How Obsessed Are You With Plugins?

WordPress Plugin Overload

The answer to the title of this post lies in the amount of plugins you have installed on your WordPress site right now. I have 9 plugins activated on this blog as of this moment, but I only actually use 7 or 8 of them. I could very easily do away with two more if I spend some extra time modifying my theme and implementing the plugin features as part of my theme.

Here’s a list of the plugins on my site right now:

  1. Akismet
  2. Ad Rotator
  3. cforms
  4. Google XML sitemaps
  5. Jetpack
  6. Platinum SEO Pack
  7. SyntaxHighlighter Evolved
  8. WordPress Database Backup
  9. WordPress Download Monitor

Plugins like Platinum SEO Pack “could” be replaced by implementing some of the most common optimization features in custom meta boxes and having it available per Post/Page. The rest of SEO depends on your content anyway.

Download Monitor is great for the free designer downloads I use on my site, but I’m sure with some wizardry I could use a Custom Post Type and even implement a counter to track downloads. But I think I’ll keep it for now.

Some would say that 9 is too much as well, whereas some would probably have three times as many plugins installed. In my career as a web designer, I’ve seen my fair share of nightmares when I log into client installations…it’s just bewildering to see dozens (yes, dozens) of update notifications on plugins, some of which are not even activated!

Why do some people have an obsession with installing plugin after plugin to make their blog/website this super power of functionality? When in fact they are clearly doing the opposite!

Generally, most plugins will add some sort of custom JavaScript, CSS or HTML. The poorly coded ones will load multiple versions of  jQuery prompting you to wonder in the dark what’s wrong with your site, if you don’t have the technical capacity to figure it out…good luck! God forbid you get a white screen.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t install that totally awesome new plugin that allows you to add 50 social icons to all your Posts, but it might be a wise idea to disable any other plugins you might already have that do the same thing. You certainly don’t need to have plugins you are not using installed either, just delete them.

One of the keys to having a site that loads fast is by reducing the amount of server requests your site has to make, I feel mine makes too many as well and it’s something I plan on addressing. Google has been repeatedly saying that faster sites will be rewarded with better search engine placements, so take the time to evaluate your plugin library today and see what you can cut off, trim or substitute.

Check your site speed here.

Are you obsessed with plugins? How many do you use? Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “How Obsessed Are You With Plugins?

  1. I tend to use quite a lot of plugins on my wordpress sites but I am a fanatic about keeping every one of the websites optimized and up to date. I too learned that paying no attention to that aspect of the website only causes a great deal of trouble. Most of my plugins works extremely well with Wishlist my membership program. I gave my site the speed test & it got a 85 out of 100 for a regular browser and 83 for a mobile device. Not bad I’d say.

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