Can WordPress Plugins Slow Down Your Blog?

level Beginner

Can WordPress Plugins Slow Down Your Blog?
level Beginner

There are tons of posts written about WordPress plugins that extend the functionality of your blog. I’ve added my two cents. But can too many plugins slow down your site?

We’ve all been to websites that take forever to load and we often leave without viewing a single page. The speed at which a site loads is important for retaining visitors. It also plays into Google’s algorithm of where your site ranks in search results.

A few things affect site speed like images and blog themes. And plugins. Not all plugins are created equal and some require more time to load. The problem may be due not only to too many plugins, but poorly configured ones.

Check your plugin performance

Seemingly counterintuitive to this discussion, I recommend that you use yet another plugin – the P3 Plugin Performance Profiler. This plugin shows which plugins are slowing down your site by creating a profile of your WordPress site’s plugins’ performance and measuring their impact on your site’s load time. With over 20K downloads and a rating of 4 1/2 (out of 5), it’s a solid plugin.

I downloaded and ran the plugin on one of my blogs and here is the result:

wordpress-plugin-performance

I was surprised to see that the little used Wordpress Simple Survey plugin was taking up a disproportionate runtime relative to the other plugins. I got rid of it.

The plugin provides much more information including:

  • The Detailed Breakdown – represents the absolute runtime of each component, including your theme and the WP Core.
  • The Simple Timeline – correlates each visited URL with the core, theme, and plugin runtimes that were recorded.
  • The Detailed Timeline – correlates each visited URL with the core, theme, and every recorded plugin runtime.

You may want to perform a before and after speed test of your blog. Among the many tools to choose from is the popular Pingdom.

You’ll probably come across many more blog posts on useful plugins, including a few from me since we like to share what we learn, but remember to give the plugins a speed test to make sure they’re not slowing down your site.