How WordPress Plugins Affect Your Website Load Time

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In this article, we will prove you how WordPress plugins affect your website load time, and how you can control them more professionally and efficiently.

Have you ever wondered how WordPress plugins affect your site’s load time?  WordPress plugins allow you to add features to your website, but they can also affect your website speed.

I am 100% sure this article helped you learn how WordPress plugins affect your website load time.

WordPress plugins are similar apps for your WordPress site.

You can install them to add more features to your websites like contact forms, photo galleries, or an eCommerce shop.

When someone visits your website, WordPress first loads its core files and then charges all your active plugins.

For more details, get a look at our article about what are WordPress plugins?

Ask them how do they like working there?.

How WordPress Plugins Affect Your Website Load Time

Each WordPress plugin provides different functionality and characteristics.

To do that, some of the plugins make database calls to the backend while others load assets on the front-end such as CSS stylesheets, PHP scripts, JavaScript files, uploaded images, and so on.

Making database queries and loading assets add up to your website’s load time.

Most plugins make an HTTP request to load assets like scripts, CSS, and icons.

Each request increases your site’s page load time.

When done the right way, the performance impact is often not too noticeable.

However, if you are using multiple plugins that are taking in too many HTTP requests to load files and assets, then it will affect your site’s performance and user experience.

How WordPress Plugins Affect Your Website Load Time

How to Check Files Loaded By Plugins?

To see how plugins are affecting your page load time, you need to look into the files loaded by WordPress plugins.

There are plenty of tools that you can use to calculate this out.

You can utilize your browser’s developer tools (Inspect in Google Chrome and Inspect Element in Firefox).

Simply visit your website and right click to select Inspect.

This will afford the developer tools panel.

You need to come home on the ‘Network’ tab and then reload your website.

As the page reloads, you will be able to consider how your browser loads each file.

You can also employ third-party tools like Pingdom and GTmetrix to see this.

Inspect element pageload

Among other useful information, these tools will also establish you all files that are loaded and how much time they took to load.

As you consider these files being loaded, you may start wondering how many plugins you should I use on my site?

How many plugins are too many?

The answer truly depends on the set of plugins you are using on your website.

A single bad plugin can load 12 files while multiple good plugins will add just a couple of additional files.

All well-coded plugins try to preserve the files they load to a minimum.

However, not all plugin developers are that careful.

Some plugins will load files on every individual page load, even when they don’t need those files.

If you are using too many of such plugins, then this will start touching on your site’s performance.

How to Keep Control In WordPress Plugins?

The most significant thing you can get along on your WordPress site is to only use plugins that are well coded, have good reviews, and are recommended by trusted sources.

If you find that a WordPress plugin is affecting your website’s page load speed, then look for a better plugin that does the same job but in a better way.

Next thing, you need to start using caching and CDN services to further better your site’s performance and page speed.

Another factor you should weigh is your website hosting.

If your site hosting servers are not properly optimized and worked in a better way, then it will increase your site’s response time automatically.

This means that not a just plug-in, but your site’s overall performance will be denser.

Make sure you are employing one of the best WordPress hosting companies.

As a last resort, you can uninstall plugins that you can survive without.

Carefully review the installed plugins on your website, and find out if you can uninstall some of them.

This is not an ideal solution as you will have to compromise on features for speed.

Disable Plugin Stylesheets in WordPress

The very first thing, you will need to determine the name or handle of the stylesheet that you want to deregister. You can locate it using your browser’s inspect tool.

After coming up the stylesheet handle, you can deregister it by adding this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

add_action( ‘wp_print_styles’, ‘my_deregister_styles’, 100 );
function my_deregister_styles() {
wp_deregister_style( ‘gdwpm_styles-css’ );
}

You can deregister as many styles handles as you want inside this function.

