See Which WordPress Plugins Are Slowing Down Your Blog


WordPress is great for being open-source. Anyone can contribute new themes and plugins, and a lot of people do. There is an immense supply of plugins — currently there are more than 35,000 listed at And there are many more that are not listed there.

Unfortunately, such a level of variability comes at a price. Not all WordPress plugins play well with each other or with all WordPress themes. And not all WordPress plugins are well-coded either.

One way this can show up is that your blog loads very slowly.

Without using any advanced debugging techniques, there is one simple tool anyone can use to find the culprit. It is called Plugin Performance Profiler.

Install Plugin

To install the plugin, go to WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New. Type Plugin Performance Profiler into the search box located in the upper right corner of the window and press Enter.


P3 — Plugin Performance Profiler

Click on the Install Now button next to the plugin’s name.

WordPress will ask for your confirmation whether you are sure you want to install the plugin. Click OK in the pop-up.

WordPress will now download the plugin’s installation package from to your hosting server, unpack it, and add it to your WordPress installation.

Once the plugin is installed you will be able to activate it by clicking on Activate Plugin.

After this, you can access the Plugin Performance Profiler via WordPress Dashboard > Tools > P3 Plugin Profiler.

Scan Site

In the plugin’s page, click on the Start Scan button. Then, in the pop-up window, simply click Auto Scan.

P3 Plugin Profiler will scan your site within a few seconds and create a log about the results. To view them, click on View Results.

There are several views available here, such as Runtime by Plugin, Detailed Breakdown, Simple Timeline, Detailed Timeline, Query Timeline, and Advanced Metrics.


Detailed Timeline


Runtime by Plugin

As you can see, in my case 99% of the page load time is consumed by three plugins:

  1. Exec-PHP,
  2. Shareaholic, and
  3. the Plugin Performance Profiler itself.

The load time of is quite good, so there is really nothing to do here.

Make Changes

Just to see how different the results would be, I decided to temporarily deactivate the Exec-PHP plugin.

Here is what happened: the total load time actually increased from 0.5614 seconds to 0.5889 seconds, Shareaholic took the place of Exec-PHP and Jetpack took the place of Shareaholic in the pie. The P3 Plugin Profiler remained roughly at the same level.

The increase in load time must be, however, taken with a grain of salt as the margin of error is more than 50%. My verdict was that Exec-PHP had no detrimental effect on the overall page load time of my site and I immediately reactivated it.

And this is exactly why the Plugin Performance Profiler is so useful. It visualizes things that we are possibly unaware of. Usually, there is one plugin that stands out like a sore thumb and needs to be dealt with to improve overall site performance.

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