Does installing more plugins speed up your site? Maybe.

WordPress Mobile Speed


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Client request:
“It would be excellent if one lightweight plugin provided all our basic security needs. And could replace Askimet, Wordfence, and ReCaptcha.”

Wouldn’t that be lovely?

It would be a marvelous futuristic multi-function plugin.

Multi-function plugins are heavy slugs. Also, weirdly – more popular plugins directly correlate to how slow they are. Why? The phenomenon falls into the realm of marketing psychology and overkill. And speed apathy  … and calf-path theory.

But our strategy is replacing one heavy plugin like Yoast SEO or Word Fence Security. Then we can install over 100 small discrete plugins — and still be faster loading. You scoff. Sounds too incredible but it’s true. A discrete plugin has one function and no settings (the ideal). They load in under 1 millisecond instead of 100s of milliseconds.

Bigger plugins must be better. Right?

Poem Excerpt:

“They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move.”


Yoast SEO plugin started out with under a 1MB file download. It’s now is a 3.3MB download. Why so much heavier? Advertising and animated popups galore. Marketing bloat. Multi-function plugin. (XML site maps are now built into WordPress core – you don’t need Yoast’s map or any ones plugin for that any more).


We’ve proven you can (usually) half the load time by doubling the number of plugins. It’s quality, not quantity that’s the speed issue.

Do you have to remove heavy Yoast SEO? No. We rollover on that battle fast. We have bigger fish to fry. We try to convince SEO plugin elimination is goodness – but site owners are invested in it. Addicts. Old ideas die slow. 5 million active installations can’t be wrong. Can they?

What SEO plugin do we use on PagePipe?

None. Ever. How did you ever find us?


Steve Teare
performance engineer
October 2022


PagePipe Site Tuning Services for Speed

Instead of band-aid approaches, we drill down to the root cause of your slow site. This is origin optimization. Also known as site tuning. To do this, we analyze site components:

  • Hosting
  • Theme
  • Plugins
  • Scripts and third-party services.
  • Images and media library.
  • We minimize globally loading plugin effects.

Find out more details about Site TuningGet Speed!