We could not have written a better clickbait-y headline.
There is a common myth that having a lot of plugins on your site can slow it down. wplift looks at this myth and explains why this is not always true.
The article is very thorough, covering several concerns about plugins:
- Plugin impact – does the plugin change one little thing in the code or does it provide a fully functional application (like WooCommerce or BuddyPress)?
- Practical problems installing several plugins
- Vulnerabilities (the worst offenders being TimThumb, RevSlider and Gravity Forms (which has automatic updates now, BTW))
- Cross-plugin compatibility issues
In the end the answer to “how many plugin is too many?” isn’t very straightforward. Use the plugins you need, create custom plugins to put all common sites functions into one area (if you can) and have enough power under the hood to maintain a fast, solid, secure site.