Effect Of Too Many Plugins On WordPress Website – Know From Experts

Of course, yes. With every plugin you install on your WordPress site, you are sure to slower down you website, even if that means a few milliseconds.

However, the hard reality it, your WordPress site is nothing without plugins.

In fact, WordPress sites can only co-exist with plugins by the side. But there are some common questions always asked here,

  • How many plugins are actually required by my site?
  • What will be the impact of too many plugins integrated with my site?

To get the answer for above queries, you will surely need to read the entire discussion, and decide for yourself what’s best for you.

Is It True? Can WordPress Handle Unlimited Plugins At Once?

As of today, WordPress hosts more than 40000 plugins in the WP directory. Theoretically, WP can handle an uncountable number of plugins, and that too all at once, without affecting site performance. However, few practical factors say just the opposite.

Hosting performance is the first thing that proves the above myth wrong. When a small amount of bandwidth is offered by the hosting provider, with even a few plugins installed, the site is bound to act slower.

Plugin coding is another thing disapproving the myth. Because of false coding or improper coding, the wrongly programmed plugins can make a site crash completely, or probably force the site to act weirdly, or absurdly. You will get to know the site reliability, as soon as you see the plugin solving the purpose right from the beginning itself, without acting randomly.

Now assume that you have an amazing bandwidth backing your site, as well as highly efficient plugins at your disposal. What do you think now about incorporating too many plugins at once? There are still too many potential risks involved, which you quite certainly cannot overlook.

Potential Problems With Excessive Plugins

Whether your site is safe or unsafe with plugins you have installed, is completely dependent on what purpose the plugins are meant to solve, in what manner they have been coded, and how many amongst them are still active. Here are the potential dangers a website may face due to too many plugins in place:

Crashing Is A Common Phenomenon

Even the most expert WP developers are not able to save themselves from the threat of issues arising from excessive plugin installation. As an example, remember how WP Total Cache and WP Super Cache plugins posed serious remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability four years ago. Or, a free and popular plugin like Yoast SEO posed serious problems during the same time, when in spite of noindex tag deselected; the noindex code still appeared in source code.

WordPress being an open source community, people across the globe can share, change, use, or create the platform with ease, making it highly vulnerable from poorly coded plugins. Because of an endless presence of so many free plugins, people are often worried regarding testing the reliability, security, and performance of plugins for their own site.

Page Speed Is Greatly Compromised

Page loading speed has a drastic impact when unnecessary plugins flood the site, especially when they have some defects in place. The more plugins installed, slower the site performs. Every single plugin invokes a server request, adding additional code to browser, every single time when it loads. This leads to decreased speed impacting site performance. Even if a couple of plugins are not compatible with your site, they are surely going to slow down the site while not performing at the same time as well.

Security Breach Becomes A Common Thing

No one likes to have their WordPress site infiltrated by a hacker. Security is always a major concern, and with an increasing number of plugins, the concern only raises. A hard earned reputation is immediately lost when such an unexpected attack takes place. Since WordPress have a history of too many security vulnerabilities and exploits, no matter how much you safeguard your site, security can be a big issue to tackle when more plugins in place.

Reliability Is A Bigger Concern

With multiple plugins installed on the site, reliability can be a major issue under scrutiny. Potential issues could be related to anything right from ease of use to poor support, slow updates, discontinued plugins, or code quality that is pathetic.

Some Useful Tips To Deal With Plugins Wisely

It can be a tough time dealing with so many problems associated with plugins way beyond your site requirements. However, a little bit of conscious planning can just be right for resolving and avoiding the plugin related issues. Let us look at those simple but highly useful tips saving you from the hassle of plugin management.

Functionalities Should Not Duplicate

While installing a brand new plugin, you need to cross check in advance what plugins you are already having in place. This will also help you decide whether the features offered by new plugin, are already offered by old plugins or not. You need to be completely well versed of all the features offered by all your existing plugins, so that it becomes easier to decide regarding the new plugin installation.

Tackling Site Slowdown Situation

Because of virtual crawling, your site can slow down a big deal through too many plugins installed at once. Hence, go for a plugin installation like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache helping you great deal in dealing with slower speed of your site. Such caching plugins help in converting files requests from servers by storing them into files that are not just static and closer to server, but in turn helps in cutting down on the server load.

Performance Of Plugin Has To Be Tested

Loading time of the page has to be tested before and after the installation of the plugin. Make use of the tool like PageSpeed that will not just analyze the actual speed of page but also recommend necessary solutions for improving the site speed. The tool gauges the site in detail giving thorough insights on how the overall performance gets affected by the plugin installation.

