How do So Many WordPress Plugins Slow Down Your Website

WordPress Plugins Slow Down Your Website

It’s always scary to see the poor loading time of your WordPress website. You may have heard that so many WordPress plugins slow down your website.

As you all know, WordPress reciprocatory is full of thousands of plugins which add functionality to your website.

The plugins make easy to run a successful WordPress website even for the non-techie people. But the problem occurs when your website speed is poor because of the plugins.

In this post, you will learn the reasons why so many WordPress plugins slow down your website and what’s the solution.

What’s the Working of WordPress Plugins?

If you have been using WordPress for a while then it wouldn’t be hard to understand that plugins are like add-ons which add extra features to your default WordPress installation.

You can add a widget, contact form, improve speed using a caching plugin, add an image in the sidebar and what not.

They get integrated with the WordPress core and help to fulfill the needs of every individual. Not everyone would want to add an image in the sidebar or show the recent posts.

So plugins are developed to give options to WordPress users.

How Can WordPress Plugins Slow Down Your Website?

There are many plugins which get integrated with the database of your website to do their work. Whenever you run that plugin, it adds its own tables in the database.

Depending on the working, others add the CSS and JavaScript files.

As most of the WordPress plugins use these files to showcase their design. Suppose you want to use the CommentLuv plugin for the comment section, it adds an image and the CSS to make it look good.

The thing is the more plugins you use, the number of CSS and JavaScript files will get increased which will directly affect your website’s speed.

It’s because the number of HTTP requests will increase and the browser will take more time to load your website.

And to boost your WordPress website performance, it’s always recommended to reduce HTTP requests. More CSS and JavaScript files lead to the poor page loading time.

Does that Mean You Should Avoid WordPress Plugins?

Nope, never think like that. After reading about the working of plugins, you may be thinking about not using them.

That’s the reason people ask how many plugins are too many. Well, it’s always mentioned that the number of plugins doesn’t matter, the poorly coded plugins do.

One poorly coded plugin can put the load as much as 1o or maybe 15 plugins.

The concept of using plugins and bad plugins is totally different. There are many reputed websites like WPBeginner which are using the plugins you can’t even except but still maintaining an amazing page loading time.

How to Find Out the Size of the Files Added by Plugins?

As mentioned before, the browser loads the CSS and JavaScript files added by plugins. You would be happy to know that you can monitor those files.

You can check the size and the time it takes to load those files. Either you use the browser developers’ tools or you can directly use the Pingdom Tools.

It will show you the performance of your WordPress website.

Many WordPress plugins slow down your website

If you scroll down, you will see the file type, size and the loading time. It can give you a proper idea as if which plugin is affecting your website.

You may be wondering about the solutions.

How Can You Maintain Your Plugins?

As you know, it’s always recommended to avoid the plugins wherever you want.

If you can do it manually then what’s the need to install extra plugins. But for all the existing plugins, after monitoring, you may wonder how can that be fixed.

Well, the first thing is to learn how to choose a WordPress plugins which can satisfy you.

Always install the plugins which are well coded and having good reviews. The last updated time should be checked so that it can run perfectly with the current WordPress version.

Apart from that, you should consider using a CDN which will help you generate the static version of many files, images of your website to improve the speed.

You can use free CDN using CloudFlare for starters. A CDN also helps you to protect your website by adding an extra intermediate layer between the browser and the web server.

You should always have a caching plugin to clear the extra cached generated by all the other plugins and many other things.

You can use W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache or any of the top caching plugins.

And how can you forget about the web hosting? To have a fast loading website, you should always choose a reliable web hosting.

There are many other practices which can be used but those will contain the coding skills. For now, you just apply the things mentioned.

I Hope You Got an Idea About how WordPress Plugins Slow Down Your Website

Most of the people have the misconception about plugins. It’s not necessary that WordPress plugins are the reason your website is slow.

It may be the WordPress theme you use, the image you upload, the web hosting you use, the size of your website etc.

But when you come to know about the number of HTTP requests a plugin makes, you should take an action. I am sure, you can easily find it out.

WordPress plugins slow down your website only if your decision is wrong while choosing those plugins.

According to different studies, it’s proved that people are less favorable to visit the websites which take more than 3 seconds to get loaded.

Choose well-coded plugins and maintain your website’s speed. If you have any doubt, you can clear it.

