Are WordPress plugins free?

WordPress has 54,732 FREE plugins (as at November 28, 2019).

You can check how many by visiting the WordPress plugins page.

It can be easy to add too many plugins to your website.

Commercial WordPress plugins

There are also several thousand commercial plugins, such as Gravity Forms, Slider Revolution, WP Bakery.

You can find many great commercial plugins at Code Canyon.

The Problem With Too Many Plugins

The problems caused by plugins will vary depending on which plugins that you have installed, how they’re coded, which ones are actually active, and more.

The largest problem with having too many plugins is that some can slow down your site.

Some WordPress plugins can make your site more susceptible to security breaches.

Issue #1: Security Vulnerabilities

If your website isn’t secure, all of the hard work you put into creating your blog or designing an ecommerce store can be destroyed by hackers.

Attacks are coming quicker and faster every year. From 2015 to 2016, there was an increase of 32 percent more hacked sites. And it can cost tons of time and money trying to repair all of the damage.

At least 47 percent of all WordPress vulnerabilities are Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, according to Wordfence.

WordPress security vulnerabilities

A hacked website can destroy your brand’s reputation, as well as your privacy. But it’s important to remember that there are risks involved with whatever software you choose to install.

Issue #2: Bad Performance and Slow Page Speed

Fast page loading speeds are essential to keeping site visitors. But the more plugins you have installed on your site, the slower it will be.

The test your site, use a tool like Pingdom. Run a full page test to analyse your website’s performance and page speeds.

For every plugin that you add to your site, more code is added to the browser. That’s more to process, so the less code there is, the better your loading speeds will be.

Now for the most important question of all: exactly how many plugins is too many?

How Many Plugins is Too Many?

There’s not a number of plugins that’s set in stone for all users.

It depends heavily on the kind of web host you use, though. For shared or budget cloud hosting, stick between 0 and 5 plugins.

If you use cloud hosting, VPS hosting, or a dedicated server, you can run anywhere from 5 and 20 plugins on your site without many issues.

Dan Norris, co-founder of WP Curve, recommends to never exceed 20 plugins.

Less is more, but there aren’t any hard and fast rules for how many plugins you can or can’t have. That’s why you should follow these tips to cut down on the number of plugins that you have on your site.

Update Existing Plugins to Patch Vulnerabilities

Regular updates are released for plugins often. These updates include important patches that fix holes in a plugin’s security.

In 2014, more than 50,000 sites got hacked from a corrupt plugin, MailPoet. The problem came when a bug was found that enabled hackers to upload files directly to the users’ server to take control of the entire site.

That’s why you should update plugins as soon as updates are released. If updates are available, they will appear under the “Updates” section of your dashboard.

Take Inactive Plugins Off of Your Site

Inactive plugins can be used by hackers to gain access to your site.

Log on to your website and check out the “Plugins” section of your dashboard. Uninstall any plugins listed under the “Inactive” tab.

Inactive WordPress plugins

Press “Deactivate” and “Delete” to remove a plugin and all of its files completely.

Conclusion

WordPress plugins are essential for building and maintaining a successful site. But having too many WordPress plugins on your website is bad news.

Too many plugins can lead to security breaches on your site, site crashes, bad performance, slow loading speeds, and more.

A good rule of thumb is to never exceed 20 plugins. If your site is hosted on shared or budget cloud hosting, try not to use more than 5 plugins.

Only use the plugins that you know you need and update plugins regularly to fix any holes in their security. Remove inactive plugins from your site, and only install ones from reputable developers and companies.

Finally, enlist the help of a WordPress plugin expert if you need advice about plugins or help to manage the ones on your site.

The longer you wait to remove inactive and dangerous plugins, the more your site will suffer. Trim down your installed plugins list today.

Are WordPress plugins safe?