Another tool for checking the same is WP Speedster wherein there is an automated system that ranks your site theme and plugins in terms of performance, and additionally providing tons of information on functionalities and features. Making use of another plugin P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler), you can have a detailed profile of plugin performance based on the loading time measured for the installed plugins. This helps you narrow down the plugin choices.

Securing The Site By Backing It Up

Security is the prime concern while experimenting with a range of plugins. You might want to install an array of plugins on to your site. However, it is always wise to back your site up before doing so. One bad plugin could ruin an entire site, and hence backing up site data before integrating a range of plugins is crucial.

Even plugins that work correctly do not guarantee the safety of your site. Hence, back your data on regular basis, and keep all the plugins up-to-date, so that no script conflicts would take place, reducing vulnerability to hackers and spammers. Also remember to use only those plugins showing compatibility with your WordPress version.

Reliability Is The Key To Success

Every plugin accompanies a block of code, also resulting in possible increase in bloatware risks. If the coding is well to do and up to date then there is really nothing to worry about. However, in case the plugins have been discontinued, or the coding is not appropriate, the plugins can prove to be a disaster for your site. Code quality standards can be measured within the WP ecosystems, but it is not applicable to ones outside WordPress Plugin Directory.

Discontinued plugins are surely bound to create issues at one point or another. However, in case of a high quality popular plugin, you need not to worry about the plugin getting discontinued soon, or updates not taking place. Do have a check on the support provided by the commercial or free plugin. This is especially true with free plugins wherein support agreements are not present, and hence user feedback is all what you have to depend on.

Things To Consider For Choosing A Plugin

A shiny plugin can excite you to the core for an instant download for your site. However, not every plugin is useful, and even if it is there has to be a checklist of a number of factors to keep in mind before installing as well as activating a new plugin. These guidelines help you determine whether the plugin in question is fit for your site or not.

  • Make no mistake about it. Too many plugins installed at once is not the root cause. It is the poorly coded plugins ruining everything.
  • Check the developer behind the plugin. If there is a respected name involved, you can surely go ahead for a risk free installation.
  • Do look for plugin reviews on forums, within the WordPress directory, ratings, and reviews, as well as more, to know the insights related to the plugin. If there is a large majority in favor of the plugins then you can surely rely on the same.
  • Visualize what difference the plugin will make to your site. Also, ensure that the plugin would not clutter things up on your site leading to abnormal functioning or visual appeal, hindering the overall experience of users.
  • Keep track of what plugins are necessary, and which ones are not. Accordingly, keep the useful plugins while eliminating the unnecessary ones.
  • Reading the documentation will give you a clear idea of plugin screenshots, tutorials, description, and how to use the plugin.
  • There has to be an updated version of the plugin you are looking at. Do check the date stamp for active installations or downloads, making it a credible plugin with statistics to support things.
  • Do follow the above checklist points and you should be able to cut down the associated risks of plugin choices affecting your site negatively.

What Number Of Plugins To Use?

If still you have doubts on the numbers game of the plugins, it is not about the number of plugins that you use, but it is about the right plugins used for your site, no matter whether they are more or less in number. The trick lies in the operations performed by these plugins, rendering the site view in the browser. Most plugins are very simple to handle. However, others require complex actions, in terms of expensive processing on the back end, resulting in slowing down the site. The site won’t get affected by too many plugins, but one complex plugin will bring down the site speed drastically.

Let us sum up four critical questions; you need to ask before incorporating a plugin.

  • Do the plugin accompany too many assets, styles, or coding scripts?
  • Do the database queries increase in number drastically for every page?
  • Do the plugin involved complex operations?
  • Do the plugin demands external APIs requests remotely?

Summing Things With Final Thoughts

There are always going to be certain questions hovering the minds of people who are just starting up with their newest WordPress website. What plugins are ideal? How to shortlist between plugins? What plugin to choose if two plugins serve the exact same purpose? Which plugins have the cleanest track record? How to determine which plugins are credible over others?

Ensure to read this discussion entirely for going through a right step by step process of getting the best plugins on board. To make things easier for you, you just need to see how many people have downloaded the plugin, what kind of ratings the plugin accompanies, how many people have shown an avid interest in discussing about the plugin, what people are actually saying about the plugin, how many good or bad reviews are accredited to the plugin, and finally who the actual developer is behind the plugin creation.

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