You can also connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

by Ravi Chahar

A WordPress Professional and the LinkedIn Influencer. A coder by passion and a blogger by choice. WordPress theme development is his forte. He is your WordPress guy who will teach you how to solve WordPress errors, WordPress security issues, design issues and what not.

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  1. Wow, another superb post on your blog bro. I’ve got to notice this, too much WordPress plugins do slow down ones websi the especially when two or three plugins do the same job.

    This can be limited by removing or deactivating few plugins that are not in use.

    Thanks and do have a nice day.

  2. Hello Ravi,

    This is something good to seek information today on the INTERNET 🙂

    Indeed having many plugins did slow the website, I wonder to remove some of them. Now I get that it’s all about the plugins which have poor coding make sit all happen.

    I didn’t knew that the plugins with bad coding effect our web site to this extend.

    Thanks for the share.


  3. Hi Ravi,

    Awesome Post!

    Consumers are spoilt for choice and aren’t afraid to shop around. Serve up a sluggish website, and visitors will go elsewhere without hesitation. Load Impact did a study on this in 2012 and found 53% of e-commerce site owners lost money or visitors due to poor performance or stability on their site.

    I used to think minimum number of plugins will solve this problem. I came to know through your post that we should avoid poorly coded plugins.

    Thanks a lot for sharing ideas of how the wordpress plugins work. It will help a lot of people to boost their site performance.

    I will tweet your post.

    Thanks for share.

  4. Hi Ravi, thanks for explaining how these plugins can slow down our wordpress sites. I’ve always tried to keep mine to aroun 19 or less. I do have a question on the cache plugins, do they take care of it automatically or do you have to do it yourself on a schedule? I’ve done some on my own but now sure how necessary that is.I have WP super cache. Thanks!

    1. Hey Lisa,

      In every caching plugin, there is a scheduled time to clear the cache itself. But it’s always recommended to do it manually whenever you install, uninstall, delete and update any plugin.
      Sometimes the due to the old cache, the plugin doesn’t work as it should be.
      A little of manual work is always required.

  5. Hello, Ravi!

    Great post as always, buddy! 🙂

    I am always in a struggle to keep the low number of active plugins and still, I am up with 12 plugins.

    The good thing is the page load time is below 1 seocnd without any cache plugin installed. 🙂

    I will be looking deep into which plugin I need the most and which I can remove.

    So, thank you for this important post! Plugins are the most neglected thing many bloggers don’t care about. And they could be serious threat as well.

    ~ Adeel

    1. Hey Adeel,

      That seems great. Having only 12 plugins can really impact the page loading time. But as I always say, it’s really important to have an insight into the fact that one plugin can ruin everything so always choose it wisely.

      Thanks for your input.

  6. Hey Ravi,

    I love plugins, I am guilty of sometimes using too many. However, all my plugins are doing required. If I don’t need it, then I will remove it.

    My load time can use some improvement, I currently use the Free CloudFlare service. Do you have any suggestions that I can take without having to delete any of the plugins I am using to try to improve the speed of my blog’s loading time?

    Looking forward to your suggestions, the only thing that I can think of doing is signing up with MaxCDN. I want to know what you think before I take that step.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, have a great day 🙂


    1. Hi Susan,

      As I tell everyone, plugins aren’t the only reasons for a poor loading website. It can be the WordPress theme you use, the images you upload, the number of HTTP requests made and more.

      First of all, GZIP your website and enable browser caching. It will help you improve the speed. And having a better CDN is always a great idea. MaxCDN is one of the reputed CDNs.


  7. Ravi, you are absolutely right, it is not the number of plugins which slow you down, it is the number of “badly coded plugins” which create a mess and interfere with other things such as theme and plugins etc.

    In fact, I read it somewhere that some websites who know how to filter through and get to the quality plugins are using in excess of 50 plugins at a time without affecting their speed and performance. Thanks for an informative article but the key question remains that how a non-coder/developer background blogger like me will know which plugin is good or which is not?

  8. Ravi,

    This post is the truth.

    I remember when I started out, I would add SOOOOO many plugins. And much to my surprise, my site was slower than molasses. I didn’t realize that the 20+ plugins I had severly slowed down my site. And it wasn’t until I deleted quite a few than my site started running properly.

    Great stuff.

    – Andrew

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