WordPress is no doubt one of the best CMSs out there. Part of the reason that it’s so good is because of plugins.
Plugins make life easy for bloggers like you and me. There is always a plugin for anything we want to do in WordPress.
This leads to a very common question:
- How many WordPress plugins should we use?
It took me years to understand that the fewer plugins we use, the better our website’s performance and load time is.
In the post WordPress vs. Blogger : Which Is Better & Why?, plugins are listed as one of the major advantages in WordPress. But it needs to be noted that using lots of plugins can slow down your blog’s performance.
Why Plugins Slow Down Your Blog
Using a WordPress plugin is like adding a code onto your website. You can have the same feature performed without the plugin by adding some code manually into your core theme/WordPress files.
So when you add a plugin, it increases the number of codes on your blog, and thus, if coded improperly, your blog takes more time to load or complete an action.
Even if you are using 30+ WordPress plugins, and they are all well-coded, it will not slow down your blog or degrade your blog performance.
But there are many plugins like that take a long time to perform an action, and thus, these plugins are not really recommended unless they are necessary.
Another less known reason is the cron jobs. A lot of plugins adds cron jobs that perform certain tasks like “sending email”, “Checking logs” after every few minutes or hours.
The more plugins you have, the number of cron jobs increases. Here is a screenshot of cron jobs for a website which is running 40+ plugins:
You can also check this for your WordPress website using WordPress advanced database cleaner plugin. It shows many data that you would not be able to find otherwise.
So which WordPress plugins should we use?
First things first, using any WordPress plugin is your personal choice.
We install new WordPress plugins to get more features for our blog.
It’s ultimately a personal decision.
Do we really need all these features?
Yes, we do, but using a plugin is not always the best solution. Using manual code to replace a WordPress plugin is a much better way. For example, instead of using the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin, we can use codes to show a related post.
Of course, you would need to know how to code to do that.
So using a plugin is usually preferable.
But it’s important to know that increasing the amount of plugins will likely increase the amount of time your blog takes to load.
That said, there are a few must-have WordPress plugins:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: The best free SEO plugin for WordPress. It’s loaded with lots of features to make your blog optimized for search engines and social media sites.
- Akismet: Helps you to fight against comment and trackback spam.
- WP-DBManager: An all in one plugin which will help you to optimize, repair, and take backups of your database.
- : This plugin lets you add an alt-tag onto your blog images which helps your blog images get indexed into search engines.
- W3 Total Cache: A must-have plugin if you are expecting a traffic spike on your blog.
Now, there are many non-essential WordPress plugins that you might want depending on your preferences.
Again, I would suggest installing only those that you feel are truly necessary.
WordPress AdSense Plugins
Affiliate WordPress Plugin
WordPress Optimization Plugins
Optimizing For Mobile Plugins
There are many other plugins out there, and I encourage you test them out.
A few things:
There are more than 6500 premium WordPress plugins out there. There are over 50,000+ free WordPress plugins out there. You can browse some of the free plugins here.
This is very subjective, and you should aim for as low as you could. Your WordPress hosting, server type, theme and quality of plugins determine how many plugins, should you be using.
There is no magic number in terms of how many plugins to use. I would recommend no more than 10, but if you feel the need to use more, and your blog’s performance is still rocking, then I say more power to ya!
Let me know how many plugins you are using on your WordPress blog. What’s your “optimum” number of plugins? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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