I’m Pretty Happy With MY WordPress

While at work the other day, I thought about how I have not added any new plugins for additional functionality to this site for a long time. The most recent ones being After The Deadline and WordPress.com stats. Other than that, I’ve been pretty darn happy with the features I’ve added to this site thanks to the plugins I’ve chosen to use. WPTavern has 31 active plugins in use. Some add functionality such as WP-Polls while others give me something small such as the ability to have post author comments highlighted a different color. Sure, this could be accomplished from within the theme, but I don’t want to.

Matt has stated at numerous WordCamp events that the average number of plugins active on a WordPress site is around five. Considering the breadth of plugins available in the repository, it’s likely that no two WordPress’s are the same. When I stop to think about that, all I can say is awesome! The 31 plugins I have installed make up the total functionality that I want WordPress to have that I don’t have to force down anyone’s throat. The only time I add plugins to WPTavern now is if I need to test a plugin because it won’t work on my local server. Could things be improved in WordPress? Of course. But, WordPress 2.9.1 doesn’t really pose any problems for me in terms of publishing content. I’m pretty happy with how things are right now.

At any rate, this is just a reflection I had the other day. Are you one of those Pressers that continuously add and remove plugins as time progresses or have you stuck with the same core group of plugins you use on all the sites you administer?

12 Comments


  1. I have 8 plugins currently running on my blog. Usually I’d have a few more, but im still deciding how much I can do with my blog inbetween school and exams..

    Performance would be an issue I have with plugins. I cant exactly afford the best of hosting atm, and I like my blog running as fast as possible, so too many plugins is a no no atm for me :P

    I’d like to do away with some of the plugins i use and build the functionality into a theme at some stage.

    If you had to make do with less plugins would you?

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  2. @Darren – No, because I can keep plugins configured and laying dormant and it wouldn’t take much effort to have them work with a new theme but if I built it all into a theme, I’m locking myself in and just creating headaches for myself down the road.

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  3. @Darren

    ahh I get you, sort of at least. But wouldnt it be ok, as long as the theme was good enough?

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  4. @Darren – Sure. If the theme packed a lot of punch out of the box, there is a chance I would use it over 30 different plugins. But, I like change. I can never be satisfied over a theme and so, I’d rather be able to switch themes and keep functionality than switch themes and lose everything.

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  5. I’m building my own Buddypress/Hybrid Child theme and will probably do a mix of my own plugins vs. customized versions of others. I find that plugins made for the masses seem to add too much overhead. However, making your own plugins means you do the updating. Where I can avoid that with a well-coded plugin, I will.

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  6. Unless one is running a highly visited blog such as wpTavern, I don’t worry about plugins slowing down the performance.

    The benefits of plugins is far too great to be ignored.

    The only concern for plugins is that of potential conflicts. Having run a blog with 30+ activated plugins, I guess I’ve been fortunate to avoid conflicts!

    Well, JavaScript conflicts have occurred. The plugin authors have to learn how to wpenque those JS libraries.

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  7. Depending on the needs of the client, I install between 10-25 plugins on average. A number of these are for analytics and distribution (social media or otherwise). I’ve been sticking with the same ones for a long time, and only add new if I find a better service to use for certain tasks and want to integrate with the service.

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  8. I am using pretty much the same set of 10-12 plugins for the past 1 year I guess. My themes are always self made so I always look at plugins to get me the extra functionality needed coz I dont know enough to write my own :)

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  9. Using that many plugins is an absolute nightmare in terms of performance. A year ago it wasn’t a big deal, but with Google now factoring load time into search rankings, you gotta cut down on that. And most useful wp plugins can be duplicated in a theme pretty easily.

    Also, I fail to see how one would be locked into using a certain theme if you build in plugin functionality. Couldn’t you just install the plugins in the event that you wanted to switch themes? Seems far more efficient from my perspective. I guess from a basic user point of view plugins are great, but IMO any wp theme worth its salt is going to have a large amount of commonly used plugin functionality built in.

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  10. Wow! 31 plugins seems like a lot to me. As far as slowing down load time, it depends on what the plugin does. My biggest factor in load time is running remote scripts. Tweetmeme and Disqus are two that I see constantly, the browser waiting for them to load.

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  11. @Hal Brown – Well, anything that you can do to decrease the amount of HTTP requests per page load will help increase page loading speeds. So third party scripts and site stuff is a big no no.

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