The Ultimate List of Slow WordPress Plugins (Stay Away From These)


Everyone has the same question: do plugins slow down WordPress?

The short answer is that every plugin can slow down your site, even by a tiny percentage. Using lightweight plugins is a way to reduce the impact on the performance of your website. Small plugins are usually high-quality and thin. They only add a few code lines and features. Using the proper plugins can prevent the bloat and errors that come with extensive, heavier plugins. Prevent using plugins that repeat features.

I noticed many popular plugins, which may be why an entire website runs slowly. It can get worse if there are more of these on your site. Also, you likely installed them because they have a positive rating and millions of users. But they are never ranked based on site speed. People love gimmicks and a plethora of features, and they get favorable reviews.

If you notice one of the slow WordPress plugins, remove it or find an alternate one. You should realize plugins have features that overlap. Don’t use plugins for overrunning.

What is overlap features mean?

If you already use SEO plugins like Yoast, Rank Math, Squirrly SEO, All in One SEO, SEOPress, etc., they can create sitemaps without a separate sitemap plugin.

You don’t need image optimization plugins if you already use CDNs like Cloudflare Pro, Bunny, KeyCDN, Fastly, etc. Also, you can optimize images before you upload them.

You don’t really need any comment plugins; just use the native comment section.

If your host already creates backups, you don’t need backup plugins.

Use a redirection plugin only when necessary. Even with CDNs, you can do it or without plugins using server configuration or htaccess. Or use your SEO plugin.

How to recognize slow WordPress plugins

Slow plugins mean that many unnecessary functions are packed into a single plugin. There are tools and plugins; you can see this in the GTmetrix waterfall results. Query Monitor is a favored plugin for detecting slow plugins and themes. Still, it slows down your site, especially on the back end. And you can see it with your own eyes.

Better Alternatives:

  • Page/Site Builders: Gutenberg, Oxygen, LiveCanvas
  • SEO: SEO Framework, SEOPress, Slim SEO
  • Caching: FlyingPress, LiteSpeed Cache, WP Rocket, Swift Performance
  • Asset optimization: PerfMatters (PAID), Unbloater, Debloater, Gonzales (PAID)
  • Backup: Use your web host, BackWPup, or Manually.
  • Security: Cloudflare, Antispam Bee, WPS Hide Login, Limit Login Attempts
  • Image Optimization: Do it Manually with Ezgif or other online platforms. Use CDNs or plugins like ShortPixel or Converter for Media.
  • Database Optimization: WP Optimize OR Advanced Database Cleaner
  • Form Plugins: Happyforms, Fluent Forms
  • Share Plugins: Use the default theme feature or Scriptless Social or Grow Social.
  • Themes: GeneratePress, Blocksy, Zakra, Kadence

Page Builders

Slow Page Builders

It’s true that every page builder, not just Elementor, creates much more scripts (extra code lines) than Gutenberg. Pagebuilders are basically small management systems within larger CMSs, including WordPress, with their structure, design, and configurations.

I’m not stating that Page Builders can’t provide good UX and page speed, but you must be especially wary about hosting, so I’d recommend a cloud VPS with 4GB+ RAM. They are the most common reasons for slow WordPress sites with plenty of bloated features.

This means that page builders add many exaggerated and slow down your site on both the front and back ends. Here are other page builders’ hits on memory and PageSpeed:

  • Elementor
  • Beaver Builder
  • Divi Builder
  • Brizy
  • Avada
  • King Composer
  • Site Origin
  • WPBakery
  • Visual Composer 
  • Thrive Architect

If you want to use Elementor/Divi/BB or another page builder on your website, you should host it on high-speed servers with at least 4GB RAM. However, loading on a slow server with flawed codes and a complex structure can take longer, even 15-20 seconds.

Pagebuilders are designed for beginners, as it is obvious that popular websites do not use them. They bloat your website with inbuilt codes, gimmick effects, hidden links, and hidden codes. Page builders require extra plugins/addons to work all functions. You already know that if you use Elementor, you need to install extra plugins to get full creations, which increases loading times and cracks the website’s user experience.

If you want faster loading times and performance, Gutenberg is the way to go. It’s free! A few excellent page builders like Zion, Cwicly, Oxygen, and others are out there. They provide outstanding performance and simplicity. Perhaps they might beat Gutenberg.

Security Plugins

Slow Security Plugins

Security plugins may be the most common cause of a slow website for both the dashboard and the front end. Because they try to surpass each other in marketing by packing every feature. Some features are unrelated to security and should not be contained in a plugin.

