Do Plugins Slow Down WordPress Websites?
Last Updated on 18th July 2022 by Ajmer Singh
Do plugins slow down WordPress websites?
Plugin overload is one of the biggest issues that plague WordPress sites.
The reason plugins are so bad for speed, according to KissMetrics, is that they “add code to your pages that aren’t being used often enough to be cached by browsers”.
The more inactive plugins you have on your site, the longer it will take for new pages to load.
Since each plugin adds its own (usually significant) functionality and features, it is strongly advised to use as few plugins as possible.
At the same time, we also need to realize that there are many types of WordPress plugins:
That’s why it would be a good idea to figure out a way to see which plugins are slowing your site down.
There are different plugin debugging tools available on the web, but some of them do not work properly for all hosts and servers, while others simply provide too many details.
If you want to get a quick and useful overview of your plugins, we recommend that you give the query monitor plugin a try.
The plugin has been around for years and it has gathered a significant number of positive reviews from both beginners and experienced users.
As stated on their Github page, this tool “monitors your MySQL queries in real-time”.
In other words, if you want to find which plugins are the most demanding when it comes to resources, this is the tool to use.
Easier than most other tools and plugins available online, Query Monitor lets you quickly see which requests are slowing your website down.
It is compatible with PHP and works right out of the box – no need for any configuration.
The plugin is designed with a simple and convenient drag-and-drop interface that allows you to filter your requests by hosts, URL paths, queries, status codes…
There are also several useful configuration options available, such as the ability to hide errors from certain plugins or themes.
In case you want to check how fast your site is without having to install any third-party plugins, we recommend using the free website speed test tool provided by gtmetrix, pagespeed insights or Pingdom.
These tools let you analyze and improve your site’s performance (load time) and provide detailed analysis of all aspects that impact your site’s speed – CDN usage, website uptime, mobile performance…
10 reasons to avoid slow plugins:
1. Slower loading time for pages.
2. Increased server load (frequent requests).
3. More complicated code (less efficient, more vulnerable to security issues).
4. Higher chances of downtime and errors.
5. Lowered SEO performance due to poorer site response times.
6. Decreased conversion rates and sales/leads.
7. Potentially annoyed visitors leading to higher bounce rates.
8. Higher chances of being blacklisted by search engines for spam/malicious activity.
9. Lower user productivity.
10. Lower the reputation and trust of your business.
In the end, what you should remember from this article is that plugins have a pretty high impact on your site’s speed and user experience.
For that reason, try to avoid overloading your website with unnecessary plugins even if they were previously useful for you.
Check regularly which requests are slowing down your site using a simple query monitor plugin.
If required, you can always switch to a plugin with fewer features and less demanding requests.
Want to increase your website speed, here are the services I used and get 95+ scores in Gtmetrix, Pagespeed Insights and Pingdom.
- I changed my host from Siteground to Cloudways. (Shared to Cloud host)
- I used a speedy theme – Themify Ultra. (A drag & drop multipurpose theme)
- Connect my site to Cloudflare CDN.
- Used the Autoptimize plugin for caching. (Java, Css, Html, Lazy loading, etc..)
- Used the WP optimize plugin for database optimization.
- Optimized my comments.
FAQS on slow WordPress plugins!
Q: What is a plugin?
A: A plugin is a small computer program that allows you to add a specific feature or task to your website.
They work right out of the box and usually need no additional installation, so they can be used in just minutes.
Q: What do plugins do/are used for?
A: There are many different types of plugins, depending on their purpose.
They can be used to add new features to your WordPress website, alter its functionality or improve security…
but it’s important to note that while some plugins are free and safe for everyone to use, others have a price tag due to the fact that they contain premium features.
Q: Are there any negative aspects of using a plugin?
A: Plugins can be helpful if used correctly, but they also have a serious impact on your site’s speed and security.
If you overload your website with plugins – regardless of whether they are free or paid – it will become slower and more vulnerable to hackers.
This is why it’s always wise to limit the number of plugins you use to a bare minimum.
Q: How do I know if a plugin is slowing down my site?
A: There are several ways to check this – one of them is to install Query Monitor for free.
This will provide detailed information on how fast your website is and which requests are slowing it down, allowing you to identify and remove unnecessary ones.
Q: How many plugins should I use on my site?
A: The general rule of thumb is to limit yourself to as few plugins as possible, ideally only those that are absolutely necessary for your website’s core functionality.
Try to avoid using too many third-party plugins even if they appeared useful in the past because you will only be adding extra weight to your website and slowing it down.
Q: I don’t see any performance issues with my site. Do I really need to worry about plugins?
A: If everything seems to be fine, you don’t necessarily need to worry…
However, it doesn’t hurt to check if your site is performing as well as it could.
Install Query Monitor and see for yourself – the results may surprise you!
Q: Do all plugins slow down my website?
A: Generally speaking – yes.
The more features a plugin has, the more requests it will make, which means your site will load slower.
However, it’s worth noting that even tiny plugins can have a noticeable impact on your website speed if you have too many of them.
Q: How do I know if I need to update my plugins?
A: WordPress itself notifies you to update plugins without any effort.
Q: What is a plugin’s impact on site security?
A: Unfortunately, using plugins can leave your site vulnerable to hackers…
If there is an exploit found in one of your plugins, for example, it weakens the security of every site on the WordPress network.
This is why it’s so important to keep an eye on these third-party programs and update them whenever necessary.
Q: What are some common mistakes people make when using plugins?
A: The most common mistake is not checking if a plugin is compatible with your website before installing it, especially if it’s a free one.
There are thousands of plugins available to download, but not all of them come from trusted sources.
This means that some will actually damage your site and put it at risk.
Q: What do I need to know before downloading a plugin?
A: Before you download any third-party software – free or paid – you need to make sure it is trustworthy and won’t do any harm.
The easiest way to know this for sure is by checking if it has a decent number of downloads and positive ratings from other users.
Q: Are some plugins better than others?
A: Some plugins are certainly better than others.
A plugin with high-quality code will be updated more often, have a smaller size and will not slow down your site.
If you want to be sure that the plugin you are thinking of using does everything it’s supposed to, do some research on it beforehand.
Q: Can I remove plugins I don’t use anymore?
A: Yes, absolutely!
To remove a plugin from your site – regardless of whether you need it or not – simply go to Plugins and click ‘Deactivate’.
Then delete the plugin by clicking ‘Delete’.
There is no confirmation prompt, so make sure this is what you want to do before proceeding!
Q: Are there any tools that can help me choose the best plugins?
A: Yes. There are several tools you can use to find out more about a plugin before downloading or purchasing it.
One of the most popular ones is WP Detector, which checks each plugin for potential security issues and gives detailed information about its developer.
Q: Are there any alternatives to plugins?
A: Yes, there are a few different options you can use instead of plugins – they have the same function, but do it in a slightly different way.
You can install a plugin to manage your widgets or use a third-party program called Jetpack which has some extra features built into it as well as widget management functionality
Q: Are themes the same as plugins?
A: No. While themes and plugins serve a similar purpose, they are completely different from each other.
Themes change not only the way your site looks, but also its content.
In conclusion, slow plugins have a negative impact on your website’s speed and performance.
If you want to avoid all the problems mentioned above, simply try one of the new lightweight plugin alternatives designed by experienced coders.
They let you retain most of the functionality while making sure that pages load as fast as possible.
Do you have a plugin that is slowing down your website? What method did you use to find out?
Let me know in the comments.
People also search for:
DISCLOSURE: When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. This keeps it 100% reader-supported and free of ads or sponsorships. Thank you for your support!