WordPress works fine. But you need plugins to add extra features and functionality. Without plugins, WordPress is not-worth-as-much. Plugins give you control over website functions and performance without writing any code. Choosing the right plugins play a big role in your mobile speed success.
It seems as simple as searching for the most popular plugins. Then installing and activating them on your website. The result: an instant functionality upgrade without needing technical knowledge.
The problem is most popular plugins are slow loading. They bog down your site. Often globally, meaning slowing every single page and post. We call that site drag. Other plugins are more forgiving. They don’t suffer from site drag. Instead, they load only where used – or where there’s a shortcode installed. How can you know if a plugin causes site drag? Experimentation. This undocumented gotcha isn’t in read.me files.
A process for assessing which plugins hurt speed the most.
The plugin directory is one of WordPress’ great assets. It provides over 55,000 applications extending WordPress. It’s also completely open and free. Any author can contribute. Anyone can download. The plugin auditing process and security analysis are sometimes flaky. Bad plugins happen.
Many plugins have identical functions – but they’re not built the same. Some hog resources. Others are fine quality. You can solve about any WordPress problem with a plugin – or a plugin combination. We do research and experimentation to discover plugins helping mobile WordPress speed. We appreciate alternatives to bloated popular plugins.
WordPress.org used to place a label on plugins not updated in over 2 years. Now they indicate how many update version have been missed instead. This staleness warning may mean the plugin won’t work – or worst case – could break your site. Often, we find old plugins work great. Especially for speed. Even when they aren’t updated for years.
Scary WordPress directory notification: This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.
This shelf-life warning, above, scares people from unrealized opportunities. So we still test obsolete plugins. There are many compatible-and-clean 8- or 10-year-old plugins. There are always risks with even the biggest and best – and most popular. These unpredictable gambles include plugins with millions of active installs and recent updates. Even WordPress or Yoast stubs it’s toe. It happens to the peerless.
The Plugin Review team takes down a plugin if it’s becomes vulnerable. But they don’t always notify users when this happens – or tell us to remove a bad plugin. We know this from sad experience.
SpeedXray is a process to assess load-time impact for every plugin you have activated. It helps narrow down plugins causing potential speed issues.
Description: See which plugins are slowing down your site. Our process helps you create a performance report for your site.
What’s important are relative results. Not the absolute numbers generated. It’s ranking the worst-offending plugin to the least. There’s intuitive data to analyze and we appreciate it. There’s no way to prove accuracy. We don’t care. Our gut says the plugin ranking is correct enough.
SpeedXray is needed for speed assessments. It shows information not represented in any known speed report we’ve found.
PagePipe has 52 free WordPress plugins. What?!
That’s right. 52 are active. It’s quality – not quantity – that slows down a website. (The average WordPress site uses 25 plugins.)
The deactivated plugins include:
- Link Finder (which we run quarterly to check broken links. It’s is heavy on server usage).
- Better Search and Replace (as needed also a database intensive plugin).
- Find Posts Using Attachment (as needed).
- UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore (set to run automatically once per week).
- Enable Media Replace (enabled as needed).
- Regenerate Thumbnails (we use it when restoring a backup) because we use Exclude Image Thumbnails From UpdraftPlus Backups plugin to keep the media library slim. This creates faster backups and reduced consumption of server assets during backup .
- Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions (we activate and run once quarterly for cleaning).
Most of our inactive plugins are “resource intensive.” That means they hog database and RAM on the host server. If they all were running at once, our generous hosting provider would – with total lack of courtesy – shutdown or throttle our site. Our resource overages affect our other 23 shared-host neighbor’s speed. Can’t upset the server neighbors!
After installing iThemes Security plugin, we got a GoDaddy email notification. It said our hosting account exceeded its resource limits. We dumped the plugin. Read More.
Pareto principle is still alive! 10 of our heaviest plugins contribute to 80 percent of the cumulative weight (see column 3. The red text indicates the 80 percent cutoff). Roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. In this case, 80 percent of the slowness comes from 20 percent of our “red-heaviest” plugin choices. These slower plugins need the most scrutiny.
