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How To Find WordPress Plugins That Affect Your Sites Performance?

by DiTesco

wordpress performance plugins

WordPress plugins are great and using the right ones can enhance your WP powered websites in so many ways that you can think of. If you are looking for Ad management tools to help you manage your ad spaces, there are plugins for that, if you want to provide an easier way for your audience to share your content on the social web, there are plugins for that, and if you are looking to improve your on-page SEO, there are tons of WordPress SEO plugins for that too.

Yep, there are WP plugins for virtually everything and this is the reason why many have chosen this platform to help them build their online businesses, either via blogging, eCommerce, whatever. The features and functions of these so called plugins is to help us in every possible way to make our lives a bit easier. Indeed it does, as most of them eliminate the need for technical knowledge, can save as time and without a shadow of doubt a lot of money. So many advantages that we can easily go crazy and install plugins for just about anything, even those that we don’t need.. Just be sure to never compromise your WordPress Site Security.

Disadvantages Of WordPress Plugins

Wordpress Anti-Virus PluginOK, there is not much to tell really as the benefits do outweigh the negatives. However, there are some plugins that can hurt your site, as some of them can be purposely developed to attack or some may contain vulnerabilities that opens some doorways for hackers to get in. This is why I totally recommend you installing this fabulous and free WordPress anti-virus plugin, that will help protect your site/blog installs, against exploits, malware and spam injections. Try it, you never know. Pays off to be safe.

Moving on, one of the greatest disadvantage of WordPress plugins is, among other things, that it may seriously slow down your site, cause all kinds of blog problems and take up too many server resources. While there many ways to make your site load faster, the downside is that using the wrong plugins may result in a slow loading site, and hamper its performance. In addition, your site faces the risk of being taken down by your web hosting provider, which may cost your online business. This is all good and great, but the problem is that it is difficult to pinpoint what plugin may actually be affecting your sites performance. If you don’t know the root of the the problem, how can you fix it, right?

Plugin Performance ProfilerSimple answer! Let’s find the problem, if any. This is where P3 – Plugin Performance Profiler (co-authored by GoDaddy and StarfieldTech), come into play. I stumbled upon this plugin via WPMU’s site and to keep this short, here’s as excerpt of the plugin that you can find in the WordPress repository.

This plugin creates a profile of your WordPress site’s plugins’ performance by measuring their impact on your site’s load time.  Often times, WordPress sites load slowly because of poorly configured plugins or because there are so many of them. By using the P3 plugin, you can narrow down anything causing slowness on your site and improve your on page SEO.

Straight forward and really a good tool for your arsenal. Install the plugin just like you would any other plugin and once activated, click on the scan and wait for the results, which are presented to you in a variety of different type of reports. Scanned my site and already I found two plugins that I will have to seriously consider deactivating and/or replacing it with another that performs better. Love it!

Performance Report

That’s it! The anti-virus plugin and P3 are simply great tools that you may want to seriously consider having in your arsenal. And yes, they are 100% free and can both be found on the WordPress repository. I was actually, following my post of best SEO practices, to share with you my recommended SEO plugins, but I figured that these tools will be of great use before giving you a list of more plugins :). Anyway, stay tuned for the SEO plugins which will be coming very soon!

Article by

+DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Consulting Services.

Francisco has written 882 articles at iBlogzone.com

1 Ryan Biddulph January 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Hi Ditesco,

Helpful resources here.

Using the wrong plug-ins bogs down your blog, hampers performance and causes readers to jet before they can read your post. The neat tools provided can help to rectify these problems in a jiffy.

Thanks for sharing!


2 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Hi Ryan. These tools are really great and allow for a quick “performance” measurement of plugins that are not performing to well. I really like how it works and the amount of data it provides. Alos good if you have some clients that re “plugin” addicts, lol πŸ˜‰



January 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Thanks for sharing about this plugin. I’ve noticed my site takes a while to load and I wasn’t sure if it was b/c of the redirect or a plugin…so off I go to download this plugin and see what the results are. πŸ™‚

4 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Hi Ashley. Sorry for the late response. I noticed that you have installed the plugin already and found that WP Backup is using a lot of resources on your site. Actually, to answer your question, I don’t use any “backup” plugin as I preferred to pay $12 a year ($1 per month) on my hosting provider that take scare of a full backup and restore service. It takes away the headache of having to worry about it all the time. I do perform a “manual” backup via FTP once a month and normally do it overnight where I am not doing anything πŸ™‚



January 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Did you find that the WP Backup plugin took a much longer time to load then the rest of yours? If you find a better one to use will you let me know? I think I’m going to deactivate that one.

