As you may already know, we use BuddyPress on our Site.

  • It allows you to create a social networking Site; that is why we use it (not sponsored, of course).

 

 

However, we have seen many people wonder if BuddyPress can slow down their site.

 

Today, we will finally answer that question:

  • We will find out if BuddyPress slows down WordPress, and How much.

 

As we did with other Plugins, we have used our “scientific method”:

  • 1st: We have cloned our Site  and tested its speed to have a Reference.
  • 2nd: We have Uninstalled and Deleted BuddyPress in that cloned Site.
  • 3rd: We compared the Results obtained.

* We cloned our Site because we didn’t want to jeopardize our content.

 

In case you don’t know, in this section we talk about How we are building this Website: our SEO strategy, Theme and Plugins we use, our Real Results (Pageviews and Users we have)…

 

As usual, this Post will be divided into 2 different parts:

1. Does BuddyPress slow down WordPress?

2. Our Today’s Google Analytics report: Users and Pageviews we have.

 

Let’s begin:

1. Does BuddyPress slow down WordPress?

 

First of all we have created a New Local Site and imported all our content.

  • Theme, Plugins, Pages, Posts, etc.

 

If you are interested about how to create a Local Site (located in your computer rather than in your hosting) visit our “Test a WordPress Plugin without installing it” Post.

  • There, we explain Step by Step how to do it.

 

Second, we have measured its Speed with Google Chrome’s “Lighthouse” Tool.

  • They changed the name of this tab a few days ago (before, it was called “Audit”).

 

We obtained these Results:

  • With BudyPress installed.

 

Remember: these are our local cloned-Site Performance Results.

  • The important thing here is not the number itself, but the difference obtained when you add or remove a plugin.

 

Then, we have Uninstalled and Deleted BuddyPress and measured the Speed again.

  • We also had to uninstall other 2 Plugins that created problems without BuddyPress:
    • rtMedia.
    • BP Profile Search.

 

Speed results without BuddyPress:

 

As you can see at first glance, the overall Performance Index improved 4 points without BuddyPress.

  • From 69 to 73.

 

Let’s compare the results obtained in more detail:

  • First, we’ll give the metric without BuddyPress installed.

 

Performance Metrics

 

  • First Contentful Paint: 3.0 vs 3.2 = +0.2 seconds.
  • Speed Index: 3.8 vs 4.2 = + 0.4 seconds.
  • Time to Interactive: 6.0 vs 6.1 = +0.1 seconds.
  • First Meaningful Paint: 3.0 vs 3.2 = +0.2 seconds.
  • First CPU Idle: 5.4 vs 5.5 = +0.1 seconds.
  • Max Potential First Input Delay: 330 vs 370 ms = +40 ms.

 

These results are not bad for BuddyPress.

 

As we mentioned in other Posts, these metrics have a variability of 0.1 to 0.15 seconds (approximately).

  • It means that, if you run the test twice without any modification these metrics can vary 0.1 or even 0.2 seconds.

 

The “Speed Index metric is the one that is affected the most: +0.4 seconds.

 

Opportunities

 

  • Eliminate render-blocking resources: 1.71 vs 2.04 = +0.33 seconds.
  • Remove unused CSS: 1.65 vs 1.8 = +0.15 seconds.
  • Preconnect to required origins: 0.15 both = 0 seconds.

 

Are these results acceptable?

  • It depends.

 

Does BuddyPress slow down WordPress?

 

Yes. It does.

  • We ran different Speed Tests and, not a single one had better or the same results with this Plugin installed.

 

Our recommendation:

If you already have a slow Site and you are not sure if you need a “social environment”:

  • You should probably not install BuddyPress.

 

If you “need” a social environment

  • It is a good option and, it doesn’t slow down WordPress as much as other big Plugins.
  • Just don’t go crazy installing many other big Plugins.

 

2. Our Today’s Google Analytics report: Users and Pageviews we have.

It seems that our numbers have stagnated, these last 2 weeks.

 

Users:

 

As you can see in the Post’s top image, we still have 1,300 users per week.

  • We’d like to reach 1,400 user by next week.

 

Pageviews:

We currently have 7,990  Page Views per month.

 

One year ago, we were happy because we received 8 users and 28 Pageviews.

It has been a long way, and there is still a long way to go.

 

As always: Thanks for being there.

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