Is Too Many Plugins Harmful For a WordPress Site?

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about plugins and how they can be as simple or as complex as you want.

If you need to change one specific aspect about your WordPress’ theme, you might create a single file with a handful of lines in it.

There are also plugins that create an entire application within your WordPress admin.

Those plugins make it seem like you’re not even working within WordPress anymore.

I prefer simple plugin files that have a singular focus. Even if that means I have lots of these small focused plugins installed.

As long as the code itself is performant, there aren’t many arguments against having lots of plugins installed and active on your site.

I saw a tweet recently that really struck me:

Someone replied with plugin numbers in the upper 300s! Most were somewhere between 50 & 100 and that’s a whole lot of plugins on a single site.

However, I don’t think that number is totally unreasonable. Especially if they’re plugins that have singular focus.

Unfortunately, the WordPress ecosystem has become messy with plugins far overreaching their own benefit. They try to do too much.

“Edit every single pixel of your theme down to the margin and padding of elements!”

“If you like this plugin, you’ll love installing my 20 other plugins that do something slightly different!”

Focus On Non-Technical WordPress Users

I think as a whole, we all need to step back and refocus what plugin development really is.

Plugins should solve specific problems and provide incredible value for users who don’t have the technical skills to do it on their own.

A handful of very focused plugins, written with performance in mind, can sometimes be less of a burden than one massive plugin.

I’ve written about micro plugins before, but I’d like to run an experiment and provide some examples of micro plugins you might want on your site.

I’m going to start writing small simple plugins and document my process. My hope is that you learn something and can start creating your own simple plugins.

See you in a bit! 👋🏼