wordpress plugins

I think that one of the major WordPress‘ strengths becomes, in the long run, one of its major weaknesses: its plugins! As you may already know, WordPress is an extremely powerful blogging platform. This power comes from the plugins, which adapt and extend the platform, making possible almost anything you can think of. Plugins are no more than a small (or not-that-small) software components you can install into your site to get more functionalities. There are tons of plugins available in the WordPress official plugin directoryA/B Testing, advanced (and simplified) SEO management, e-commerce site deployment and management, forms, galeries, … As I said, anything is possible using plugins. Thus, why am I saying they will be a problem for you?

It is obvious that installing a plugin has an impact on the page loading time of your site. Just think for a second about the following scenario. Let’s assume that a user that wants to read a post in our blog has to wait 1 second before the content is fully loaded in his browser. When he asks for the post, a lot of things are happening under the hood: his browser makes a query to our server asking for the post, our server has to get the data from the database and prepare the HTML code we will return the user, the browser then receives the HTML and interprets it, rendering the page and requesting all the assets (images and scripts)… quite complex, isn’t it?

Let’s assume, now, that we install a new plugin in our WordPress for showing 5 related posts. Clearly, this plugin will make things a little bit slower: now, when a user wants to read a post, the plugin has to search five related entries in the database and include them in the resulting HTML code. Moreover, if the plugin includes a CSS file for styling the related post list, the browser has to make a new request to obtain this CSS and, then, apply it. In other words, what originally took 1 second, it now takes 1.01 seconds.

You may be thinking “0.1 seconds is not that much”. And you’re right, it isn’t. The problems when we are talking about 0.1 seconds from one plugin, 0.25 from another, 0.05 of a third one… the issue here is that every single plugin we install contributes to make things a little bit slowly and, in the end, the page that used to take 1 second to load, now it takes 3.

Plugin Organizer is a simple plugin for WordPress that permits you to, essentially, (a) setup the order in which plugins are loaded, and (b) select which plugins are active and which are not for each page/post of our WordPress. Thus, for example, we will be able to enable our Contact Forms plugin only for those pages that contain a form, and disable it for any other page in the website.

Plugin Organizer Screenshot
Plugin Organizer is a plugin that permits you to enable/disable plugins on a per-page basis.

I do encourage you to install and test the plugin. It doesn’t matter how many plugins you have installed right now: the fewer plugins, the easier it will be for you to configure the plugin ;-) Test it and share your experience with us!

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