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Building WordPress websites with fewer plugins

Written on June 5, 2023 at 9:53 pm


In this article, I’ll discuss some strategies you can use to avoid using too many plugins on your WordPress Website. I’ll explain what plugins are and why you shouldn’t use too many.

What are plugins in WordPress?

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WordPress plugins are packages of code that add additional features to the basic WordPress installation. When you initially install WordPress, it comes with a bunch of features that are used by almost everyone. But there are thousands of additional plugins that add extra features. These plugins are built by developers around the world. Many of them are offered for free at

Why should you use fewer plugins?

Reduce security risks and plugin conflicts

While it’s not always the number of plugins installed that cause problems, the more plugins you have the more complicated maintaining your site will be. It increases the risk of conflicts between different plugins and security issues (if a plugin isn’t maintained properly).

Make WordPress easier to learn and manage

Limiting the number of plugins you install can also make your WordPress website easier to manage. It will take you less time to learn how to use a WordPress site if it isn’t cluttered with unnecessary tools and admin pages.

Prevent your site from crashing

Some plugins hog your server’s resources (CPU, Memory) and may cause your site to crash if it isn’t on a suitable hosting plan. They can also make it extremely slow and painful to edit content in the WordPress admin. You can avoid these problems by only installing plugins that you need.

How to build a WordPress website with fewer plugins?

1. Plan ahead

If you plan your website ahead of time, you should have a good idea of what content and features you want on each page. If you’re adding new features after you’ve already built the site, you may find that you have to add additional plugins rather than finding a plugin that does everything you want from the beginning.

2. Hire a professional WordPress developer

An experienced WordPress developer can help you plan your website and streamline your website features. They can help you find the right plugins for the job.

A WordPress theme developer can also help by offering an alternative to drag-and-drop page builders, such as Advanced Custom Fields and custom Gutenberg Blocks. They can build CSS animations and JavaScript features into the theme, without adding additional plugins. This also gives the developer additional ways to optimize the code that might not be compatible with third-party extensions.

I offer custom WordPress development! Contact me for an estimate.

3. Remove unused plugins

Did you try something and find that it wasn’t what you were looking for? Remove it when you’re done to avoid a confusing mess in your WordPress dashboard. Also, some plugins can be used once and then removed when you’re done, such as tools that are primarily for improving back-end administration features while you’re building the website. Here are some examples of plugins that I might remove after using them:

  • Broken Link Checker
  • URL Updating Plugins
  • Simple Page Ordering
  • Crop Thumbnails
  • Migration Plugins
  • Import / Export Plugins

It will be easier to remove them when you’re working on it than years later when you’ve forgotten what it’s there for.

4. Use a Managed WordPress hosting plan

A good WordPress hosting plan can include features that you might otherwise use a plugin for, such as:

  • Backups
  • Security and Firewall
  • Faster servers and more available CPU than cheap hosting companies
  • CDNs
  • Staging Sites

My personal recommendation is’s Managed WordPress Hosting.

5. Understand the plugins you already have and get WordPress training

I sometimes find that clients have added new plugins for features that they already had installed, like a second form builder plugin, or multiple page builder plugins, which often results in an extremely slow website.

If you’re fairly comfortable managing your website and just need some extra help, you could hire someone to teach you about your WordPress administration. If you understand the plugins that you already have, you won’t be tempted to add new ones with overlapping features.

6. Let your web developer manage plugins for you

WordPress comes with different access levels for different kinds of users. If you’re worried about making a mess of your website, you can ask your developer to limit your WordPress access to content editing only. Then when you contact them to add a new feature or plugin, they can help you find the right one or they might be able to do it without adding new plugins.

Thank you for reading! I hope you found this article helpful.