Bloated plugins

(Miroslav Glavić) #1

Some people say JetPack is a bloated plugin.

Out of curiosity…what would YOU define as a bloated plugin, if you mention any plugin, why is that plugin bloated?

(Pieter) #2

yoast seo is bloated in my opinion. It comes with all kinds of crap to try and upsell. Yeah I get they need to make a living, but no need to add crap to the dashboard of the clients.

My Hide SEO Bloat plugin, tackles all the crap the plugin adds and keeps a close eye on new “features” that are added and result in more crap.


It really depends on a personal taste. Even Ubuntu or LAMP/LEMP web server can be bloated, WordPress itself too. (At least for me all of this is bloated).

Regarding plugins - you can see that bloat on some - Yoast, Jetpack and maybe don’t see on other - Gravity forms. All rich featured plugins are bloated with something what you don’t use.

Another group of bloat for me are plugins which just turn off/hide some already installed functions, like mentioned HIde SEO Bloat plugin. This kind of plugins simple add additional code to your site/server. If you don’t see something, it does not mean, it’s not there. This remind me some practices how hide some frontend code with CSS.

I try to keep everything as simple as possible, anyway even with my “minimalist appearance” practically I don’t feel to fight with everything, so I have to live with some “bloat”, it can save some time (some extra function with click click model, instead of googling and coding whole night).

You mentioned in another post something about installing 33 plugins :wink: , personally I would probably don’t do it, maybe WP is not even the right tool in this project. Depend on 33 sources, there is huge chance something will break sooner or later.

I still like to see more focused - niche plugins/theme than monsters which try to do everything.

(Ben) #4

I like Jetpack. It does have a lot of stuff in it, but it’s mostly useful things. Anything you don’t want you can turn off and it doesn’t get loaded.

Yoast is definitely bloated. I bet most people install it and then don’t use half the features. And why does it have a news thing you have to read to get rid of the number in the admin bar?

I’ve started replacing Yoast with the SEO framework. It doesn’t have all the analysis tools but does enough, and is a lot lighter and less invasive.

(Miroslav Glavić) #5

I believe in quality over quantity.

A site with 5 crappy coded plugins can be slower than a site with 45 good quality coded plugins.

(Donna McMaster) #6

Another vote for SEO Framework; Yoast is not only bloated, it’s become obnoxious. It’s a shame as it was a great tool the first few years.

(Miroslav Glavić) #7

Can you please explain why you think it is bloated?

(Kuba Mikita) #8

Isn’t the statement that plugin is bloated a convenient expression to say that plugin does what you need but also [insert here anything]?

I think many people get used to looking at GPL software by the primacy of bespoke solutions.

Typical thinking we can see in the Facebook groups and anywhere else:

Person A: I need a FREE plugin that does this, this and that, but for that, I want to have an ability to customize it.
Person B: Use plugin X, it does exactly what you want.
Person A: Uhhhhh… it displays a widget in the WordPress Dashboard and is trying to upsell me version PRO! Not useful!

That doesn’t mean that the plugin is bloated. It’s a price of the free software.

But answering your question: I think that the plugin is bloated when it doesn’t take care of the performance.


  • Loading scripts and styles on every single admin and frontend page
  • Displaying a notice on every single admin page
  • Loading its options when it’s not needed

(Miroslav Glavić) #9

by your statement I could interpret that you think because it is free software that it is bad software.

(Kuba Mikita) #10

Hell no! All I’m trying to say is that even a free has a price. There can be exceptional plugins and themes that are free but things become different when you have an actual budget for the development.

(Miroslav Glavić) #11

I have paid for different plugins/themes over the years for clients…oh so many are beyond crap. Thank Goodness it wasn’t my money.:rofl:


Hey folks I review Wordpress plugins at wpplugincheck and recently I introduced technical reports that show you the lines of code, cyclomatic complexity, database tables created, etc. Here’s a blog post explaining how it works.

Some things I found out while reviewing the codebase for plugins:

  • A bloated plugin doesn’t necessarily mean that the codebase is bloated or coded with poor standards.
  • A lot of the bigger plugins create their own database tables usually for performance or caching reasons
  • Most plugins(with their dependencies include) have more than 8,000 lines of code.

Let me know if I missed out something.

(Kenneth Guintz) #13

Probably number of loaded assets such as css and js. a lot of plugin devs load them globally instead of conditionally loading them. these days server side processing in more often than not is faster than processes that the browser has to deal with in terms of rendering the page.

(Leon Stafford) #14

I can confess to having (had) a very bloated plugin. I didn’t quite realise until I was trying to test a custom build for a user and my dev environment (Docker with default Apache/PHP upload limits of 2MB) complained about the ZIP size in installing.

I’d gotten carried away on adding features in the last 6 months, by using packagist and grabbing SDKs and such with all their dependencies. I found I had 3 x Guzzle libs and the whole AWS SDK just to do S3 and CloudFront.

A few days ago, I tackled this and found a slimmer S3 library and trimmed that down even more. The CloudFront one I have now is still too big for my liking, but just those 2 replacing the AWS SDK brought things down a lot. What was 4MB+ to download the plugin is now about 800k, w00t. This still feels way too large for what the plugin actually contains, so I’ll be looking to really only have what is absolutely necessary in the plugin, with pure php implementations and less dependencies. This will also pave the way for me getting things working for pre 5.3 users who still need the plugin for archiving old sites and such.

@shash7, I’d be keen for a pre-review review in a while - have started getting the WP patterns for PHPCompatibilityChecker running, but there is much work still to streamline the plugin (whilst still in the middle of adding new features and improvements!).

As a plugin advertising to users on how it optimizes their site performance, I should be having a lean plugin!