For those who are in love with plugins, that is fine, but they are not always the solution. Some of those plugins are bulky and not just for the files, but the database request connections they produce. For some web hosts, they crack down hard on people who use more resources than allotted, and that could even be suspension or asking the user to upgrade to a far more expensive package. Of course, a few of them are absolute necessities like Askimet for spam (some prefer and use GASP – Growmap Anti-Spam Plugin), and FeedBurner FeedSmith for your RSS feeds, Google XML Sitemaps for your sitemap and WordPress SE by YoastO for adding meta to your posts and pages. (search engine optimization.)
Sometimes you can apply a filter to your site theme instead of download a plugin and this will save some space. Though the number of plugins that are reasonable to have on a WordPress blog are questionable, you have to think about several things.
1. How fast is your site loading for your visitors, even those who have dial-up because they live in places too far out for any choices for good connection?
2. How much resources are your blog using including bandwidth?
3. Do you really need some of the plugins you currently have?
4. Is there an alternate way other than installing a plugin to do the same job?
Outside the fact of the number of plugins, with each upgrade of WordPress, plugin developers have to keep up in order to make sure plugins are compatible, so you must watch your plugins. Some may stop functioning, or even create errors on your site. If you visit your blog daily and see that there is a plugin upgrade available, hold off for a couple days before upgrading. Some developers accidentally load up incomplete plugins (missing files or code… and yes, it does happen), or the code still does not work for many users. This saves the headache of scrambling to fix your site when a plugin messes it up.
With this being said, just because I or anyone else might write a plugin review on WP Addict, it does not necessarily mean you should go and download it. Of course, I love plugin and theme developers, but these are reviews meant to inform people considering the usage of them, rather than say “Hey, download it now!”
What are your views on the usage of plugins? Which ones do you deem most necessary? How many plugins should a WordPress user have installed?