If you are concerned about your website speed, you’re not alone. Every site owner should be concerned about their website speed and do everything that can to prevent their website from slowing down.
Beginners will often ask if WordPress Plugins will slow down their website; the simple answer is yes. But it’s a bit more complicated than that, let’s explain.
We often find ourselves a bit overwhelmed about all the things we can do with WordPress.
It’s not unreasonable to get overly excited and even go a bit crazy with installing all sorts of bells and whistles that are not needed to run our WordPress website.
Overtime we may noticed that our website is not as fast as it once was.
You might ask: Is it the web host? Am I doing something wrong? What is making my website slow?
These are all valid questions, and while many reasons could be slowing down your website, plugins are often playing a big role in the speed at which your website displays.
Keep a Limited Plugins Installed
It is highly recommended to not have more than 15 to 20 plugins installed on your WordPress website.
Most people want to install plugins that add little to no value to their website. Avoid doing this, and you’ll continue to have a snappy website.
Some plugins can give you a speed boost instead of slowing down your WordPress website; I highly recommend you look into at least one or two of them if you haven’t already.
I recommend to go through your plugins page and check to see if you have any plugins installed that you have never used. Disable them and then delete them.
Improve your WordPress website load speed with these plugins.
Bottom line, before you install a plugin make sure you need it and that it adds value to your website. If it creates no value, don’t install it.
How to check the speed of your website
Before we can really start to dig into the cause of our WordPress website loading slowly, we have to investigate the speed of our website through another’s eyes.
Not through our own browser or a friend, but through some great free resources that will show you areas to improve your website load time in.
We must do this because many factors like our browsers and internet connections could be playing a part in how fast our website loads. We need to be unbiased with the reality of our site speed.
The best resources to check the speed of your website are:
You ideally want to have your website load in under three seconds. If you are over that number your bounce rate may suffer and you can also get penalized by Google.
GTMetrix will give you a detailed list of real load times.
Google Speed Test gives a bit less information but is what Google goes by in determining your site’s speed.
Use both sets of information that you obtained to find areas of improvement. There always are, trust me.
Just note, it is possible to have a fantastic GTMetrix score and a poor Google Speed Test score.
Google checks mobile-first and is a bit harsher in its critique of your website. Don’t get discouraged if you see a poor score, you can improve a little bit everyday, and that’s all that matters.
Most people find after they run these test that they need to:
- Improve their image optimization
- Differ JS to the End
- Leverage Browser Caching
- Enable Compression
Do Inactive Plugins Slow Down WordPress?
The short answer is no, but the longer answer is “it depends” for more many interesting reasons.
For the most part when you disable a WordPress plugin it will not run therefore it will not slow down your site.
However, it is possible to have bad plugins… plugins that install or edit files without you really knowing and fail to undo the things they modify. This can cause extra things being loaded even on the server level, if you notice significant usage consult your logs.
Speed and Caching Plugins, if you inactivate a plugin that speeds up your site chances are your site is going to slow down.
I would check out WPRocket for a solid paid for cache programing, if you need something free… w3cache is a good caching plugin.
Your website speed will be affected by how many plugins you install.
Try not to overload your website with unneeded plugins.
Always ask yourself, “Do I need to have a funny cat picture showing randomly on the home page?” — of course, the answer to that question is always yes. (Just Kidding). But the point is to think about what you’re adding to your website.
Keep your plugins up-to-date.
Remember that the speed of your WordPress site will also be affected by the size of your images.
Your web site load time will also be affected by the amount of content on the page. Long content, with lots of images will load slower than just short and sweet text.
Also, don’t forget that having a quality web hosting company can also significantly improve the load speed of your website. I moved our site from a host to another and saw over a 1.5-second speed increase.
If you need help with looking at ways to improve your website speed please reach out to me jody (a) clearwp.com
Thank you so much for reading my blog post. Please leave me a comment, or even a share if any of this has helped you.