Here are popular security plugins significant impact on website speed:

  • Shield Security
  • Anti Malware Security
  • iThemes Security
  • Wordfence
  • Defender
  • All in One Security
  • Bulletproof

Scanner and firewall plugins are the leading causes of slowdown because they handle PHP and critical system files. They will add many codes and background processes, making your website incredibly slow. Before using security plugins, make sure you have enough server resources. And stay away from security plugins on shared hosting.

You know you cannot use security plugins if your site is hosted on a premium managed host like Rocket.Net, Kinsta, Servebolt, or others. Because they already have security measures and technology at home. It also has more security steps than plugins.

Most managed hosts banned security plugins because of slow performance related to scans and bloated features. Read my article about security plugins for more details.

Analytics Plugins

Slow Analytics Plugins

All analytics and statistics plugins slow down your website because they load scripts on every page, and some use third-party codes. A suitable way to serve analytics is to use Google analytics and search console because you don’t want to install plugins.

If you use Query Monitor or other statistical data plugins, be sure to remove them when you’re finished because they acces your website core stuff, which can expand memory and processor usage and have a noticeable impact on page speed.

Here are some prevalent analytics/statistics plugins that slow down your website:

  • Site Kit
  • MonsterInsights
  • Koko Analytics
  • WP Statistics
  • Matomo Analytics
  • Query Monitor
  • Analytify
  • ExactMetrics
  • Burst Statistics
  • Etc.

Hence, the best way to avoid problems is to prevent bloated analytics plugins.

Social Sharing Plugins

Slow Social Sharing Plugins

Social sharing plugins can slow down your WordPress website in various ways, and I wouldn’t use most of them. They’re incredibly bloated, with all the features for where to put the icons and show design, graphics, fonts, and symbols—much nonsense.

They’re focused on beginners who love dazzling tricks.

Stay away from these social sharing plugins:

What is the ideal method for setting up social share buttons?

Use the default theme feature; many themes contain social share functions, even in the free version, and you won’t need to install extra bloated plugins. However, it provides fewer features than plugins, but it is the fastest and easy way to display social icons.

What about your theme’s lack of social sharing functions?

First, social sharing is a gimmick, and if you want a clean and professional site, you can realize it with a smooth web design. Social sharing is not a critical element.

Second, you can use a plugin with a minor impact on page speed and UX, like Scriptless social share, Social Pug, Grow social, or paid plugins like Novashare.

SEO Plugins

Slow SEO Plugins

SEO plugins are another significant cause of slow websites, as they perform critical tasks and provide bloated features you do not require. They also mess up your database and test more SEO features than others. I think SEO plugins are now more useless than before. Some are super bloated and have a few plugins that only do SEO.

  • The SEO Framework: Yes, it’s a very lightweight plugin with the correct number of features. Clean and without the bloat. Simple and doesn’t try to handle every aspect of your website. Just page optimization.
  • SEOPress: A good alternative to RankMath and YOAST, but with some bloated features and excessive database entries.
  • Yoast: In terms of audience and aggressive marketing, this is the most popular SEO plugin. Yoast is bloated and the slowest plugin; it comes with numerous ads on the Dashboard but lacks essential features.
  • Rank Math: another popular plugin, an all-in-one plugin with Schema. It’s bloated and has a lot of autoloads(database). Deactivate unused modules if you use Rank Math.
  • All in One SEO: Looks like another Yoast, with many coding lines/ads, and feels bloated.

Even tiny SEO plugins can slow down your website because they load on every page. Other plugins, like Schema Pro, Table of content, Broken Link Checker, etc., may harm page speed. So, with the minimum possible impact on page speed, use SEO Framework or Rank Math. Deactivate unused addons on Rank Math because they mess up the database.

Comment Plugins

Slow WordPress Comment Plugins

Why do you use third-party comment plugins when you’ve got a native comment feature?

Comment plugins are another common cause of slow sites because they contain third-party code, ads, and bloated content. Even 50 comments on a single post can take its toll on your site speed and make it less attractive. Yes, the WordPress comments scheme is quick and free but loads many at once. However, you can limit the number of comments.

Disqus is a third-party commenting platform that isn’t entirely free and bloated. The main weakness is that it loads third-party codes on all webpage, even if they lack comments.

