Could Plugless Websites Be Like Running Naked Online?

Plugless Websites

Plugins are not my favorite technical thing when it comes to blogging. If I could have a plugless blog I would do it in a heartbeat at times. We would miss many of the functions of the our favorite plugins but it would save us time along the way. I almost lost the entire blog once to a plugin. Would being without plugins be like running naked online? What would we expose our blogs to?

plugless websites


Plugin Functions

Plugins are a program or a set of one or more functions. They can customize your blogs or website easily with a quick install. The trick is, some plugins do not work with other plugins. You may not know until you try. Always backup before you test any new plugin. I recently added the Hashcore plugin last week and was having issues with my cache plugin. It would not let some people leave comments here. I was fortunate that the developers responded to my email quickly and took care of it. I was a beta tester for it and knew that going in. I felt it was a plugin made just for me with hashtags – for my Twitter time.  A plugless website or blog is really like a naked one. It is stripped of customization, bells and whistles and other functions.

Exposure to Viruses


Plugless websites without plugins like WordFence would be exposing our blogs to viruses. (Unless the coding is done right) You would not want your blog to get sick, would you? That is what can happen without those sometimes nasty plugins to save our blogs from getting sick. Just liking running naked and catching a cold (if you believe that old myth) running your blog or website without these can cause them to become ill. It would make it easier for those spammers to infect us with their malware and spamminess on our plugless websites. Of course if you are a programmer you can set your code and be done with it. No need for that plugin. It would save your website speed too at times.

How Many Plugins Are Too Many?

plugless websites via Facebook

There really are no averages but the biggest concern many people have is SPEED. No one wants to visit a slow website or blog. Everyone wants everything FAST these days, right? Genesis – are many of you using Genesis plugins? Interesting point Bren made on Genesis themes and  Ellen is so funny as she confessed how many she has. Watch out for Tim’s next post on his plugins.

83 Plugins!

But wait, someone has 83 plugins and that WordPress site is fast? It’s not the number of plugins but the QUALITY of them. Plugins that load a lot of script can slow down your down. (That’s when plugless websites would win over.) Other plugins that make a lot of database calls are also the cause of slowing websites down. Complex commands like the related posts plugins can cause large blogs to slow down and eventually crash. Yikes!  How many of us have that plugin? The solution would be a larger server.

If you are not sure on the speed of your plugins watch Barry Well’s plugin nightmares and solutions video and learn how you can analyze each plugin for their weight and speed.  Check out this infographic on the state of WordPress plugins that may be vulnerable on your blog or website: Makes me wonder whether I’d switch the ecommerce sites to WordPress or NOT! Love to hear from someone with an ecommerce site done in WordPress.

Top WordPress Plugins are Vulnerable � Reported by CheckMarx

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


*Data on infograph from August, 2013


Do this infographic make your concerned using pugins at your website or blog?
How many plugins are you running on your WordPress site?
What other website would you choose if not WordPress?



Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Content Marketing with Social Media, Blogging and SEO. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others? She has 20+ years experience in marketing/advertising with 6 years experience in content marketing, social media, blogging and SEO. Check out her latest eBook "Learn to Tweet and Thrive on Twitter" now on Amazon.

63 comments On Could Plugless Websites Be Like Running Naked Online?

  • Hi Lisa,

    I didn’t know that a plugless blog can be sick. Wow…thanks for telling us about this. Well, you know it’s impossible for me not to have any plugins since I am not a programmer. But I don’t have too many. Well, I think on other people standard of having a FEW plugins only (like 12 of them at the most)…perhaps having 20 plugins are way too many but I do need all of these plugins and so far so good. I don’t think it’s crippling my speed. So far so good.

