How To Turn Off Plugins – When it comes to WordPress performance, we have a lot to say about plugins. Each plugin adds PHP code to be executed, usually including scripts and styles, and may even execute additional queries against the database. This means that unnecessary plugins can affect site speed and have a negative impact on the user experience and your site ranking.
For example, consider a plugin that builds and displays custom forms on front pages, such as Contact Form 7. Usually you only need one form on one page, but at best it can You can embed a form on any page with the plugin’s shortcode. For this reason, Contact Form 7 loads scripts and styles on every page of your website.
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But do you want to run plugin code and include scripts and styles on every page of your WordPress website?
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In this post I will show you how to prevent unnecessary plugins from loading certain posts/pages, so you can install more plugins (don’t be crazy of course), and continue loading your WordPress website. To accomplish this task, we disable WordPress plugins programmatically on specific posts and pages. It’s a four-step process:
Selectively disabling WordPress plugins from loading specific pages/posts/sitewide can help speed up your site! 🚀 Click to tweet
Contact Form 7 is a great plugin that builds and displays WordPress forms. This provides a perfect example for our purposes, as it includes the following files on every page, even if the page has no form:
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A plugin can slow down your website, but we can force WordPress to selectively deactivate plugins depending on the requested URL. If youare a developer, read the next section where we will learn how to manage plugins and create a mu-plugin that filters out unnecessary plugins. If you are not a developer, feel free to jump to the section dedicated to plugins which allows you to filter and organize plugins.
First, you can get a list of all active plugins on your WordPress website with a simple snippet of PHP code. You can add the following code to a custom plugin, or to the editor of a free WordPress plugin like Code Snippet. If you decide to go with your custom plugin, don’t forget to add the plugin header as shown below.
Having done that, we can now continue or remove the plugins from the program by taking advantage of the
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Filtering. This filter belongs to the group option_$option_name filters, which allows filtering any option after it is retrieved from the database. Because all active plugins are stored in the
So we can activate a program plugin. Say, as an example, you want to activate the ACF plugin. Here is the code:
The code above simply adds the plugin to the list of active plugins on each page of our website. Not very helpful, but you get the point.
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Additionally, the plugin must load before any other plugin, otherwise our code will not work as expected. In order to prioritize the loading of our plugin, we need to add our script to a plugin that you need to use.
Unfortunately, in this situation we are not allowed to use conditionals because conditional query tags do not work before the query is executed. Before, they always return false. So we need to check our conditions differently, like parsing the request URI and checking the corresponding URL path.
In this example, we first define an array of plugins to remove, then we remove them using array_diff. This function “compares array1 to one or more arrays and returns values in array1 that are not in any of the arrays”.
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Now you can upload the plugin to the mu-plugins folder and test every page on your website. The mu plugin can be highly customized to add more conditions and check more URIs, but each condition needs to be manually added to the code, and in the long run this simple mu plugin becomes cumbersome and difficult to to maintain.
As an alternative, we cana.
Plugin Load Filter is a free option for WordPress users who need to filter plugins under various conditions.
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Once a filter is activated, the admin user can specify where on the page it should be applied, as shown in the image below.
Once the filter is activated, site admins can set their exceptions in the Site Type Filter Activation tab
Plugin Organizer is a popular plugin with over 10,000 active installations and an impressive 5 out of 5 star rating. This is a more comprehensive plugin that allows site admins to:
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The Global Plugins options page offers a drag and drop facility that allows the admin user to disable plugins globally, preventing WordPress from running one or more plugins anywhere on the site, unless otherwise specified for a post or page. The same function applies to the search page and post types.
The plugin adds a metabox to the post editing screen to allow admin to override the global and post type settings. This feature can also be activated for mail types, by checking the corresponding item on the General Settings screen. A great feature is the Plugin Organizer Debug Message, which provides the site admin with useful information about the plugins affecting each page of the site.
A slightly different approach comes from the Perfmatters plugin. This is a premium alternative that allows the site admin to selectively load the theme and plugin properties depending on the URL or custom post type. This is a great plugin and theme optimization tool. In fact, it was created by a team member of!
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You can disable scripts using regex. This is especially useful for pages with complex URL structures in place or dynamically generated pages.
It is very powerful and can increase the speed of your WordPress sites (especially your homepage). Some examples of what it can be used for:
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You can see from this perfmatters review, it reduced their overall load time by 20.2%. On their homepage alone, they were able to reduce the number of HTTP requests from 46 to 30! The page size has also decreased from 506.3 KB to 451.6 KB.
25% (and 500KB) of the total page size saved with @_perfmatters – this was AFTER extensive optimization with Plugin Organizer. I was *surprised* how much I saved by finding tons of js/css downloads per page. — Vanessa (@technologypoet) March 14, 2019
A basic step on the highway to optimizing performance is measuring load time. We have several plugins and online tools that we can use to track site performance, such as Google Pagespeed Insights and Pingdom. But first and foremost we can use the browser’s Dev tools, which provide a lot of meaningful information.
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Each browser inspector has a network panel that displays a list of network requests and related information. Follow these links for detailed documentation:
In a WordPress installation with eighteen active plugins, we checked a post page several times with Firefox Dev Tools. We first measure the page speed and list the requested resources before installing filter plugins. The following image shows the output of the performance analysis tool available in the Firefox Network monitor.
Afterwards, we installed the Plugin Organizer to prevent WordPress from running the CF7 plugin. The pie chart has changed quite a bit.
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After that, we deactivated many unnecessary plugins, and the following image shows how much we improved the performance of the site.
We can compare the results of our tests. The size of the resource is reduced by 60.04%, the loading time is reduced from 1.24 seconds to 0.46 seconds, and the number of HTTP requests is reduced from 12 to 8. This proves that plugins affect performance of the site, and that we can increase the speed of the site by taking advantage of a plugin filter.
Whether you create your own scripts or install third-party tools, organizing and filtering plugins is something you should always think about when it comes to optimizing performance. Remember, not all plugins are developed with performance in mind. Therefore, it would be wise to spend some time and determine which plugin assets (CSS and JS) load and where.
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But learning how to disable WordPress plugins is just one of many other methods aimed at increasing site speed. Here is a list of other useful guides and tutorials related to site creation:
All that and more, in one plan with no long-term contracts, assisted migration, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Check out our plans or talk to sales to find the plan that’s right for you. Use the Marketplace tab to browse and install plugins from the Plugin Repository or from a custom plugin repository.
Use the Installed tab to browse bundled and installed plugins, enable, disable, update or remove them. Disabling unnecessary plugins is possible