One of the reasons that WordPress has become so popular is that it’s extremely powerful. The basic WordPress framework can be extended to perform numerous additional tasks.
Each one of these new features or functions is usually contained in a “plug-in.” Plugins are small packages of computer code that you download and install into your WordPress website. It can be easy for a relatively small and simple website to use at least a handful of plug-ins, and perhaps even dozens or more.
So is there such a thing as having too many WordPress plugins?
The short answer is that depends in large part on the plugins themselves. WordPress is a dynamic content management system that creates the various pages of your website only when someone requests them by visiting your website. WordPress does this by storing all of the content you’ve uploaded and created in a database, then using the various settings you’ve specified the pages are created and displayed to the visitor.
The more plug-ins you have installed on your website, the more requests made to your Web server. The more requests made the more your site slows down. There are several types of plug-ins and plug-in issues that can genuinely add a noticeable delay before your site is displayed to a user.
Extremely Large Plugins
The first is extremely large plug-ins. When a larger block of code must be loaded and processed, this has the potential to slow down the site rendering time.
Third Party Resources
The next potential problem is for plug-ins that in turn make requests to third party resources. Widgets from services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Paper.li would fall into this category. Each time a plug-in looks to load something from yet another server, there’s a chance for a delay or failure if there are problems with that other server. Multiply this by a dozen such plug-ins, and there is a real chance you could have some problems.
Out Dated Or Poorly Coded
The final type of problem, and the one that is most likely to lead people to believe that having too many plug-ins as a bad thing, is when the plug-ins are either poorly coded or out of date. When searching for new plug-ins, try to stick to those that are confirmed to work for the most recent version of WordPress, and which have the greatest amount of positive feedback from other users.
If your site is running a large number of WordPress plug-ins, it can often be difficult to pinpoint exactly which one is causing the problem. Any time your site takes more than a few seconds to load, and you’re confident that it’s not an issue with your hosting company, disable your plug-ins one by one to determine which one is causing the problem.