75 Slow WordPress Plugins That Increase CPU Usage Or Add CSS/JS To The Frontend

Avoid these 75 WordPress plugins and your website will load faster.

Some plugins load slowly on the frontend since they add extra CSS/JavaScript while other plugins run CPU-hungry background tasks. This is common when plugins have to collect data/statistics or even generate large database tables which you can see with WP-Optimize.

This list was made with the help of the WP Hive Chrome Extension which shows a plugin’s impact on memory usage and PageSpeed. However, I adjusted these results since WP Hive doesn’t take into account frontend CSS/JS/fonts loading when you actually display plugin content on the frontend. For example, even though WP Hive says Elementor doesn’t impact PageSpeed, it’s extra CSS/JS/fonts do once you start actually building your site in Elementor.

I also took into account Ivica’s list of slow plugins from the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group page, as well as testing many WordPress sites using these plugins in Chrome Dev Tools.

x = has impact (bad)
= has no or minimal impact (good)

Plugin Category Memory Impact PageSpeed Impact
All In One SEO SEO x x
AMP Speed x
Analytify Analytics x
AnyWhere Elementor Page Builder x
Backup Buddy Backup x
Beaver Builder Page Builder x x
Booking Calendar Calendar x x
Broken Link Checker SEO x
Caldera Forms Contact Form x
Complianz Cookie x
Defender Security Security x
Disqus Comments x
Divi Contact Form 7 Page Builder x
Divi Builder Page Builder x x
Elementor Page Builder x x
Elementor Addon Elements Page Builder x x
Elementor Essential Addons Page Builder x
Elementor Extras Contact Form x
Elementor Header & Footer Builder Page Builder x
Elementor Premium Addons Page Builder x
Elementor Pro Page Builder x x
Elementor Ultimate Addons Page Builder x
Essential Grid Gallery x
Events Calendar Calendar x x
Events Manager Calendar x x
Everest Forms Contact Form x
FiboSearch WooCommerce x
Final Tiles Grid Gallery x x
Fluent Forms Contact Form x
FooGallery Gallery x x
Forminator Contact Form x
Happyforms Contact Form x
iThemes Security Security x
JetElements Page Builder x x
Jetpack Security x x
MailPoet Email x
Livemesh Addons Page Builder x x
Master Addons Page Builder x x
Menu Image, Icons Menu x x
Modern Events Calendar Calendar x x
NextGEN Gallery Gallery x x
Ninja Forms Contact Form x
Orbit Fox Page Builder x
Paid Memberships Pro Membership x
Post SMTP Mailer Email x
Photo Gallery by 10Web Gallery x x
Popup Builder Popup x x
Popup Maker Popup x x
PowerPack Lite Page Builder x x
Prime Slider Slider x x
Query Monitor Analytics x
Responsive Lightbox Gallery x x
Shield Security Security x
Site Kit by Google Analytics x
Slider Revolution Slider x x
Slimstat Analytics Analytics x
Smart Slider 3 Slider x x
Social Media Share Buttons Social Sharing x
Social Share Icons Social Sharing x
Social Warfare Social Sharing x x
Structured Content Social Sharing x
Titan Anti-spam & Security Security x
Total Upkeep Backup x
Ultimate Member Membership x
Unlimited Elements Page Builder x x
User Menus Menu x
Visual Portfolio Gallery x x
WP Google Maps Maps x x
WP AutoTerms Cookie x
WP fail2ban Security x
WPBakery Page Builder x x
WooCommerce WooCommerce x x
Wordfence Security x
WP Hide & Security Enhancer Security x
WP Mobile Menu Menu x x
WP Statistics Analytics x
wpDiscuz Comments x x
WPForms Contact Form x
WPML Translate x x
WPvivid Backup x
Yoast SEO SEO x


Lightweight Plugin Alternatives

  • SEO – Rank Math (remember to disable unused modules).
  • BackupsUpdraftPlus.
  • Comments – native comments.
  • SlidersSoliloquy or MetaSlider.
  • Gallery – Gutenberg Gallery or Meow Gallery.
  • Analytics – Google Analytics + Google Search Console (ideally no plugins).
  • Social SharingGrow Social is a fast social sharing plugin with less requests.
  • Theme/Page Builder – GeneratePress, Blocksy, Kadence, Oxygen, or Genesis.
  • No plugin – many things can be coded manually. Coding your header/footer in CSS instead of page builders, disabling Heartbeat, limiting autosaves/post revisions, etc.