    Angela McCall recently posted..Tutorial Video Of Friends+Me & DoShareMy Profile

  • Hello,

    Yeah you are right blog’s without plugins are like plugless, but using so many plugins is also not recommended.

    thanks for the share.
    Kuldeep recently posted..Top 3 Facebook Proxy Login Sites to Unblock Facebook AccessMy Profile

  • OMG! I have too many and I know it, but someone has 83 and it still runs fast? Who is this person. Lets talk! Seriously, I am constantly reviewing plugins and if they don’t work the way I like, they are gone. A while back, I would leave them dormant never realizing that it slowed down my blogs speed. I know I can still improve my speeds, but some are so hard to part with. I think the more simplistic I make my site the easier it will be to get rid of them. Work in progress. LOL!

    When I worked in eCommerce, we had a team of engineers fighting intrusions and viruses for and their software was known to be one of the best. I think at the end of the day, it boils down to what you have and what you aren’t paying attention to. I remember someone saying to get rid or don’t download plugins that haven’t been updated and those I avoid like the plague. Good post Lisa!
    Sonia recently posted..Six Easy Steps to Set Up Google Authorship (Infographic)My Profile

    • I Sonia, I thought the same thing too – amazing how it didn’t hurt the site. It’s more about quality then quantity, like almost anything else right? Me too, I’m always reviewing mine as well. I didn’t know that in the beginning either and used to leave them in case I ever needed them back. Not anymore. Once they are gone I delete them. Goodbye! Hope all is well Sonia and have a great rest of the week there!
      Lisa recently posted..Be Awesome And Buffer Your Shares Til The Cows Come HomeMy Profile

  • HI Lisa.

    When it comes to plugins, I am a hands off kinda gal. I don’t chase after all those shiny things that come out. Plus I know my limitations. There are always updates and back ups and all this stuff confuses the heck out of me.

    This is why I pay a trusted friend who does it all for me. DIFY The do it for you is the way I like to roll. I’ve heard of too many stories of how plugins can break your blog. And I would be the first to admit I would do that if I tried. I think folks really need to know how to do it and research the plugin before they install it. But that is the limit of my knowledge. lol

    Donna Merrill recently posted..EMDR TherapyMy Profile

  • Yes I am wondering about that too. Could a blog still rank without plugins installed? Well, based from my opinion, Google is now content based. Plugins wont matter if Google is only looking at content. But that does not mean that plugins do not play a role in SEO anymore.
    Manny recently posted..Light Image Resizer Coupon Code: 25% DiscountMy Profile

  • Hey Lisa, I am not using much of Plugins currently, say about 5-10 but 83 seems like a big number though not surely healthy enough for your website. I rather prefer only use that I really require as in this case all that glitters might not be gold. By the way backing up data is a great advice. Thanks a lot for that.

  • Hi Lisa,

    Your Nature blog is plug-in-less. Isn’t it? :mrgreen:

    Actually, plugins are injecting code snippets into the site dear 🙂 Even if you manually code and apply ’em into your theme, the performance can be affected. It depends on how it written, with whom it communicates, where you place it and such factors. Even scripts can be written to minimize the page load time, and now many developers are following that. So, plugins get updates time to time with new features and other improvements. Quite convenient compared to coding everything though 🙂

    Caching plugins and effective compression techniques can be helpful on boosting the performance, as they prevent loading everything from scratch in some points 🙂 Even an effective CDN service can immensely helpful on improving the performance too. For example, Facebook uses a CDN service 😳 You can imagine millions dropping by, eh?

    Having 83 plugins and faster performance is very cool Lisa 🙂 I’ve only came across a site with 62 plugins or something. Mostly bloggers trying to eliminate the plugins and lower their counter. But it’s not the idea behind it. Yeah, eliminating can help improving performance and it’s recommended if don’t use ’em anymore. One thing I usually find is that bloggers have multiple plugins which does the same thing 🙂

    Mind you, even with all the security plugins, still we need to be careful Lisa 🙂 Sometimes hackers get in to our site via security holes in the security plugins too. Even WordPress developers have to update their platform frequently. Actually, it’s not developers make mistakes knowingly, but hackers do try find weaker points. If you can recall, lately Facebook had issues too. Fortunately, the issues were found by ethical hackers not violent ones 😉 Each time we improve security, hackers spend lot of time finding opportunities to break the code. it’s never ending 😯

    BTW nice to see you embedded a Facebook post up here and the Infographic is very informative too Lisa 🙂

    You have a GREAT week there!

