WordPress plugins and how they have been affecting your website performance

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WordPress plugins and how they have been affecting your website performance

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 23:15
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Do you know where to stop?

WordPress is currently the leader of all CMS platforms with about 30% market share. Millions of websites now run on WordPress. This open-source platform is making the world of web design a better place for everyone. This builder has the power to take care of every user's need and the visitors to each website. It has the simplest backend management and frontend customization options among all open source and closed source CMSs. It is the ease of customization and the simplicity that drives website developers towards WordPress indiscriminately. If you are planning to use WordPress for building your business website, you should brace yourself for the host of features and plugins that the platform offers.

How do plug-ins help us love WordPress more?

Another reason website designers are always in love with WordPress is the extensive customization options. Several CMS platforms like Joomla and Drupal need users to dabble in codes to make minor adjustments, include new features and enable new functions. WordPress demands no such thing. In fact, it has thousands of plug-ins in its repository. Installing each plug-in is a minute's work and updating takes no added effort. 

From search engine optimization to header and footer management, you can find plug-ins for every need. These are usually third-party products. Even though the CMS platforms are free to download and install, some of the premium plug-ins cost a pretty buck or two. Even then, Custom Software Development with WordPress is cost effective. 

Why is there a truck with the numbers?

Website developers often indulge a bit too much when it comes to plug-in selection and installation. Plug-ins can affect your website’s performance. They can enhance a particular feature or add completely new functions to your website. For example – Yoast SEO can make your site more in tune for Google searches, but the WooCommerceplug-in can add shopping carts to turn it into an e-commerce site. All of this sounds very simple to the beginners, up until the face the task of choosing the right set of plug-ins for their website.

The plug-ins come from different independent developers and firms. As a result, there are several distinct and popular plug-ins with overlapping functions. We have found more than one website with 40 to 50 SEO plug-ins, and then again, we have chanced upon a few websites with more than 100plug-ins for optimization. Since SEO is multi-faceted, it is quite impossible to find the ONE plug-in that works for all. The second plug-in you choose can cover for the deficits of the first one. Choosing more than one plug-in is pretty common with WordPress users, but knowing where to stop is not.

How many is too many: The relationship between numbers and performance

In fact, there is a fully functioning website with 637 plug-ins! Although unbelievable, it is true. It is quite astonishing to see a website running perfectly smoothly with such a bulk.  So how is that website still loading and functioning with the incredible load?

  • Plug-ins usually alter the number of HTTP requests and create additional queries to the database. In the event of too many plug-ins, your frontend plug-ins are likely to generate innumerable HTTP requests. This works as a request-response communication between the server and the client. As you can understand, when there is a number of plug-ins, the frequency of generation of the HTTP requests also increases. This can always slow your website down. However, unless you need lightning fast speed for your website, a few HTTP requests should not be the challenge. Nonetheless, you should perform website traffic simulation tests and load speed tests from time to time to check the performance of your site upon addition or removal of plug-ins.
  • Next in line are database queries. Several plug-ins create a number of database queries. When you employ a plug-in that uses the main database for storing information, each time your website needs the plug-in’s assistance, the plug-in will generate new queries to fetch information from the database. Additional queries will increase the load on your website server. It is imperative to choose plug-ins that have reliable codes. Always pick the ones with robust user reviews. Any plug-in that slows your website down is simply not worth the trouble. Ironically, you can check the current levels of your plug-in-database engagement with another WordPress plug-in.

While choosing your plug-ins for your open source free CMS always remember that the real cost of the plug-in is the UX. A free third-party plug-in that slows your website loading speed down by 3 or 4 seconds might drive away over 50% of your traffic. At this point, you need to ask yourself if you are ready to pay such a huge price to save a few bucks. The number of plug-ins does not correspond to the enhancement of user experience. Nonetheless, if you tend to find security in numbers, always find a good hosting service and decent server speed before following the footsteps of the 637-plug-in-website owner.

A vital thought before your install the next plug-in

There are quite some experienced developers, who believe that the number of plug-ins does not affect the performance or speed of a website. With WordPress, that might not be true. While we have tried reaching a definitive conclusion about the nature of the interaction between the sheer number of plug-ins and the performance of a site, it seems quite impossible due to the sheer variation in hardware that support websites across the world. Just like the plug-ins, not all hardware settings and resources are the same. Therefore, the same set of plug-ins can have different effects on different setups.

Just in case, you are at a loss; you should consult a WordPress website development expert before installing a bunch of plug-ins. It is likely that you will find pertinent advice in the WordPress community and forums, after all, that is why you have been rooting for WordPress all along! It is one of the greatest pleasures of an open source CMS that no one can deny.

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