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Recently, one of our readers asked if somehow disconnected plug-ins affect the speed and behavior of WordPress, and is it worth deleting inactive plug-ins?

Many WordPress users often install different plug-ins, test them and then turn them off. This is a very common situation when you try to find a suitable convenient plugin, you have to sort out a few options.

In this post, we’ll figure out whether to remove inactive plug-ins, and whether they slow down the work of WordPress.

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Inactive or disabled plug-ins – what is it?

The cool thing about WordPress is the ability to expand its features and capabilities at any time with plug-ins.

When you install a new plugin, WordPress downloads its installation file and uploads it to your site. You just need to click the button Activate 

You can activate the plug-in later or do not activate it at all. You can also use the plugin for a while and then turn it off. Thus, he will fall into the Inactive group.

View all active and inactive plug-ins in the Plugins → Installed 

Activated plugins are marked with a blue background, inactive – with white. Before removing the plugin, it must first be deactivated .

Inactive plugins slow down WordPress?

The answer is very simple – no .

And to understand why, we recommend you read our WordPress material under the hood: The order of loading functions and files of the WordPress site.

Every time you visit your site, WordPress starts the process of downloading and collecting information. And in this process WordPress loads the code of only activated plug-ins. Other inactive plugins are completely ignored, WordPress does not even look at their names and does not consider their number.

Even if you have hundreds of disabled inactive plug-ins – it does not affect anything, the performance of your site remains exactly the same as if you did not install it at all.

The only that your inactive plug-ins can affect is to load the page itself Plugins → Installed inside the admin area. Logical, because to download this page you need to display the headers of all plug-ins (active and disabled).

So, if you experience difficulties in the work of your site – you need to look in a different direction. The number of disconnected plugins here is certainly not at fault.

Do I need to delete inactive plugins in WordPress?

There is no single answer here.

WordPress specifically provides such a mechanism that you first need to disconnect the plugin, and only then delete it.

This is useful if you want to temporarily disable the plugin without losing its settings. You do not need to delete it, just deactivate the plugin. Then, when you need it again, reactivate it and all its settings will be saved.

Therefore, on the one hand, there is no sense in deleting inactive plug-ins, if you plan to use them in the near future. In addition, as we found out, inactive plugins do not affect the speed of WordPress.

On the other hand, if you no longer intend to use this plug-in in the future, it is better to remove it. There are several reasons for this.

Firstly the built-in update system WordPress will send you notifications for all plug-ins, for inactive ones as well. This can be a distraction. Why do you waste time and attention on updating plug-ins that you do not use?

Secondly although inactive plugins do not affect the speed of WordPress, they simply lie dead weight, they can become a security breach of the site. Any plugin is a set of PHP code and JavaScript scripts. Individual plug-in files that you have not updated for a long time and have already forgotten about it can become a tool in the hands of crackers.

It’s fair to say that this also applies to active plugins that have not been updated for a long time.

Therefore, our opinion is – if you no longer intend to use the plugin, remove it after shutdown.



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