Too Many WordPress Plugins?

With about 50,000 plugins in the WordPress directory, you can find a plugin to do almost anything. And since most are free, it can be tempting to load up your WordPress installation with gadgets and gizmos out the wazoo. But how many is too many? Will too many plugins harm your site?

For most ordinary users, too many plugins is not what creates the problem. You can have dozens of plugins on your WordPress site that extend its functionality without affecting its performance.

The more important question has to do with what those plugins are doing. Not all plugins are created equally, and not all affect your site performance in the same way. Some plugins are poorly written and poorly supported. Others may be well written and well supported, but they have a much greater impact on your system resources. Here are a few plugins that are notorious resource hogs. Some may even be disallowed by  your web host:

  • Broken Link Checker (and others like it) provides a nifty service, but at a great cost in performance because it makes so many HTTP requests.
  • Related Posts Widgets. While there are exceptions, like the Related Posts functionality in Jetpack, most of these plugins put a huge load on your database.
  • Google XML sitemaps is another resource hog, and better options like Yoast are available.
  • WordPress Popular Posts and others like it are resource intensive and should be avoided.

One way to check which plugins are causing headaches is to use yet another plugin, the P3 Profiler, which runs a report to see which of your plugins are hogging resources.

Need help tuning the performance of your website? Give us a call at Brick City Interactive, at 352-351-1131. With two decades of web development experience, we can help you get your site tuned up, untangled and ready to roll.