6 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

See response above Ashley. Thanks for stopping by

7 Jenni January 7, 2012 at 2:36 am

As what I’ve learned, the analytic feature in any plugin will make our site slow down, so, lets consider about these type of plugins.

8 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Hi Jenni. You are right. I have noticed that most “analytic” or “stat type” plugins normally hamper our sites performance. I am using JetPack because it supposedly does not use too much resources because it runs on WordPress.com cloud servers. As it seems, it is not totally accurate. Anyway, I am still using it and decided to let go of any analytic plugin inside WordPress. I rather use Google, Clicky or something else πŸ™‚



January 7, 2012 at 2:56 am

Thanks For Sharing this great plugin, my site was loading very slow, this plugin help to increase speed.

10 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Awesome, instant results. Glad you found it useful Santhosh


WordPress Plugin Search

January 7, 2012 at 4:38 am

Thank you DiTesco, this is a genuinely useful article. πŸ™‚
I will start recommending (and using) both the antivirus and the P3 Plugin Performance Profiler plugins.
Maybe I can return the favor. Check out searchwordpressplugins.com. It is a WordPress Plugin search engine with advanced search features such as filters on rating, number of ratings, downloads and when a plugin was updated. It searches the entire repository. There is also a boolean search mode. Could be helpful.

12 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Hi there. Thanks for the link you have sent me. I went over there and tested it myself and I can see how the engine can be put to good use. Will keep on playing with it for a while.. Thanks


WordPress Plugin Search

January 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm

DiTesco, you are very welcome. Glad you found the site useful.
There are plans for new features like saving watchlists, user registration, saving plugin lists and a more advanced review/rating system. So keep an eye out, the site will be improving.
If you have suggestions, please drop me a line. πŸ™‚


Kimberly Castleberry

January 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

It’s a shame that such a neat looking site will never be featured by major WordPress team or team blogs due to a URL that violates the TOS. You really should rethink that.

15 DiTesco January 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I agree Kim and I did miss that one out. Perhaps all they need to do is to change the WordPress to WP. As far as I can tell that’s allowed, right?


Kimberly Castleberry

January 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Yup, WP is fully allowed. The word WordPress word itself however is where the trouble arises and can cost someone their domain name.


WordPress Plugin Search

January 30, 2012 at 12:37 am

Thanks for this info. πŸ™‚ Looking into it. After some scratching around I see the WordPress Foundation doesn’t like “domains that include the word “WordPress” see: http://wordpressfoundation.org/trademark-policy/

Should find another name! πŸ™‚ However, there are thousands of sites and blogs using “wordpress” in the domain name.
Are there cases where WordPress Foundation has sued to seize a domain name that includes the word “wordpress”? I didn’t find any.


WordPress Plugin Search

January 30, 2012 at 1:01 am

With more thought I would question whether a trademark for the word “WordPress” would convey the right to prevent all use of the word “WordPress” in domain names as a trademark violation.

Firstly, a trademark is granted for a specific class. For example, WP Foundation likely hold a class 9 trademark which includes software. They may also hold services marks in classes 35, 42 & 45. However, this wouldn’t stop anyone else using “WordPress” in relation to products or services covered by the other 40 odd classes. Any”…wordpress…” domain used by others covered by the other classes would be fine.

Secondly, in trademark terms “WordPress” is not the same as “Search WordPress Plugins” or “best WordPress themes”. A generic trademark does not automatically prevent use of a ‘longtail’ name including the generic word. It may be argued successfully in some cases, but the outcome is not a foregone conclusion.

