Delete Plugins or Deactivate Plugins to Increase Site Speed?

Delete Plugins or Deactivate Plugins to Increase Site Speed?

Should we delete plugins in WordPress or deactivate them to increase our site speed?

Awhile back while experimenting with this question, I know I certainly learned a valuable lesson.


I used to be one to believe that merely deactivating extra plugins on your WP Dashboard was enough to keep your website loading and running super fast.

When I say super fast, I mean optimally fast.

delete plugins ans watch your page loads times decrease

This applies to only after your site has been fully optimized manually of course, according to my training.

To check out my personal training, click the link below.

How To Make Your Site Load Faster

To a large degree that is true, all of my pages were loading fast before. However, since I have deleted all of my deactivated plugins, look at my Page speeds now!

delete plugins increased my 100 Page scores from four to Ten!

Prior to deleting the extra plugins I wasn't using, I had four 100's, now I have TEN 100's!

There are affiliate links within this post. What this means is that if you decide to purchase anything through one of my links, I'll be rewarded with a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. This small commission helps me run and maintain my website.

delete plugins and extra themes for optimal speed performance

Delete Plugins and Extra Themes for Optimal Speed Performance

As a bonus in this training post, I will also show you how to delete any extra inactive WordPress themes that you have cluttering up your dashboard.

These extra themes also have a minimal impact in slowing down your page loading speeds on your website.

Delete unused Themes in WordPress from your dashboard

First I would delete any deactivated plugins, and also delete any extra Themes you are carrying on your WordPress dashboard as well.

If your speed on Desktop was already fast, you should still then see a slight "uptick" by deleting these extra inactive Themes. As for if you are not seeing much improvement in Mobile speed, this could be a limitation of the Theme you are using.

In case you are using one of those bad WordPress Free Themes (not all FREE themes in WordPress have poor coding, but some do) try optimizing your images, and also check to see if your Theme is a responsive one. A responsive theme is a theme that will work on a mobile screen.

Some of the responsive WordPress themes will resize your images to fit on a mobile screen, however most of them will not.

Another potential culprit of the mobile speed issue is that you will need to optimize more of your images. Or a combination of both lack of optimization of images and carrying those extra Themes. These are methods that I will teach you in my personal training.

All you will need to do is click on the link here to go to my personal training.

Also check out my #1 Recommendation for how to generate a passive income online. 

Always delete plugins you dont need

Delete Plugins, Don't Only Deactivate Them 

Since the day that I conducted my experiment, I have been fully convinced that for optimal loading times it is not enough to only deactivate your plugins, you should always DELETE from your dashboard any and all the unnecessary plugins you are not using in the short term.

It is certainly easy enough to reload them when the time comes that you need them.

Here is what some of my colleagues wrote after they followed my training:

“Well, I took your advice and I am seeing green all over! Funny thing is I knew that, but never got around to do it until I read your blog! Thanks for the reminder!

One of the biggest culprit for my slow speed was Sumo. Once I got rid of it (about one month ago) my speeds went green! And they are now even better with the plugin deleted instead of deactivated.”
– Anonymous

Learn WordPress

It is great that this commenter already suspected this solution but needed a reminder to do it. However he never would have known for certain unless he deleted those plugins. The proof is in the pudding!

There were other students of mine that wrote the following:

“That's the first thing I do if I deactivate a plugin, I just delete. As you say friend, it is very easy to get it back if you ever want or need it again further down the line. No use having them on your dashboard if you are not using them.” – Anonymous

“Great tips! I didn't think it could have such an influence!
I will do it right now!”
- Anonymous

Hit the Delete Button

How to Delete Plugins in WordPress Dashboard

It’s a very easy process to delete plugins in your WordPress dashboard. Here is how to do it.

1. Go to Appearance > Plugins in your WP Dashboard, and FIRST you should deactivate ALL of the plugins that are not contributing to your site. (Screenshot 1)

Deactivate plugins first then delete plugins

That means if you used it once (i.e., a Backup Plugin) but don't need it anymore (and it’s NOT providing a structure for your website, such as a Contact Form, or EWWW Image Optimizer), then just delete it.

2. Once all plugins are Deactivated, click the Delete button  for each one (Screenshot 2)

delete plugins after deactivation

It is the same with your WordPress Themes. Go to Appearance > Themes and delete all of those extra themes you aren't using.

3. Go into Appearance > Themes

Go to Appearance, then Themes

4. Click on the theme you want to delete by first clicking “Theme Details”

Theme Details

5. In the bottom right corner of the next screen, click the “Delete” button.

Click Delete Theme lower right button

Your extraneous theme is now deleted.

That’s it!

Once you get used to doing these actions, it will literally be a "snap". It will become a good habit for you to delete WordPress plugins and extra themes and you will do it every time without even thinking about it.

delete plugins and WordPress extra themes

Conclusion: Delete Plugins and WordPress Themes

So next time, don't be like me thinking you will leave a deactivated plugin on your dashboard alone with the expectation you MAY activate it again in a few days.

You may never use it again, and if you do it is so easy to get it back.

Given that you have optimized your website for speed as per my training, only keep the necessary active plugins you are using, and DELETE all the rest.

Delete Plugins and you will see your speeds soar!

You will see your speeds soar!

Thank You for taking the time to read my article on “Delete Plugins and Themes” and please feel free to leave any of your comments below.

About the Author

KAJU is the band leader and founding member of OFF THE HOOK, one of the premiere dance party bands in the New York Tri-State Area. After contracting a mysterious hand disorder, Kaju now writes to help other musicians and artists deal with disabilities. Currently he is a Full-time Affiliate Marketer and 1-on-1 mentor at Wealthy Affiliate, a community that can help anyone start an online business without prior experience. This is where he teaches others how to make a great passive income. Read more about his story here!