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One of the fun and powerful aspects I love about EE is using add-ons to make the content editing and creation experience excellent. However, I've also discovered that using an excessive amount of add-ons can really slow down the performance on the front-end. (While it's nice to have a speedy control panel, I am more worried about the website visitor experience.)

What add-ons have you found really slow down front-end performance? And is there anything about how these add-ons could be configured that you've found helps performance? I'm especially interested to know which of the most common add-ons you've seen be performance hogs.

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  • It's fine to vote this down. A little help on why though? Nov 28 '12 at 3:26
  • We should reserve these for technical fact based questions, not polls conversations and anecdotes. This question is so subjecting people could put the blame on any one add-on and it not really be the problem. Nov 28 '12 at 3:27
  • Please don't take my tone as harsh. It's hard to be a community moderator without sounding rude and abrasive, so sorry for that. Nov 28 '12 at 3:28
  • Thanks Justin. I am interested in front-end performance and add-ons and will see if I can put together a more useful/specific way to ask about this. Totally understand about the challenge of getting facts on this generic version. Nov 28 '12 at 3:32
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    Susan - for a bit more info check out the FAQ. Try to only ask specific, answerable questions, to real problems you face, rather than questions which would lead to open-ended discussion. Nov 28 '12 at 5:00
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This question impossible to answer without benchmark numbers to compare against some sort of community accepted standards for acceptable ranges (which don't exist.)

Also, any list you come up with would be constantly changing and may miss the point of using Add-ons (or of using PHP in general, which is slow than C.) The point of these add-ons is largely the reduce development time. In some cases, you need the functionality now, and you can work on performance issues later.

However, there are things you can do.

To identify performance issues, turn on your debugging and query output. Generally it's easy to see that a certain add-on is creating a an unacceptable number of queries or queries which are resource intensive.

If you do find such an add-on, then you can minimize the performance impact by using one of the many caching options (assuming a front-end template and data which doesn't have to refresh with every page load.)

Contact the developer of the add-on to optimize the add-on or have another developer build a different add-on.

One important point to keep in mind is that most add-ons serve very general purposes, and that may require more resource usage than an add-on which is much more targeted for your exact situation. Often I have used a resource intensive add-on to get the functionality ready for launch and then later built my own replacement to deal with the specific functionality of the site.

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It more depends on HOW you use third-party add-ons, than on WHAT addons are used.

If your site expects heavy (or even medium) page load, always enable template debugging. Compare different options.

Have as few separate calls of same tag as possible (unless you're re-using results that was cached/stashed). Avoid too many embeds. Use "disable" parameter where applicable. Finally, use caching.

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