19 DiTesco January 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm

To my knowledge, I have not (yet) heard of anyone actually getting into trouble for this. However, and as you point out in their TradeMark policy, they do have the right to do so. I understand what you mean about having too many sites with that word included somewhere. It is just to play it safe. Maybe you can register a name like SearchWPPlugins and redirect it to your site. If need be, just switch over. Your site has tremendous potential and popularity calls attention, if you know what I mean πŸ˜‰


WordPress Plugin Search

January 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Thanks Di Tesco, you are right. The risk is unnecessary. I registered searchwpplugins.com πŸ™‚ You are a gem!



January 7, 2012 at 5:37 am

It is right to choose the right plug in for your site. this is to make sure that you will not be getting any problems in the future. Thanks Francisco for always sharing informative and useful tips to us. Have a great new year!

22 Ray January 7, 2012 at 8:14 am

If the screen shot is of your site or this site I don’t know if I would worry too much about your plugins. Although at 31 plugins I might stop and think before I added too many more. Your plugin load time of 1.019 second per visit is pretty good and it says your plugins are really only impacting 29.2% of the page load time. Those are pretty good too. MySql queries 100 and above start to become a lot though. Not too bad on mysql queries I have seen a lot more than that before. Mysql queries are generally milliseconds so you really need a lot of them before they start to make an impact. Some hosts do place limitations on database usage and if you have too many connections or queries you will get a error or warning page until they drop off.

At any rate I think your score is pretty good and decent when compared to a lot of other sites and screen shots I looked at. Nothing wrong with optimizing, and re-checking every now and then. You can only optimize so much, and after a while the little you gain isn’t worth the work or effort.

I suspect there are a lot of wordpress users or sites that have way too many plugins that use too many resources that could impact their page load times. Some sites could use this to reduce the page load time, and use less server resources which would make the host happy too.

I will definitely try this plugin out on a few sites.

23 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Hi Ray. Thanks for your valuable input and thoughts about my sites performance, Indeed these results are from this site and although they appear good, I noticed that running different scans, on different timelines present different results. The common thing about the results though is that the same plugins that appear to consume more resources are always the same.

This is why I am looking for alternatives to WP Popular Post. If you know of any that can replace that, I will really appreciate it. Thanks


Kimberly Castleberry

January 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Hey Ray, unfortunately the load time number given is only the additional time added by plugins (does not include core or theme). It’s too bad because my site’s 0.34 seconds result would be fun to see!

I don’t entirely trust that load time number as my site (blog page), being tested by http://tools.pingdom.com comes in at about 8-10 seconds pre-caching and about 3 seconds with caching+cloudflare. (17 plugins, 108 queries due to theme functions). Usually its a touch higher than 3 I must be in the good graces of the caching gods tonight LOL

This site, iblogzone.com is pegging about 5seconds on pingdom tonight which is probably close to right.

Seeing any WordPress blog under 2 seconds, particularly serious level caching, isn’t common. Even Problogger.net which has a lot of work put into it usually scores in at 3s.



January 7, 2012 at 8:26 am

Hi Francisco – I am loving the P3 – Plugin Performance Profiler. Most site loading problems can be traced to plugins – especially ones with poorly formed code. Thanks for the P3 link.

26 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Hi Michael. That’s great. I am really glad that the plugin is being useful to you. Thanks for stopping by



January 9, 2012 at 10:28 am

What about the Cache & Social Plugins affect the Blog ?


Rizwan Sultan

January 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Hi DieTesco!!

I had an issue recently. I did remove my plugins folder temporarily and the issue went away, but I wanted to see what the real issue was. In my case, I found that some code in the site and plugins were trying to resolve the site by dns and then trying to access the site. It was basically trying to access itself by its external ip address and timing out. The server is on a private IP range and is Natted to the internet. The location’s router did not allow this communication to occur. After adding the web sites domain names to the servers host file, the site became very fast once again, since the private IP was being used instead.

29 Ricardus @WordPress Hosting January 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

One of the most comprehensive advice on WordPress plugins over here.


Jane @ content syndication

January 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

Wordpress plugins are very useful. They will save time, effort and money. However, we should not end up in eating the resources on the server. Before using any new plugin, it is always better to assess the impact or how your server is going to support the new plugin.

