7 Great Plugins to Increase Speed in WordPress
The loading time of your WordPress site is extremely important for great user experience as well as your site’s search engine ranking. If we take into consideration the studies that show that the average human attention span has dropped from 12 to 7 seconds from 2000 to 2016, it means users will potentially leave a site before it even loads.
Loading time is one of the most important factors and it can make or break your business as consumers expect web pages to load very quickly. The numbers speak for themselves: for example, 40% of users reported that they would abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Additionally, over half of all mobile users abandon a page based solely on the slow loading time. At the same time, sites loading in 1-2 seconds have higher conversion rates.
Therefore, if you want more visitors, more subscribers, revenue, and more traffic, your site has to be fast. To do that, there are several useful WordPress plugins:
Shortpixel is another tool that can make your WordPress site faster as it compresses images, resizes oversized images and it also removes EXIF data. It provides up to 90% compression rate and the resulting smaller images have the same quality as the original ones. This WordPress plugin uses advanced compression technology that translates into:
- Quick backups
- Less bandwidth usage
- Powerful algorithms
- Better search ranking
Clearfy removes query strings and it can also be used to:
- Limit the number of post revisions
- Speed up search engine indexing
- Clear site code from trash
- Disable Google Maps, emojis, gravatars, autosaves
Overall, you’ll enjoy 50+ functions and if you need, you can turn off a particular function with one click. Its general benefits are improved speed of the website, online shop, and blog, as well as SEO and security.
WP-Optimize is an all-in-one plugin that is able to cache your WordPress site, clean the database and compress images. This tool is useful because it:
- Executes automatic weekly (or otherwise) clean-ups
- Carries out optimizations without the need for running manual queries
- Compacts/de-fragment MySQL tables
- Provides database statistics and potential savings
The free version of this plugin is packed with many useful features. However, the Premium plan comes with extra features that offer more flexibility.
Lazy Load For Videos
Lazy Load For Videos automatically identifies your videos in your posts and it configures them to load on user request. Then, the plugin replaces your videos with static thumbnails. Thus, your videos will load only once your visitors click on the thumbnail, which is great especially if you have a site with many embedded videos.
- Several play button styles
- Custom CSS via the plugin’s admin panel
- Hiding annotations such as “subscribe to channel” to keep your users focused
With the help of Lazy Load For Videos, Vimeo and YouTube videos are replaced with clickable preview images and all YouTube videos are loaded in a privacy-enhanced mode.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is recommended by many of the most important WordPress hosting companies. Its features include everything you need to make your WordPress site faster and it also has a very useful and comprehensive settings section with a separate tab for quick and easy setup. The main features are the following:
- cache pre-loading
- gzip compression
- page cache
- advanced-cache preload
- CDN support
Perfmatters makes it possible to disable HTTP requests that you don’t need, which means you can stop plugins from loading code if it’s not necessary. It can be used also by non-tech savvy people as its dashboard is user-friendly. The plugin is designed to be compatible with your caching plugin and new features are added frequently.
Its other benefits are:
- REST API control
- disabled scripts on per page/post basis
- lightweight plugin
- support straight from the developers of the plugin
Recommendations to Boost Your WordPress Site Speed
Aside from knowing which are the most useful plugins to improve your website speed, there are also some general recommendations that you need to take into consideration.
Updating your site regularly doesn’t provide only new features, but it helps you prevent security issues. Before updating your site, don’t forget to perform a backup if something unfortunate takes place during the process.
Use CDN (Content Delivery Network) to reduce the impact that the location of your web hosting servers can have on your site speed. Using CDN, your website visitors get static files from the closest server to them.
Additionally, your WordPress site theme should be optimized for speed. Therefore, when choosing a theme is important to take into consideration several things to avoid having your site slowed down.
If you put much value on your time or you’re not a tech-savvy person, you can outsource. With the right approach and with the help of a web developer hiring guide, you can easily find someone who will help you, so you can focus on other things that need your attention.
Long posts should be split into pages as this could affect your website loading time. Breaking comments into pages is also helpful as loading numerous comments can also impact your site’s speed.
Don’t use too many plugins as they will burden your site. Instead, make sure you do thorough research before deciding what plugins to install and keep them updated.
You should also pick a high-quality hosting plan. This is one of the most important choices you will make because the site’s speed can’t be fast if the server doesn’t permit that.
Avoid uploading videos directly to the WordPress media library. By doing this, videos take huge bandwidth from your server, which will make your site load very slowly. Instead, you can upload your videos to Vimeo or YouTube and then embed them in the WordPress editor.
Testing Your Site Speed
Before going ahead and trying out these plugins and recommendations, test your website speed. This way, you will be able to make comparisons and you will definitely realize how all the implemented changes boosted your WordPress site performance. There are several tools that can help you know how fast your WordPress site loads:
Pingdom Page Speed tool provides many insights on how to make your site faster by specifying particular fixes you need to do to improve the speed.
GTmetrix features a letter grade to show you how well your site loads. It offers you the possibility to set automatic alerts to get notified if your site starts loading slowly again.
Page Speed Insights by Google provides a step-by-step guide of how to improve the speed of the site and also a detailed description of the loading speed on both desktop and mobile. In addition, you will receive notifications about which changes are low, medium, or high priority, so you will be able to make better decisions faster.
The faster a website loads, the more users will attract, and thus, it’s more likely for them to return and enjoy your content, your products, or services. The above mentioned plugins are extremely useful as they can make great improvements to your site’s speed. Plus, a fast loading site will also improve your rankings in the SERPs. In addition, it can increase the number of conversions, social shares, and subscriptions, so it will benefit you both in the short as well as in the long run.
Author Romy Toma-Catauta works in the marketing field and is passionate about writing on web design, business development, interior design, and psychology.
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!