I run too many addons. I have issues. So I’m uh… minimalizing? Is that a word?
AFTER (you gotta admit, that is a really cute piglet)
Find Out Which Ones Hog
Step one for me is finding out which ones are hoggy. To do this, I use Addon Control Panel. You can see usage by hovering over addons. Maybe there’s a better way? But this works for me.
Now, don’t be tempted to just toss your hoggiest addons and be done with it. Remember, 4 addons that you don’t use much can easily add up to the memory usage of one hog. So at this point you want to simply look at which ones are hoggy and look at these with a more critical eye – but don’t give the non-hoggy ones a free pass.
For me, Grid takes up a lot of memory with all the plugins I use. However, healing is what I do, and Grid is QUITE important to that. So, despite the hog factor, it stays. But if Outfitter takes up just as much space, it goes. I can manage my outfits with the default interface, kthx.
Stuff You Can Live Without
If you’re thinking you can live without it, and it won’t be a hardship, toss it. Remember, even the little ones add up.
When I say toss it, I don’t mean you have to uninstall. Just disable it. That way, if you decide you really DO need it, it’s still there with your settings intact.
Stuff You Use Situationally
When I’m picking flowers, I love Gatherer. When I’m in a raid, it has no business running. There are a lot of addons that you don’t want to ditch permanently, but can be turned off when you are in a situation of high lag.
This is where Addon Control Panel comes in. You can create different sets for different activities. I have a gathering and crafting setup, and auction house setup, an instance setup, and a raiding setup. I tend to lock up in raids, so I turn off all unnecessary junk, including any bag addons, mailbox addons, wow instant messenger (surprisingly hoggy), and damage meters. (Just don’t ask me to find anything in my bags during a raid – I’m hopeless with the default setup.)
Trading In For The Smaller Model
Sometimes, I find that I have an addon that has a TON of features, and I don’t use half of them. In that case, it makes sense to downsize to a less hoggy alternative.
For example: Ark Inventory. I love that addon. But it eats memory like nobody’s business. At Rhii’s suggestion, I am using Combuctor, which uses far less memory, and does most of what I needed.
Another example: Ice HUD. Incredibly hoggy, and rightly so, because it has a plethora of options. However, due to bar overload, I ended up turning off a lot of the features. Why should I pay the memory tax for features I don’t use? Thanks to Grimm’s guide, I was able to find an alternative that had all the options I use and omitted the options that I never turn on anyway. (Arc HUD, for those interested. It’s still a bit hoggier than I’d like, but I’m not willing to hack the lua instead of having a control panel for options.)
Invest in Multi-Function Addons
You may be able to use one addon to do the job currently done by two or more, thereby saving space, even if the one multi-function addon is a bit of a hog. For example, Raven, as recently introduced to me by Leafie, can show dots on multiple targets, buffs and debuffs on yourself, your cooldowns, and procs – in either icon or bar form, as you prefer (for me, this replaced 3 addons). Fortexorcist not only tracks spells (dots) and cooldowns but also has added functionality for warlocks. And let’s not even freakin discuss power auras that can do, like, everything.
Can It Be Macroed Instead?
There are lots of (admittedly non-hoggy) addons for selling your grays. But there’s also a macro that you can use to do the same thing. Check out the Wowwiki page. There’s even a macro to swap outfits with your spec (which is what I’m going to be using as an Outfitter substitute).
Further Reading: Our Addon Page for all classes (even stinky DPS) with Links To Guides