Customer Happiness Manager at PressMate

September 21, 2017

Do WordPress plugins increase your site’s page load time

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WordPress plugins are nothing but a piece of code that adds features & functionalities to your WordPress website making it run smoother. But, before adding plugins into your website, do you ever think how they will affect your site load time?

You may or may not be aware of potential performance issues arising due to the use of such plugins. So, let’s take a look at how these plugins work and how can affect your site’s page load time.

1. How do plugins work ?

Plugins are just like apps for your WordPress website. Adding plugin to the WordPress plugin is as simple as downloading an APP into your mobile phone. We go through available plugins, choose one that suits our need the best and install them to add more efficient features into our website like, an eCommerce store, photo gallery and many more.There are thousands of premium WordPress plugins that are sold out by individual developers and companies. Each WordPress plugin offers different functionality and features.

Using Plugins is not bad but, by using too many plugins, HTTP requests made to the server can gradually increase a lot thus, hampering the overall site performance. In such a case, if someone visits your website very first time, WordPress first loads all the core files and then it will process and load the files from all active plugins.

If you are using an optimized plugin, the page load performance is often not too noticeable. Almost, every plugin makes an HTTP request to load site assets like Scripts, CSS,images and much more ultimately increasing page load time.

2. How many plugins are too many ?

There is no one word “YES / NO” answer for this question. Having 1 plugin that loads 12 files is almost equal to 3 plugins loading 4 files each. So, the number of plugins is not an actual issue but the optimization of these plugins is.  Well-coded plugins will try to keep the files as less as possible. However, all developers cannot take care of all such things while coding plugins. Some plugins will load files on all pages, even when those files are not required.

If you are using too many of plugins, they can or cannot affect your page load speed depending on the way they are coded. To overcome this, one thing you can do on your WordPress site is to only use plugins that are well coded and recommended by trusted sources.

3. Web Hosting does matter

Another thing to consider is your web hosting. A poorly configured web server can adversely affect your page load time. To know more about how to select the hosting server for your WordPress website, check out our article here.

4. Disable Plugin stylesheet in WordPress

The main way to load scripts and stylesheets in WordPress is by using the wp_enqueue_style and wp_enqueue_script functions.

WordPress comes with easy functions to register those scripts and functions. If you disable those scripts and stylesheets, then your plugins will not work correctly. To fix this problem, you need to copy and paste all those scripts and stylesheets into your theme’s javascript files stylesheet or add them as custom CSS.

To know more about enqueuing and dequeuing CSS & JS files, check out our blog post here.

Conclusion :

So, our conclusion says that there is no direct relation between plugins & page load time. Selection of plugins after proper analysis is the key. So, always look out for plugins from trust worthy developers / companies and carefully analyze the various factors discussed above. Also, make sure that the plugin is properly maintained and any security fixed / patches are applied on timely basis. That’s it !!

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