How Many WordPress Plugins We should Use?

WordPress is no doubt one of the best CMS out there and plugins make life really easy for bloggers like you and me. Now, there is always one plugin for anything we want to do on WordPress, and this leads to most common question: How many WordPress plugins should we use?

How many WordPress Plugins

It took me over years to understand, less plugin we use, it’s better for our website performance and load time. Also, I’m strictly against using a plugin, which makes us dependent in future.

In the post 8 reasons why wordpress blog is better then Free blogspot blogs that plugin is one of the major advantage in WordPress. Though using lots of plugin will slow down your blog performance. Reason being more number of queries from plugins.

Let me explain these in detail:

Using a WordPress plugin is like adding a code to our blog with the help of plugin. You can do the same without plugin, by adding codes manually in your core theme/WordPress files. So, to cut the myth WordPress plugins not necessarily slow down your blog, but it increases the number of codes on your blog, and thus your blog takes more time to load or to complete an action (Ex: loading a page).

Even if you are using 30+ WordPress plugins, and they are well coded, it will not slow down your blog or degrade your blog performance. There are certain plugins like smsuh.it, Similar posts plugin, Google XML sitemap, and few more which takes longer time to perform an action, and thus these plugins are not really recommended.

So the question here is which WordPress plugins we should use?

First thing first, Using any WordPress plugin is your personal choice. We install new WordPress plugins to get more features for the blog.

Do we really need all these Features?

Yes we do, but using the plugin is not the best solution. Using Manual code to replace WordPress plugin is a better way. For example; Instead of using yet another related post plugin we can use codes to show related post.

Refer to : How to show related post in WordPress without plugin

There are few must have WordPress plugin which is important for SEO or for blog optimization. Some of them are

  • WordPress SEO by Yoast:  Best free SEO plugin for WordPress, and loaded with lots of features to make your blog optimize for search engines, and Social media sites.
  • Google XML sitemap WordPress plugin: Generate Sitemap and submit it to Google webmaster and forget about indexing problem. An alternative to this plugin is better WordPress Google sitemap.
  • Akismet: Helps you to fight against Comment and trackback spam.
  • Wp Db manager: A all in one plugin, which will help you to optimize, repair and take the backup of your database. It also let you schedule your database for timely backup.
  • SEO friendly images: This plugin helps you to add alt tag into your blog images and this your blog images get indexed into Search engines.
  • W3 Total cache: A must have plugin if you are expecting a traffic spike on your blog.

Now talking about non-essential WordPress plugin which you need depending on your blog posts and preference. I will list down the plugin which you might like to use depending on your usage. Though my suggestion would be narrow them down with custom codes as much as possible.

WordPress Adsense plugins:

Affiliate links WordPress plugin:

WordPress optimization

Feeds: Feed subscription and Feed readers

Optimizing for mobile users

There are many others which you can browse from Shoutmeloud WordPress plugins archive.

Apart from Essential WordPress plugin, which I have mentioned above. All other plugins are based on your preference. So try to keep it as low as possible for better optimization of your WordPress blog.

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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a passionate blogger. He is blogging since 2008 & writes about Blogging, SEO, Make money online & tech. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives 1 million Pageviews/month and have over 700K subscribers.

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COMMENTs ( 19 )

  1. says

    hi harsh ,
    wanted to ask WordPress seo by yoast … create sitemap too… do we need another plugin to create sitemap(Google XML sitemap WordPress plugin) ?. or Yoast is enuff ?? Please let me know thnxx…..

  2. says

    Another informative article, I agree with your point that we should try to do manually code change if we can and avoid excess of plugins.
    Thanks for sharing this post.

  3. bokij says

    See this,there is many plugins but with each one needs to spend hours to make them work, programers make them like every normal man who tryes to make a wordpress web site is a programmer or web specialist,they yust have to make it easy.

  4. Rahul says

    Great post.. One of my friend’s is a professional wordpresser and he said that for optimum performance,you need to have maximum 10 plugins.. I have 11 plugins and the website seems to work fine..

  5. Greg says

    Interesting post and comments

    I actually have 38 plugins active at present
    I do not feel comfortable with removing any as they each serve a vital function on my blog

    I need to add though,that I signed up for MaxCdn,so alot of the server load is lightened
    Having a good host is essential and with no affiliate link,I recommend Hostgator
    Hostgator offer extremely fast servers,mabny plans when on a business plasn which only costs $15 pm.have quad core processing and only 5 othert accounts per server

    If you expect super servers and no down time,be prepared to pay for it.IOt is futile to expect dedicated server quality and performance for $4:95 pm
    Greg

  6. Tek3D says

    I am using 8 plugins on my blog and trying to decrease this number to minimum. :)
    About YARPP, you should be careful about it as in can bring trouble to some of your posts, I had to remove it a few days ago after realize that it affected a few posts on my blog.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment Tek3D. I was aware that YARPP have some issue but since they have added caching feature, it’s much better now….
      And could you plz specify how did YArPP affected your posts?

  7. Vince says

    Great post. Did you find that YARPP was causing trouble with so many queries or did you just remove it on principle?

    Cheers

  8. the_guv says

    tx Harsh .. this blog is a great resource.

    1 thing .. AIO is superb, but Headspace2 knocks it into a cocked hat.

    takes some configging, and getting to know, but it is way more powerful and I can testify it substantially increases search traffic.

    Yoast has a good write-up.

    just my 2c

  9. Tony says

    Great post! I implemented the code for related posts into one of my sites to see how well it worked after I disabled YARP plugin and I’m glad to say it worked fine.
    Guess what I’ll be doing over the next couple of days :)

  10. George Serradinho says

    Thanks Harsh for this post.

    I have a question for you. I have 22 plugins installed on my blog. Of the 22, there are 5 plugins for the admin side of my site. I don’t think they affect my loading of my site (db backups, delete revision, no self pings, user locker, security scan). What is your opinion on this?

    If I have 22 plugins and 5 are for admin side then I would say that I have 17 plugins for my frontend of my site.

    Your assistance is appreciated.

  11. Michael Aulia says

    I’ve been exchanging tickets with my current hosting (30 ticket replies so far) trying to nail down what causes my account to use 60% of CPU usage in PHP Calls :(

    Not sure which plug-in is causing this but I’ve disabled newly installed plug-ins but so far haven’t nailed it yet.. Might try your suggestion on putting a manual code although I don’t understand. It’s a PHP code as well so why would it make a difference? (compared with using a plugin)

    • says

      I recently faced the same problem with my another blog which is hosted on DH server, They told me that the issue is because of ALL in one SEO and YARPP and I didn’t installed Super cache plugin. I removed YARPP and installed super cache and blog comes back to normal after that :)

  12. Abhimanyu says

    good list, though one pointer, if you are not using any plugin feature, disable it as it will keep on taking memory and if your blog suddenly gets lot of traffic some plugin (especially those access mysql tables) can bring down your sit

    • says

      Nice point Abhi. Even if you are using YARPP or any such plugin which puts lots of queries it’s ok, but best sugggestion would be disable it when you are getting traffic spike.

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