    Mayura recently posted..Sharing on Google+ Made Automated in BloggerMy Profile

    • Hi Mayura, yes, all Blogger blogs are right? Good to hear many are making the plugins with scripts to minimize the page load time Mayura. I can only imagine millions dropping by 🙂 Good point about using multiple plugins for the same reason. I could not embed that Facebook image, I had to do a screen print and make a jpeg, I read it wasn’t available to all yet. Still waiting. Glad ou liked the infographic. They sometimes inspire me to do a post when I find a good one. Enjoy the rest of your week, it’s almost Friday there – lucky you 🙂
      Lisa recently posted..Could Plugless Websites Be Like Running Naked Online?My Profile

  • 83 Plugins without affecting load time of a blog? . Yes that’s possible if the plugin isn’t much heavy and it’s code don’t take much time to execute. We can monitor the performance of the plugins through P3 profiler plugin .. I removed some plugins after running the P3 profiler’s test on my WordPress blog as they hampered the load time of my blog . Anyways, Thanks for sharing the information Lisa !

    Pramod recently posted..How to increase internet speed on Windows PC and mobiles?My Profile

  • Hi Lisa, thanks for this great post, it has gone viral already.

    If not for the availability of hawkers and the likes, one would not have bothered to hunt for plugins. However, it is fun, i mean real fun to have good plugins on your site.
    Pst Bless recently posted..How To Submit Your Blog To Multiple Search Engines With One ClickMy Profile

  • Hi Lisa

    I’m currently sitting at 31 plugins and many of them are functional back end ones that I need to work with Genesis.

    Otherwise, I’d have to mess about with code. I recently did that and brought down my website for 30 minutes so I won’t be doing that again for a while!

    Thank you for the mention. I’d definitely recommend people trying out the combination of using WP Super Cache with CloudFlare.

    I know it doesn’t work well for everyone and every WordPress theme but the Rocket Loader and AutoMinify options have really helped my blog’s speed.
    Tim Bonner recently posted..CloudFlare Gives My Blog A Rocket BoostMy Profile

  • Hi Lisa,

    Having a website without plugins is quite an interesting idea, but with today’s technology, and sophisticated hackers, you need all the protection you can get. I use 14 plugins, one of which is “Real IP 4 Comments” and then send the IP into Cloudflare Threat Control as a rule denying access to the website.

    I actually have two plugins that I seldom use and am considering removing them.

    Hope this is helpful for your next blog post.

    Kind Regards,
    William Butler recently posted..12 Ways To Prepare For Great SuccessMy Profile

  • Ah, good old plugins Lisa! Most of us who use WordPress just can’t do without them. I sure can’t.

    My post on Thursday is a yearly one I do and I’ll be sharing which plugins I use and recommend. They change yearly too, some I don’t need anymore while some I hope I never get rid of. 😉

    At the moment I have 16 plugins and two of those will be going away soon.

    As you know I’m beta testing the Anti Backlink plugin for Andy so that will be included in CommentLuv Premium and the stand alone one will disappear.

    Because of Ashvini coming to my rescue once again I’ve now been able to get rid of yet another plugin because it’s not necessary because of a code he created for me so I’m thrilled about that and have been doing the happy dance celebrating.

    I’m also testing an addition to Share Juice Pro for Ashvini so when this new update is released I’ll have one more I can get rid that I’ll no longer need because he’s included that in this plugin as well.

    Because I do use Thesis the coding part is really really easy for me and I only have one plugin that I use with just that theme. So whenever possible I prefer using code instead of a plugin and trust me, I’m no coder. I’ll research how to do something online and if it’s easy to do I do it myself. If it’s not then I email Ashvini for help.

