When you need to extend the functionality of your WordPress site, you build a plugin (or you get us to build one for you!)
Some people will tell you that you could put the functionality into your theme instead. They might even tell you that having too many plugins will slow down your site.
Those people are misinformed. So, let’s stop the cycle of misinformation right here:
You can have hundreds of plugins installed on your WordPress site without negative side effects. The proviso is, they need to be well-coded and play nicely together.
This is where they get the bad reputation for causing slowness from: often they aren’t well coded, people install plugins with overlapping functionality (causing conflicts), and often they have more functionality than is actually needed.
There’s also no difference in performance by having this code in your theme instead of in a plugin. The code from ten troublesome plugins will be just as troublesome if you copy and paste it into your theme instead.
Keeping things separated and modular is a good thing. Seeing as there’s no detrimental affect on performance by having code in plugins, why not embrace the organisational benefits?
If you need to turn specific functionality off temporarily, you can easily do so.
If you’re experiencing a problem and need to troubleshoot what’s causing it, it’s much easier to identify where it’s coming from.
If you need some extra work done to customise it, it’s much simpler for a developer to get familiar with, and then modify, a plugin than a monstrous theme full of a variety of functionalities that may, or may not, be linked.
I’m sure the myth of “plugins are bad!” will continue on, but hopefully, you and I can now explain to others that it is a myth.