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How many Wordpress plugins are too many?

Wordpress plugins can be just what your site needs but you have to carefull what you wish for.

Glenda Spencer profile avatar by Glenda Spencer

Just how many plugins can a Wordpress site have?

A plugin is a bit of code that, when added to your site's core, extends or expands the performance of a specific feature or of your website as a whole.

Plugins vary from those that upgrade the backend with features like website site caching and search engine optimization to those that give the frontend a makeover, such as sliders and widgets.

Plugins are a great way to change your site's appearance and functionality; however, their use can come with some downsides, especially if you use an great amount or bad coded ones.

The thought outlined in this blog applies not only to WordPress plugins but also to Magento plugins, Joomla extensions, Drupal modules, etc.

How to choose Wordpress plugins

The main point to plugins is to pick them wisely and use them efficiently.

As you shop for a plugin to use on your site, ask yourself some questions like the following:

What do I want the plugin to achieve?

Is there one plugin that performs the functions of two (or more)??

How much resources do these plugins need?

Will I need to upgrade the memory on my server to use these plugins??

If you have a smaller server with a smaller amount of memory, you should probably limit the number of plugins on your site to 20 or less. If you are running a complex website that needs up to 50 plugins, you should probably think again about the needs of your site.

How to protect your webite from plugin vulnerabilities

Even if you are using less plugins and have chosen them carefully, you still need to protect yourself from the liabilities that Wordpress plugins can bring.

This guidance can help:

Choose wisely and update regularly. Always use the latest security patches for all of your plugins, and remember, the less plugins you have, the more speed your site will have.

Use a modern and updated theme. Older themes often have embedded plugins that have not been updated since they were built into the theme.

Use the latest plugins. Make sure a plugin has been recently updated and check its changelog to see how often it is patched with security updates. (more recent + more often = better!)

Use the most downloaded plugins with the most installs and the best ratings. Popular and highly appreciated plugins are likely to have more security and are maintained better.

Delete plugins you don't use. Don´t forget, less is more: less plugins offer less opportunities to be hacked and that means more security for your site.

Download plugins only from the official repositories or from a trusted third-party seller. Do not download a free plugin from a Google search. If the plugin you need is not available from your CMS's official repository, make sure you get it from a properly source like Envato Market.

Check your plugins against a vulnerability database. Resources like Sucuri's Vulnerability Databasecan help monitor potential dangers.

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