6 Ways to Tell You Have Too Many Plugins Installed in WordPress

Originally published on Greengeeks.com on March 31, 2016 By Kaumil Patel

When it comes to the abilities of WordPress, there is something to be said about too much of a good thing. Choosing good plugins may offer some of the most integral functions for your site so you should learn how to choose the most suited for you, but they could also be causing issues with its operation.

Always remember, people are visiting your site for content and not the gadgets you deliver. How can you tell when you have too many plugins installed at any given time?

1. Website is Slowing Down

There are two primary functions that plugins perform, HTTP requests and database calls. Plugins that don’t retrieve data don’t slow down the site all that much.

However, database calls can become excessive and could diminish your site’s performance in terms of speed. One or two plugins that do this probably won’t make a huge impact, but several of them together simultaneously could lead to problems.

This is especially true if the plugin is looking for information on a third-party server. This often happens in affiliate programs.

2. Site Experiences Frequent Crashing

One thing you have to be aware of is compatibility between other plugins and templates. Not all plugins will work with the additions you installed in WordPress. In some cases, it could cause the site to crash altogether.

Usually, you would then have to uninstall the plugins to get the pages to work again. For example, the “Nuovo” theme causes the “Word Stats” plugin to malfunction in the editor because of how both of them were coded.

3. High-Than-Normal Security Problems

Every time you install a plugin, you’re essentially putting trust in the developer to create a safe code. This could create a high level of security threats with each tool you thought of as safe.

While many developers can be trusted, the bottom line is that each plugin could increase security risks to your website.

Problems like these can happen should the developer simply abandon the project. The end result is a plugin that doesn’t have updates or security fixes.

4. If You Have More than One Plugin with the Same Job

A lot of people constantly look for tools and features that are similar that provide better capabilities. Often times, these individuals create a long list of plugins that are similar.

Depending on the function, these plugins could be contributing to slow site speeds. They could also be taking up server resources, which may be a problem if you pay for each megabyte of digital real estate you use.

This doesn’t take into consideration how two plugins doing the same job could also crash the site or cause it to malfunction. Many tools don’t play well together if they are too closely related.

5. Analytics Show People Are Spending Less Time on the Site

Analytical tools can be used to determine if people are getting confused on your website. Too many plugins may take away from user experience.

Time spent on the page and heatmaps are two of the best ways to discover this information.

If there has been a steady drop as you keep adding new features, these plugins may be to blame by creating a distraction.

6. You Can’t Remember What Each Plugin Does

Finally, the best way to tell if you have too many plugins installed is if you can’t remember the purpose of each one. A lot of times, it’s easier to install a plugin to test it out before committing to using the tool.

However, many people also forget to remove it when they’re done. It’s easy to forget what you were doing with each addition, and you may discover that you’re holding onto things you never use.

Maintaining your plugins allows you to focus more on the content and not the tools that are available. It’s a good idea to keep your add-ons from getting out of hand by cleaning up your list of plugins.

Uninstalling the Plugin

Removing plugins is quite simple in WordPress. It doesn’t take any knowledge of PHP or HTML and is usually automatically done within a few seconds. To do this, you:

  • Go to “Plugins” from your WordPress dashboard.
  • On the “Plugins” page, scroll down until you see the one you want to remove.
  • Click the “Deactivate” link under the title if it’s visible. Otherwise, it should say, “Activate.”
  • Once the plugin is deactivated, click the red “Delete” link that is now available. Some plugins will offer to keep any saved information or settings in the event you want to install the plugin at a later date. Keeping this information is optional.

Maintain Your Plugins

If you have a WordPress site up and running for any length of time, you’ll more than likely have to uninstall plugins that don’t fit your current design ideas. There is nothing wrong with looking for tools that are better than the ones you’re using right this minute.

Keep your site streamlined and only keep plugins that you absolutely need.

How many plugins do you use on a regular basis? Do you regularly go through your list of installed goodies to streamline your site?