Do inactive plugins slow down your WordPress site?

By Faruque Ahamed Mollick

WordPress is currently the most popular CMS software built in PHP programming language. Using this CMS anyone can start an own blogging website. In default, WordPress can be used as a blogging script.

But the best thing about WordPress is that you can extend the features and functionality by installing and activating plugins. There are lots of free and premium plugins available for this open source CMS application. Also, you will find a huge amount of WordPress plugins on official wordpress.org site’s plugins directory completely for free of cost.

You can install plugins and activate it later. Also, you can deactivate a plugin. After deactivating a plugin it will be still on the Plugins page.

There are many WordPress users who want to know if inactive plugins slow down their WordPress site or not. Here I am going to give you the answer with proper reason.

Do inactive plugins slow down WordPress site?

If you ask me if the inactive WordPress plugin slows down a WordPress site or not then I would like to let you know that inactive plugins never slow down your WordPress website.Whenever a user request for a page on a WordPress site then

Whenever a user request for a page on a WordPress site then it only load active plugins during the loading process. All the inactive plugins completely ignored and even not look at those plugins. So there is no chance of slow down your website for those inactive plugins. Even if you have dozens of inactive plugins, it does not affect your site.

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The only place where inactive plugins looked for is the “Plugins” page in your WordPress admin panel. But it also does not load the plugins completely. It only looks for plugin’s header file to list it on the “Plugins” page. So even on the plugins page also, it may make your WordPress site slower, but it can be ignored as it only loads the header files.

So always keep it in mind, if you see your WordPress site become slow, then it is not for the inactive plugins. They will not be responsible for the slower loading of your WordPress site. It may be because of some other reasons or for active plugins.

Should you delete inactive plugins?

After reading the content above you have understood that inactive WordPress plugin can not slow down your website in any way. But another question can appear in your mind. You may think if you should delete your inactive WordPress plugins or not.

First, think about that why WordPress first let you deactivate the plugins before deleting. The common reason is that you may temporarily deactivate the plugin for some reasons and soon you may activate the plugin. In this situation, it is better not to delete the plugin.

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Another reason may be that you have an inactive plugin on your Plugins page. You are in confuse if you should use the plugin or not. You have to think and then take a decision. If you think to use the plugin, then you can just do it by activating it from the Plugins page.

But what happened if you have inactive plugins and you will never use those plugins? What to do in this case? There is no problem if you delete those inactive plugins that you are never going to use.

Why should you improve page loading speed of your site?

Inactive plugins will show you updates if new update available. Even though it is an inactive plugin, it still checks for updates. You may be a bit annoying for these updates that you don’t need. Why you want to get updates for those plugins that you don’t need and you are not going to use them? For this reason, it is better to delete inactive WordPress plugins.

Inactive plugins can be harmless, but they are still executable files. These files can be used for hacking attempts or for any purpose. One of these files can get infected or can be used to install malware on your site. As a WordPress security precaution, it is better to delete any inactive plugins that you do not intend to use. Lots of experts also suggest to delete inactive plugins that you don’t need anymore and also in future you are not going to use them.


I hope this article is helpful to you and you have the clear idea on what to do with your inactive plugins. Now you should be able to take the decision on your inactive WordPress plugin.