Here’s the SpeedXray ranking results:
|1||UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore||26400.00||46.09%||46.09%||***|
|4||Simple Content Adder||3300.00||5.76%||73.50%|
|5||Blog Manager Light||2700.00||4.71%||78.21%||***|
|7||Lazy Load for Videos||1100.00||1.92%||83.62%||***|
|8||Limit Login Attempts Reloaded||1000.00||1.75%||85.37%|
|9||Hide Dashboard Notifications||993.00||1.73%||87.10%|
|12||Really Simple SSL||717.10||1.25%||91.24%|
|17||Simple Pull Quote||349.00||0.61%||95.28%|
|18||WP Image Borders||292.10||0.51%||95.79%||***|
|21||Category Sticky Post||253.00||0.44%||97.18%|
|25||WP Post Hide||146.50||0.26%||98.34%|
|26||Asset Queue Manager||138.90||0.24%||98.58%|
|28||Simple Drop Cap||101.00||0.18%||98.97%|
|30||amr shortcode any widget||66.80||0.12%||99.24%|
|32||Admin Post Navigation||53.00||0.09%||99.44%|
|34||Email Address Encoder||40.50||0.07%||99.60%|
|35||Date/Time Now Button||34.10||0.06%||99.66%|
|37||Far Future Expiration Plugin||21.80||0.04%||99.74%|
|38||Disable Emojis (GDPR friendly)||20.40||0.04%||99.78%|
|39||Change Table Prefix||19.00||0.03%||99.81%|
|40||More Plugin Info||18.60||0.03%||99.84%|
|41||Hierarchical HTML Sitemap||18.40||0.03%||99.87%|
|43||Display PHP Version||13.70||0.02%||99.92%|
|44||Current Year and Copyright Shortcodes||8.00||0.01%||99.94%|
|46||WP Author Date and Meta Remover||8.00||0.01%||99.96%|
|47||All 404 Pages Redirect to Homepage||7.00||0.01%||99.98%|
|50||Restore Image Title||2.60||0.00%||99.99%|
|51||Exclude Image Thumbnails From UpdraftPlus Backups||2.30||0.00%||100.00%|
|Twenty seventeen theme||2000.00|
PagePipe.com Pingdom to SF, USA results:
710 milliseconds. 21 requests. 910k page weight.
PagePipe.com Pingdom to London results:
1.4 seconds. 21 requests. 910k page weight.
PagePipe.com Pingdom to Frankfurt, Germany results:
1.25 seconds. 21 requests. 910k page weight.
We decided to run a test on WebPagetest.org. This produces a homepage worst-case scenario. Pingdom being best-case.
PagePipe.com WPT.org to WV, USA results:
1.213 seconds. 13 requests. 153k page weight.
It’s not the quantity of plugins – it’s the quality.
- Cheap, shared hosting.
- No paid or free CDN.
- No paid plugins or themes. You can do it, too!
Is this homepage beautiful?
No. It’s fast. It focuses on usability. Site goals are the foundation for decision making. We’ll improve branding and expressive aesthetics later. That costs money – and always slows down the page. The page needs to prove itself with results first. Then we’ll formalize the graphics. Or maybe we’ll leave it “as-is.”
Are delinquent plugins slowing your site speed?
Too many activated plugin slowing your site is a speed myth. The number of plugins isn’t important. It’s not the quantity, but quality that affects speed. Your site can have over 80 plugins – and still load in under 2 seconds. The WordPress average number of active plugins is 25 per website.
Another web speed myth is that popular or paid plugins are the best. It’s often the opposite. Popular plugins usually slow down sites most. Testing reveals the truth.
You can deactivate all plugins and then retest your site speed. If the site loads faster, you know there’s a problem with one or more plugins.
This tedious method then requires activating plugins one at a time for problem discovery. Repeated speed tests are required consuming time and energy.
The SpeedXray process is a more intelligent way to track down resource hogging plugins.
Our goal is ranking the slowest plugins consuming 80 percent of plugin overhead. This Pareto principle – or 80/20 rule – helps identify the sweet spot for balancing functionality and user experience with the fastest load time.
This technique is also known as value analysis. Slow plugins then are selectively activated – or substituted with faster alternatives – or eliminated.
We analyze the data with an open-source spreadsheet program.
The heaviest plugins can be substituted of eliminated. Avoid these plugins.
SpeedXray process and plugins are included free when you purchase SpeedHosptial.
Other SpeedHospital Proceedures
KrunchKore Extra collection of 11 discrete plugins to strip or disable unneeded and unused baggage. This rescue kit includes an…
SpeedSwitch Loading plugins redundantly and globally decreases the speed of your pages. It’s best to deactivate heavy plugins on pages…
Instant-jQ Instant-jQ lets you use faster universal cached resources for better speed. WordPress theme developers normally use the resident jQuery…
SmooshKit Do your photograph images weigh 200k to 1M or more? You want skinny lossy formats, not fat lossless images….
TourniKit For ages we’ve wanted the ability to switch off Font Awesome icon font. We see it as unnecessary baggage…
LongCache We demonstrate a common but little understood speed problem usually labeled as Leverage Browser Caching. Various tests report this…