75 Slow WordPress Plugins That Impact PageSpeed + CPU Usage

Avoid these 75 WordPress plugins and your website will load faster.

Some plugins load slow on the frontend while others create resource-intensive background processes that increase CPU. This is common when plugins collect statistics (and other data), create backups, or generate large database tables which can be measured with WP-Optimize.

This list was made with the help of the WP Hive Chrome Extension which shows a plugin’s impact on memory usage and PageSpeed. However, I adjusted the results since WP Hive doesn’t take into account frontend CSS/JS/fonts loading when you actually display plugin content on the frontend. For example, even though WP Hive says Elementor doesn’t impact PageSpeed, it’s extra CSS/JS/fonts do once you start actually building your site in Elementor.

I also took into account Ivica’s list of slow plugins from the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group page, as well as testing many WordPress sites using these plugins in Chrome Dev Tools.

PluginCategoryMemory ImpactPageSpeed Impact
AnyWhere ElementorPage BuilderX
Backup BuddyBackupX
Beaver BuilderPage BuilderXX
Booking CalendarCalendarXX
Broken Link CheckerSEOX
Caldera FormsContact FormX
Defender SecuritySecurityX
Divi Contact Form 7Page BuilderX
Divi BuilderPage BuilderXX
ElementorPage BuilderXX
Elementor Addon ElementsPage BuilderXX
Elementor Essential AddonsPage BuilderX
Elementor ExtrasContact FormX
Elementor Header & Footer BuilderPage BuilderX
Elementor Premium AddonsPage BuilderX
Elementor ProPage BuilderXX
Elementor Ultimate AddonsPage BuilderX
Essential GridGalleryX
Events CalendarCalendarXX
Events ManagerCalendarXX
Everest FormsContact FormX
Final Tiles GridGalleryXX
Fluent FormsContact FormX
ForminatorContact FormX
HappyformsContact FormX
iThemes SecuritySecurityX
JetElementsPage BuilderXX
Livemesh AddonsPage BuilderXX
Master AddonsPage BuilderXX
Menu Image, IconsMenuXX
Modern Events CalendarCalendarXX
NextGEN GalleryGalleryXX
Ninja FormsContact FormX
Orbit FoxPage BuilderX
Paid Memberships ProMembershipX
Post SMTP MailerEmailX
Photo Gallery by 10WebGalleryXX
Popup BuilderPopupXX
Popup MakerPopupXX
PowerPack LitePage BuilderXX
Prime SliderSliderXX
Query MonitorAnalyticsX
Responsive LightboxGalleryXX
Shield SecuritySecurityX
Site Kit by GoogleAnalyticsX
Slider RevolutionSliderXX
Slimstat AnalyticsAnalyticsX
Smart Slider 3SliderXX
Social Media Share ButtonsSocial SharingX
Social Share IconsSocial SharingX
Social WarfareSocial SharingXX
Structured ContentSocial SharingX
Titan Anti-spam & SecuritySecurityX
Total UpkeepBackupX
Ultimate MemberMembershipX
Unlimited ElementsPage BuilderXX
User MenusMenuX
Visual PortfolioGalleryXX
WP Google MapsMapsXX
WP AutoTermsCookieX
WP fail2banSecurityX
WPBakeryPage BuilderXX
WP Hide & Security EnhancerSecurityX
WP Mobile MenuMenuXX
WP StatisticsAnalyticsX
WPFormsContact FormX


Lightweight Plugin Alternatives

  • SEO – Rank Math.
  • BackupsUpdraftPlus.
  • Comments – native comments.
  • SlidersSoliloquy or MetaSlider.
  • Gallery – Gutenberg Gallery or Meow Gallery.
  • Analytics – Google Analytics + Google Search Console (ideally no plugins).
  • Social SharingGrow Social is a fast social sharing plugin with less requests.
  • Theme/Page Builder – GeneratePress, Oxygen, Gutenberg, Genesis, Kadence.
  • No plugin – many things can coded in CSS or be done manually without using a plugin.


Find Your Slowest Plugins

Use Query Monitor or New Relic to find your slowest plugins. Some tools like GTmetrix Waterfall only show slow plugins on the frontend even if they create heavy background processes. Delete Query Monitor when you’re done since the plugin itself can increase CPU.