I like the Facebook comment plugin is an excellent and cost-free option. It is suitable for a large number of comments/discussions, and it does not show all replies simultaneously. However, the same problem exists due to third-party loads. I chose WordPress’s native comment design because fast and reliable and can customize things.

Backup Plugins

Slow Backup Plugins

Why do you use backup plugins when your host already creates backups?

Backup or clone plugins are only required for specific reasons, such as migration or instant backups, because many hosts provide backup features even on low-cost plans. They can also disrupt your performance and waste the resources you have.

Yes, some hosts do not offer or charge for backup. However, if you want backup plugins for regular use, ensure you have enough server resources because plugins like WPvivid, UpdraftPlus, BackupWordPress, BackupBuddy, and others slow down like hell.

Redirection Plugins

 slow Redirection Plugins

Redirection plugins route users through PHP and seem similar to putting a guy in front of your website, checking everyone’s before letting them enter.

They are some kind of overlap because you don’t need it; you can use htacces. Use your SEO plugin, as many modern SEO plugins include the redirection feature.

Redirection plugins slow down your website’s pages, not just selected pages. If you want a redirection plugin, I only prefer “Safe Redirect Manager,” but it is still unnecessary.

Membership Plugins

Membership Plugins

Unfortunately, membership plugins are unsuitable for fast web performance, but if you have a site with significant members, you need to use them. There are a few plugins you can optimize, like MemberPress, Restrict Content, WishList Member, etc.

But most membership plugins are poor, have crappy, unattractive, overblown UX, and lack helpful elements. Simply install them, and you’ll see. Stop wasting more time. Slow plugins can be challenging when using Adsense alternatives or ad networks on your website.

Cache Plugins

 slow Cache Plugins

Yes, it’s a bit of a joke because we use cache plugins to speed up WordPress websites. Sometimes cache plugins are the leading cause for slowing down your websites, and I’ve noticed two reasons for this: one, lousy cache plugins, and two, misconfigurations.

Some caching plugins, such as A2 Optimized, WP Super Cache, WP-Optimize, Clearfy Cache, Hummingbird, Comet Cache, WP Fastest Cache, etc., slow down rather than speed up your website. Because they are poorly coded or have too many autoloads and bloated features that are not part of the cache or WordPress asset optimizations.

Another reason for the slowdown is misconfigurations, common among beginners because they don’t know where to start. Also, some plugins lacked clear documentation.

Most popular cache plugins, such as W3 Total Cache, LiteSpeed Cache, SWIFT performance, and SG Optimizer, can easily be misconfigured. Because of too many features and a complex user interface, even average users can be stuck.

A few cache plugins are lightweight and super easy to set up, like FlyingPress, because they are tiny but have all the features you need and are straightforward to set up.

WP Rocket is also famous, but it lacks some essential features. If you want to free ones, use the LiteSpeed cache for LiteSpeed users. It is entirely free and has a lot of features, but it is challenging to set up for beginners. Swift Performance, Cache Enabler, Breeze, and SiteGround Optimizer work well with their respective environments.

Pop-up Plugins

Pop-up Plugins

Yes, another slow WordPress plugin category that I never even use.

I hate pop-ups and even ads. These plugins are bloated and painfully slow. If your site receives a lot of traffic, avoid using these. Because UX will go downhill fast.

There are numerous popular plugins, such as Thrive Leads, OptinMonster, Bloom, Sumo, Convert Pro, etc. But all I can say is that they’ll ruin the user experience on your website.

Asset Optimization Plugins

asset optimization plugins

Some asset optimization plugins may cause your website to slow down, and most of the time, this is because of incorrect configuration. Plugins like Async JavaScript, Asset CleanUp, Flying Scripts, Autoptimize, and others are not always suitable for all sites.

Page builders and other crappy plugins and themes can lead to performance issues that optimizer plugins cannot fix. Some builders, themes, and plugins use too much CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, which may expand the total size and harm performance.

Asset optimization plugins may work well in some circumstances, but they can break or slow down your website, and you must be aware of what you are doing with them.

Asset optimization plugins are unnecessary if you use cache plugins like FlyingPress or LiteSpeed Cache. However, if you want to use them safest options are PerfMatters (PAID), Unbloater (FREE), Debloater (FREE), Plugin load filter, and Gonzales (PAID). They’re useful but not required if your themes and plugins are already improved and well-coded.

Image Optimization Plugins

Slow Image Optimization Plugins

Image optimization plugins aren’t necessary if you think about it first. Most of the time, they are garbage and load countless queries on every page. You get unattractive images or compressed files. The user interface is also tricky to use and too bloated.

