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Many WordPress website owners have been asking the question “How Many Plugins Should I have” or “How many plugins is too Many”?
The simple answer to this question is: “It depends on the type of plugin and how heavy it is”.
So what is a plugin?
WordPress plugins are pieces of code that add extra or extended functionality to your website.
For example e-commerce owners install the well known plugin called WooCommerce.
WooCommerce adds the functionality of your website to start your own online shopping adventure.
The plugin itself can do a lot and even its basic payment options can get you started selling hassle free.
For extended functionality we can use some of the WooCommerce addons.
But won’t this slow my website?
It all depends on the plugin code. I am referring to how many requests it will make, how heavy the code is and last, but not least – Does it do something that another addon or plugin already does?
Let us get things started.
How do plugins affect site speed and when are they too many?
Plugins can significantly affect your website speed in a negative way if you keep too many and/or too heavy plugins.
A basic blog website can have anywhere between 10 to 20 plugins and still load fast.
The idea of keeping a low plugin count is to have only the most important plugins, which will not have duplicate functions and result in conflicts with your website.
Too many plugins can be when a website is loading slower than 3 seconds or the website is just unoptimized.
Which plugin should I choose?
Up to date plugins
Keep an eye on what plugin or addon you are downloading, as it may be outdated.
What does an Outdated Plugin mean?
Outdated plugins are no longer supported by their creator or team and are left in the void to rot for good.
Using outdated plugins means that you will no longer receive support when you have an error and will struggle with bad website speed.
WordPress evolves. So does the PHP version and the way that codes are written.
Same thing happened with the iframes tag. Before websites were created with the iframes tag, but no more, as Google Bots are not reading the properly, neither wish to read them.
In fact a Google Bot would ignore your iframes and if your website is built with them, you will not receive a proper ranking of your website and its keywords.
All of this means that you need to follow what is up to date. Don’t go for outdated features, addons or plugins as they will not benefit you.
Well coded vs Poorly Coded
How to know if a plugin is Poorly Coded or Well Coded?
Sometimes even we are doubting our intuition and feel like the plugin that we are using is taking too much space, due to being heavy loaded or the worst. Having a poor code.
Whenever we feel that a plugin might take up to too much space and even slow down our website, we always check up with plugintests.com.
PluginTests lets you to see the actual size and the loading times that a plugin may take to function and load your WordPress website fully.
Some of the plugins that you may have chosen, may not work just the way you like. Fast and smooth.
For example WooCommerce is a well coded, buy too heavy plugins to be handled by a normal shared host.
In such situations you will need to change your hosting plan.
If you have difficulties on choosing a hosting plan, we have the perfect solution for any type of website with our guide on the best VPS hosting plans for WordPress.
Another great plugin for newbie and professional web designers is Elementor.
Although Elementor has too much functions and codes, which cannot be stopped and increases the website loading time, it still lets the designer to create stunning designs for their website.
The Elementor loading times is not one of the greatest, but is still more preferred amongst other pagebuilder plugins such as Divi or Astra.
As a competitor to Elementor we can suggest Oxygen.
Even though Oxygen is still in its early days and is not detailed as much as Elementor, if you browse the web a bit, you can create an even better design and score a better website loading speed.
Oxygen compared to Elementor is difficult for newbie users and does not have the addons that you could find in Elementor, but can be a good alternative if you struggle with your website’s speed.
Avoid plugins which have duplicate functions
Duplicate functions on active plugins can really damage your website and change its behavior in a way that you would never expect.
For example if you have LiteSpeed Cache and Smush or any other image optimization plugin, your website will not know how to handle the images and how to optimize, so it would probably break them.
The idea behind this is that LiteSpeed Cache takes all the images from your website, via a Cron and pulls them to be optimized the way you like.
You can change your options to:
- Optimize images by reducing their size
- Change the image formats to WebP
- Optimize Losslessly
- Serve images through their QUIC.cloud CDN
If you own Smush or EWWW Image optimizer along with LiteSpeed Cache, you will just confuse your website in many ways.
Don’t even feel confused if you are receiving errors.
LiteSpeed Cache and Smush both have a CDN, which can serve images through it and since your website does not know, which one to pick, it will just result in an error.
As a solution to such problems, you will need to delete the plugins, which have the same functions and to choose those that cover everything.
Even sometimes you may feel like it is better to keep JetPack as it covers the image optimization feature, over Smush or EWWW, but again it would not be advisable.
Only use a plugin if you want all of its features. If you will not use those features, they will just remain active and create more requests, resulting in bad loading times.
Nulled VS Original
The great war between Nulled and Original.
If somebody had to tell all those people who use cracked softwares, themes and plugins why is it bad, it would take centuries.
The problem with Nulled Plugins is simple, but people still use them no matter what.
These types of plugins are just bought from the original creator and released for free or for a small commission after they have stopped receiving support and updates.
They do not need an activation key, or you just receive an activation key that is no longer useful for maintaining the plugin.
But not only you are missing on updates, you also can get your website hacked and full with ads.