    I had a bad experience a little over a year ago with a really cool plugin that was just neat to use. It did some fancy things with the headers in my posts and I just loved it. The problem was that eventually the plugin stopped working and I had to go back through every single one of my posts and change the stupid headers. So although it made the post look so much more attractive I learned a valuable lesson. Not every developer will continue to upgrade their plugin and eventually a good bit of them will just quit working. Urrrgggg. I stick with the basics and no more fancy stuff for me.

    I can appreciate this post and for the most part besides the caching plugins I’ve never really had any issues with them disrupting my blog or something breaking. I even had Ashvini install the caching plugin for me and it still wouldn’t play nice with my blog so we just got rid of that one and I’ve never used one. I’ve tried but they just hate me for some reason. Oh well.

    Thanks Lisa and enjoyed this post.

    Adrienne recently posted..How to Become a Blog Commenting SuperstarMy Profile

    • Thanks Adrienne, wow, you have had some experiences both good and bad with those plugins too. I will be looking forward to your post on Thurday! That’s great – only 16. Does Ashvini provide such services at a cost? Love to change my theme next year. Been thinking about it, because it’s custom its a bear to change. Tried a few times and way too tricky for me. I can’t imagine having to do all my headers over now, wow, that sounds like a major bummer for you. I remember having to update all my old ones from blogger and some images still need a fix as well. It’s like that good old housework Adrienne. And that needs cleaning too. I hope you have a great rest of the week ther and so glad you did go dancing with the family. I don’t think I’ve seen the videos yet?
      Lisa recently posted..Could Plugless Websites Be Like Running Naked Online?My Profile

  • Hi Lisa, another great post for sure! I always try to find plugins with more than one of the functions I am looking for – that way I have fewer total plugins. However, I also don’t see the point of paying for a plugin if there is a free one that will do the same or similar job. As far as a plugless website, the only way to accomplish that would be to write the plugin code directly into your site instead of using the plugin itself. I have done that for some functions on my blog — most recently when I wrote a post about using redirects where I recorded a video showing how to update the .htaccess file instead of using a redirect plugin. At least that way you aren’t weighing down your site unnecessarily when possible. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration and have a great week!
    Tom Jamieson recently posted..How To Backup Your WordPressMy Profile

  • Hi Lisa,

    There is ideally no limit for number of plugins that one can have. There are two important parts to the equation. The database queries and the amount of new CSS/JS files it loads ( every plugin, if it has one will lead to a lot of CSS files being loaded). WordPress is a really lightweight system .
    Fortunately the CSS/JS files can be cached by cache plugins but it is difficult to cache query results ( esp if they are writing data to database during the load). WordPress is optimized for requesting data, though in a case I have seen that even that too did not work that well.
    It is the job of developer to make queries as fine tuned as possible.
    For security aspect, one needs to be more careful. Even the best laid plugins may be open to attack because of small vulnerability. The important point is to check if plugin accepts external input ( like from a form). If yes, it needs to be validated and sanitized before it is saved in database.
    The best defense is regular backup of your blog however.
    Thanks for this post. Really loved it 🙂
    Ashvini recently posted..Hidden charges or lack of innovation?My Profile

    • Hi Ashvini, interesing – so the cache plays an important role too? Love to know more on that as I had issues with cache plugin earlier but got that resulted a few days back. It wasn’t allowing people to leave comments here. I imagine the host too is another important role in the speed of them. So many things that revolve around other “things” on our blogs. Thank you Ashvini for explaining that here in more detail. Would love to have you do a guest post on cache’s 🙂 Backup and backup, always a must – have a great day Ashvini.
      Lisa recently posted..Could Plugless Websites Be Like Running Naked Online?My Profile

      • HI Lisa,

        I am not an expert on Cache concept but all I can say is that a good cache plugin minify and combine css so that they are delivered as one file. This reduces the load time of blog because many files lead to many loading requests on the blog and they cause it to slow down.
        Also a good cache plugin produces static pages which can be stored on external ( or your own ) server and can be delivered fast on demand.
        If the blog is slow, I usually look for images that are big or a files that are taking a lot of time to load ( using chrome tools).
        I will be glad to write a post for you. I think it could be “demystifying plugins” 🙂
        Ashvini recently posted..Hidden charges or lack of innovation?My Profile

  • Hi Lisa,
    This is my first time on your site and, I really love what you’re doing here indeed. I also think that Plugins can harm our blog in so many ways but, its one of those things we cannot afford to do without on our sites.

