How Many Plugins Are Too Many?

How Many Plugins Are Too Many?

wordpress pluginIf you’re using any blogging platform or cms you will be amazed and dare I say overwhelmed with the range and number of add-ons available by way of plugins, modules and so on.

When I was working on an issue on one of my sites today I was flabbergasted to realise that I had installed over 40 plugins on that WordPress site. Sometimes I will install a plugin because it sounds interesting and is a neat new feature to add. Or it may be add some useful functionality in the back-end.

But it’s a bit like adding extra options to your car: at what point does it negatively impact performance and when does it start to look garish?

I’m trying an experiment. On that site I have switched off all plugins for 24 hours.

It has had no impact on the front-end.

Why 24 hours? Simply to give my brain a break and come back to it fresh.

Then I will switch on 1 plugin at a time to determine if I really need it. I don’t want to keep adding plugins without a good business reason. Loading and activating more plugins invariably affects performance, increases the chance of conflicts and opens up security risks. Even JetPack had a security risk recently.

My view on reflection is that less is more.

WordPress for example was built to be pretty robust out of the box.

I’ll let you know how my experiment goes and maybe what plugins I settled on for a regular site.


7 thoughts on “How Many Plugins Are Too Many?

  1. I know the feeling Mel, and I can’t imagine disabling my 40 plugins… my slider is a plugin… my spam capture… my pop-up email subscriber thingy… I think I have a plugin addiction!

  2. There really is an issue of having too many plugins! What is that max number?

    It depends upon a number of factors. Some plugins have large scripts that eat up load time. Sometimes different plugins use the same style scripts that could be combined into one to save load time.

    The important point is to only use those plugins that offer real value to your site. Otherwise they are just taking up space and could even be security risks to leave them running.

  3. I’m a plugin junkie and probably use way too many on my main blog, but I do find that I use quite a few of the ones I have installed.

    No, I haven’t counted them, but it’s a nice long page. 😉

    I do need to spend some time trying to figure out if it’s too much of a load on my server. I assume I’d need to turn each one off and then check my server stats. It sounds like a question I need to ask the awesome Kim Castleberry.

    1. Just make sure you are using each of them and that they serve a good purpose. I found many served a purpose originally but became defunct. Thanks for stopping by, Patti.

  4. An issue I ran into with having too many plugins is running into an CPU issue with your hosting company and this can actually get your sites taken down. I try to only use plugins that I really need to avoid this issue.

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