Too many WordPress plugins (or just 1 large plugin) can slow down your site significantly.
WP Engine says “it’s not the number of plugins, it’s the quality” which is partially true, but fact is that each plugin DOES slow your WordPress site – it’s just a matter of how much. I’ve optimized multiple websites to load under 1.5 seconds and wrote an extensive WordPress speed optimization tutorial which lots of people had success with (read the praise in the comments). One of the FIRST things I do is learn which plugins are slowing down the site.
We’ll be using P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) to find the slowest plugins…
Run P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)
1. Install and activate P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)
2. In the plugins menu, select “Scan Now”
3. Select “Auto Scan”
4. Wait for the scan to complete, then view results
There’s also an option to view a more detailed breakdown…
What To Do Now?
Delete plugins you don’t need – would you rather delete that large plugin, have a slow WordPress site, or pay more for faster hosting? These are your 3 options. Don’t just deactivate the plugin, delete it completely or it can leave your site vulnerable to hackers.
Delete “one time” plugins – once you’ve ran P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) you’re pretty much done with that plugin, so you can delete it. Are there other plugins you only use once in a while that you can delete for now, then reinstall when needed?
Replace plugins with code – your Google Analytics tracking code can be inserted into your footer manually, so you don’t need a plugin for that. Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram have badges so you don’t need one for those. Get where I’m going?
Find alternative (lightweight) plugins – find your slowest plugins and see if there’s an alternative plugin that is more lightweight (loads faster). You can do this by installing both plugins then running P3 to see compare their load times. Then make a decision. I would avoid Jetpack, Google Map, and many social sharing plugins since these are common culprits.
Plugins may not be the only thing slowing down your WordPres site. Bad hosting, not having your cache plugin configured correctly, and other things can cause slow load times. Use my WordPress speed guide to find more tips, or drop me a line in the comments if you need help. I also offer WordPress speed optimization services if you don’t want to deal with site speed.
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