One of the great things about WordPress is that you can add a lot of extra features through plugins. Unfortunately, many plugins have heavy or poor coding that uses a lot of resources and can affect your site’s speed. That’s why you should only install plugins that you really need, and try to install those that don’t use a lot of resources.

Maybe you’ve heard some people saying that the more plugins you have, the slower your site will become. That’s kind of true, but, of course, it all comes down to what plugins are you using.

In order to see how your WordPress plugins are using resources, and which one is taking the most time to load, you can use a simple and useful plugin like P3 Plugin Performance Profiler. You can check it out or download it here.

What does the P3 Plugin Performance Profiler do?

The P3 checks your plugins’ performance by measuring their impact on your website’s speed, helping you determine which one of them may be causing trouble.

It actively monitors all PHP user-defined function calls, while the server generates your pages. Then it saves the information in a report that you can analyze.

How to use the P3 Plugin

1. After you’ve installed and activated the plugin, click Scan Now (under it) in Plugins:

p3 plugin performance profiler scan

2. Then press Start Scan:

p3-plugin-start-scan

3. Give the scan a name and press Auto Scan:

p3 scan name

4. Once the scan is complete, click on View Results:

view-results

5. Here are our results:

p3 plugin performance profiler

As you can see, on our site, WordPress SEO by Yoast and WooCommerce have the biggest impact on speed and resources, but they don’t affect things much. Our site speed is pretty good at the moment, so we don’t worry about them.

The P3 Plugin Performance Profiler comes in on the 3rd place, at 13%, but we’ll uninstall it, so the plugin impact will improve.

6. If you want to see more details, you can click on Detailed Breakdown:

detailed-breakdown

Note: The P3 Plugin Performance Profiler won’t be that accurate all the time, because, as you can see here, “there are multiple external influences that can affect the consistency of P3′s reporting“, such as: traffic fluctuations, other activity on the server (on shared servers), plugin activity, etc.

But, even though the P3 plugin could show slightly different results every time you perform a scan, it will still help you determine, over a period of time, which plugin uses a lot of resources.

What should you do to lower the plugin impact on your speed

  • Don’t use more plugins than you really need;
  • Don’t use a heavy coded, complex plugin if you don’t really need it. For example, don’t install a plugin like NextGEN Gallery if you only need a small and simple gallery plugin;
  • If a plugin consumes a lot of resources and affects your site’s speed, look for alternatives;
  • Avoid installing plugins that are outdated and not compatible with the latest WordPress version.

Conclusion

Plugins are very helpful, but some of them can negatively impact your site, especially your speed. So, always check their performance, and if you see a plugin that is resource intensive, check for alternatives, or just delete it if you can “live” without it.

If you decide to use the P3 Plugin Performance Profiler, please share your results with us by leaving a comment! Thanks!


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