How Many Plugins is too Many?

I was wondering if there is a limit to how many plugins a website should be running? I have 14 running right now (Askimet, SEO, Google Analytics, etc.) and I’m wondering if at any point the amount of plugins will end up bogging down my website?

Kayla

Hi Kayla!

While you should be mindful about the amount of plugins you use, it’s ultimately not about the amount—it’s about how bloated they are. Some plugins are incredibly simple and only have a few lines of code. Those are pretty lightweight and won’t add a ton of strain on your server. Others have 20 files and thousands or even millions of lines of code, and those can really weigh down your site.

Five of those “lightweight” plugins can equal the same amount of strain as one “heavy” plugin. That’s not to say that the heavy ones are bad, it’s just that they’re big plugins with a ton of features and that does add extra “weight” to your site.

Personally, I’m a plugin minimalist. I don’t install a plugin unless I feel I ACTUALLY need it. A lot of people install 50 plugins because they seem kind of cool. Then they only regularly use 25% of them, barely use another 25% of them, and don’t use the other 50% at all, but they still leave it installed and activated.

Be selective with the plugins you install

Before installing, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you really need this plugin?
  • What will it add to your site? Will it make significant improvements?
  • How often will you use the plugin? Once in a blue moon? On a daily basis?

I challenge you to prune your plugins!

Go through your list of plugins and seriously question whether you need them or use them. Don’t just deactivate those plugins—also delete them. This is something you should be doing on a regular basis because plugin usage can change over a few months/years. You may have used one plugin a lot last year, but don’t use it at all this year. So regularly revisit your plugin list and make changes as necessary.

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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18 comments

    1. It depends on what the plugin did. There probably wouldn’t be any errors, but whatever that feature did would no longer show up. For example, if the plugin added a shortcode and you put that shortcode in a bunch of posts, then deactivated the plugin, the posts would just show the shortcode in plain text (like [some-feature]).

  1. If I have WordPress SEO do I need to keep Google Sitemap plugin and Google Analytic? Also after you use the Better Delete Revision and add line of code to stop saved revisions can you delete it as well? What about Blogger to WordPress and FeedBurner FeedSmith Extend plugins? Thanks Ashley

    kimbacaffeinate recently posted: Deep Summer by Gwen Bristow
    1. WordPress SEO comes with a sitemap feature built in, so you don’t need a separate Google Sitemap plugin. But Google Analytics does something very different to WordPress SEO, so you’ll want to keep that.

      I haven’t used Better Delete Revision — does that just delete your revisions? If so, you don’t need it anymore. You’ve deleted all your revisions and stopped them from being made in the future, so you have no more use for a plugin that deletes revisions for you.

      You no longer need the Blogger Importer, but if you’re using a Blogger to WordPress redirection plugin, you probably need to keep that activated in order to maintain the redirect (you’ll have to check the plugin itself).

      Apparently FeedBurner FeedSmith Extend redirects your RSS feed to Feedburner. Whether or not you want that is up to you. Removing the plugin would stop the redirection, but a redirection isn’t exactly necessary in the first place.

        1. It doesn’t change your feed at all. It just makes it so that when you go to http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/feed you don’t get the ‘normal’ RSS feed. You get taken to Feedburner instead. But I kind of see it as pointless because if people want to subscribe via RSS, they’ll click on your RSS icon (in the top right) and that links to Feedburner anyway.

          But yeah, it doesn’t change anything. Either way, they’re both RSS feeds (both http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/feed and Feedburner). Both are completely valid.

  2. I struggle with this a lot… I actually just threw some away, because I realized I wasn’t really using them (though I am scared I threw away something important after deleting one). I got to the point that the plugins I had were weighting my site down, so it was necessary. I’ll probably go through them all tomorrow again with a critical eye after reading your post.

    Iris recently posted: London Adventures
    1. Sorry but I don’t have any experience with advertisement plugins so I can’t recommend any.

      I highly suggest you DON’T use popup adverts though. Those will piss people off.

  3. I just went through my Plugin’s today actually. There are a ton that came with my Theme that I had purchased. But I also have a bunch that I installed for certain things. I will be switching to a new theme within the next month so hopefully I can get rid of some of these. I currently have 25 active plugins…I wish there was one that had everything I needed lol.

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