Speed Up WordPress by Deactivating Unused Plugins

speed up wordpress

If you’ve played with WordPress for any time you’ve probably installed a plugin or two. Or twenty. Once you make the decision that the plugin in question isn’t for you, you want to be sure to deactivate it. This may seem like a “no duh!” tip for most WordPress users, but we can all be guilty of missing the obvious and/or being lazy. If you are diligent about keeping your plugins tidy, good for you. If not, read on.

Why Worry if the Plugin Isn’t Active?

A site’s load time is based on the server processing PHP code from WordPress Core, your plugins, and your theme, and then your browser loading up every javascript, image, css file, etc., so cut out anything you are not using. Don’t make the browser load files that aren’t necessary. More importantly, don’t ask your readers to wait any longer than they have to. Remove extraneous plugins to speed up WordPress.

One of the greatest things about WordPress is the expandability and availability of its plugins. But sometimes we fall into a pattern of clutter due to their ease of use. We need a plugin to do X, Y, and Z, so we download 6 or 7 different plugins to see what works best. But after finding that Holy Grail plugin, we sometimes forget to deactivate the other plugins we tried and decided not to use. This results in 6 or 7 sets of files are being loaded on the server and into the browser when there is only one plugin that we are really interested in. Go through your plugins, deactivate anything you are not using.

Why Did You Choose the Plugin?

You can even take this a step further. When you are going through the plugins, take a moment and consider the value each plugin is adding to your site. Sometimes we keep plugins because we like the idea of them, but don’t really leverage the features of them. Beyond just deactivating them, uninstall them from your site entirely. There can be vulnerabilities from a deactivated plugin that are still installed on your site. So now that you’ve reviewed your plugins, go ahead and uninstall any of the ones you’re not going to use.

In fact, one of our good friends, Dustin Meza gave a talk at WordCamp Orange County that outlines a process for handling plugins and keeping your site up to date that we think is a great way to think about plugin functionality and your website. This level of detail will not only keep you up to date and secure, but will also help keep the site running at top speeds. If you have any questions about the process, need any help implementing a maintenance plan, or need to speed up WordPress, feel free to reach out to us.

Written by the Team at Pixel Jar

We hope you got something useful out of that post. If you'd like to read more we have an active blog with topics across the spectrum of website development. If you're researching information for a project we'd love to talk to you about it.

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