We tend to think that the more, the better. We established before how useful WordPress plugins can be, but what exactly happens when we have too many?
This article seeks to clarify that. We will discuss exactly the pros & cons of using too many WordPress plugins.
Why is it important?
As you may recall from our previous article, it’s said that more than 38% of the internet’s webpages are based on the WordPress platform.
35% sure doesn’t sound like much until you realize there are around 1.74 billion webpages on the internet as of January 2020.
So, 35% sure is a large “chunk” of the internet, and with the number of websites released rising every day and a large portion of those being in WordPress, it’s evident why it’s crucial to weigh the pros & cons of using too many plugins.
What are WordPress & Plugins?
If you have been reading along, you already know what WordPress is, but let’s explain it anyway for those that just got here.
WordPress is a free, open-sourced content management resource or (CMS) for short.
Plugins, as their name suggests, are add-ons that enhance your experience. Essentially, applications that make it easier to maintain, build, implement, manipulate, or even enhance the WordPress-based website.
Think of them as the case, the screen protector or the apps you install on your smartphone. Plugins are as essential as those for the average web developer.
Pros of WordPress Plugins
With over 1.5 Billion plugins downloaded for WordPress web development, it has become an essential tool for the average web developer.
With more tools being readily available by the day, it’s no wonder why WordPress plugins have become such a hot topic of discussion.
Here are some reasons why you should add plugins to the WordPress website you are developing:
- Efficiency: WordPress plugins save time, even by the slightest bit. With just over 50,000 plugins on the WordPress.org plugin library alone, A plugin you need is bound to be there.
- Flexibility: WordPress plugins offer multiple benefits, one being flexibility. It’s easy to change fonts, styles, colors & much more with a button’s simple press. The best part, if you get sick of the plugin, it’s easy to remove.
- Reliability: This is an important one. Reliability is the highest priority besides responsiveness, one of the most important aspects of any website.
- The areas where a plugin can improve reliability are outstanding, allowing for easy backups, optimization and more. Most plugins are also reliable, meaning they will not malfunction or crash, making them a choice amongst developers.
With all this being said, it’s crucial to pick the right plugins for your intended usage, as choosing the wrong ones or too many plugins for the same purpose may have adverse side effects on your freshly developed website.
Cons of WordPress Plugins
Using too many WordPress plugins opposes a few cons like anything, there should be a limit to how many WordPress plugins you should use.
It’s relatively easy to get carried away with plugins as there are so many readily available.
Here is a list of cons that arise with the use of too many plugins:
- Quality: Now, like any software, there are more skilled developers than others. Adding too many plugins may interfere with others’ code due to the possible differences between them. This interference may create unwanted errors, downtime and possibly malfunction.
- Interference: Now, while most developers create their plugins to work hand-in-hand with others, some do not do so well. Using too many WordPress plugins can cause interference errors and possible downtime.
- Bloat: One thing that multiple plugins can cause is called Bloat. Bloat occurs when too many plugins weigh down the site and make it unresponsive compared to a minimal plugin enabled website. It slows down responsiveness and makes the website not as enjoyable to the visitor or client.
- Updates Galore: One big reason for not using too many plugins is the aftermath of them becoming obsolete. As they become older, the software developers often release multiple updates to keep them running at optimum levels; This can cause headaches. It may involve debugging, fixing errors, lengthy downtime, and much more.
What should we do?
For as many pros there are to WordPress plugins, it also has its subsequent cons. So picking the correct and minimal plugins is a must for any website developer.
This also shows WordPress plugins can either be a blessing in disguise working together in harmony or a nightmare waiting to happen if chosen incorrectly.
When choosing plugins for WordPress websites, try to be specific to the intended need of the website. For instance, ask yourself these questions when picking plugins to avoid headaches:
- What is the need for the plugin?
- What do I need the result to be once the plugin is implemented?
- Is it a necessity?
- Can I do the work and achieve the result without a plugin?
- Will it make things easier for me or add extra work?
Narrowing down these questions will help pick the plugins or avoid the plugins you may or may not need.
A plugin for WordPress can either be a blessing in disguise or a nightmare waiting to happen.
Installing too many plugins during the development of a WordPress website can oppose many disadvantages that can be detrimental to any web developer or client.
Picking the right plugins is the best way to ensure your website’s wellbeing in the long run. If the plugin is unnecessary and the work can be done without it, consider not getting one.
Big Kitty Labs is one of the leading software development companies in Columbus Ohio that has been developing applications, websites, and software for over 10 years. Contact us for free discovery and consultation on your next project!