Too Many Plugins?

It's hard not just download and activate every plugin you have here, but I have to ask myself, how many plugins is too many? Especially the heavy lifters like your Google Maps plugin, it takes a long time to fetch data from their API.

I watched a video from back in 2007 with Matt and Barry. He made the remark that they (then) had over 150 plugins running.

What do you think? Is there a such thing as too many? Plugins are supposed to extend the core functionality, and if it's written well it shouldn't pose an issue, but I still wonder what everyone's thoughts are on this?


  • DavidM

    Hi Nick,

    Good question! And the following article at the blog from June of this year goes through that question and provides some very good tips!

    Basically though, there are a few things to consider, like memory and perhaps cpu usage (your hosting package's or your server's limits) and page load times. With a lot of plugins, there's that much more code for your server to have to potentially execute with each page load (possibly affecting your user's experience) and for each user interacting with your site, more strain on your server.

    As a general practice, I'd have to say it's a good idea to try to keep the plugin count to a bare minimum. I tend to try and keep it under 30 myself, just depends on the circumstances.

    While on this topic, the plugin mentioned in the following post provides some very helpful statistics that can greatly help you gauge whether you've got too many plugins, by providing stats on memory usage (the "ACTION HOOK: plugins_loaded" section being key here):

    One thing you might also want to look into, if you've got a lot of tiny, simple plugins, you might be able to consolidate those into a single plugin to get a slight boost there, as well as possibly making the plugins list a tidbit easier to read.

    I'll mention this thread to some of the other guys over here too, as I'm sure they'd have some things to add.


  • nphaskins

    Thanks for the links David, and thanks a lot for your thoughts on that I really appreciate it. Yeah I need things to be as quick as possible. I'm literally obsessed and quite anal about squeezing (no wise cracks about anal, squeezing, or cracks) out every ounce of performance. I've got a cloud box running a custom cocktail of ingredients including nGinx, so I know the box can handle what I put at it. Storage will be on S3 with a CDN in place for assets.

    That little php snippet is going to be really really useful in testing before going to the production box. That article also makes a great point about consolidating plugins (which coincidentally can stand to consolidate quite a few, although I know that means "less" plugins for subscribers). And double thanks on that mem plugin. Way awesome.

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