. Shared hosting can definitely limit your resources depending upon many situations, from Plugins to Theme functions.

  14. Erfan
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Great advice. The massive number of WordPress plugins and themes available can be a bit of a double edged sword. It can be tempting to just add every interesting plugin you come across, and end up with so many plugins that managing them becomes a hassle and the dashboard is overloaded with options.

    I have found by sticking to a small handful of “essential” plugins, you can concentrate more on what really matters at the end of the day, the actual content of the site.

  15. Dan
    Posted November 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I think that as long as your blog still runs smoothly, and is visually appealing you can never have too many plugins.Especially, when they are as useful as the Johnson boxes plugin.It is very easy to set up and ease, and I’d recommend it to anyone who owns a WordPress blog. Although, bare in mind that if you do want to use other plugins with it, you should make sure that they go well with the design of your blog.

  16. Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I have been fretting lately about having 28 active plugins on my new website. It seems to be slowing down, but I don’t want to give up the functionality that these plugins give my site. Then I read that I should checkout whether I’ve got code errors on my site affecting the speed.

    Today I ran the W3 Markup Validation and found almost 170 errors! Freak out! First, I blamed the theme, then I blamed the plugins, but when I deactivated them, there were hardly any errors eliminated. Then I ran a clean version of my theme and there were only a few errors there.

    Well, who else to blame??? Me???? Well, that is who it was! All over the place, I had slopped around all kinds of ill-formed expressions. I’ve already eliminated more than half, and expect to correct the rest tomorrow.

    I am a complete Yoast SEO fanatic too. One very helpful plugin manages plugins by allowing you to categorize them and activate/deactivate by category. I can instantly deactivate all of my “core” plugins to see if they are causing problems, then reactivate them instantly (painlessly.) The name of the plugin is “Plugin Organizer” by Jeff Sterup. It has saved me hours and works perfectly.

    • Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      LOL! Been there done that. The errors within the design of your site, the Theme, might be part of the slow down, but it is more likely it is the useless stuff you have on your site.

      I did several speed tests on your site and my guesses proved to be right.

      The slider/carousel is unnecessary and eats up a ton of your loading time. These are considered old fashioned today and anything that moves on your site without the ability to start it and stop it violates web standards for accessibility, and US law for ADA and Web Accessibility. You have the Plugin running the slideshow, the images, scripts, and jQuery which all add up.

      The social media Plugin on the side is also unnecessary and slowing things down. There are two issues with this. First, if people wish to share, they already have the tools needed to share. Second, you need people to share your articles, so put these on the posts not floating over on the side. Incorporate them.

      The ads are slowing down the site. They are pulling the ads in from off of your site, which still counts as bandwidth and taxing the site with the graphics and loading.

      The phone chat thing also eats up bandwidth.

      The front page is way overloaded with too many images, scripts, ads, etc. All total up. Pinterest totals up to a huge number alone. It all adds up.

      Think about all the ways you could clean these things up and introduce them in more useful ways, and you will see the site get faster.

      And thanks for caring enough to make your site more efficient. The joy of a good website is not just speed but navigation and organization, putting the focus on the user’s experience making it easy for them to use your site.

      Good luck with it! And thanks for the giggle. I’ve done that so many times, especially after I was sure that all was perfect.

    • phatbabydiva
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      Sliders and carousels are ILLEGAL now?!

  17. entgirltalk
    Posted January 30, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    You answered my question in the first paragraph, but kept me interested until the end! Thank you for the clarification and great tips!

  18. Posted January 31, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t used it enough to thoroughly talk about it, but the plugin “P3 (WordPress Performance Profiler)” can help diagnose the slow loading plugins.

    I think another way of looking at the question is asking “How much is too much code for a website?” It all depends on what the code is doing. You can have (theoretically speaking) an infinite amount of php, but as long as page is cached, the php doesn’t run when the user goes to the site, so it really doesn’t matter, to your users anyway.

    Good post, I do see this question come up quite a bit, so kudos on addressing it well. Another thing I’d highly recommend (although you already know this, and anyone who could use the advice won’t read this, so for the sake of getting it off my chest… ) when in doubt, stick to the plugins that have a large community, are updated regularly, and have been around a while. It makes life exponentially easier as others help resolve plugin conflicts/compatibility, updates are always available, tutorials, forums, and support abound, the community maintains accountability for security and performance, and life is just plain easier.

    I wish someone had told me that when I first started.

    Cheers!

    • Posted February 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      You are right that keeping to the most popular and most frequently updated WordPress Plugins is an excellent recommendation. As for the question of how much code is too much code, that’s a complex question and answer. Yes, caching helps, but it can also cause a lot of problems. Everything is a mixed bag in the early days of all of this. Good points! Thanks.

  19. Dwayne L. Thompson
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for a great post. It is so important for plugins to have a good website with updates. We have installed what could have been a great tool cause of no-follow up.

  20. stakerdna
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    So many times I have had strange bug occur on a site I’m building and it is caused by a plugin. Now i try to use as few as possible. Ideally no plugins!

  21. Tom
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Great post, I try to keep plugins to a minimum and use the more well know ones such as Jetpack which makes the need for having several plugins redundant.


3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] VanFossen shared How Many is Too Many WordPress Plugins?. How Many is Too Many WordPress [...]

  2. [...] How Many is Too Many WordPress Plugins? In “How Many WordPress Plugins Should You Install on Your Site?” WPBeginner asks a question I bring up in my workshops, training programs, and college courses: How many WordPress Plugin… [...]

  3. […] How many plug-ins is too many plugins? The answer depends on the speed of the website. Too many plug-ins that are poorly coded can cause major problems with page load time. The user’s attention span and/or patience to wait for a web page to load is short. 3 seconds short!  Now I will admit this Turtle does run slow. However, we do know . What’s behind the walls of this website. Google Analytics has this feature and many more. Word Press makes it easy to build a beautiful website. Our chosen template U-Design eliminates the need for non-essential plug-ins. […]

Post a Comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,715 other followers

%d bloggers like this: