DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Poll Results: How Many Plugins do You Use?

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Back in October, we asked the WordPress community How Many Plugins do You Use?. Several months later, over 1300 people have voted, and here are the results:

[ Poll Results: How Many Plugins do You Use? ]

I find these results to be very interesting. Looking at the data, we see that 63% of voters use 10 plugins or less. Further, a whopping 84% of voters use fewer than 20 plugins. Also surprising to see a significant percentage of voters using absolutely no plugins whatsoever. And last but not least, we have the most hardcore WordPress peeps weighing in with over 50 plugins per site! Amazing.

There was also some good conversation about the optimal number of plugins and which plugins are absolutely essential. Here are some of the highlights:

redwall_hp
[...] reducing plugins isn’t the only route to a screaming-fast site. You can run 20 plugins and still have lightning-fast page serving times if your server is well-configured. Using a RAM cache, switching from Apache to NGINX to save on RAM, and making other server tweaks can make a WordPress site scream.
Jillian Nichols
In response to those arguing that you can always benefit from Akismet – don’t forget that it’s kind of pointless if your WordPress site doesn’t have any comment forms. I use WordPress to make sites of static content a lot, and there’s no reason to have Akismet installed. In general WordPress out-of-the-box by itself works for me, occasionally I may use one or two plugins.
Alex Denning
I’m using 9 which is still too many – Akismet, Sitemap, RSS Footer, SEO Comments, Subscribe to comments, W3 Cache, Backup, WP125 and YARRP. Would love to get that figure down below 5 though.
Ryan Rampersad
I look at the plugins I have enabled every now and then to see if I can disable some of them. I think having 15 plugins is too many but I can’t live without them.
Carlos
The only plugin I’ve installed is the askimet. I haven’t used any plugins because I’m learning how wordpress works. So if I start depending on plugins it takes the fun out of learning and I don’t find out the capabilities I have of tinkering with wordpress.
Matt
I’m using 71 plugins at the moment, which I realise is a lot but they don’t hinder performance that much. I’ve fine-tuned most of them.
Chris
I want maximum functionality and comfort, so I use more than 20 plugins, to turn my WP into what I absolute want to have :-D
Lucian
I use WordPress as a CMS for my clients. I have an average of 10-20 and I don’t see how is possible to achieve some of necessary functionalities, without or with just few of them. Most of them if are well written don’t affect too much the speed of the website.

Thanks to everyone who voted! Stay tuned for the next DiW poll! :)

19 Responses

  1. Fine analytics. See also my poll results: http://twtpoll.com/7ov646

  2. 71 plugins?! Imagine the number of updates you get regularly! I use 27 btw. SMH

    • No doubt, I wonder if there is an upper-limit to the number of plugins that WordPress can handle..

      • Who wants to find out? :D

        You could certainly have memory issues from having too many plugins, but I don’t know if there’s a hard limit in WP itself or not. I would guess not…

  3. I have to agree with Lucian that if the plugin is well-written you don’t quite have to worry about the number of them. But 71 is definitely too much!

    Before I used about 26 plugins and now I’ve lowered the number down to 19 by using custom code a lot more.

    Thanks Jeff, nice to see hot many plugins other people use.

    • I think we are using around that same number here at DiW. I think anything 20 or less is a workable number of plugins. I only start to worry if I start climbing into the 30+ range.

  4. As few as possible.

  5. Seeing this has just prompted me to clean up plugins. Oddly that’s increased the number to 10 but they’re really great ones that I couldn’t replicate the functionality of easily.

    Pleased to say only one is front end though (Paginator 3000).

    • 10 plugins is just about right, I think. Most of my sites are using around 10 or so plugins, but the numbers are dwindling as WordPress continues to integrate more and more functionality – it’s a trade-off: more core bloat vs fewer necessary plugins. Hmm..

      • John Hewitt January 26, 2010

        Wow. 10 seems like a lot to me, but I am really just digging in to WP over the last year or so. I find I use about 4-5. It would be great to know your 10 “must have plugins”. Just after every install of WP I upload the same 4-5 plugins. It’s like my default set-up for every site now. As always, great content guys.

  6. The most I’ve ever used for a client is around 3 – 5. I try not to use too many, and replace common plugins with either hard-code, or place them in the admin settings for the theme itself. Not sure if this is the best way to do it, but it gets me by :)

  7. I use 6. I don’t really see the point of filling it up with a whole lot of plugins.

  8. I rarely use more than 10 as described on my wordpress checklist: http://www.frenchguys.com/wordpress/wordpress-checklist/

  9. I guess the poll didn’t ask which plugin’s.
    I’ld love to see a big recent list with as many results showing… “What’s plugged in … To Your Press?”

  10. Lee Peterson January 23, 2010

    I always install the same base set of 7 for every site I develop for my clients.

    WP DB Backup, WP Super Cache, Google Sitemap Generator, Contact Form 7, Really Simple Captcha, All in One SEO, and one from Jeff at Perishable Press, Block Malicious Attacks.

    Any custom functionality I feel would work better as a plugin rather than something in the functions file I turn into a plugin.

    I can’t imagine why anyone would need more than ~25 plugins for one site. Crazy.

    • John Hewitt January 26, 2010

      Thanks Lee. Wish I had seen this before leaving my earlier comment for Jeff Oh well. I’d like to see Jeff”s top ten anyway.

  11. I remember voting for this poll a while back, and I think at the time I might have voted 50+, or maybe 20+, because there are just so many that I feel are essential, and then there are many I have just installed that are used for one post, kinda pointless I know.

    On my most recently created site however, I use less than 20 now, as I have been using and writing my own custom codes, and developing the theme from scratch. So many of the plugins I used on one site are less needed since I am basically building them into my theme from the getgo.

    Less than 20 is reasonable I think.

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