How many WordPress plugins is too many?

With more than 40,000 plugins available on the WordPress plugin directory we understand that it can be a little overwhelming when deciding what the best options are for your client’s website.

We are often asked if there is an ideal number of plugins for a WordPress website and if this number of exceeded what will the repercussions be on the website?

As experts in WordPress development our team are here to answer the most asked questions in the world of plugins and what the best options are for your customers.

What are plugins for?

As an open source system WordPress allows all aspects of its software to be edited by developers around the world. For our development team, this is one of the biggest selling points of WordPress as it means new plugins are constantly being created that provide extra features.

There are two types of plugins, one that will benefit the admin (including SEO, redirects and analytics plugins) or ones that benefit the user’s experience, these can include sliders or font customisation.

Without the added features of plugins, the WordPress system is relatively simple as far as different feature options are concerned, making it essential that all WordPress users make the most of the large number of plugins available at their fingertips.

If your client is asking for a certain element to be added to their website we can guarantee that there will be a plugin available for this.

Can I damage my website my installing too many plugins?

There is a lot of talk surrounding whether there is a limit on the number of plugins that should be installed.
However, this is a difficult question to answer as there are so many different stories out there where some websites have hundreds (believe it or not…) of plugins but haven’t been affected in any way. On the other hand, some users have experienced major issues with their website which they think has been caused by having too many different plugins installed.

In order to prevent any issues with your customer’s website we recommend only installing plugins that will provide a serious benefit.

If you are managing your client’s website for them, you will be able to monitor the number of plugins and show them that, even though that extra add-on may seem like a good idea, in the grand scheme of things it will not provide a major difference to their website.

Common issues caused by too many plugins

1.Website crashing

Because WordPress is an open source system every now and then a poorly coded plugin will pop up and having these installed on your website may cause the website to crash. Always ensure that the plugins you are installing are well rated and have been used by other users before.

2. Slow page speed

Having too many plugins in your website can cause the page speed to slow down, don’t forget that each time a plugin is used it sends a server request and as a result can slow the speed of page loading down (resulting in poor user experience and it can also affect the website’s search engine ranking).

3. Reliability issues

Using a large number of plugins on your WordPress website can result in poor reliability, as previously mentioned poor coding, products being discontinued, limited updates and lack of support can all negatively impact the website.

4. Website security

There are some plugins that can affect the security and safety of your website, if they haven’t been developed with care and to meet the correct requirements they can affect the safety of a website.

The solution…

Overall there is no set answer to this question. Each plugin is coded differently and has different features that can affect different aspects of your website including page loading speed, site security and other important elements.

We recommend only installing plugins that your client’s websites will benefit from and regularly reviewing these and cleaning out any unused plugins, this way the number will be kept to a minimum and any issues should be prevented.

If you are struggling with development issues on your website, contact us and a member of our team will be more than happy to provide advice.