For example, you can do it manually by resizing images to the exact determined area. You can use third-party software like Photoshop, Ezgif, and Cloud Convert.

Suppose you already use CDN services like BunnyCDN, KeyCDN, Cloudflare’s Paid Version, FlyingCDN, and Fastly. In that case, you don’t need image optimization plugins because they can do it at the edge without slowing down your website.

I hate greedy sales promotion, and I see a lot of carbon copy plugins. Kraken, WP Smush, and EWWW Image Optimizer are poor and keep configurations in your database after uninstallation. Yes, there are good plugins, like ShortPixel, but the majority are crap.


jetpack slow WordPress plugin

Jetpack is another crappy plugin that slows down your website even with all features inactive. You also don’t require many of its functionalities. It’s top-heavy and adds excessive scripts to your website. Of course, you don’t really need Jetpack.

More or less, every Jetpack feature is replaceable with some other plugin. It’s silly to see how they encourage it like it’s a required WordPress plugin. Another thing is that it is repeatedly trying to encourage its paid services. Provide free features just to gain access to a website, then trick people into considering they should buy premium when inside.

See Jetpack’s features, and each part is just bloated. There is no unique stuff. It just adds more weight to your website rather than being useful. You’ll be just fine without Jetpack.

Test it out for yourself. It will slow down your website, especially on shared hosting.

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is another popular plugin, but it loads all scripts on every page with plenty of autoload. You can test it, and I think it is the worst contact plugin ever created.

Various powerful WordPress form plugins are far better than Contact Form 7, like WP Fluent Forms, because it only loads on pages with forms with other impressive features.

Another big problem with Contact Form 7 is that it does not save submissions by default. To save and manage CF7 messages, you should set up another plugin called “Contact Form 7 Database Addon.” It is the worst-case, and there is no need to explain why your site is slowing down like hell, resulting in poor performance and clashing with other plugins.

Facebook for WooCommerce

Facebook for WooCommerce

The official WooCommerce Facebook plugin connects your WooCommerce site to Facebook. However, it is one of the slow WordPress plugins. You can understand why I listed this plugin in this article by reading its reviews rather than what I have to say.

Mailchimp for WooCommerce

Mailchimp for WooCommerce

This is the official Mailchimp plugin for WooCommerce integration, and like the Facebook plugin, it gains poor ratings primarily for slowing down websites. However, you can test the plugin to see how it affects page speed and the dashboard. It’s a shame that many official plugins have errors and poor performance, not just Mailchimp. Other official plugins with bugs and inferior versions include Facebook, Cloudflare, MailPoet, and others.

Site Kit by Google

Site Kit by Google

I use Google Site Kit on my website; unfortunately, this plugin slows down your website slightly, especially on shared hosting. However, if you have a good web host, Site Kit will have a minimal impact. Also, you don’t need Site Kit because all its features can be configured manually without causing page speed. Yet, Site Kit does it automatically, and the dashboard displays some important SEO and analytical statistics.

I like Site Kit plugin because it helps me realize Google’s products in one place, how SEO works, and any progress or fall. Also, it is a simple way to configure your G-Analytics and Search Console, but it is recommended not to use Google’s Site Kit on shared hosting.


Perhaps there are other slow WordPress plugins that I haven’t mentioned. Nevertheless, the safest solution is always to try to do things manually or with small plugins.

One-task plugins are a fantastic option for fast web performance because they are less bloated and don’t try to do everything. If a plugin has a lot of users, re-coding or optimizing speed becomes impossible because it will affect dozens of existing sites that use it.

This can be why super-bloated plugins cannot optimize their reign. They realize what it takes to update their plugin to make it far better, but it’s too late to fix it. There is little way to completely gap current settings and lines while placing an updated version.

When deciding which plugins to add, look for quality and modern ones with constant updates that provide the critical features your website requires. Avoid adding plugins for the same features that are not crucial to the website. It is essential for maintaining a fast and effective website. The solution to keeping your website speedy and practical is to manage each plugin and analyze how well it performs. Keep up your performance.

Now it’s your turn to tell me about your experiences, thoughts, or other slow plugins.

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Madushan Bandara
Madushan Bandara

Hey, I’m Madushan. I write helpful tutorials and reviews on WordPress, hosting, design, blogging, tools, marketing, monetization, etc. Check out more from the about page.

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