Do Plugins Slow Down your Website?

in CMS, - May 6, 2015

Plugins are amazing extensions to website builders such as WordPress, along with other CMS such as Drupal, Magento and Prestashop. Over the past few years, even web browsers and desktop applications have warmed up to the idea of light yet powerful plugins adding more to the capability sets of the same. Considering the efficiency that plugins bring to website management and administration, many webmasters fall prey to the misconception of having multiple plugins for just that added oomph. When it comes to plugins for your websites, you might want to consider the fact that being excitable about having more and more plugins do their bit for you could bring down the speed of your website’s operations. Here’s everything you would want to know about how plugins slow down websites, and how you can avoid that.



Understanding Plugins and their impact on speed

In effect, a plugin is a piece of code that can be plugged into the platform you’re using to add to its capabilities. Therefore, a simple codebase is imperative for the fast loading of a website, and that’s why having too many plugins could slow down your website. However, it would be wrong to state that a large number of plugins will always have an adverse effect on the speed of the website. More than the number of plugins, the quality of coding of the plugins is what governs the impact on speed. Here are the different aspects of a plugins impact on your website’s speed, understanding which will help you in identifying light plugins that perform their powerful functions without reducing your website to a crawl!


  • How many scripts and styled does the plugin load?
  • Does the plugin add additional database queries to all pages of the website?
  • Are the operations being performed complex?
  • Are there any remote requests, to 3rd party APIs for instance, being made by the plugins

Safeguarding your website from Plugins that reduce its speed

Whether you have a WordPress blog or a PrestaShop web store, the speed of page loading is going to be a massive influencer for the user experience quality. It’s imperative that you get the advantages that plugins have to deliver, without making the website suffer in terms of speed. Here’s how you can help yourself –


  • Trust renowned developers – A smart strategy can be to trust credible developers for complex plugins. Let your SEO, eCommerce, Photo Gallery, and Search Plugins come from well renowned plugin developers so that you can be confident about the coding efficiency of the same. Plugins from untrusted sources could well be inefficiently written with redundant coding.
  • Deactivate or uninstall the plugins you’re not going to use – Why keep plugins that have done their job are not needed anymore? Make your website light and agile with an optimal number of plugins operating in the background.
  • Use plugin performance analysis plugins – In the interests of speed enhancement of your website, the best move could be to look for a plugin that analyzes the performance of all the other plugins so that you can identify the culprits and replace them. For WordPress users, the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) is a godsend, as it keeps a track of the functioning of all plugins installed on your WordPress in terms of aspects like number of queries, runtime, timing info and more. It helps you analyze your admin dashboard as well as individual website links; you can share the results of the analysis with your development team to optimize the speed issues.
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