Find Your Slowest Plugins

Query Monitor, New Relic, Chrome Dev Tools, and WP Hive are all tools that can find slow WordPress plugins. I prefer Query Monitor and Chrome Dev Tools, but they will all do the job.

Query Monitor is my favorite tool for finding slow plugins, but it collects lots of data which can increase CPU usage (so make sure you delete it when you’re done). Once the plugin is installed, view any page on your website and you’ll find the Query Monitor menu on top. Go to Queries → Queries by Component and filter by “time.” It will clearly tell you which plugins are the slowest.

Slow wordpress plugins query monitor

The coverage report in Chrome Dev Tools shows which plugins add the most CSS/JS to your site. Look at the URL of the file and you’ll see wp-content/plugins/plugin-name. You can also search for ‘Elementor’ to only see URLs including Elementor or filter by usage, bytes, or CSS/JS.

Unused css chrome dev tools

New Relic is used with most hosts and can be activated in your account. They have several graphs but this is the main one you should be looking at. Again, disable it when you’re done.

Slow wordpress plugins

WP Hive is a free Chrome Extension that lets you browse the WordPress plugin repository and see various stats about a plugin. The main 2 things you want to look at are “impact on memory usage” and “impact on PageSpeed.” Keep in mind these stats only measure the plugin out-of-the-box. Once you start designing your website in Elementor, “impact on PageSpeed” would definitely be affected. WP Hive can still help you avoid slow plugins before even installing them.

Wp hive slow wordpress plugins

WP-Optimize shows which plugins add the most database overhead. For example, I saw modules from Rank Math were adding lots of bloat, so I disabled those I didn’t need. You may also find old plugin tables in your database, in which case you’ll see a “remove” button where you can delete the table using WP-Optimize. This happens when you install/delete plugins a lot.

Rank math database bloat


Disable Unused Plugin Addons, Modules, Settings, Usage Tracking

Deactivate all addons and modules you’re not currently using (Ultimate Elementor Addons, JetPack, or other robust plugins). Also disable usage tracking for plugins that collect statistics.

Disable unused modules


Selectively Disable Plugins

Avoiding bloated themes/plugins is by far the best way to prevent issues.

For all other plugins you must have, you can use Asset CleanUp or Perfmatters by Kinsta (recommend) to selectively disable plugins from pages/posts where they don’t need to load.

Perfmatters test mode

In Perfmatters, you would activate the script manager in the settings, then activate test mode to prevent things from breaking your site. View any page on your site and you’ll see the “script manager” in the top menu. You’ll see a list of all plugins, scripts, and styles loading on the page. Depending on where a plugin has to load, you can disable it ‘everywhere but posts’ for example.

Slow elementor plugins


  • Disable slider plugin on pages that don’t use sliders
  • Disable rich snippets plugin on pages that don’t use rich snippets
  • Disable contact form plugin on pages that don’t have a contact form
  • Disable affiliate link management plugin on pages that don’t use aff links
  • Disable social sharing plugin on all pages (since it’s usually for blog posts)

Perfmatters remove unused plugins


AWStats Helps Identify Sources Of High CPU/Bandwidth

AWStats is a tool built-in to most hosting dashboards and provides statistics on CPU usage. It tells you whether certain bots, images, downloaded files, and even IP addresses are consuming lots of CPU. You can also use the WP Server Stats plugin but I think AWStats does a sufficient job.

AWStats helps you find:

  • High bandwidth crawlers
  • High bandwidth IP addresses
  • High bandwidth download files
  • High bandwidth files (i.e. images)
  • Total bandwidth usage (for monitoring)

Awstats high bandwidth bots


Avoid Slow Plugins On Shared Hosting

I would never run Elementor, Divi, WooCommerce, or WPML on shared hosting.

It just doesn’t have enough server resources to give you much flexibility to add more plugins without slowing down your site or getting CPU limit + 503 errors. If you plan on using heavy plugins, at least use cloud hosting from someone like Cloudways Vultr High Frequency or Rocket.net. And if you only have a small budget for shared hosting, try to go with a LiteSpeed server from someone like NameHero which is faster (and more efficient) than Apache/Nginx.

Litespeed vs nginx vs apache
LiteSpeed can handle high CPU plugins more than Nginx/Apache

Do plugins slow down WordPress?