For example, if you experience more than one plugin to deregister the stylesheet for, then you would do it like this:

add_action( ‘wp_print_styles’, ‘my_deregister_styles’, 100 );
function my_deregister_styles() {
wp_deregister_style( ‘gdwpm_styles-css’ );
wp_deregister_style( ‘bfa-font-awesome-css’ );
wp_deregister_style( ‘some-other-stylesheet-handle’ );
}

Remember, that deregistering these css stylesheets will affect the plugin features on your web site.

You just need to replicate the contents of each stylesheet you deregister and paste them in your WordPress theme’s stylesheet or add them as a custom CSS styles.

Load Scripts Only on Specific Pages

If you know that you will be needing a WordPress plugin script to load on a specific page on your site and blog, then you can allow a specific plugin on that particular page.

This way the script remains disabled on all other pages of your site and is loaded only when required.

Here is how you can load scripts on specific pages.

add_action( ‘wp_print_scripts’, ‘my_deregister_javascript’, 100 );
function my_deregister_javascript() {
if ( !is_page(‘Contact’) ) {
wp_deregister_script( ‘contact-form-7’ );
}
}

This code simply disables contact-form-7 script on all pages except the contact page.

That’s all for today.

Manually Optimize WordPress Plugin Assets 

Advanced WordPress users can try to manage how WordPress plugins load files on their website.  Doing so takes some knowledge of coding and some debugging skills.

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

Most WordPress plugin developers use them to load plugin files.

WordPress also comes with easy functions to deregister those scripts and stylesheets.

However, if you just disable loading those extra scripts and CSS stylesheets, then this will cave in your plugins, and they will not work correctly for you.

To fix that issue, you will need to copy and paste those scripts and CSS styles into your theme’s stylesheet and JavaScript files.

This way you will be able to load all of them at one time, minimizing the HTTP requests and effectively decreasing your page load time.

Let’s see how to easily de-register stylesheets and JavaScript files in WordPress.

Disable Plugin JavaScripts in WordPress

Just like stylesheets, you will need to find out the handle used by the JavaScript file to deregister them.

However, you will not discover the handle using the inspect tool.

For that, you will need to dig deeper into plugin files to discover out the handle used by the plugin to load a script.

Another way to find out all the handles used by plugins is to append this code into your theme’s functions.php file.

function wpb_display_pluginhandles() {
$wp_scripts = wp_scripts();
$handlename .= “<ul>”;
foreach( $wp_scripts->queue as $handle ) :
$handlename .= ‘<li>’ . $handle .'</li>’;
endforeach;
$handlename .= “</ul>”;
return $handlename;
}
add_shortcode( ‘pluginhandles’, ‘wpb_display_pluginhandles’);

After adding this javascript code, you can use [plugin handles] shortcode to display a list of plugin script handles.

Right away that you have script handles, you can easily deregister them using the code below:

add_action( ‘wp_print_scripts’, ‘my_deregister_javascript’, 100 );
function my_deregister_javascript() {
wp_deregister_script( ‘contact-form-7’ );
}

You can also apply this code to disable multiple scripts, like this:

add_action( ‘wp_print_scripts’, ‘my_deregister_javascript’, 100 );
function my_deregister_javascript() {
wp_deregister_script( ‘contact-form-7’ );
wp_deregister_script( ‘gdwpm_lightbox-script’ );
wp_deregister_script( ‘another-plugin-script’ );
}

At present, as we mentioned earlier that disabling these scripts will stop your plugins to work properly.

To avoid this, you will require combining JavaScripts together, but sometimes it does not work smoothly, so you must know what you are doing.

You can learn from trial and error (like a portion of us do), but we recommend you do not do that on a live site.

The best place to test these scripts is on a local WordPress install or on a staging site with managed WordPress hosting providers.

That’s all for today.

We hope this article helped you learn how WordPress plugins affect your website load time.

You may also want to consider our ultimate guide to improving WordPress speed and site performance.

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I’m wishing you the best of luck!

Get started on WordPress today and start turning your spare time into spare cash.

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Best of luck and have a great flight!

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