Too many plugins on the page?

Do you know a situation where you already have a site, would you say that you have an overview of various gadgets, you have become friends with modules and you are constantly adding new and new functionalities to your site? But isn’t that a little too much? Aren’t you lost in it all? Can you say with a clear conscience that you use all activated modules?

The reason why I decided to write this article was started by statistics, which wrote about a record in the number of installed modules. Their number was an incredible 637 on one page. The owner of this site said that his site works strangely well.

So I started googleing information about how many modules on one page there are too many. Whether there is any recommended number, how many there should be on the page and what it can cause on the page.

From my research, it became clear that this topic had been discussed several times. And I’ve even read about a certain reliance on installing more and more modules. It is understandable. WordPress offers up to about 40,000 free modules that you can download. And with such a number, there is really something to choose from.

WordPress itself as a CMS system works fine. However, if you want to add more features to your site, it won’t work without modules. The choice of the right and necessary modules may not be so clear. Fortunately, thanks to an army of volunteers and developers, you can make the most  modules get free. However, often the fact that there are too many options to choose from causes problems.

Why were the modules actually created?

The modules were created mainly for one clear reason. Give WordPress users more control over how their website looks, works, all without having to understand the code.
It is simple. Quick installation, subsequent activation and all this more – less without much technical skill. But like everything, some modules do not do without errors.

Is the number of modules related to the fact that the page is not working properly?

The answer is yes or no. Google did not give me clear answers. One thing is for sure, too many modules can cause the page to load an awfully long time, or some posts or photos may not load at all. The only specific number was uttered by Dan Morris.  WordPress Curve service co-founder who says the optimal number of modules is 20. He stressed that less is simply more in this case. At the same time, he added that there are no strict rules that must be followed regarding the number of modules.

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But the thing is, too many modules on the site are potentially causing problems. What?

Issue # 1: Page crashes.

Nobody is perfect. Even the best modules created by reputable developers can contain bugs. The WordPress community is open source in nature. What do I mean by that? A large number of volunteers are involved in creating the modules. At the same time, it can simply happen that something is coded here and there, but it gets out. Avoiding the modules helps to avoid poorly written modules. Depending on how high the rating and number of downloads the module has, you can easily find out how it is with its quality.

Issue 2: Page speed and performance

Many people are concerned about page loading and speed. Of course, in connection with modules, the more modules we have installed and functional, the greater the assumption that the page will be slower. This is due to the complexity of the whole process. The problem is simplified in that each module can (doesn’t have to, depends on it  from the module type) add code that is processed each time you visit any page. The processing time depends on what the module does and how well it is programmed.

Issue 3: Site security
A lot has been described about security and various security tips for the site. This is also because the possibility that hackers will get to your site is more than real. If you do not have a sufficiently secure site and hackers attack it, you may lose all important and less important data from night to day. Repairing the damage will then cost you a lot of effort and time.

Problem No.4: Reliability of modules

Reliability issues are most often caused by poor code quality. This is further associated with poor support levels, slow updates, and overall module performance.

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All this can (potentially) be avoided. How?

The problems associated with installing these modules may seem endless. But don’t be negative right away. All it takes is a little planning and a few helpful tips verified by experts.

  1. Check for duplicate functionality
    If you are thinking of installing a new module, before you are again tempted by the “download” button paths, make sure that the already installed modules do not have the features you need. This check prevents the installation of duplicate modules.
  2. Slowing down
    Too many modules are generally associated with page slowdowns. When you have fewer, you reduce the overall server load and your site will run faster.
  3. Performance test
    The simple solution is to test the page load speed before and after installing the module of your choice. For example, you can try Google PageSpeed Insight  or the P3 module, which generates a performance report for your site.
  4. Module test
    Test the new modules on a non-live page. For example, create a separate page that will be used for such “attempts”. This will prevent the risk that something will go wrong with your site and you will lose data or mess up the whole page.
  5. Protection
    The core of WordPress is secure, but one bad module is enough and hackers can get to your data very easily. Even a properly functioning module can have security flaws in it.
    What about that? Back up everything properly, update and use the security module.

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If you can’t resist downloading new modules, I’ve summarized a few tips to help you decide if you really need the module or not.

It all depends on quality, not quantity. It is important to keep in mind that not just a large amount  modules is the cause of the problem. The cause is often in the wrong code. When looking for modules, focus especially on those developed by respected authors of the WordPress community. Look for modules with high ratings. Also, don’t forget to regularly remove modules that you no longer use. Also, focus on information about updates and download statistics. The trusted and reliable module will be regularly updated.

I believe that my advice will help you and you will make a proper inventory of the modules.

Share with us in the comments how many modules you have on your site. Are you also one of those who do not have such an overview in them? Or quite the opposite, do you know exactly what modules you use?

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