Plugins are a great way to add functionality and beautify a website. But when to stop? Is that even possible to have too many plugins?

1. WordPress taking up too much memory

Everything is great, you found this amazing plugin, free, does everything that you need. You install it, everything goes well and all of a sudden you see this:

Hosting account ran out of allocated memory when loading wordpress and plugins
Hosting account ran out of allocated memory when loading wordpress and plugins

An Allowed Memory Size Exhausted error signifies that your WordPress installation has not enough enough memory to achieve what you want.

The suggestion given in the codex is to:

Increase your memory limit in wp-config.php

Increase your memory limit by editing php.ini. This is not a file that comes with WordPress so if you are unfamiliar with it you should contact your web host about increasing your memory limit.

But what if you are already on the limit for your current hosting account? Would you upgrade to support the new features or, as a developer, would you be able to rethink a different approach?

2. Compatibility problems

Plugin version check
Plugin version check

When installing a plugin from the repository, through WordPress, there are a few things that we need to check:

  • required WordPress version
  • compatibility with different versions

But another problem that you might run into is that your hosting provider might have a lower version of php that the plugin requires.

Yoast example of plugin requiring php version
Yoast example of plugin requiring php version

Again, is it something that your hosting provider can fix? If not, is it worth moving to a different provider because of one plugin?

3.  Plugin poorly developed, security issues

We go through the WordPress repo we can find a myriad of plugins, all capable of doing wonderful things. But also we will find plugins that:

a (  ) out of date
b (  ) bloated
c (  ) buggy
d (  ) unsecure
e (  ) all of the above

What is the point of working hard, to leave our website vulnerable for exploits? The risk of you website been flag by Google and suspended by your hosting provider are not worth the trouble.

PLEASE, if you are not 100%, check here before installing anything:

4. 3rd party plugin requires manual overrides to give the functionality that you need

No, trust me, don’t do it. You would be in for a world of pain. On top of the problem mentioned above with security, unless you are absolutely 100% that plugin has no exploits, don’t require updates, don’t have new functionalities in newer versions and you are a genius, I would not recommend customizing a 3rd party plugin, especially if you are delivering a service to a end user.

This advice, of course does not apply if you are developing your own plugin. 🙂

5. Plugins with malware

Naughty naughty developer, you must NOT installed pirated software, for two reasons:

a) A lot of work and effort was into developing those plugins, if the developer requires you to have an adequate license for your end product, you should comply with it, we talking here about fairness

b) Arr, Pirated software often comes wit’ malware within it installation, we be not shoutin’ ’bout simple popups, matey!

A blog post on Sucuri really help us to understand the danger of this “free” premium software.

Getting something valuable for free may sound great, however, in most cases, you won’t get what you expect. After all, you should ask yourself the question, why would someone spend their time to steal software, and then post it to various sites and forums where they can’t even count on any advertising revenue? Usually, the answer is that they expect to take advantage of the sites that install the software they post. How? By adding some undisclosed functionality to the stolen plugins like backdoors, ads, hidden links, and SPAM.

Highly recommend checking this post here.

If you have more ideas about plugins, please let me know, I would love to hear your experiences.