I do not wish to activate/deactivate plugins.

But for plugins that have no menu pages/submenu pages, that mostly do things on the frontend, I wish to disable while viewing the dashboard/admin pages.

The end goal of this is to reduce the loading of plugins in the backend area. So as to make dashboard viewing/using/etc far faster loading.

If you have a plugin, and it only modifies things on the front end, and there is no menu pages or settings page, then why would I need to have any queries or loading for that plugin while in the backend?

I hope this makes sense.

Because honestly there has to be some way to improve load time for the backend areas.

Thank you for your time


2 Answers 2


Lots of plugins utilize is_admin to "disable" themselves when the backend is active, which is quite nice.

On the other hand I would not really fumble around in the backend. If something goes wrong you might lock yourself out, and if it´s only for a moment, I wouldn´t like that.

Furthermore I think you have some serious problem going on if your plugins affect the loading time of your backend so bad. Maybe you should check that first.

  • But sometimes you have no choice over that, aka, working for a client, and they have loading issues when accessing their backend.
    – crosenblum
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 22:12
  • Then you have to figure those loading issues out. I once managed a site who had 50+ plugins (not only for the frontend) active and there was no real lag in the backend. If you have such a noticeable performance problem with the backend, there is something bad going on and you should figure that out in a clean way. You could use P3 - Plugin Performance Profiler, but that only looks for speed issues in the frontend afaik.
    – flomei
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 22:40

The server load caused by a plugin on the backend shouldn't be too noticeable for most plugins, unless the lougi8n is doing something on the backend. That last part is the key, though. Unless you are very familiar with the plugin and know exactly how it works you may break things and not even know it if you try to disable plugins.

  1. Does the plugin use the AJAX API for example?
  2. Does it update post meta on the backend?
  3. Or use wp_cron() in a way that needs it to load on the backend?

That said, I don't see a hack-free way to do what you want to do. Plugins are loaded with a few lines of code in wp-settings.php:

213 foreach ( wp_get_active_and_valid_plugins() as $plugin ) {
214         wp_register_plugin_realpath( $plugin );
215         include_once( $plugin );
216 }

There are no hooks in that code nor are there any in the two functions used above.

  • What I'm hoping to do is find a way to make sure only plugins loading are those that are used in the backend. How do I know if plugins are loading, which have no functional use in the backend?
    – crosenblum
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 22:13
  • You read the plugin code.
    – s_ha_dum
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 22:44

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