WordPress Myth: Too Many Plugins Slow Down Your Site

There is a common misconception in the WordPress community that too many plugins will slow down your website. While, this is generally true in most cases, it is not logically true. This concept has lead to over-stuffed themes that have plugin-like features. Or kitchen sink plugins, where a single plugin has many features. A kitchen sink plugin is one with multiple features that should be distributed into several different plugins. A plugin should have single functionality. For example, a contact form plugin or an image optimization plugin should not co-exist within the same plugin.

Lets Look at an Example

For instance, to disable the WordPress admin bar you need to add the following piece of code to your site.

add_filter(‘show_admin_bar’, ‘__return_false’);

Adding this line of code to the following does not impact its performance:

  1. Functions.php file
  2. It’s own plugin.
  3. Within your own plugin.

The difference is if you add a file (lines of code) to your site that adds share or follow buttons. In this case, adding share and follow buttons would directly impact the performance of your website because it would load its own scripts and styles.

Adding several feature-rich plugins like contact forms, forum software, or e-commerce solutions on one installation can impact the performance of your website in a very negative way.

Plugin Optimization for the Front End Developer

When looking at adding features to your site for the front-end user please try to remember to keep it simple. Do not add multiple plugins that do the same thing.  For example, adding too many contact forms and front-end form plugins. If you are going to use JetPack, it has a lot of functionality built into it, including a contact form. Therefore, remember to consult your previously installed plugins before adding another one.

In addition, if you are looking at adding a major feature, such as an arcade, forum, or any other front-end feature, ask yourself if this feature is integral to the foundation of the website. In other words, if something does not necessarily fit the style of your website do not add it. Save yourself the headache and the user some bytes.

More importantly, if you are going to add a lot of functionality to your website make sure you have a proper foundation with solid optimization and an even better host. A host that is able to support your functionality and all of the plugins you are adding. We currently recommend that you try SiteGround as its a solid and fast web host.

scott hartley

About the author

Scott is a web performance geek, lover of all things coffee, and avid video game player. His WordPress work delves into web performance, web security, and SEO.

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