How Many Plugins are too Many for a WordPress Website

Read the full episode transcript below:

00:28 David Blackmon: Welcome to another episode of WP The Podcast, my name is David Blackmon.

00:35 Tim Strifler: And i’m Tim Strifler

00:38 David Blackmon: And this is day five of Airpod Pro audio brought to you by Apple which you know, please forgive me for the next five episodes. How many plugins are too many plugins for your WordPress website? This is a question that i don’t think ever gets asked enough especially with new people that come into WordPress. They find out the power of WordPress and then they discover these how did i define it magical pieces of of amazingness that lets you do awesome stuff on your website called plugins. That’s the official official definition that Tim and i are pushing and we’re pushing to Matt Mullenweg to put in the repository for the new definer. Um but when you find these little nuggets you know um we start installing them on our WordPress website, and if you’re new and you don’t really know you know much about WordPress or plugins or the repository or how things work, you just start adding things on and and throwing them in there you know. Because you can and my my my thing is is just because you can do it just because you can put 100 plugins on your website doesn’t necessarily mean you should. So Tim you want to expound on yeah how many how many plugins are too many?

02:03 Tim Strifler: Yeah i think yeah there’s not a magical number by any means, but i think it’s important to understand what plugins are. Right, plugins is just the mechanism of adding code adding functionality to your site, right? You can also add code functionality to your site through a custom theme or through a child theme, plugins just make it really nicely packaged uh to be able to do you know whatever it is the plugin’s going to do. But at the end of the day plugins are adding code. Right and so um there’s things to consider right like you could have 30 really small simple plugins that you know aren’t going to really make a an impact on your site and then you could also have one giant plug-in that’s maybe coded not so great and is doing a ton of different things and adding all this code and you know and that might make a huge impact on your site. And the way it loads and performs and everything. So it’s it’s more about uh okay well how much code is this plugin adding what is it doing what what type of functionality is it adding. Um and is it built well is it made by a trustworthy developer do they know what they’re doing are they updating it keeping it updated uh and bug free and fixing conflicts with other plugins. So you have to kind of understand the way that plugins work to really answer that question, because there’s not some magical answer of you know it’s nine plug-ins after that you know your whip your WordPress website’s gonna load slowly. No cause, i mean like David and i we have e-commerce sites high traffic a lot of functionality, i don’t remember how many plugins i have but i have dozens and dozens of plugins that are all necessary to do different things to power the online store, to power the licensing system, the affiliate program. Right, all these different things that are happening but we’re really careful on the plugins that we add to make sure they’re good plugins we test them thoroughly um and we only add them if we really need them and once. We no longer need them we we ditch them. Right because we don’t want any code added to the site that doesn’t need to be there. Some plugins will only add code to like the back end, right because it’s like adding some sort of back-end functionality other plugins will only load code on the front end, and so and then some plugins that are really well built kind of more modern plugins they’ll only load code on the front end when you’re using that thing on that specific page. So for example like a Form plug-in you might have a form that’s only on one page of your site it’s like well you really don’t want all of that code that the form plugin installs to be loaded on every page of your site, you only need it on that one page where you actually have the form. So those are things to kind of think about when you’re wondering how many plugins are too many for a WordPress website? Well it’s not about the number, it’s about the quality it’s about whether or not you need them it’s about how much code they’re adding and and all of that. So it’s not an easy question to answer and there’s not really an exact answer and it depends on your site you know. If you have a small brochure style website well you shouldn’t really have a whole lot of plugins or a whole lot of code added to your site because there’s not a lot that’s happening, it’s just you know design styling layout you’re not doing a whole lot of functionality that that you’re going to need a bunch of plugins or a bunch of code added. Did i miss anything David? 

05:43  David Blackmon: I don’t think so, i think you know, you took all the words out of my mouth Tim. Dang it man i barely got to talk this i know but you know what that’s okay. Uh Tim does a really good job a great job with a lot of the technical topics and stuff and covering them. So there you go, tomorrow we’ve got another great topic… do i let’s see here, do i need to know how to code. Code, if i can speak English today, to build a WordPress website. Until tomorrow, we’ll see you then.

06:04 Tim Strifler: Take care, bye.

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