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Luke Lee7,577 Points
Too Many WordPress Plugins?
Just finished the "How to Build a WordPress Site". Thank you very much for these easy understand and comprehensive videos. I heard some developers said don't install too many plugins, because it will cause troubles when upgrade wordpress later. And some plugins might cause security issue. Is that true? And how many plugins is too many?
You should aim to use as few plug ins as is possible to create the site you want and need. So there are usually a core set of plugs most developers/users need for the proper functionality of your website. You can look around the web and the same ones keep coming up because they are trusted and used by many people and keep getting updated.
The main thing with plugins is they need to be updated regularly and look at the number of times they are downloaded and their ratings. Good ratings, lots of downloads and regular updates are the key to good plug in use.
Try not to build a site that is so plug-in intensive that when you switch themes everything breaks. There are lots of theme templates like that. Stay away from them. I have been burned in the past because a particular theme I liked looked cool and "sold well" but once I cracked it open I couldn't get a decent site up without using like 40 plugins. Lesson learned.
I generally use 7-10 plugins max. There are a few solid core plug-ins that most websites need. Good luck.
I can kind of see why someone would say not too install too many because it makes it hard to upgrade. A few things about Wordpress:
It is extremely important to keep any CMS (Wordpress) up to date because most updates fix security holes that hackers have discovered.
Most plugins are maintained by developers such as ourselves. If a new update of Wordpress comes out that may deprecate code or change the way Wordpress does something, the plugin may break. If your website relies on that plugin for functionality, it will no longer work and you will be waiting on the author of the plugin to update their code to work with the new version of Wordpress.
Having a ton of these plugins could get overwhelming. As long as you stay on top of updates, you will be just fine.
Also, another reason to watch the amount of plugins is due to performance. You can expect that each plugin will decrease site speed a little, and if there are a ton of plugins running it can have an adverse effect on server response time.
That being said, an exception to plugins that add 'weight' are caching plugins. A well configured caching plugin will dramatically increase site speed performance. I happen to use WP Super Cache; I find that caching plugin to have a good balance between configuration simplicity and performance power, but there are many caching options out there.
But yeah, there are a few reasons to be careful about using too many plugins. One is site speed, and the other is security / potential upgrade bugs.