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How to decide the right number of plugins for your WP site? A perfect health planning guide

Overcrowding your site with a plethora of plugins causes several issues and in many cases exposes your site to several threats. The first thing is that each plug-in is a potential gateway that can be exploited by a smart hacker to invade your site. Also, every plug-in has some weight and occupies some space which makes your site slower. Multiply that loading delay with many plugins and you would realize that it can collectively spoil the user experience and compel them to close your site even before it loads properly.
There are many other common and uncommon disadvantages of having too many plugins on your site. So, you need to be careful while installing the plugins and use only the ones that you really need. Let us explore the topic in detail. We will begin with the disadvantages of having too many plugins and then mention the tips to determine the ideal quantity of plugins for your site:

Broken, Glass, School, Damaged, Window

Adverse effect on security ecosystem
Unsecured website can easily get hacked or attacked, thus costing you the intense efforts, resources and many hours you put into creating, running and developing your WP site/blog. The facts and stats prove that even the fortune 500 companies aren’t fully secured from cyber attacks. So it is the high time you should seriously review the health of your WP site.
In some reports it was found that a large number of vulnerabilities belong to XSS landscape which is commonly known as Cross-Site Scripting
• By adding engineered scripts to the plugin’s code the hackers can exploit your WP site in different ways
• Likewise, too many plugins can easily cause you to forget updating them regularly which prevents you from patching any latest security vulnerabilities and thus enable and encourage the threat actors to attack your website.
• Your website is becoming a bit more accessible to the threat actors each time you download a plug-in- no matter how secure it is claimed to be.

Rating, Stars, Chart, Poor, Performance

Negative impact on performance and speed
Your site coding adds to the processing task and thus invariably affects your page loading speed which means that the bulky codes will make your site sluggish. Each time you install a plug-in, you insert some more code to your site making your site a bit (or a lot- depending upon the code) slower.

So, installing many plugins will make your site slow down to the irritating levels thus driving away from several interested first-time visitors and even compelling the currently loyal audience to say bye to your WP site and start looking for an alternative.

Gesture, Sign Language, Finger, V

How to decide the right number of plugins?
It is not possible to say that you should download only 10 plugins or 15 plugins as it is the size, relevance and security ecosystem of the plug-in that matters and not all plugins are created same. However, the one thing that you should remember is to keep the number of plugins as low as you reasonably can. To the least, you should avoid touching the unreasonable limits like 30-35 plugins.

The best practice is to keep the numbers below 18 and the best way is to review and uninstall the irrelevant plugins as soon as you reach the threshold of 15 plugins.

To be more specific here is the clue:

• If your site is hosted on a shared hosting plan then you should download no more than 3 plugins- to the best possible. In occasional cases, you might add 2 more (extremely essential) plugins but consider reviewing and removing the idle plugins to make sure that the total number of active plugins should not go beyond 5.
Note: Ditto is true for low-cost public cloud hosting plans.
• VPS hosting clients have more dedicated resources and space and can ideally install up to 15 plugins but it is advisable not to use the maximum capability to the last limit. So your target should be to keep the number of plugins below 13.
• But does it mean that the dedicated server plans are ideal for using 20+ plugins as they offer the maximum dedicated resources to your disposal? Not at all! Even with a dedicated server, you should make it the point to never touch the threshold of 20 plugins and ideally, you should use no more than 18 plugins at a time to ensure the ideal site performance.

Town Sign, Road, Useful, Use, Usefulness


Don’t download fancy plugins (just because your competitor is using them)
The best way to ensure that you don’t exceed the acceptable limits is to make sure that you have only those plugins that actively help you in certain regular tasks and increase your efficiency. Don’t fancy downloading many plugins just because your competitors are using them or you have read raving reviews about them.

Magnifying Glass, Magnification, Hand

Keep on reviewing the present relevance
Many plugins might be an asset to your site at a certain point- depending upon the changing needs. But once the purpose is solved you might no longer need them. So, it is a good practice to review the present relevance of your plugins on a periodical basis, say every month, and uninstall the ones that are not serving any purpose anymore.

Quality Control, Quality

Download only high quality plugins
Plug-in management is not only about the quantity but it is also about the quality of your plugins as well. So it is very important to install only the high-quality plugins from the reputed plug-in stores and you should first check if the plug-in is being approved by WordPress. It is also a good practice to test the plugins beforehand instead of straight downloading their full-fledged version on your site.

Quality, Hook, Check Mark, Ticked Off

Check wellness score of your plugins
You should also make it a habit to keep on checking the wellness score of the plug-in on a periodical basis to make sure that your plugins retain their robustness and resilience. Last but not the least, the hackers are always on a mission to explore the vulnerabilities and exploit the same for their vested interests. So you should keep on updating your plugins regularly.

Scales, Balance, Symbol, Justice, Court

You should be justified in uninstalling the plugins
Never take hasty decisions while installing or installing the plugins. Being too greedy can compel you to overburden your site unnecessarily but being jumpy (while uninstalling plugins) can cause you to remove the essential evergreen plugins as well like spam comment blocking or key security plugins.

Direction, Finger, Hand, Main, Pointer

Some key points to check before installing plugins
Don’t install the plugins that haven’t been updated for the past 8 months as it shows that the plug-in might potentially have several unpatched security vulnerabilities
Check for the review and downloads and keep an eye on the flags like:
• A very low number of downloads like below 20,000
• Start rating below four stars
• Too few reviews
• Many poor reviews
• Lack of support
Conclusion
To ensure the safety and stability of your site you should be very careful about the number and size of plugins that you download. There are some of the healthy practices that will help you to download only the essential and worthy plugins while protecting you against the disadvantages and risks of unnecessarily bulky and potentially vulnerable plugins. The readers are advised to create a checklist based on the tips and suggestions mentioned in this blog post and consider the same before installing any plug-in.

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