WordPress Plugins That Are Slowing Down Your Website
Did you know that WordPress plugins can slow down your website?
As a website developer, you rely on plugins to make a WordPress site work better, faster, or perform a very specific function.
Out of the 56,000 plugins available, not all are created equal. Some aren’t coded very well and can slow down your site.
If your site is slow, read on to find out which plugins may be slowing down your website.
What Are WordPress Plugins?
If you’re new to the world of WordPress, you still might be wondering exactly what a plugin does. A plugin is simply a program that you install in your WordPress dashboard.
They’re small programs that can perform almost any function. Need to add reviews to an e-commerce site? There’s a plugin for that. If you want to jump on one of the latest trends, there’s a plugin for that.
Plugins do just about everything but grind coffee beans. While that would be useful for developers, we’re just not there, yet.
Plugins that Can Slow Down Your Website
Now that you’re up to speed on what plugins are, what are the most common ones that are slowing down your site?
Let’s take a look.
The key to having a secure website is to make sure you back up your site on a regular basis. Backup Buddy does that, but it also slows down your site big time.
There are numerous complaints about the impact this plugin has on websites. You still need to back up your site, so what are the alternatives? Try Updraft Plus or All-In-One Migration.
Google Sitemaps XML
As a webmaster, you need to make sure that your site is easy to find in search engines. XML sitemaps make that happen.
Unfortunately, this particular plugin is bulky and slow. You can use Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO for better SEO tools and XML sitemaps.
Disqus is a well-known commenting system that lets users keep their identity while commenting across websites. You get a comment system that integrates with social media platforms and is more attractive than most commenting platforms.
If you want to use Disqus on WordPress, you’re better off not using this plugin. It slows down your site because it doesn’t fully load until a reader is commenting.
Better alternatives are Epoch and wp Discuz, both of which are free to use.
Facebook Plugin for WordPress
You would think that Facebook would be able to develop a plugin for WordPress that’s sleek and fast. Think again.
Try a plugin like WPSocialite instead of this one. It’s faster and it can do the same things the Facebook plugin can.
Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is a widely used plugin to create customized contact forms across your site. On the downside, the scripts that operate the plugin are slow and are loaded on every page of your site.
WPForms Lite, Gravity Forms, and Formidable Pro are great alternatives to try for yourself.
Yoast SEO is a lesson for plugin users. It’s one of the most useful and popular plugins. Yet, it’s gained a reputation for being a slow plugin compared to All-in-One SEO.
In this instance, you have to weigh what the plugin can do for your site and how much it will slow your site down.
Finding Slow WordPress Plugins
Now that you know some of the common WordPress plugins that can slow down your website, how can you tell which ones are slowing things down?
Guess what? There’s a plugin for that.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) is a plugin that will scan your site and give you a chart of the load times for each plugin.
You can see first hand which ones are slowing load times. You can delete those and replace them with faster alternatives.
You can test several plugins against each other and choose the ones that have the most functionality without compromising speed.
It’s important to note that when you use the P3 plugin, you need to deactivate all of your caching plugins, such as W3 Total Cache. These plugins change the way plugins are loaded and can alter the results.
Another option is to check your page speed suggestions in Google Analytics.
How Many WordPress Plugins Should You Have?
There’s a longstanding question among developers. How many plugins are too many plugins? Too many plugins installed can slow down your site, too.
How many are too many? You should keep plugins to a minimum, but on some sites, you need that extra functionality.
A site with 10 plugins or less is optimal, provided that the plugins are reputable and developed with speed in mind.
If you need more than that, 20 plugins would be the maximum you should have on your site.
What Else Can Slow Down Your Website?
Is your website still slow? There are a few reasons why your site could still be slow. It could be the way your website’s front end is structured or your hosting is slow.
You’ll want to test out your site using Google Page Speed Test, Pingdom, and GT Metrix. Each test will score your site’s speed and make recommendations for improvements.
Turn Your Site Into a High-Performance Site
There’s a reason why so many sites are built on WordPress. It’s easy to use, you can customize your site, and plugins allow you to do so much without knowing how to code.
The downside to using plugins is that they can slow your site down dramatically. As long as you use plugins that are lean and fast, your site will make users and search engines happy.
For more insights into using WordPress, check out our blog today.