Keep the Plugin Count Low and Focus on What Matters

Can you keep it under 10?

One of the things that I’ve mentioned a number of times already is the point that it’s better to have less WordPress plugins than more. The point generally is that this is a speed issue – meaning, the less plugins you have the more fast your blog will load, generally speaking.

I have historically mentioned that 10-15 plugins is probably ok but I caution anything more than that outside of explicit strategic uses. Even I break this rule sometimes if a blog requires a few features that I don’t have time to build in myself.

What most online publishers fail to do is to ask whether or not they really need those plugins for their readers’ most optimal experience. What I’ve discovered is that most bloggers have a handful of plugins installed that they never use or that have an extremely low point of value for themselves or their audience.

What I’m digging a lot about Standard 3 is the fact that this particular WordPress Theme cuts out a lot of the so-called fat in terms of plugin bloat. The design forces you to think critically about what you’re presenting to your readers and you realize that everything that you’re showing your readers consistently isn’t all that necessary.

In a recent workshop I shared a few thoughts about this and how the internet has shifted towards this aesthetic over the last few years – more people are interested in the content and much less interested in the actual design aesthetic.

Just take a look at many of the more popular blogs out there – the design (but not creativity in UI/UX) is very minimal in nature, just showcasing the content first and foremost. I remember earlier in my blogging career where the design-layer mattered a whole lot more, but this isn’t the case anymore.

I believe this to be true 100% – heck, the many readers that come to this part of the blogosphere to read my thoughts are certainly not coming back for the design, right? I’m done with trying to impress people with that part of the experience – everyone gets so tired of the “new coat of paint” that it’s just not worth the investment!

The point is that it’s a good time to review not just your design layer but also the chassis it’s sitting on as well – the WordPress Theme that you’re using and the amount of plugins that you’ve activated. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the design all that necessary?
  • If I had to spend money (and time) on design, how much would it really increase my readership and traffic?
  • Is this (these) plugin absolutely necessary and core to my user experience?
  • How effective is this (these) plugin really being for development of my readership and brand?
  • What is it that I wish my WordPress Theme did for me instead of having to research and/or evaluate infinite number of WordPress plugins?

Just a little food (and activity) for thought this casual Tuesday morning.

[Learn more about Standard 3 via my Series here or go there directly!]

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