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Is there such a thing as too many plug-ins?


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By: Aron Montford in WordPress

Posted on: January 17th 2020 at 9:10am


It's great that Wordpress is open-source and as a result there are many great plug-ins out there, ranging from site security to additional functionality. It's easy to install them all and call it a day – but how many is too many, and why is that the case?

Crashing and conflicts

The more plug-ins you install, the greater the chance of things going wrong. Some plug-ins tend to not play well with one another, and others can cause crashes and general unreliability. With so many plugins in the Wordpress repository, it's impossible for developers to compatibility test them all. The more you install, the greater this risk is exacerbated.

For best practice, try not to install more than one caching plug-in at a time. Sometimes it seems like a good idea to get two plugins that do the same thing – perhaps one offers minification and the other does not, so you run them together. It sounds good in practice but in reality, it is going to cause you a headache.

It's best to find one plugin that does the job for caching and another for optimising various aspects of the site. If you're on our PCI-Compliant hosting, you can use Litespeed Caching as an all-in-one solution to this. Otherwise, some good choices would be a combination of Autooptimize and your favourite caching plugin (making sure to turn off any additional features for merging and minification as auto-optimize will handle this part for you).

Poor performance

Each plug-in you install is adding more scripts to your site which is more code that needs to be loaded. There's going to be an increase in HTTP requests from the additional CSS styling, images and JavaScript in order for them to run correctly.

With those HTTP requests comes increasing usage of server resources and depending on the specs of your plan, this could cause slowdown, crashing or worse. Visitors won’t be able to browse your website if it happens to crash. While caching can often help with this, it’s better to avoid the problem entirely by only installing what you really need.

Neil Patel, one of the web's top influencers explains here that if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, then customers will close it entirely. That's more than enough reason to keep things simple.

Security Risks

Plug-ins also need to be kept up to date, otherwise, they may fall victim to recently disclosed vulnerabilities and security holes that leave your site open to attack. The WPScan Vulnerability Database currently has 18,187 vulnerabilities on record at the time of writing, so that's just another reason to keep those plug-ins to a minimum, right?

If you have any questions about plug-ins, our support team are available 24/7! Just get in touch with us here.
 

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