    Lets just try and use less of it to avoid load time issues.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Prince Jobs recently posted..Merits of job search websites for the people looking for online jobsMy Profile

  • Interesting post Lisa,
    I really resonated with you on this. I also wish I could have a plugless site because, in as much as it gives so many awesome functions to our blogs, it can also be a big threat if care is not taken.

    But, I think we cannot not get rid of it entirely but, its best to limit the number of it on our blogs so that it won’t be slowing down the load time of the blogs.

    Awesome Inforgraphic BTW, Thanks for sharing :).
    Theodore Nwangene recently posted..Does Good Luck Really Exists When It Comes To Blogging?My Profile

  • What an amazing title you give to your post. I use around 20 plugins for my wordpress blogs,
    Jitendra Vaswani recently posted..Get Copyright Free Images For Websites & BlogsMy Profile

  • I try to limit the number of plugins to around 20 and preferably less if possible. I recently went through my list and some of them didn’t even exist for download anymore. Others hadn’t been updated in a long time. Not that a lack of an update makes one vulnerable for sure, but it is nice to see plugins being updated several times per year.

    WordPress itself has been known to have security and vulnerability issues that get patched with new releases. A plugless website may reduce the chances, but it’s not a sure bet either. Even a hosts server could have vulnerabilities if they don’t do a decent job at keeping the server up-to-date and secure.

    I try to keep things updated and pay attention to log files and other activity as much as possible. As well as keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

    Anyway it doesn’t surprise me that a lot of plugins have various risk factors.
    Ray recently posted..Google Seo and the Disavow ToolMy Profile

  • 83 Plugins, wow? That’s really a lot!

    But, I agree. It comes down to the quality of the plugins, not quantity. But, then again, it is good to have a rule of thumb – a guideline to keep us in check 😉 Bloggers like us don’t actually need 83 plugins, do we?

    I am planning to limit my dependence on plugins (not just because it affects my site speed). But in a way, plugins are vulnerable. Sometimes, a developer may stop updating a certain plugin. Or perhaps the plugin could have a security loop hole?

    Another reason is that I am planning to enforce my minimalistic ideas to my blog (I had tried that with my other blog, but I plan to enforce it more actively in my second blog). So, perhaps I could build a plugless site (If I do manage to learn programming and add code manually to my theme :D).

    For those worried about site speed, they could invest money into buying dedicated hosting 😀

    Anyways, I do appreciate the post, Lisa 🙂 Thanks!

    • Hi Jeevan, I don’t think we need 83 but maybe we are missing something? (kidding) They can be vulnerable Jeevan and I cringe whenever I add a new one or have updates. I’d love to see a plugless site, let me know if you do go ahead with that one Jeevan. Oh yes, pay more for hosting would help with speed too 🙂 You are welcome and have a great day there Jeevan.
      Lisa recently posted..Could Plugless Websites Be Like Running Naked Online?My Profile

  • Lisa, I would love to have 83 plugins! I am a plugin addict. I would love to have bright and shiny new plugins. But I am trying to be good. I used to have over 50 but I’m down to 31 now. Aren’t you proud of me?