Query Monitor
Slow wordpress plugins
New Relic
Usage - chrome dev tools
Chrome Dev Tools
Slow wordpress plugin waterfall
GTmetrix Waterfall
Wp hive
WP Hive


Disable Unused Plugin Addons, Modules, Settings, Usage Tracking

Deactivate all addons and modules you’re not currently using (Ultimate Elementor Addons, JetPack, or other robust plugins). Also disable usage tracking for plugins that collect statistics.



Selectively Disable Plugins

Use a plugin like Asset CleanUp or Perfmatters by Kinsta (recommend) to selectively disable plugins from pages/posts where they don’t need to load. Can significantly improve load times.


  • Disable slider plugin on pages that don’t use sliders
  • Disable rich snippets plugin on pages that don’t use rich snippets
  • Disable contact form plugin on pages that don’t have a contact form
  • Disable affiliate link management plugin on pages that don’t use aff links
  • Disable social sharing plugin on all pages (since it’s usually for blog posts)

Remove unused elementor css javascript


AWStats Helps Identify Sources Of High CPU/Bandwidth

AWStats is a tool built-in to most hosting cPanels that provides statistics on CPU usage. It tells you whether certain bots, images, downloaded files, and even IP addresses are consuming a lot of CPU. You can also use the WP Server Stats plugin but I think AWStats does an awesome job.

AWStats helps you find:

  • High bandwidth crawlers
  • High bandwidth IP addresses
  • High bandwidth download files
  • High bandwidth files (eg. images)
  • Total bandwidth usage (for monitoring)



Avoid Slow Plugins On Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is very limited on server resources.

If you’re running slow WordPress plugins and are experiencing slow server response times in PageSpeed Insights, 503 errors, or you’re exceeding CPU limits, I highly recommend skipping shared hosting all together and go with someone like Cloudways. This is especially true for WooCommerce sites which require extra scripts, styles, cart fragments, and often more plugins.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do plugins slow down WordPress?

Yes, some more than others. Robust and poorly coded plugins will definitely slow down your site while lightweight plugins with clean code will have minimal impact on load times.

Which plugins slow down WordPress?

Page builders, social sharing plugins, portfolios, backup, and statistics plugins are all notorious for slowing down WordPress. Three common culprits include Elementor, WooCommerce, and Jetpack.

How can I find my slowest plugins?

Use Query Monitor or New Relic to find your slowest plugins.

How do I make plugins load faster?

Use lightweight plugins, be minimal, and selectively disable plugins from loading on specific pages and posts using a plugin like Asset CleanUp or Perfmatters.

Do number of plugins matter?

Every plugin adds to your load time, it just depends how much. Using lightweight plugins is more important than reducing the number of plugins, but both are important.

See Also: Ultimate WordPress Speed Guide

If you found this tutorial helpful, a share is always appreciated :)


About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

45 thoughts on “75 Slow WordPress Plugins That Impact PageSpeed + CPU Usage

  1. Which plugin do you use for your forms? I agree regarding Contact Form 7; very interested in your suggestion for a lightweight alternative. Thanks Tom!

  2. This is huge!

    You’ve nailed it in this article. Great piece of advice.

    I chose WordPress and WooCommerce for all my website projects and clients’ project. The major reason behind this was user-friendly and the existence of a vast list of plugins. It was fun and worth it at the earlier stage. But later the website’s performance deteriorated.

    Removed several plugins, cleared revision drafts, coded with the help of a developer and fixed most of the speed issue while scaling.

    It really helped me a lot in improving my website user experience and SEO.

    I’ll strongly recommend this guide to my circle for sure.
    Keep up the good work Tom! ;)

  3. That’s a hefty and cool list of the slower plugins. I was always suspecting Word Fence and Broken Link Checker has lot of impact on slowing down of one of my site. Finally now i know, and uninstalled it and found the alternative from this post too.

    Thank you so much Tom :)

  4. Quick question: Why is “Elementor” listed twice? (see positions 14 and 15). Is Elementor really *that* slow? :)


        1. Yep, Elementor and WooCommerce slow down your site. Does that mean you shouldn’t use them? Not necessarily. I wanted a nice design so I used Elementor. Next redesign will likely be in Oxygen.

  5. Really well written article. Clear and easy to understand. Big thank you. I’m still in construction mode. Its taking me quite a while to build tbh.. so information like yours is extremely helpful. I know I can just shove a website online quickly, but what would be the point if it doesn’t run right from the start. Am keeping your website in an open tab to refer back to. Thank you again.

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