Boost Your Site’s Speed with These WordPress Plugins

2018/12/26 08:00

wordpress page speed

Website speed is key to SEO success. Here’s an easy way to boost the speed of your site and enhance your user experience.

Page load time has become one of the most important factors in providing website visitors with an enhanced online experience. While fast page speeds can contribute to your conversions and turnover, it can also boost your SEO rankings.

A study by Google found that 53% of online users would leave a website if it took longer than 3 seconds to load, which is quite a high standard to meet. The study also showed that websites that loaded in 5 seconds saw 70% longer average sessions and had a 35% lower bounce rate.

Google contributes speed to the overall usability of your site so the better your site performs, the more likely it is to rank well.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to quickly and easily speed up your site.

Testing Your Website Speed

Before you can speed up your website, it helps to know whether it needs to be improved, to begin with.

Luckily, there are several great tools that make checking your website speed super easy:

Plugins to Enhance Your Website Speed

Here are a few of the WordPress plugins (paid and free) that will help you speed up your website.

  • WP Fastest Cache

To speed up your site, this plugin turns your dynamic WordPress blog into static HTML files. When your site doesn’t have to continuously render every time it receives a new visit, your website speed becomes much faster. This particular plugin is popular because it’s not overly complicated but it still offers more than just the basics. Even though the plugin is completely free, there is also a premium version available.

Key Features:

  • Automatic deletion of cache files upon publication
  • Cache timeout
  • Manual cache deletion options
  • SSL support
  • CDN support
  • And more…
  • WP Rocket

This is another popular caching plugin that is easy to configure and offers a bunch of different features, including loading images on request and static file compression. The features offered by WP Rocket would generally require several plugins to achieve, which is one of the reasons why it is such a popular choice. Pricing starts from $39 per year.

Key Features:

  • Sitemap preloading
  • Lazyload
  • Database optimization
  • Page caching
  • Google fonts optimization
  • Browser caching
  • DNS prefetching
  • And more…
  • Perfmatters

This plugin works to improve page load times by working with your existing caching plugin. Perfmatters improves the speed of your site by eliminating unnecessary HTTP requests and self-pingbacks, limiting post revisions and more. Plans start from $19.95 per month.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight plugin
  • Disable emojis
  • Disable embeds
  • Remove query strings
  • Change autosave interval
  • DNS prefetching
  • Preconnect
  • And more…
  • WP Super Minify

One of the best ways to reduce website loading times is to combine JS, HTML and CSS files, which is what the WP Super Minify plugin does. It also gives you the option to disable JavaScript compression if need be in case it conflicts another one of your plugins. WP Super Minify is a free plugin.

Key Features:

  • Easy to use plugin
  • Minify CSS, HTML and JavaScript files
  • Disable compression of JavaScript or CSS files
  • And more…
  • W3 Total Cache

This is another popular plugin that goes beyond basic caching. W3 Total Cache uses an array of caching methods and offers CloudFlare and CDN services. Unfortunately, even though it is free, it’s not the easiest plugin to setup. If you aren’t entirely sure that you know what you’re doing, it’s best to involve a developer for this one.

Key Features:

  • Object caching
  • Browser caching
  • Database optimization
  • CDN support
  • Minifying
  • And More…
  • WP Smush

The sole purpose of this plugin is to optimize the images on your site by removing unnecessary bytes from each of them. The good news is that you won’t be able to see a quality difference so your images will still look great while enhancing your user experience. WP Smush is also a free plugin.

Key Features:

  • Meta stripping from JPEGs
  • JPEG optimisation
  • Stripping of unused colour from images
  • Run new and existing images through plugin
  • And more…
  • BJ Lazy Load

When a new visitor lands on your site, the entire website will load, which can do a number on your page load times. The BJ Lazy Load plugin ensures that the elements on your website are only loaded once they are needed. For example, instead of loading all the images on your site, the plugin will load images as a user scrolls down a page. BJ Lazy Load is a free plugin.

Key Features:

  • Requires jQuery
  • Serves scaled images with responsive themes
  • Replaces images and thumbnails
  • Replaces iframes with placeholders
  • And more…