30+ WordPress plugins that can use a lot of server resources and/or can slow down your site

WordPress plugins that use a lot of server resources and/or slow down your site
(Last Updated On: 11/09/2019)

Introduction

IN the post’s scope

Post’s intention is to HELP those people who have real speed problems on their sites with some of the below stated plugins by giving them some options/alternatives to try to solve those issues. 

Under different configurations, on different hosts, with some incompatible plugins installed, some plugins may cause issues that are otherwise hard to replicate. In that case this list may be helpful and serve as a troubleshooting guide to find an alternative solution or resolve those issues.

NOT in the post’s scope

In this post we list some of the popular WordPress plugins that can use a lot of server resources and/or can slow down your site. 
Post’s intention is NOT about proving that some plugins are 100% causing speed (or other resources) issues on web sites for majority of people, this is not a “blacklist” for plugins on it but rather “some users recommend if you’re having weird speed issues and have one of these plugins installed, try disabling it and see what happens, if some of the listed plugins are the culprit… or not”.
Usage of some plugins stated below on your site doesn’t mean that your site would automatically have a speed issue, especially if plugins are properly configured/setup.

Information sources for this post 

Information collected in this document is based on the admins’ personal experiences, personal experiences from users in many Quality WordPress Groups on Facebook, and from the companies that offer speed up services, on various hostings/setups/configurations environments in general.

General solutions

General solutions how to solve issues on your site caused by the particular plugins – problems could be solved in the following ways:
  • properly plugins configuration/setup, valid for majority of plugins
  • completely uninstalling problematic plugins, if possible, e.g. not needing plugins’ features
  • replacing the problematic plugins with the other plugins, if plugins’ features are needed
  • replacing the problematic plugins with the other tools, if plugins’ features are needed
  • using specialized plugins for site’s optimization, such as  Swift performanceWP RocketWP Fastest Cache, and many others depending on the personal preferences and projects’ needs.

Speed Up guide

If you wanna check some of the plugins’ impacts, you could see here.

However, the best approach would be to use speed up tools or install speed up plugins to check some plugins performances:

If you are interested to learn more on How to speed up WordPress website from the non-technical perspective, you can check our WordPress Speed Up guide.

If you have some concrete speed up questions or comments/inputs on this post, please be free to join us in the
WordPress Speed Up group on Facebook
,
with more than 6.000 knowledgeable and helpful members, and ask your questions.

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    • Swift Performance optimization freemium plugin 
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    • Use its Alternative Cache plugin
    • The host/server that uses memcached or Redis
    • ACF paid plugin
    • Toolset paid plugin
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    • Completely uninstall plugin
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    • Proper plugin’s configuration & optimization
    • Swift Performance optimization freemium plugin 
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If you have some concrete speed up questions or comments/inputs on this post, please be free to join us in the
WordPress Speed Up group on Facebook,
with more than 6.000 knowledgeable and helpful members, and ask your questions.

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Adam
03/12/2017 12:35

Another great Yoast SEO replacement is The SEO Framework, we have been road testing it for several weeks. It’s simple and lightweight, but does everything Yoast does.

This is a great post though for a lot of alternatives.

Ivica D
Admin
03/12/2017 12:48
Reply to  Adam

Thank you Adam, for your kind words. Good luck with your business activities!

Freethinker
13/04/2018 10:56

Even my website hosted in the managed cloud hosting now, I will stay away from those bloated plugins.

Scott Kingsley Clark
07/08/2018 20:11

I see that Pods is listed here, but it’s suggested to use ACF or Types instead. I’m curious, what benchmarks did you use to determine Pods uses too many resources? And what benchmarks did you use to compare ACF, Types, and Pods against each other?

Ivica D
Admin
07/08/2018 21:30

Hi Scott, thank you for your comment. For this particular plugin I didn’t have personal experiences nor did I perform tests on my own, but as I wrote below, I collected feedbacks from the numerous users who shared their personal experiences & solutions in the many WordPress groups I admin on Facebook and especially from WordPress Speed Up group. “Information sources for this post:  Information collected in this document is based on the admins’ personal experiences, personal experiences from users in many Quality WordPress Groups on Facebook, and from the companies that offer speed up services, on various hostings/setups/configurations –… Read more »

Scott Kingsley Clark
07/08/2018 22:09
Reply to  Ivica D

Thanks for the clarification, so it appears this is just a digest of general issues people have reported. I’m not sure how helpful this list is without actual benchmarking and detailed analysis. Because recommending other plugins that exhibit the same issues isn’t really the right solution here.

I won’t dispute that Pods, ACF, Types, and other plugins like it can experience slow downs or resource issues with large configurations. Adding object caching to any of those plugins improves them quite a lot. I just don’t think this post does all of what it sets out to do.

Ivica D
Admin
07/08/2018 22:19

Thx for your opinion, I appreciate it, and post does help people while speeding up their sites, but I updated its purpose in order to be even more clearer: “NOT in the post’s scope: In this post we list some of the popular WordPress plugins that can use a lot of server resources and/or can slow down your site. Post’s intention is NOT about proving that some plugins are 100% causing speed (or other resources) issues on web sites for majority of people, this is not a “blacklist” for plugins on it but rather “some users recommend if you’re having… Read more »

Guy Milnes
Guy Milnes
02/10/2018 18:42

I found this list very useful. As a self employed photographer I don’t have time to read ‘detailed analysis’ nor am I very interested in why a plugin might slow down my site. I’m sure there are lots of articles for that. What I was looking for (and found) was info on plugins that may unknowingly be slowing down my site with alternative suggestions to try. Thank you Ivica for that…

Ivica D
Admin
07/10/2018 15:10
Reply to  Guy Milnes

Thank you for your kind words!

Rhonda
Rhonda
17/11/2018 23:43

I have been using many of these plugins for a long time. I never knew that they were resource heavy. This article was very helpful.

Dean
Dean
16/05/2019 19:41

thanks for this great post

Lukasz
08/06/2019 19:27

Useful list. Is anywhere similar list about bloated theme that should not be used?

Ivica D
Admin
19/06/2019 23:27
Reply to  Lukasz

I am afraid I haven’t seen such a list, so far.

Scott
Scott
09/07/2019 17:17

This could use some updating. For example, NextGEN Gallery was once (a very long time ago) slow and a strain on some shared servers. But now it’s not and is actually the fastest of all gallery plugins.

Ivica D
Admin
11/09/2019 10:19
Reply to  Scott

I can agree with your statement as I saw some test results so NextGEN Gallery plugin is removed from this list. 🙂

Scott
Scott
11/09/2019 16:37
Reply to  Ivica D

Thank you very much!