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How many WordPress plugins is your website running?

Written by Matt Brooking: Web Developer.
· 4 minute read

WordPress is an excellent platform for managing the content of your website. However on its own WordPress can be pretty limited.

WordPress plugins are great for enhancing your website. They can make adding new features to your site very easy, and some such as: Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache and WordFence are essential to have on your site. There are over 50,000 plugins available to help you accomplish anything you might need to do.

With so many available it is very easy to end up running too many plugins at once, which can hinder your site’s performance and in some cases can even break or cause major security risks.

The main problems you can face from running too many plugins are:

Security Issues

Too many plugins can cause major security issues for your site.

Plugins that have been poorly written, may contain inefficient or deprecated code. Attackers will look for sites that have vulnerabilities to exploit to gain access to your website’s files and database and the more plugins installed increases points of access that an attacker can potentially exploit.

You can minimise this by making sure that all your plugins are up to date, these updates often contain important security updates.

Before installing a plugin, check its reviews, user ratings, number of installs and how often it’s updated.

If it has 100,000+ installs, and lots of 4 / 5 star reviews, it’s a safe bet you won’t run into any problems with it.

Most plugins won’t have these security issues, however it’s a bit like locking all the doors and windows to your house, but one of them has faulty lock. The more windows you have, the harder it is to find where the root of the security flaw is.

Performance Issues

Every plugin installed onto WordPress has its own resources to function. This can affect your site’s performance.

If the plugin is increasing:

  • HTTP Requests
  • Database Queries

It is using up resources and will slow down your website, you can reduce these issues, by deleting unnecessary plugins.

Compatibility Issues

Some plugins just don’t work together very well. They might have conflicting lines of code, which can cause a feature on your site to stop working properly, remove one of the plugins or find the problem that is causing both to not work.

Which plugins to use?

Find out if you actually need a plugin to achieve your desired result. Consult a developer and see if they can build it. A lot of plugins are completely unnecessary.

If you would prefer to use a plugin, look for few options and find the best one, with the best reviews.

How many is too many?

There isn’t really a set amount for how many is too many, it just comes down to common sense. Are they all essential? Can one plugin do the job of two?

If you’re not completely sure you can always consult a developer to help you out.