General

Plugin development is done according to the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate. You can find a simple generator for your plugin here.

Note that plugins are written in object oriented way, whereas theme is usually written in procedural way. Object oriented programming allows for better separation of concerns.

We are also working on our version of the plugin boilerplate which can be found here.

When should I create a plugin?

When working on enterprise projects it is easier to bundle all the usual plugin content (custom post types, taxonomies, API calls) to the theme instead of separate plugin. The enterprise projects won't change much over time, so it's useful to have all the code in one central place.

If, however, there is some functionality that can be reused on other projects (GDPR plugin or something similar), it is better to put that functionality in a separate plugin.

Be aware that plugin code executes before the theme (action reference), to avoid possible issues.

Won't having many plugins make my site slow?

No, unless they are poorly coded. But our coding standards are high so this tends not to happen.

Should I write a plugin for everything or can I use ready made plugins from the wordpress.org repository?

Write plugins only if you don't find a good free or paid plugin on line. For instance, there is no need to write your own contact from plugin when there is a good plugin for it (Contact Form 7). The same goes for SEO plugin (Yoast SEO).

Reverse logic also applies: if the plugin for some functionality exists, but it has a lot of unnecessary overhead code that you don't need, it would be better to write your own plugin (if it is within the time and budget constraints of the project of course).