5 Popular WordPress Plugins To Avoid on Shared Hosting

WordPress Plugins to avoid.

Your host is perhaps the most important link to your blog’s prospective reader. Without a good hosting service, the world may not even know your Website exists.

Here are some interesting statistics.

According to the Aberdeen Group, a one second delay in page-load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.

According to the UK: Internet Statistics Compendium which includes Data from Rackspace,  38% of UK online shoppers abandon websites or apps that take more than 10 seconds to load. 

Speed is a metric used by Google to rank search results, Google considers a page to be ‘slow’ if it takes longer than 1.5 seconds to load.

74% of users will leave after waiting five seconds for a mobile site to load.

Another interesting fact, Most blogs using WordPress are hosted on shared hosting plans.

Shared hosting simply means that many websites are hosted on a single web server, and that the server’s resources (CPU and RAM) are shared among every customer account on the machine.

See Also: Oops! 4 Common WordPress Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Why Shared Hosting is Misunderstood

Shared hosting plans are pretty cheap but this does not mean they are not good. The major word that causes problems for shared hosting users is the word “Unlimited“.

Most WordPress installs are hosted on shared hosting plans and majority of these installs are by people new to blogging.

Hosting companies mislead customers with the “unlimited” tag that are placed on Shared Hosting plans. Unlimited data transfer bandwidth, unlimited website storage, unlimited emails and unlimited domains.

The truth is Shared hosting is the most limited hosting plan available on the web. Once you know this, you know just enough to enjoy a shared hosting plan.

The most common cause of site crashes on shared hosting plans are plugins.

Every plugin you activate makes WordPress a little slower. Some plugins are highly resource-intensive and do not play well with shared hosting. I have put together a list of popular wordpress plugins to avoid on shared hosting.

Five Popular WordPress Plugins To Avoid

1. Broken Link Checker

If you need to use this plugin, use during low traffic periods and disable the plugin once you are done with it. This plugin is highly server intensive and it could overwhelm your shared hosting server.


Broken Link Check (Online)

This online tool checks your websites for broken links. The free version of this tool has a 3000-page limit, but this should not be a problem for most WordPress installs.

Xenu Link Sleuth (Windows only)

Xenu’s Link Sleuth is a valuable free windows app that will let you check for broken links on your website.

Integrity (Macintosh only)

Integrity is a free Mac only app that Scans your site for broken links. The app checks images as well as all internal and external links.

2. Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin is server intensive and could easily strain your shared hosting server.


WordPress SEO plugin

Use the inbuilt Sitemap option of the popular WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. This is the recommended option as it means you do not have to install another plugin.

Google Sitemap Plugin

This simple sitemap plugin does a good job. You can easily create and add a Sitemap file to Google Webmaster Tools without putting too much load on your server.

Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps

BWP GXS does not have a 50,000 URL limit, it is a fast plugin that generates your sitemap with much less resource.

3. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Related Posts plugins are extremely database intensive. The indexing, sorting and all functions are carried out using your server’s resources.


These services run on their own dedicated servers, this means your server can rest easy. For a small blog, manually inter-linking your posts gets you better results.

Jetpack by WordPress.com

The Related Posts feature under the popular Jetpack plugin is a great alternative, It scans your posts, analyzes them, and displays related posts your visitors. Unlike many other related post plugins, all the analysis, processing, and serving are done from Jetpack’s cloud, so there is no additional load on your server.


The nrelate related posts plugin is a less server intensive as all the heavy lifting is done by the nRelate servers. The nRelate plugin analyzes your website content and displays relevant related posts from your website. (This plugin has now been discontinued)

SO Related Posts

The SO Related Posts plugin puts you in direct control on what related content you want to display on each post. The plugin enables you to select what posts you want to display, the number of posts and the order in which the related posts are displayed, right from the post editor.


LinkWithin is a neat plugin that displays related posts from your blog archives under each post.Linkwithin doesn’t use eat up your server resources as it indexs all stories from your blog archive and displays them on relevant posts.

4. WP-PostViews

This plugin writes to the database on every page load, it is best to avoid this on shared hosting servers as this would eat up your your server resources.


Jetpack plugin

The stats module in the Jetpack plugin is a good choice for tracking traffic.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics does a good job of tracking your blog’s traffic.

5. WordPress Popular Posts

This widget plugin displays the most popular posts on your blog.This plugin should be avoided on shared hosting servers.


Why do you even need a plugin for this? simply head over to your site stats, note the 5/10 most popular blog posts and use the Text widget to display it on your sidebar.

nrelate Most Popular

The nrelate servers monitors your website and starts displaying your most popular content. This reduces the load on your server as the nrelate servers would do all the work. (The Plugin has been discontinued)

See Also: Tired of site crashes? Try Managed WordPress Hosting

Backup plugins such as WP DB Backup, WP DB Manager, BackupWordPress should only be used when needed. Backups occupy a ton of disk space and since it interacts intensively with your database, it is best to use backup plugins at low traffic periods and deactivate it when you are done.

E-mail plugins should also be discouraged on shared hosting plans. Instead of draining your server to use the WordPress Email functionality,use specialized services such as MailChimpAWeber and countless others.

Brian Jackson

I craft actionable content and develop performance-driven WordPress plugins. Connect on Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter (twice a month, no spam).

