Are plugins bad?

No, there is nothing inherently bad about any single WordPress plugin. Often it would be reinventing the wheel to create functionality that can already be achieved by using a plugin. However, if there are fifty plugins installed then there might be a problem.

The main issue with plugins is security, so sticking with well-reviewed and up-to-date plugins is how to stay as safe as possible. But the other issue with plugins is just that each one adds a new level of complexity to a site. Well-written plugins do a good job of encapsulating what they do and don’t interfere with each other, but there are bound to be conflicts somewhere. There’s also the real possibility that each plugin could be adding significant bloat to your site, making it slower.

I guess our philosophy is that plugins are great when used in moderation.