One of our main reasons for being such fangirls for WordPress is because of the opportunity to add plugins. If you’ve ever wanted to add e-commerce to your site, track stats with Google Analytics, or incorporate an email newsletter, chances are you’ve turned to a plugin for help. We joke that there’s a plugin for everything–but it’s kind of true.
Before you go crazy and start installing ALL THE PLUGINS, it’s important to remember that plugins are designed to add functionality fairly quickly and easily, to any WordPress site. This means that plugins aren’t customized to work with your site’s theme, and that’s where problems can arise.
If your plugin and your theme aren’t getting along, they can cause your site to load slower. Although this sounds like a minor problem, site load time plays a huge factor in user experience. It’s also one of the factors Google uses in determining a site’s SEO ranking. Think about it like this: when you put a search term like “kale salad” into your search bar, Google’s search engine scours the Internet to find the best possible result. Some of the factors Google uses to determine what makes one result better than another are credibility, content, and yep, you guessed–page load time.
If your plugin and your theme aren't getting along, they can cause your site to load slower & decrease your SEO ranking.
Knowing all that, it’s easy to understand why it’s super important that your plugins aren’t slowing your site down. The slower your site, the sadder your search ranking will be, and the less people will end up visiting your site. So what’s the fix? It may sound counterintuitive, but the answer is another plugin. It’s called P3, which stands for Plugin Performance Profiler. Installing P3 can help you determine which plugins are hurting and which are helping your site, and from there you can decide which you can get rid of and which you can’t live without.
And for those who are afraid that P3 will try to convince them to get rid of all of their beloved plugins–remember that you can always custom code functionality into your site. You may need to work with a developer, but any code that is created custom for your site will definitely jive with your theme better than any plugin ever could.