How many plugins is too much?

I would like to know how many plugins is too much?
I already have 28 plugins installed (almost all very important) and would like to add some more in the future.

Thank you,

  • Dee
    • Flash Drive

    Hi Luciano,

    I know the feeling - we've all been there. It's always tempting with WordPress to keep on installing plugins - a. because they're free and b. because they're pretty good! And without fail, all the plugins you install are going to be *important* because you wanted/thought you wanted the extra functionality for you blog.

    If it helps, here's my approach. I try to categorise WordPress plugins into i) Essential - must have ii) Necessary - for customisations/functionality and iii) Nice to Have - for the bells and whistles.

    On this basis, I could end up with (for example):

    Essential - 5 plugins - caching, akismet, contact etc.
    Necessary - 10 plugins - widget logic, ad injection etc.
    Nice to have - Web Simon tables, google fonts etc.

    That way, you can cut down the last two categories and end up with the bare-bones minimum needed to run your blog. Note that no matter how many plugins you end up with - if they're essential or necessary - then that's how many you'll need.

    The other thing to look out for is overlap between plugins - e.g. I installed Wordfence and Better WP security on the same blog where I could probably have got about 75% of the functionality needed using just one of them.

    Just a couple of pointers, but no definite answer as such.

    Good luck with your projects,

  • Solo-Man
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    I don't think the number is the problem... it's that some plugins don't work well with other plugins, and some plugins really can slow your website down. But the more plugins you have, the more likely those hiccups will be with not being compatible, and that it'll be hard to find out which plugin is slowing your site down (there are plugins you can install that will show you which plugins are taking up how much of the load time that help with this... I ran into this problem back when I was on a cruddy shared hosting account with not much oomph).

  • Fullworks
    • The Bug Hunter

    Plugins are not that harmful to load time, unless they are doing some excessive database or API stuff each time they load. The biggest harm to load time is external API calls to features like Facebook or Google Maps.

    A properly written plugin will load its javascript & css in the <head> section of the site, there are plugins that consolidate the css & javascript however there is marginal benefit in that and modern browsers load separate css / script file in parallel.

    An easy way to see what is going on is in Google Chome (other browsers probably have this feature too) is go to your site type Ctl-Shift-C to open the developer tools, go to the network tab, type F5 and see a nice timeline of each element loading up.

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