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Do De-Activated Plugins Slow Down Your WordPress Website?

Plugins are amazing because they can help you add the features you need and take your website to a new level without coding. However, sometimes there are plugins that are not able to perform very well or stopped being useful at that point in time. In that situation, you can either delete them or deactivate them to save the data you need in case if later on, you may need it again. The question that concerns people most is Do De-Activated Plugins Slow Down Your WordPress Website? Or no? and in this article, we will answer your question.


What Are Plugins?

Julie Andrews once sang

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”

So following her advice and quote, let’s start with answering the question of what plugins are to make this article clear for beginners. Basically, plugins are add-ons (software additions) to customize, level up, and perform necessary functions on your website without the constant need of having a web developer or knowing coding. The purpose of plugins is to extend functionality or add new features that can benefit you. E.g. You can add cache plugins to speed up your website, Gallery plugins to display thumbnails and image galleries in the most beautiful way possible, or SEO plugins to improve the SEO optimization level of your website content and rank higher in search engines.

By the way, I recommend beginners read the following article about the Best WP blogs to follow and check out our 10 must-have plugins for your website, which will definitely help you te level it up.

Do Plugins Slow Down Your Website?

Yes and no, and here is why. 

Yes, as plugins are the way of adding ready functionality without the need to write a separate code for that functionality. So more plugins mean more code added to your website, which means that the browser will take longer to load it. So every time you try to load your website, it will load all the plugins in it, which may slightly slow down your website loading speed for you and the ordinary visitors. Why is “a bit” or “slightly” still a concern? Because in this dynamic industry, each second matters. For example, most of my friends see a website that takes time to load. They just go back and click on another article Google suggested, just to get the information they need as soon as possible.

No, because it is not that simple. Lots of plugins still do not mean that your website will slow down; few websites use 80+ plugins and still load quite fast. There are specific criteria to consider before adding a plugin to your website. Those criteria can help you to stay/have full control over your website. Such as:

  • What level of complexity does the specific plugin perform the operations
  • Does the plugin have lots of scripts, and does it add extra databases

It is more than about quantity, it is about quality.

Also, no, because there are certain plugins – Cache plugins – which help you to improve the speed and loading time of your website. Here are some of the best cache plugins available:


What Can be the Reason to De-activate Plugins?

There can be numerous reasons to install, delete or deactivate plugins. Whatever your website requires at that point in time is probably the right decision to make. Some of the reasons to deactivate or delete the plugin can be:

  • The plugin stopped being useful
  • The plugin’s functionality was not enough 
  • You did not get what you expected 
  • The learning curve is very long; the interface is not good enough 
  • The plugin does not get regular updates, etc
  • You want to delete the plugin, but think that later on, you may need it, so you instead just deactivate it

Deactivated plugins are usually just white blocks. Meanwhile, the activated ones are highlighted in blue (inside WordPress’s admin dashboard) with an icon “delete.” 

Note: If you want to activate the deactivated plugin all your customized settings will be saved.

How to De-activate the Plugin on Your Website?

Deactivating plugins is a straightforward action to perform, which can be done both as “bulk” or “single” actions. Here is how to deactivate the plugin on your WordPress website:

  • Go to WordPress’s admin dashboard
  • Click on plugins
  • Select the plugin or plugins you want to deactivate 
  • Click on “Deactivate” 

If you want to delete the plugin, you have to keep in mind that it is not possible until you deactivate the plugin first. After deactivation under each plugin you deactivated, you will be able to see the buttons “activate” and “uninstall”. 

Do not hesitate to share any questions or feedback related to the “Do De-Activated Plugins Slow Down your WordPress Website” article in the comments section.


Do De-activated Plugins Slow Down Your WordPress Website?

Why would you want to deactivate a plugin instead of just deleting it? Because if you delete the plugin, you will lose customized settings; meanwhile, when you activate the deactivated plugin once again, all your settings will be saved. So do deactivated plugins anyhow affect or slow downpour the website? – No. Deactivated or installed plugins do not and cannot affect the speed of your website because when it loads, it loads only activated plugins.

Should You Delete De-activated Plugins?

However, inactive plugins do not affect your website, taking into account many survey results and Internet forums Q&A-based data. Deleting inactive plugins is recommended by many website owners. I researched through those forums and came to a few conclusions. 

Conclusion 1 

You should delete inactive plugins in most cases, except:

  • If it is a Maintenance plugin, users recommend not deleting it even if it is deactivated. 
  • Suppose it is a Security plugin, then you also better not delete it. The reason behind this is high-security levels. E.g., you can have one main plugin for the security of your website and have an extra plugin for the security, which you will keep deactivated. Until something happens, you can activate the second one to check out what’s going on. 

Conclusion 2 

You should delete deactivated plugins if you are sure you won’t ever need them because plugins are extra pieces of software vulnerable to hackers. Basically, if you do not update your plugins on time, the security levels may go down, and for deactivated plugins, you usually do not update them; that is why you better either update or fully uninstall those. 

Can I Recover Deleted Plugins?

If you already deleted a plugin and just realized that it would be better to deactivate it, there is a chance to recover it. But in most cases, you have to go to the plugin’s directory, install it again and customize settings all over again. However, in case if your website was fully backed-up before you deleted the plugin, you still can recover it.
E.g., when you use WP BackItUp, just click on it on the admin’s dashboard, then click on restore.



To summarize the “Do De-Activated Plugins Slow Down your WordPress Website?” article, I can say that deactivated plugins do not really affect your website badly. Furthermore, they do not affect its speed at all because when your website loads only active pieces of software. However, as you may understand, deactivated plugins are better to check out from time to time and keep updated because if you don’t do that, you increase the chances of your website being hacked. And of course, from the conclusions I based on a research of multiple Q&A forums of the WordPress community, we can comprehend that plugins that you surely will not need better to just delete, except if it is a security-related plugin. In that case, it better has a backup option. Out of the main topic – just note that it will be good for your website to have backups constantly. Updraft Plus is one of the best backup plugins available on WordPress.

So this was it; if the article was useful, do not hesitate to write down any comments, questions, or feedback in the comments section. Also, you can share it with your friends or colleagues who may be interested in the topic. Thank you for your time.

Best Back-up Plugins for WordPress

  • Easy User Interface
  • Fast learning curve
  • Free/affordable
  • Automated Backups
  • 1 click restore
  • real-time backup feature

All of these plugins are amazing, have good reviews, and are extremely straightforward to use. So do not forget to check them out.

If you liked the article do not forget to check out our YouTube channel with tons of WordPress tutorials! And you can find us on Facebook & Twitter, where we post interesting updates about upcoming events.

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1 thought on “Do De-Activated Plugins Slow Down Your WordPress Website?”

  1. Avatar

    Hey there.
    Very informative article. While deactivating the plugin I was thinking of how it affected my website speed. So I could not decide whether I should remove or keep them.

    Thank you for this super article. I’ll come back to your blog to check new updates.

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