WordPress is no doubt the most popular CMS (Content Management System). It is known for its numerous plugins which gives its users maximum flexibility. With wordpress plugins, you can turn your blog into a social networking site, a job board, an e-commerce site and almost anything you can think of. Plugins are great and bloggers find it interesting and time-saving to use, but this could lead to a problem; using too many plugins. One of the strength of wordpress is its plugin, but sometimes strength becomes weakness if not handled properly. It is true wordpress plugin can save you a lot of time and work, but too many of it will have a negative effect on your blog. We are going to consider some effect too many wordpress plugin will have on your blog and some corrective measures you can take if you are already having too many on your blog.
The Effect Of Too Many WordPress Plugins On Your Blog
If the number of plugin on your blog is too much, your page’s load time will tell. Normal page load time should be from 3 seconds and below, if your blog’s load time is more than 3 seconds, then you should reconsider your plugin usage. Here is how plugins work; each plugin you activate sends approximately ten requests which your server needs to handle before loading the actual page for your readers. Now if you use ten plugins, multiply the number of request your server will handle each time your page loads. If the number of plugins continues to increase, there will be a corresponding increase in the number of server request which will cause your blog to load slowly.
Another effect too many wordpress plugin could have on your blog is plugin conflict. I have experienced plugin conflict times without number when I was still very new to blogging. I was so excited with what plugins could do and as a result I became addicted to plugins, I try to use any plugin I lay my hands on which sometimes conflicts with other plugins already activated. The result was a sad one because I was too inexperience then to back up my blog. So as a warning, always backup your blog before you activate any plugin so that whenever anything goes wrong, you can always have your blog back.
How Many WordPress Plugins Should A WordPress User Have
While presenting a seminar, someone asked me how many plugin a wordpress user needs to have on his blog. While there is no number assigned as a limit to the number of plugins one can use, your page load time will let you know if you have exceeded your limit. Always use page load time tools to check your page’s load time. This will help you to keep track of the effect each plugin is having on your blog. On this blog, if all plugins are deactivated it loads with less than a second, below is the load time for this blog which is 446 miliseconds when all plugins are deactivated.
but if plugins are activated, the load time increases. You can experiment with your blog to see how plugins affects your page’s load time.
Now check this out. This is when plugins have been activated
The load time of your blog is very important for two reasons.
- Search engines ranks pages base on some factors, among the factors is load time. Here is a post that explains how page load time affects Search Engine Ranking.
- If your page loads slowly, users will not be patient enough to wait for your page to load; instead, they will look somewhere else to get what they are looking for. This is also a reason why google use page load time to rank pages because they are interested in satisfying the need of their users.
What To Do About Too Many WordPress Plugin
While you cannot do without plugins as a wordpress user, you certainly can avoid the negative effect too many plugins can have on your blog by slashing down the number of wordpress plugins on your blog.
To begin, visit your plugins’ page on your blog’s dashboard and check for irrelevant plugins. Before you decide whether a plugin remains or not, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the function of this plugin?
- Is it really that important?
- Can I do without this plugin?
- If I stop using this plugin, what effects will it have on my blog, is the effect going to be negative or positive?
- Is there an alternative for the function of this plugin?
These questions will help you to decide how relevant a plugin is to your blog.
Next thing to reduce the number of plugins you are using is to use alternative for the function of a plugin. The social follow buttons on this blog were coded manually by me. I was using a plugin for it, but after experimenting and discovering the effect of each plugin on my blog (Activating a single plugin to see how it increases the load time on my blog) I decided to use an alternative for my blog and now the load time is great.
Finally, if the plugins on your blog are so important that you can’t do without them, then I will advise you to use w3 Total Cache with a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to optimize your blog’s performance. Try these CDN: MaxCDN or HDDN. Both services are great.
I am a passionate blogger who loves to share tips and experiences. I love to connect with bloggers and you can connect with me on facebook, twitter, linkedin, pinterest and google plus one.
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