WordPress plugins allow you to enhance your site’s functionality. As a result, it is not uncommon to find WordPress websites with dozens of plugins; unfortunately, these can affect your site speed. Fixing site speed issues should always be a top priority as your site speed impacts your paid advertising and your SEO. You can also test your WordPress site speed to see if it’s an issue.
In this article, you will learn how plugins can slow down your WordPress site and how you can better manage them.
How WordPress Plugins Work
WordPress plugins work similarly to apps on your phone. You can use them to add features like contact forms, photo galleries, and an eCommerce store to your website. When a visitor comes to your website, WordPress loads its core files first, followed by all of your active plugins.
Using a variety of WordPress plugins is not necessarily bad. However, in some circumstances, utilizing low-quality plugins slows down WordPress resulting in a detrimental impact on your website’s speed.
Remember that you are contributing new code to WordPress’ core every time you install and activate a plugin. If you work with code and make modifications, there is a risk that you will encounter errors due to the new additions. The same result can come from WordPress site speed plugins.
In principle, the more plugins you add, the more likely it is that some of them will clash with one another, resulting in a “compatibility error.” These issues might appear in various ways, ranging from plugins that are not working properly to sites that do not load properly.
There are also performance difficulties in addition to compatibility issues. Many WordPress site speed plugins, on the other hand, do not always imply slow loading times. Furthermore, there is no reason why you should not utilize as many plugins as you need if you know how to choose the correct ones and keep your site up to date.
How Plugins Slow Down WordPress Sites
If a new program is continually running in the background when you install it on your computer, it can impact the system’s performance. Furthermore, depending on the source and quality of the new program, it may create security issues. WordPress plugins work in the same way.
In this section, you will see how installing new tools can affect your site’s performance, and more often than not, how plugins slow down WordPress.
Increased HTTP Requests
If a plugin adds additional scripts to your website, which is too common, the number of HTTP requests will increase. Your browser sends several requests to load a website’s particular page and all of its assets whenever you visit it.
Due to the diversity of elements and scripts that modern websites demand, the site may require your browser to make dozens of requests.
Fewer requests should, in theory, result in faster loading times. However, if it increases the User Experience, you do not want to trade functionality or aesthetics for a modern website. In practice, if all of the elements and scripts are well optimized, you can have a website that requires a huge number of HTTP requests.
Ultimately, you should be alright as long as the plugin is well-coded and you use a web host that can manage the additional requests without slowing down.
Additional Database Requests
Every WordPress website has its database, which holds all of the site’s information. New WordPress plugins will connect to that database when it gets installed on your website. The plugin may also use the database to store configuration details and even user data depending on what the plugin does.
WordPress visits that database regularly to get the information it needs to load for you and your visitors. Too many database queries, like too many HTTP requests, might slow down your website.
If you are having trouble with performance because of too many database requests, the best thing you can do is upgrade or look for a better hosting plan.
Security Threats and Vulnerabilities
The most compelling argument to avoid using too many WordPress plugins revolves around exposure to new security risks. In addition to plugins slowing down your WordPress site, attackers can also use poorly-coded or poorly-maintained plugins to access your site.
You may, however, take several proactive steps to safeguard your website. Furthermore, if you use plugins that receive frequent updates and security patches, it should not make a difference whether you install one or a dozen.
How Many Plugins Are Too Many?
After understanding how plugins operate and how plugins slow down WordPress sites, you might be wondering, “How many plugins is too much?” The simplest answer is that there is no universal rule to this question. Most WordPress websites require plugins, but you should only use as many as you need.
If you have many plugins installed but only use a couple of them, there is no reason to keep them active. Those extra plugins eat up resources, raise your chances of running into compatibility issues, and, in the end, those plugins slow down WordPress.
How to Keep Control Over Plugins
If you follow these three simple guidelines, you can reduce the likelihood of plugins having a negative influence on your website:
- Look out for bad reviews and choose plugins with good ratings. The most crucial thing you can do for your WordPress site is using well-coded plugins that have positive reviews, and come highly recommended from reliable sources.
- Make sure a plugin receives regular updates before installing it.
- Use a web host that can provide you with the best performance at a reasonable price.
Additionally, you can uninstall plugins that you can live without as a last resort. Examine the plugins installed on your website and determine if you can remove any. However, keep in mind that this is not the best option as you will have to sacrifice features for speed.
Ultimately, there is no such thing as having too many plugins. Most websites with good hosting should be able to manage dozens of active plugins with relative ease. The underlying issue is that you may be utilizing outdated tools that do not follow best practices.
As a result, keeping your plugins up to date is a crucial aspect of WordPress site management.
If plugins are not your issue, there are plenty of other aspects that can cause your WordPress site to load slowly.
Fortunately, Bauertech has you covered! Bauertech prioritizes speed over everything else, allowing your WordPress site to perform like how it should always do: at its best.