Thank you for presenting useful information.



January 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Hi DiTesco

I am always nervous to try new plugins cos I wouldn’t know how to fix things if anything went wrong! So when I had the changes done on my lavender blog I left all that to Brankica and so far all working well.

It is always good to hear what others have found to work for them. Thanks for sharing with us DiTesco. Appreciated.

Patricia Perth Australia

32 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hi Patricia. I understand what you mean and in most cases I do test everything first on my “dummy” site just in case. Brankica helping you? That is awesome and I can assure you that you were in good hands πŸ™‚

33 shannon January 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Great article. I had always wondered about the plugins impact of the load time of my site. This has of course brought a few of my installed plugins into question.
I was amazed at a few of the plugins that sucked up time, but found they were analysis types.
I am installing the anti-virus plugin just to be sure.



January 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Hi Francisco,

I’ve installed WP Antivirus and as you say, is a must to play safe.
A “hilarious” situation a security plugin broke my site several months ago with a new update πŸ˜‰

I didn’t know about P3 good to know, I’m going to install it to see the results!



35 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Hi Gera. Yep, the anti-virus is a great tool and I did not even know something like that existed. It works well and does a good job.

As for the P3, it is simply a very a nifty plugin. I like it and I do hope that you find it useful as well. thanks for stopping by mate



January 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

this is awesome, I am definitely going to try this out, I am always trying to avoid plugins as much as I can and I hope this will help tell me which ones should I get rid of if any, thanks, Francisco!!

37 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I agree Bran. The less plugins to use all the better. But a non tech savvy like me sometimes don’t have too much options so there I go again plugging in more plugins, lol. Anyway, P3 is awesome and it works well. Let me know what you think about it?

BTW, still struggling to make that php thing to work. Reviewed everything again and nada.. back to the drawing board πŸ™‚ I ain’t quitting though, lol

38 Jeet Dholakia January 11, 2012 at 5:19 am

Thanks for informing about this WP antivirus plugin. i was not aware about this and as far as the page loading time is concern i personally like the W3TC. it generates good result for the site and even the page loading speed is also getting good. but i will try out the above mentioned plugin and see to it.
Thank you.

39 DiTesco January 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Thanks Jeet. I do hope you find P3 useful. let me now what you think about it once you give it a test drive πŸ™‚


Eddie Gear

January 12, 2012 at 8:43 am

Thanks for the introduction to the WordPress anti-virus plugin, I love it, I found a few unwanted plugins and now my site is neat.

41 sham January 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

This is the first time I am hearing about this plugin will give a try. Because I have installed huge number of plugins on my sites πŸ™‚



January 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I installed the P3 plugin, what is considered good? My results are
38% – 18 plugins and 0.076 seconds load time, 22 Mysql queries.

Seems like one plugin : Facebook AWD is 37% of the “pie”. Is that a lot?
If so, anyone have a better FB plugin to recommend? Thanks a bunch!

Great tool!!!


Holly Jahangiri

January 28, 2012 at 3:58 am

Okay, now, that’s a cool plug-in – I need something that tells me when one of my plug-ins is being a pig and not playing nice with the others! (Would’ve come in handy just this week!) Thanks.


Kimberly Castleberry

January 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Great find DiTesco! I can’t read your screenshot though to see which ones were slowing YOU down most! Give me the details!
PS: I’m getting ready to blog on this plugin and will be linking here.


Kimberly Castleberry

January 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I was tripping the javascript disabled bug over and over till I finally considered that I have had this post open several hours… I refreshed the page and then it let me post. Silly thing.

46 DiTesco January 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Hi Kim. I just performed a new scan right now to provide you with some details πŸ™‚ I was surprised actually as it has gone worst since the first time πŸ™

Anyway: Total Plugins Installed 32
Total impact of plugins on page load 43% (a lot)
Worst loaders: In this order
SEO Smart Links – 15%
Pretty Link Lite – 12% (that’s your fault, haha)
WP popular Post – 11%
Yet Another Related Post – 11%
JetPack – 10%
Thesis OpenHook – 8%

Hmm, I will have to reconsider some of these plugins I guess. Still looking for a replacement to WP Popular Post though. You know of any?


