How To Detect Plugins Which Are Slowing Down Your WordPress Site (Ultimate Guide)

Do you love those sites that take years to load? Of course not. Nobody likes those kinds of sites. If you’re struggling with the site speed then this tutorial post can help you.

Plugins, on one hand, can reduce the work and save time, but on the other hand, they can severely impact our site speed (in a negative way). And, google just hate those sites that perform poorly in terms of speed.

It is important to load the site in under 2 seconds. More than 2 seconds can cause users to leave your site. In fact, in research, it has been found out that 7% of users abandon their cart if the site delays even for one second.

in this post, we’ll look at how to find those plugins that are slowing down your WordPress site. I am also going to show you a list of slow plugins that are heavy and take a lot of server resources.

How To Find Which Plugins Are Slowing Down Your WordPress Site

There was a time when GoDaddy’s plugin called P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) used to be the number one way to find out which plugin is the slowest. However, the P3 plugin didn’t get any update from its developer, and now this plugin doesn’t even work properly, in fact, some bloggers have reported several issues after installing and activating it.

Thankfully, there are still some plugins and online tools available that can help us detect slow plugins. First, we’re gonna look at the plugin method. And, the plugin that’ll use for this tutorial is going to be Query Monitor.

Query Monitor not only helps you identify slow plugins but also helps to let you know which plugin is using high server resources.

once you find the problematic plugin, you can either delete it completely or replace it with a more optimized one.

Method #1 – Query Monitor

Step 1: Installation And Activation

The plugin Query Monitor is easily available at the plugin section of your WordPress plugin section. Search “Query Monitor”, install and activate the plugin.

Once the plugin is activated, you’ll notice something like this on the top of your WordPress dashboard.

Step 2: Click On Queries From The Query Monitor’s Menu

Hover over the Query Monitor tab, and click on Queries.

A pop-up will show to you at the bottom of your screen where you will see a lot of options.

Step 3: Click On Queries By Component

Once you click on Queries By Component, you’ll be able to check which plugin is taking the most time to load.

On my site, the WordFence plugin was the slowest. It took around 0.0115s to load which may not see too much but when you have too many plugins, then this could be a big problem.

Also, I decided to replace Wordfence with a lightweight plugin. I searched “Wordfence alternatives” on Google and found there are tons of plugins available that can help you protect your website as Wordfence does.

Note: Delete Query Monitor Once You Detect The Plugins That Are Slowing Down Your Site! Query Monitor Constantly Runs In The background Which Could Affect Your Site Speed.

Method #2 – WP Hive (Chrome Extension)

WP Hive is a chrome extension that gives details about which WordPress plugins are slow. The benefit of this extension is, you don’t have to install the plugin to see whether it is slowing down your site or not. This extension gives information about the plugin’s speed performance before you install it, which is absolutely amazing.

Step 1: Add The Extension To Chrome

In the above picture, you can see that you just need to click on ” Add to Chrome” to install it. Here is a direct link for you – WP Hive.

Step 2: Visit The Plugin’s WordPress Page

In my case, I wanted to know how Yoast SEO is impacting my site, so I searched “Yoast SEO” in Google, then I open the WordPress.org site and clicked the WP Hive extension to find out whether this plugin is lightweight or not.

Click on the extension button to activate the extension.

Under WP Hive Insight, you can see how this plugin can impact your site or is impacting your site.

Note: WP Hive doesn’t work in the WordPress plugin section, you have to open WordPress.org to check the details.

Method #3 – Use New Relic Application

New Relic is a complete tool for developers. It drills down into the internal workings of a WordPress website to pinpoint plugins, theme/template files, database queries, outside calls, or coding flaws causing performance issues on our websites.

However, this tool isn’t so beginner-friendly, you’ll need proper guidance to use it. That’s why I recommend reading Kinsta’s article on what is a new relic and how to use it.

Once you know how new Relic works, you can view a simple chart with each plugin’s load time, as well as different types of graphs, and other features for identifying why your site is slow.

Read More:

How To Serve Scaled Images (Properly Sized Images) In WordPress

WP Super Cache Ideal Settings With Screenshots (Updated Version)

How To Clean WordPress Database In Less Than 2 Minutes

Method #4 – Use GTmetrix

I love GTmetrix. It is by far the most trusted out there. However, GTmetrix can also be used as a tool to find out which plugin is making your site slow.

Its waterfall section lets you see all the requests your site’s plugins or third-party applications/sites are making.

If you see any pic taking too much time to load, then optimize them or scale them properly. You can read my post How To Serve Scaled Images (Properly Sized Images) In WordPress

There is one flaw of Gtmetrix as well that we should discuss. Gtmetrix only shows plugins that are loaded on the front-end.

This means it doesn’t give you an actual look at your slowest plugins since it possibly won’t show page builders, backup plugins, statistics plugins, and other types of plugins working in the backend.

I’ve published a post in which I’ve discussed the techniques to use to reduce the number of HTTP requests. In that post, I’ve also explained how to use GTmetrix to find out which plugin/site/application is causing the most requests. You can take help from the article.

