How To Find Which WordPress Plugins Are Slowing Down Your Site The Most (Using Query Monitor, New Relic, And GTmetrix Waterfall)

Want to see which plugins are slowing down your site the most?

You can use Query Monitor, New Relic, and GTmetrix to view your slowest loading plugins.

WP Engine says “it’s not the number of plugins, it’s the quality” which is partially true. But each plugin does add to your load time; it’s just a matter of how much. I recommend reviewing your slowest plugins, replacing them with lightweight plugins (or deleting them), and selectively disabling plugins from specific pages/posts where they don’t need to load (I use Perfmatters).


1. Install The Query Monitor Plugin

Install and activate the Query Monitor plugin.

This plugin can be used for finding slow database queries, themes, and specific functions.

Query monitor plugin

You should delete the Query Monitor plugin when you’re done since this can also slow down your website as it constantly runs in the background.


2. Click the “Queries by Component” Tab

View a page on your site, hover over the Query Monitor tab, and go to Queries > Queries By Component. You should check multiple pages/posts where you suspect different plugins load.



3. Review Your Slowest Plugins And Their Load Times

The table shows your slow plugins which you can order by “time”.



4. Use The WP Hive Chrome Extension

WP Hive is Chrome extension that tells you which plugins in the WordPress repository are slow. Simply install the extension, go to the WordPress plugins page, and do a search for any plugin. WP Hive shows you whether the plugin affects memory usage or PageSpeed Insights.

Wp hive


5. Use New Relic And GTmetrix Waterfall To Find Slow Plugins

New Relic and GTmetrix Waterfall can also be used to find your slowest plugins.

Just like Query Monitor, New Relic shows you a simple chart with each plugin’s load time, as well as different types of graphs (and other features) for identifying why your website is slow.

Slow wordpress plugins

Slow wordpress plugins graph

Your GTmetrix Waterfall chart shows you which plugins create requests and each request’s load time. However, it only shows plugins that are loaded on the front-end. This means it doesn’t give you an accurate glimpse of your slowest plugins since it likely won’t show page builders, backup plugin, statistics plugins, and other types of plugins loading in the backend.

Slow wordpress plugin waterfall


6. Review This List Of 70+ Common Slow Plugins

I made a list of common slow plugins with the help of Ivica’s list from this Facebook Group.

Most slow WordPress plugins include page builders (including Elementor), social sharing, statistic, slider, portfolio, calendar, chat, contact form, related post, sitemap, Jetpack, WPML, WooCommerce, and any plugin that runs ongoing scans or processes.

  1. AddThis
  2. AdSense Click Fraud Monitoring
  3. All-In-One Event Calendar
  4. Backup Buddy
  5. Beaver Builder
  6. Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps
  7. Broken Link Checker
  8. Constant Contact for WordPress
  9. Contact Form 7
  10. Contextual Related Posts
  11. Digi Auto Links
  12. Disqus Comment System
  13. Divi Builder
  14. Elementor
  15. View Full List Of 73 Slow Plugins

Lightweight Plugin Alternatives


What To Do Now?

Delete plugins you don’t need – delete plugins you can live without.

Delete “one time” plugins – once you ran Query Monitor, and other one-time plugins, delete it.

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 Query Monitor to see compare their load times. Then make a decision.


Alternative Solutions

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.

Like this post? Please share it up! I would appreciate that.


About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

15 thoughts on “How To Find Which WordPress Plugins Are Slowing Down Your Site The Most (Using Query Monitor, New Relic, And GTmetrix Waterfall)

  1. Thank you so much for this extremely important blog, for every wordpress site owner, optimization and page speed has serious affects on SEO and UX of the website.
    This helped me find a few issues on my sites / blogs as well … therefore appreciating the simple details blog.
    Have a safe 2020

  2. This post is a total scam! And so is P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler), which doesnt give you ANY information on which plugin is causing slow-down.

    1. Yes this tutorial needs to be updated as P3 doesn’t work anymore (Query Monitor + GTmetrix Waterfall are now the go-to ways of finding slow plugins), but to call it a scam and tell me to burn in hell is a bit harsh considering I’m not trying to scam anyone into anything. But hey, you can have your own opinion.

  3. Hello!

    This plugin doesn’t work with php7 and it is not updated for 2 years…

    Could you please tell me some alternative for it?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Ivan,

      Not sure if there’s another plugin that does the same thing… however if you run your site through GTmetrix and expand some of the items in the “Page Speed” and “YSlow” you will see plugins slowing down your website. Should probably add this to the actual tutorial but this works very well.

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