WordPress: Plugin Organizer gives you full plugin loading control

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 23, 2012

The WordPress plugin system is one of the features that is making the blogging platform great. There are literally thousands of plugins available that you can install on top of the default installation to add, remove or modify functionality of the blog. Plugins improve a blog's loading times, notify Google and Bing about new posts, add contact forms or help you delete spam comments in bulk.

Plugins on the other hand may add to the loading time of the blog, especially if they are run on every page of it or if they come with their own CSS code that is automatically loaded. That's problematic but there are usually ways around that, for instance by hacking the plugin file, removing reference to the CSS from it and integrating the CSS into the site's default style.css file.

Let me give you an example. It does not really make sense to load the css file of a poll plugin that you have installed on all pages. It would be a lot better if it would only be loaded on posts that use the poll functionality. With WordPress, it is either always on or disabled, but there is no enable only if needed option.

That's where Plugin Organizer comes into play. The WordPress plugin adds two features that help you control when plugins are loaded on the frontend.

1. Change the load order of plugins

You can modify the order in which plugins get loaded in WordPress. It may help speed up the site a bit by moving the most important plugins to the top of the list and everything else below. Will definitely take some testing to get this right but it can be useful at times.

wordpress plugin load order

To do so simply drag and drop plugins in the manager on the admin dashboard into a new location there. You may also find it useful if you have a lot of plugins installed here and want to have the most important ones at the top for faster access. Plugin Organizer adds a group feature to WordPress as well. You can add plugins to groups and filter the list by group to quickly access select plugins.

2. Disable the loading of plugins on select pages

This is the feature that I find useful. You can disable plugins so that they are not loaded on select pages, or, disable plugins globally and only enable them on select pages. To disable a plugin globally open Plugin Organizer > Global Plugins to do so.  Before you do that you need to go to the settings and enable the selective loading of plugins there. Once done, you will see a list of plugins that you can enable and disable attached to the post and page editor.

wordpress plugin load order

You can use the plugin to disable a comment or poll plugin globally and only enable them on the pages and posts they are used on. The same option becomes available for galleries, or plugins that are only functional in the admin interface.

Closing Words

It may take some time to get this set up properly. It depends largely on the number of plugins that you have installed on your blog. Plugin Organizer can be highly useful to reduce the load time of your blog. While it may not reduce it by seconds, it may help you remove some unnecessary files from being loaded on all page loads and reduce loading times slightly depending on the plugins installed and configuration of the plugin.


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  1. Rarst said on December 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    @Ken Saunders

    Plugins hosted in official WP repository must be compatible with GPL see http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/about/

    Most of Creative Commons license family is not GPL-compatible.

  2. Ken Saunders said on December 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I found contact info.

  3. Ken Saunders said on December 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Forgot to add,
    Merry Christmas Martin. :)

  4. Ken Saunders said on December 25, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    @Martin or Rarst, do either of you have any contact info for the developer?
    I can help him out with icons.

    “icons under CC license not allowed in plugin repository”
    I’d like to read more about that.
    It doesn’t make sense. Not for an open source platform.
    What are acceptable licenses?

  5. ilev said on December 24, 2012 at 10:12 am

    WordPress :
    7,997 Site Templates and Themes from $1


  6. Will said on December 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Looks like it has been removed.

    Link results in “We couldn’t find that plugin. Maybe you were looking for one of these?”.

  7. Rarst said on December 24, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Oops. About that… It had licensing issues (icons under CC license not allowed in plugin repository) and I poked about that and it got closed. Likely will be back as soon as developer fixes that stuff and asks it to be opened.

    Sorry to Martin for ruining point of the post. :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 24, 2012 at 12:32 am

      Now that is some bad timing ;)

  8. Rarst said on December 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Reordering plugin load makes no sense from performance point of view. It will take same amount of total time, it won’t impact page load process because all plugins are loaded before theme and template.

    Conditional plugin loading is technically sound but in practice it’s closer to bandaid for crappy plugins. In your example of poll plugin styles it’s the responsibility of plugin to only load resources when they are needed.

    1. Joe said on March 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Well, that would be most plugins, and most of the important ones … all crappy really for loading when not needed. Contact forms, ecommerce plugins, even admin ones like backup, database optimizers, etc. all load in the frontend where they are not needed.

      Plugin Organizer is a great band-aid … must-have for those who value optimization.

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