54 thoughts on “5 Popular WordPress Plugins To Avoid on Shared Hosting”

  1. Hey Mr Seer, it’s good to be here again. :)

    Nice post! I was actually considering of hosting some folks on my hosting platform since have got a lot of free space and seeing this, I decided upon taking a quick glance so that it wouldn’t cost me at the long run.

    Thanks for the share brother. :)


  2. A lot of newbie webmasters are unaware of the insights revealed about shared web hosting. Its important to be cautious and more so we should not be deceived with the word “unlimited”. Its good to know of those plugins to avoid on shared host.

    In the content syndication and social bookmarking website kingged.com, the above comment has been shared where this post was shared for Internet marketers.

    Sunday- kingged.com contributor


    • Thanks for sharing my content, for a newbie an unlimited plan is a no-brainer, but once the problems set in, you begin to realize there is no such thing as unlimited in web hosting

  3. It is really not good to install plugins that hug up the entire server resources thereby causing not reachable errors for others sites hosted on same server. The truth is that most blogs are hosted on shared hosting plans and many of such blogs use almost all these plugins, you can even see a site that has all of them.

    If these plugins consumes server resources, then it will be wise to support your blog with a cache plugin and a CDN that can help you reduce the load on the server or you can try the other alternatives shared in this article if your last resort is to upgrade your account to a VPS hosting plan.

    I found this article on Kingged.com and also left a comment on it.

  4. Hello
    i agree with you that companies just tag the unlimited word with everything like unlimited bandwidth. You have described 5 plugin which we should not use because these make wordpress very slow. i hope another simple plugins won’t be an issue in shared hosting. Thanks for the link breaker tool. keep sharing :D

  5. Now I know why we have to shun these plugins though they are useful and played such big responsibilities. The good thing is that you have shown us some substitutes and also explained why we should use those. Thanks for this!

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

  6. Great article. Whenever my site goes slow (often) Hostgator keeps telling me to remove the w3cache and all in one seo plugins.
    Do you think those 2 plugins should also be on your list ?

    • Anthony, I personally believe Wp Super Cache is adequate for most WordPress hosts.

      W3 Total cache is a bit complex & could easily cause more harm than good.

      For SEO, I use WordPress SEO by Yoast & it can also serve as a sitemap, open graph & Twitter Card plugin.

      The W3 total cache plugin & All in one SEO, just as any other plugin could slow down your site, just try the above options & deactivate plugins you do not use regularly, such as Wp Smush.it, Broken Link Checker etc.

  7. I like the broken link checker and the SEO Plugin very much…

    Greetings from Germany

    Ulrich Eckardt

  8. Hi WpSeer,

    Thanks for sharing such list, we were facing many issues with our clients, and just got that Google XML Sitemaps were causing the excess server load.

    We will take care for other plugins too, and alternatives are also good.

  9. I use YARPP and All In One SEO, and my blog hit maximum CPU Usage too often.
    People says I must remove it and change it with another.
    I’ll try it.

  10. With nRelate no longer available, I’m curious what you recommend for additional related and most popular post plugin options? Have you tested the Zemanta related post plugins at all?

    • The Related Posts feature under Jetpack seems to be the best alternative, I have tested Zemanta Related Post plugin, since nRelate recommended it, It is also a good plugin but I can’t vouch for it at this moment as I have not used it long enough.

      Thanks for dropping by, also, you have a nice blog!

  11. Hi,

    Could you provide some more info on the WordPress Popular Posts plugin and why it made this list?

    I manage a news site on BlueHost Optimized WordPress Hosting. Today, our site kept crashing and no one could access it. We narrowed it down to a specific article, published today, that alot of people were trying to visit. When I was able to get back into wp-admin, I started looking to see if it could be plugin related and thought it might be this one and found your article. Thanks!

    • From what you’ve described, what happened is; your host was unable to handle this spike in traffic.

      This could be due to you not optimizing your website to handle heavy traffic.

      A CDN, Good Host, Well Optimized Images are things you should look at.

      Popular Posts plugins makes a lot of calls to your database & this strains your server, Using JetPack Stat Module or Google Analytics is recommended for tracking your traffic.

      Remember, all these might not make any major difference if your hosting plan or host can handle such traffic.

  12. Great list! You should also add Jetpack to the list. I have been using the plugin Jetpack and it has some amazing features. The most-loved feature of Jetpack is its built-in analytics reporting.

  13. Thanks for sharing…!

    Well, sharing hosting is a bit difficult for using since I found that the loading speed is a bit slow so that it is the reason I changed to VPS hosting.

    I agree with you…, the most of plugin make our loading speed slow down especially if we’re using share hosting service.

  14. Thanks for the tips. I would also suggest two factor authentication such as provided with Google Authenticator plugin.

  15. Hi,
    I stumble on your site as i was finding solution to YARPP not displaying related post in my wordpress site. Now, due to your recommendations, I’m set to totally disable the plugin and install some others as you recommended.

  16. I am using Broken Link Checker and so far everything is working as it should. Otherwise, I would have heard from my host (Rosehosting) so far I think that my shared account is using lot’s of resources.
    Could it be that they are working behind the scenes to control my resource usage without my knowing? If that is the case, then I suddenly have a feeling of taken care of. :)

  17. I would like to add that taking out one of these to replace with Jetpack is also a gamble. Jetpack is a ridiculously bloated plugin that uses a lot of resources. After a plugin analysis jetpack was the first one to skyrocket in terms of resources on my site. It’s heavier than wordpress core. Good to keep in mind when you’re going through your plugins.


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