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Best plugins for removing scripts and styles from other plugins in WordPress

Sometimes it’s as simple as putting a wp_deregister_style( ‘the-plugin-style’ ); in your functions.php file, but other times, plugins like to bury their added scripts and styles away, loaded on EVERY page of your site, not just where you want them.

My big bug bear was Max Mega Menu. A client was using it, and even though it’s atrocious, they wanted to keep it. However it loaded multiple files on every page of the site, even when the menu wasn’t in use.

No deregister or dequeue seemed to work, so I turned to a plugin. A plugin to get rid of files from another plugin. Seems legit!

Selectively loading plugins isn’t knew, but these plugins espouse to make it easier. Is that true?

My requirements were:
– Don’t add a ton of weird menus in WP Admin
– Don’t try and upsell me too much or at all
– Don’t be overkill and try to do to much

I installed all the ones I could find so you don’t have to. Here’s the best to worst!

1) Asset Queue Manager

Not updated for 3 years but still works really well. You get a menu added to frontend admin bar, can dequeue scripts and styles per page and on conditions. Simple!

2) Freesoul Deactivate Plugins

Quite a strange layout in the admin (vertical) and doesn’t work well with lots of pages. Doesn’t quickly focus on pages like frontpage which many users would like, especially if their site is large.

3) Plugin Organizer

Hello CONFUSION. This may well be an amazing plugin, but I couldn’t understand it. A ton of options that meant little to me, green and red selections not explaining what anything is doing, more options than you can shake a stick at. I imagine its great if read all the documentation, and there is no upselling. As one user reviewed it “took a couple of days to learn it but after that its amazing”. So depends on how big a problem you have!

4) Webcraftic Assets Manager

Edit each page from the front end with a dedicated menu. Tries to upsell a lot. CSS wasn’t perfect for me on the site I was using, so reading and using the top menu for this plugin was hard.

5) Webcraftic Clearfy

Yes another plugin from these guys; does something similar, lots of upsells, see the pattern yet?

6) Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster

Wow this plugin is kinda trying to do lots of things. If you want options options options options (yes, that’s 4x the normal amount!) then give this a try. It’s quite heavy on upsell, and very very texty. But if you want granular options, and an overload of options, give it a try.

7) Plugin Load Filter

Weird and confusing – bad english, doesn’t instill confidence.

Conclusion

If you want super simple, go with either Asset Queue Manager or Freesoul Deactivate Plugins. If you want features for everything, definitely go with Plugin Organizer.