    You’re exactly right, people should be wary of plugins. When I’ve had problems with my blog, the issue is often a new plugin that was added that doesn’t play nicely with my theme or my other plugins.
    Carolyn recently posted..Could You Live with Tech Like It’s 1986?My Profile

  • Haha! Thanks for the shout-out, Lisa! 😀

    So, I use an ecommerce plugin on (a WordPress site), and 1) it works, and 2) I’ve had no problems with it. After reading your post, though, I remember seeing a setting that results in the entire shopping process (not just checkout, which integrates with PayPal) being secure. I need to go back and take a closer look at it. I think I left it unchecked, because there is the possibility of some people having certificate issues. hmm…

    At any rate, great post. You’ve got me thinking, as per usual. I appreciate it, even if it does sometimes give me more homework to do. 😉

  • Wow…83 plugins and I was worried with my 18 or so plugins LOL. I’m weary about trying new plugins. I like to see what other bloggers are saying about it before trying out myself. 🙂

    I’ve been lucky so far in that I haven’t had any serious issues with plugins other than slow time and one plugin affecting another.

    The infographic you shared has got a lot of great information we should look at carefully. It just proves we have to stay on top of our blogs. Now I’m off to check out Barry’s video!

    Hope you’re off to a great Monday! Have an awesome week Lisa! See you in the socialverse
    Corina Ramos recently posted..Monday Work-from-Home Job Lead MadnessMy Profile

  • I have always heard that the more plugins you have, the slower your site will be. Never thought it had anything to do with the quality of plugins, but I am always learning something new. (There is a ton to learn when it comes to websites and especially speed). Thanks for the great post!
    Angie M Jordan recently posted..Get Desperate. Your Business Will Thank You For It.My Profile

  • Hi Lisa,

    It’s an ongoing issue that we face. In my opinion we should only use the plugins that we really need. In the video I mention the scenario that people face as they make their way around other blogs… Thanks for including the link to my video Lisa, much appreciated 🙂

    We see something that impresses us and want it as well…. We can load them up and try them out but we really do need to be careful.

    Fortunately I’ve only ever had an issue with one causing issues and that was WP Super Cache, sending my blog into a series of text only being displayed.

    A great tip on backing up before adding new plugins.

    An additional tip: Have a journal where you log changes made and add new plugins to it along with dates added. If you see anything strange happening refer to journal and de-activate last plugin added.

    Thanks again Lisa, nice of you to share 🙂

    Barry Wells recently posted..WordFence Real Time Log In AttemptsMy Profile

  • 😯 83 plugins? Holy Moly! I hate stumbling upon a slow loading website and I don’t know if it’s always a plugin issue but possible a slow server. You get what you pay for kinda thing, right? I try to keep the minimal plugins but I also like functional widgets. I continue to play between jetpack share buttons and digg digg. I know some people say jetpack has slowed down their site but never has mine. I try to look for the best plugins but who really knows what is best, right? We are all biased in the ones we use.

    I still can’t get past 83! 🙄 smh
    Bren recently posted..Seniors Deserve A Chance Too! Meet Senior Adoptable Lexus!My Profile

  • Hi Lisa!

    83! Gosh! I thought that having over 15-20 was too much already 🙂

    But you are right, it’s not the quantity but the quality of plugin that matters, though even then don’t sooooo many plugins make your blog heavy? Interesting infographic as well. I think what matters most is that we use those plugins that we really need, and totally remove the ones we don’t or aren’t using even from the database – less is better.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

  • Hi Lisa,
    Very nice Infographic. Presently I am not using any Plugin for my website. Is it really helpful? Thanks for share!!

  • Oh, yes, the allure of that next shiny plugin! I’ve seen too many new bloggers load up on every shiny plugin they see, only to find they now have a bloated database, and they can’t even remember which one does what.

    Good idea to backup each time you add a new one. Proceed with caution! I’m more likely to have issues, however, with one I’ve used for years with no problem. Then there’s an upgrade – the updates don’t always go so well. I usually read several reviews before adding a new plugin.
    Leora recently posted..Tale of a Mobile Menu ProblemMy Profile

    • Hi Leora, oh yes, that can happen quite easily too. Great point on the backup. I always check the plugins before using as well, if they have been updated recently and if there are reviews, etc on them. Updates can make a mess as well. I would love to just use code some day – on my bucket list 🙂 Thanks for coming by and have a nice week ahead Leora.
      Lisa recently posted..Could Plugless Websites Be Like Running Naked Online?My Profile

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