How To Make Fewer HTTP Requests (12 Master Tips)

Method #5 – Manual Method

Only do it if all the above methods aren’t working for you. Also, this method may consume a lot of time if you have a big site.

Step 1: Run A Speed test

There are tons of online speed testing tools available that you can use. However, for this test, I will use Pingdom. I mostly prefer GTmetrix but Pingdom is also a great tool. The reason I am using Pingdom is that I haven’t written anything about Pingdom before on this site, and one of my site’s users asked for it as well.

Note down whatever the speed score is of your site.

Step 2: Create A Copy Of Your Site In Staging Environment

I have written a post about how you can create a staging site in Bluehost and SiteGround. Please don’t conduct this test on the live site while visitors are probably walking through it. Because this method involves deactivating plugins, you could possibly introduce security issues or break some features that depend on those plugins to work, so be certain to do this test in a safe environment.

Step 3: Review The List Of The Slowest Plugins

Before you go to your site’s plugin section. I recommend checking the list of the slowest WordPress plugins.

Here is the list of the slowest plugins:

  1. AddThis
  2. AdSense Click Fraud Monitoring
  3. All-In-One Event Calendar
  4. Avada
  5. Backup Buddy
  6. Beaver Builder
  7. Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps
  8. Broken Link Checker
  9. Constant Contact for WordPress
  10. Contact Form 7
  11. Contextual Related Posts
  12. Digi Auto Links
  13. Disqus Comment System
  14. Divi Builder
  15. Elementor
  16. Envira Gallery
  17. ExactMetrics
  18. Facebook Chat
  19. Fancy Gallery
  20. Fuzzy SEO Booster
  21. Google Analytics
  22. Google Language Translator
  23. Google Translate
  24. Google XML Sitemaps
  25. Jetpack
  26. Leaflet Maps Marker
  27. MyReview
  28. NextGEN Gallery
  29. NewStatPress
  30. Query Monitor
  31. Real Estate Website Builder
  32. Really Simple Share
  33. Reveal IDs
  34. Revolution Slider
  35. Sharebar
  36. ShareThis
  37. S2 Member
  38. SEO Auto Links & Related Posts
  39. Share Buttons by AddToAny
  40. Share Buttons by E-MAILiT
  41. ShareThis
  42. Social Discussions
  43. Sociable
  44. Similar Posts
  45. Slimstat Analytics
  46. SumoMe
  47. Talk.To
  48. Thrive
  49. Tribulant Slideshow Gallery
  50. UberMenu
  51. Ultimate Social Media & Share
  52. VaultPress
  53. WooCommerce
  54. WooCommerce Customer History
  55. Wordfence
  56. WordPress Facebook
  57. WordPress Related Posts
  58. WordPress Popular Posts
  59. WordPress Social Ring
  60. WP Bakery

and many more!

Step 5: Deactivate All The Plugins

Go to the plugin section of your site. Select all the plugins and click deactivate.

Step 6: Reinstall Your Plugins One By One

This is the step where you will know which plugin is slowing down your WordPress site. Go one-by-one in your list, reactivating one at a time.

If your list has any of the known slowest plugins, then deactivate that one first. Otherwise, start from the very top of your plugins list.

With the first plugin reinstalled, open your staging WordPress website. What’s your perception of the loading time? Is it still as quick (or close enough) as your site was without any plugins activated? If so, then this plugin is okay to keep.

Deactivate the plugin once more. Now, repeat the experiment with the next plugin on the list.

Make sure you only have 1 plugin active at any given time. Once you have discovered which one is performing slower loading times on your WordPress site, it is time to take action on the live website.

Step 7: Delete The Slow Plugin

Because you carried this test in your staging environment, you don’t have to worry about reactivating your plugins there. Rather, hop over to your live site and delete the slow plugin.

Step 8: Find a Faster Replacement

Most of the time you won’t need to find a replacement. In case the specialty or functionality associated with the plugin is required for your WordPress site, then here is a small list of lightweight plugin alternatives.

  • SEO – Try Rank Math.
  • Backups – Try UpdraftPlus.
  • Sliders – Try Soliloquy or MetaSlider.
  • Page Builder – Try Oxygen or Gutenberg.
  • Gallery – Try Gutenberg Gallery or Meow Gallery.
  • Analytics – Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console (no plugins).
  • Social Sharing – Use Grow By Mediavine.
  • Comments – Use native comments or wpDiscuz with optimized settings with JavaScript delay.

Step 9: Go To Pingdom And Check Your Site Speed Score

It’s time to open your speed testing tools once more. Re-test your now-updated site in them. Even with a new plugin installed, load times and performance scores should have significantly increased since you originally checked.

Thanks For Reading!

Check My Other Posts:

How To Make Fewer HTTP Requests (12 Master Tips)

How To Break (Split) WordPress Posts Into Multiple Pages Effectively

How To Setup EWWW Image Optimizer (Compress Upto 80%)

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Sumit

Sumit is a regular contributor to Hostinggrow.com. He has 6 years of experience in blogging, and he loves football, his favorite player is - Lionel Messi (GOAT), but he has no hate for Ronaldo.

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