How Many WordPress Plugins is Too Many?

The WordPress world is full of wonders! To be precise, it has over 50,000 wonders that come in the form of different plugins. That’s thousands of options for you to customize your website and add different features that your site doesn’t yet have. From Yoast SEO plugins to gallery plugins, the sky seems to be the limit. One truly feels like a kid in a candy store but, sometimes, that feeling can be a source of trouble. You’ve certainly heard that too many plugins will most likely result in a slow loading website, and that’s something visitors frown upon. With 40% of them leaving a site once it takes more than a couple of seconds to load, you can easily understand why you don’t have the luxury of making a mistake. But how can you know how many WordPress Plugins is too many?

The problems associated with too many WordPress plugins

Before we even begin arriving at an answer, you first need to understand why you can’t let yourself go wild with WordPress plugins. Although, it has to be confessed that some WordPress websites seem to be an exception to the rule. There are sites that have a huge number of plugins (we are talking about hundreds of them) and still operate at a maximum level capacity. But it’s always best to prevent the issues as these are just exceptions, not the norm.

Loading bar.
Resulting in a slow loading website, too many WordPress plugins can be very detrimental for your site.

Your database can run inefficiently

You probably already know that your database and your server already have a strict limit of storage space. Adding dozens of plugins will bloat that storage space step by step until your database starts running inefficiently. This will further cause your website to be sluggish, which leads to problems we’ve already covered. And even if you decide to deactivate certain plugins after a while, they can still continue storing stray data. Word to the wise – if you want a fast-loading WordPress website, know when enough is enough.

Your site can crash if you aren’t careful

It’s true that plugins enable all sorts of cool features for your visitors – we’ve already established that. They can use your WordPress online store, book an appointment, etc. But in order for these demanding plugins to work correctly, they require extra CSS styling, JavaScript and images. All of this will result in increased HTTP requests. Once the visitor’s browser sends a request to your site’s server, the requested data will be retrieved and sent.

However, with every HTTP request, your server’s resources quickly become drained. And once it reaches its maximum capacity, your site can crash. With that in mind, this really is a good time to ask yourself: ‘How many WordPress plugins is too many?

A man looking at papers and thinking how many WordPress plugins is too many.
Think real hard how many plugins you have the luxury of installing. The number could be smaller than you think.

Compatibility is a real issue

When the code in two different plugins doesn’t work well with each other, the compatibility issue arises. And when two pieces of the same puzzle don’t fit well with each other, the entire picture is distorted. The same goes for incompatible plugins. They will struggle until chaos ensues. The real problem here is that plugins are written by different developers, which means that it’s impossible to ensure that even just one works well against all 50, 000 of them. The math is simple – the fewer plugins you have, the smaller the risk of incompatibility!

Security can be impaired

As much as that might be a bitter pill to swallow, developers aren’t perfect. Even the best of them can miss a security hole when writing a code which is a gateway for hackers. Of course, you can always work on your security with not-stop security scanning and real-time monitoring, but being careful in the first place is a necessary measure of precaution. Limit the number of plugins you install and hackers will have a slimmer chance of infiltrating your website.

A security code.
It should always be your top priority to maintain the safety of your website.

So, how many WordPress plugins is too many in the end?

There really isn’t a shortage of reasons to limit the number of plugins you install. But, how can you know when you have exceeded the recommended limit? The number varies whether you are using Cloud or shared hosting.

  • If you are using shared or budget cloud hosting, it’s advisable not to exceed the number of 5 plugins.
  • If you are using Cloud hosting, VPS or dedicated servers, it’s advisable not to exceed the number of 20 plugins.

Of course, always bear in mind that these are just general recommendations. There are sites which function wonderfully with dozens of different plugins. We here at WP Full Care always advise our customers to stick to the general rules and to always be mindful of their needs when choosing which plugins to install.

In the end, you could fix some of these issues and perhaps dare to up your number of plugins. For example, you can hire professional WP support, where we would back up your data on a regular base, install a security plugin, as well as make sure to update all of your plugins as soon as a new update is available. Furthermore, you can always decide to test a plugin before installing it, review the plugin’s code, as well as do a regular spring cleaning of your database. Or you can entrust us with the task. The point is to always maintain your WordPress website, as it brings you so many good things.

A hand holding a WordPress sign.
Appreciate your WordPress website by taking good care of it.

So, let’s recap – how many WordPress plugins is too many? As long as you don’t exceed the number of 20 plugins for Cloud hosting, and 5 plugins for shared hosting, you should be just fine!

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