Free plugins are my weakness, I admit it.
My second big weakness after free plugins? Paid plugins!
I love plugins because I don’t have to code.
I love plugins because you can try them out, turn them on and off, update them, delete them.
I love plugins because they do amazing stuff!
Currently, this site, which uses the Twenty Ten theme, also has more than 50 plugins. Some are active all the time. Some plugins I turn on to make tests, and then turn them off.
Plugins are like Lego blocks for my blog, and I get a kick out of building on new functions that have modded the standard issue Twenty Ten into the site you are reading.
But free plugins (and the ones you pay for) have a downside. Each one slows down your site’s loading speed.
Not all plugins are created equal — some are slow or “heavy” users of resources and some are fast and “light.”
I just bought an interesting plugin called WP HypnoLinks.
I wanted to know whether WP HypnoLinks is heavy or light.
To find out the performance speed of WP Hypnolinks I used yet another free plugin called P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) from GoDaddy.
P3 is one of those plugins you activate for testing and then deactivate.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) tells you how much time each active plugin takes to load. You simply run a scan and look at the load time data for each plugin.
P3 tattles on your free plugins and paid plugins, beloved and marginal, with icy objectivity.
The pie chart above shows the relative slowness of plugins as reported by P3.
Remember, I am checking the loading speed of WP HypnoLinks.
The good news: WP HypnoLinks doesn’t even show up among the heavier, slower plugins!
But how light is light?
P3 let’s us look deeper and give the exact cost of each plugin.
Here we discover that WP HypnoLinks is super light.
Notice that none of my current plugins takes more than half a second to load.
Total load time is 1.58 seconds. I can live with that.
I once had other free plugins that I removed because they were too heavy.
P3 told on those slow plugins and I fired them!
By the way, P3 is the kind of plugin that you deactivate once testing is done.
Have you tried P3? How about WP HypnoLinks? What’s your favorite free plugin and how fast does it load? Leave a comment!
Update 2013 — See the improvements in load time