Kimberly Castleberry

January 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Thanks, borrowing that info to go into the post I’m currently writing!

48 Kimberly Castleberry January 30, 2012 at 4:11 am

Is WP Popular Posts giving you a sidebar widget or related links at the end of your post? What is that plugin actually doing for you at a functionality level?

49 DiTesco January 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Hi Kim. WP Popular post is the one that I use on my side bar to display, Popular post, most viewed and recommended MMO. At the end of the post, it is Yet Another Related plugin. Both, according to P3 are resource hogs and I am testing Linked within on another site to see how it performs.



February 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm

OMG, just brilliant! I’ve had server load problems with my VPS level 9 at Hostgator. I’m not technically savvy enough to find out which plugin is causing problems. Thanks I’m retweeting this post because it’s EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for since last year.

51 Chris@Green Shopping February 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I am definitely going to try the anti-virus plugin. Thank you for publishing this article. I use Wordpress on a daily basis and I use several plugins, some of which I do believe are actually slowing my site down. My site has never been targeted but I think the anti-virus software is kind of the same as an insurance policy, ya never need it until the rare moment that you do indeed need it. You have a lot of great information on your website, keep up the good work and I’ll keep coming back !


Suresh Jonna

February 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Thank you for this wonderful post. Now I am using Antivirus and p3 plugin.


Palm Coast Roofer

February 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

OMG DiTesco! I had no idea that P3 – Plugin Performance Profiler existed.

I have about 2 dozen wordpress websites, and my older ones have many plugins because when I was inexperienced I used plugins versus modification of theme files.

This plugin is amazing and now I have a lot of work to do!


54 DiTesco February 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Glad to know you found out about P3 from me πŸ™‚ It works well and I too had my share of plugins. P3 helped me pinpoint those that were taking too many resources and replaced them with others. I hope you find it helpful too.



March 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Thanks for recommending P3 – it’s probably the coolest plugin I’ve used yet!

The funny thing is, I installed both AntiVirus and P3, and ironically P3 tells me that AntiVirus is slowing my page down immensely. I was also using another redirect plugin called Pretty Link Lite, and apparently that was adding to my site speed as well.

I can totally understand why active plugins like Digg Digg or Disqus would slow down a site, but why AntiVirus and Pretty Link? Any insight would be much appreciated. πŸ™‚

56 DiTesco March 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I really would like to answer to your question, but I too had that problem with pretty link lite and it actually broke my site on their recent update. Had to remove it due to incompatibility issues. Using Simple URLs instead which is lighter πŸ™‚ I’ll see what I can find out about both plugins though and see why they take too much resources.

57 Shawn March 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Great Post! Thanks for the suggestions about P3 and Antivirus. I never knew these plugins existed. I’m gonna go install those right now.

Thanks again!



June 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

Thanks for the tips, I had never heart of P3 but it works fine!

59 Chadrack July 23, 2012 at 9:37 am

This is really great for me. I’ve been thinking of pulling out some plugins and this will just help decide on which to pull out. Thanks a great lot.



August 17, 2012 at 7:15 am

Knowing how the plugins perform is now even more important because there are so many useful plugins and we often want to install them all! πŸ™‚

I use to test a new plugin almost every week or two… so this is a must have plugin.



October 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I have the antivirus plugin installed already, i’ll check out the p3 Plugin as you recommeded. Thanks For the post


Philip A.

November 15, 2012 at 6:12 am

Hi DiTesco,

Wow, I had no idea about this plugin, I went on a plugin install spree and I think it has affected my page load time, which I absolutely hate. I’m using some caching plugins and CloudFlare CDN but I want to make my blog load faster. What do you think about subdomains for image hosting? Can this improve the page timings?

Thanks for writing this post, have a great day.


63 DiTesco November 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

Using a sub-domain or sub-directory can improve a bit page load times. You can also make use of “free cloud storages” like dropbox, skydrive or even Google drive to host your images. There is also a plugin called WPSmush.it which compresses the images and help a bit to improve speed

64 DiTesco January 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Great! That should give you a “peace of mind”, lol

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