Plugins do slow down WordPress, but some more than others. Multipurpose and poorly coded plugins will usually slow down your site while lightweight plugins with clean code and specific features will generally have minimal impact on load times and CPU usage.

Which plugins slow down WordPress?

Page builders, social sharing plugins, portfolios, backup, statistics plugins and any plugin that has to collect/process data are all notorious for slowing down WordPress.

How can I find my slowest plugins?

Query Monitor, New Relic, and Chrome Dev Tools are all great tools to finding slow plugins.

How do I make plugins load faster?

Avoiding bloated plugins to begin with is definitely the best solution, but you can also optimize them by disabling specific features/modules and selectively disabling them on pages/posts using an asset unloading plugin.

Do number of plugins matter?

Every plugin adds to your load time, it just depends how much. Using lightweight plugins is more important than reducing the number of plugins, but both are important.

If you found this tutorial helpful, a share is always appreciated :)


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  1. Hey Tom,

    I tried to get a response from you, but it appears my comments are either not showing up on your message board or are being deleted which is weird. Hopefully you’ve been receiving my comment messages since I’ve sent you multiple comment messages.


  2. Hey Tom,

    From the best of your knowledge, what is the best email hosting for an ecommerce website using wordpress. I’m not sure if Rocket.net has email hosting so it can forward clientele email addresses to my desired email of choice, but please enlighten me on if it can or cannot.


    • Hey Tobias,

      Sorry for the late reply. I wasn’t too confident in my answer because a) I have limited experience with email hosting and b) I don’t run an eCommerce site. I know that while it costs most for a third-party service, it’s best to keep them separate. I use Google Workspace but I’ve also heard good things about MXroute.

    • Best email hosting for an ecommerce website using WordPress-

      There are three cases:
      1. You don’t want mailbox: Use “Cloudflare email routing”
      2. You want mailbox but don’t want to pay: Use ZohoMail (always free up to 5 custom email address)

      You can also prefer using “Google Workspace”, “Microsoft Office 365”, etc. for email hosting but they will cost.

  3. Hey, Yo Tom!
    I have visited your site on a couple occasions. Today, I decided to pin your site to my search bar. I appreciate your tips, techniques, info, research, and the fact that you share it with others. I don’t have experience with the backend of site creation, nor do I know how to code (getting started learning Java). So, although I built my site via Wordpress widgets, I still need to have some control over my site. Until I have learned enough to feel confident about what this code and that code is doing (or not doing) to my site, I need to heavily rely upon others who have the know-how and experience. So, thanks so much for trying to help out little ol’ me.

    • Heyyyy thanks for that Cindy! Lmk if you ever have a question. I spent pretty much all last year reworking the guides and will continue this year, so hopefully they’re up to par.

  4. Hey there, I wanted to leave a comment to thank Tom for such fantastic articles! Just discovered this website today, and literally every article I’ve read so far has been invaluable and helped me with my site optimization. Thanks so much for sharing the great work you do.

    • Appreciate you saying that Julia. I try to give it my all especially in such as biased/complicated industry. Glad you’re finding them helpful :)

    • Hi Renzo, I was going to inquire about this! Are you referring to the new feature that optimizes select CSS page loading? Or is there a more robust native feature that is only available on the Pro version? I couldn’t find much info on this, unfortunately. Thanks in advance!

    • My developer built a marketing site with Elementor Pro this year and it was bloat 30KB (HTML, JS is 100KB+) compressed compare to my handcoding <30KB (HTML, CSS and JS). The issue is WordPress ecosystem.

  5. Nice list!
    but – some of these plugins are essential, and we need an alternative recommendation
    like, e-commerce, forms, security.
    just saying don’t use woocommerce, wp-froms is not helpful! the alternative list is very short compared to the don’t use list.
    thanks so much

  6. Thank you but I dont really understand your table listing.
    As the table deals with negative consequences, I am afraid to misinterpret it

    What main red cross and green check ?

    Red cross on memory = no effect on memory OR bad for memory
    Green check on memory = yes, affect memory OR green because its good and no effect

    Can you add a legend to clarify, plz

  7. Hi Tom. Thanks for taking the time to make this useful article. However, I’m a bit confused by your table. Does a red cross mean that there is no impact or that the plugin has a severe impact? Does a green tick mean the plugin has a positive or negative impact?

    I think adding a key to help with interpretation would be really useful.


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