You have put so much of the hard work into building your website but speed is the one thing which can kill it before it even has a chance as loading speed is essential to your site’s success. Most visitors to your site are only willing to wait a few seconds for your site to load before they decide to leave your site and through Google eventually, they will go to your competitor site. As per a research report on Search Engine Land, it was finally official that Google now counts the loading speed of your website as a ranking factor. Means Google, the search engine includes your loading speed in its search algorithms. Hence faster your site, the better your ranking.
Why speed matters?
The performance of your WordPress site and how much visitors it attracts depends on the speed of your WordPress website. Better performance will engage visitors on the website for a longer time. If a website takes lots of time to load then users will lose interest and will move on to another website that offers the same services as yours but is much faster. Hence it is essential that your WordPress website loads and performs faster than your competitors.
Every one of us wants to rank better and bring lots of traffic to our site. Actually, speed is not just the important factor for search engine ranking but it is also important for user experience. By improving your website loading time, you can give a better user experience to your website visitors.
As per a research report, the following statistics appear:-
- 47% of the People Expect sites to load in two seconds or less.
- 40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- 64% of shoppers who are not satisfied with their site visit will go somewhere else to shop next time.
For the people who use WordPress, have this great advantage as they don’t have to be too technical to do some great improvements in their websites loading time. There are several WordPress plugins available to make your life easier. These plugins have been designed to speed up your websites loading time.
Now as you know why speed matters, I will show you how you can optimize your new or existing WordPress website.
You need some of the best WordPress speed optimization plugins to make your site load faster for e.g. Plugins related to Cache, image compression, lazy load and more. You can use these to make your website load faster.
These plugins are designed to increase the load speed of your website through a variety of mechanisms. Which plugin you need depends greatly on the structure, design, and reach of your website. There are plugins for high traffic sites and also plugins for image heavy sites. To help you narrow down which WordPress plugins are best for your site, we have narrowed down some of the best, each having a slightly different focus.
Below is our list of some of the best speed optimizing plugins.
WP Fastest Cache plugins have a great set of features which are balanced with ease of use. Some of the plugins are basic while some are advanced but the developers of this particular plugin have made it for the middle ground.
Install, activate this plugin from WordPress dashboard and then run through the settings. After that hit saves and you are now ready to use it. You can easily set cache expiration times for certain URL strings. This plugin has been used by over 5,00,000 people and has received great reviews at WordPress.org.
Some of its features are: Easy to Setup, 1 click to clear cache, Set Posts/Pages to exclude, Set expiration times for all posts/pages or certain URL strings.
Cache Enabler is one of the best plugins. It is developed by the team of KeyCDN. It is a lightweight caching plugin that you can setup in few minutes. It also has the option to set cache expiry time, minification setup and some more options. If you want to add a CDN then you can use the sister plugin to this called CDN Enabler.
Some of its features are: it is simple to setup, 1-click to clear cache, can set cache behaviour, minification feature, can set post ID’s to exclude from the cache and the user can set expiration times.
This plugin is basically based on the service called Yahoo Smush.it and is used to optimize images and to remove unnecessary bytes from image files. Most other tools use ‘lossy’ format which can reduce the quality but this uses lossless formats hence you won’t notice any difference in quality. Using this plugin you can easily resize, optimize and compress all of your images. This plugin has been benchmarked and tested number one for speed and quality and is an award-winning, proven and most favourite image optimization plugin for WordPress. With image resizing, you can set a max width and height so that the large images scale down as they are being compressed.
WP Smush can smush every single image on your site and cuts all the unnecessary data without slowing down your site.
Some of its features are: Optimize your images using advanced lossless compression techniques, Optimize any image in the directory, Set maximum width and height so that large images will automatically scale before being added to your library, Auto smush your attachments for super fast compression on upload.
Generally, when a visitor visits your website and tries to load a page it will load the whole page. If it is a long page with lots of images then this can cause your loading time to increase a lot. Actually, you don’t need the whole page to load at the same time, especially images which usually take lots of time to load.
The idea of ‘lazy loading’ is that only specific elements are only loaded when they are actually needed.
Some of its features are: It replaces post images, Gravatar images and post thumbnails, It replaces content iframes with a placeholder until content needs to load, This plugin uses jQuery to operate, It serves scaled down images with responsive designs.
Over time your WordPress site accumulates unnecessary data. WP-Optimize is a WordPress site optimization plugin built to automatically clean your WordPress database so that it runs at maximum efficiency. This plugins works to de-fragment MySQL tables as well as remove data like pingbacks, expired transient options, trashed comments, post revisions etc. This plugin provides great control over which areas of your site you want to optimize. You will also have the option to run automatic, scheduled cleanups of your website’ s database.
Some of its features are: Compact/de-fragment MySQL tables with a button press, Detailed control of which optimizations you want to carry out, Removes all unnecessary data, Carries out automatic weekly cleanups, Retains a set number of week’s data during clean-ups, Mobile friendly and easy to use.
If you want to clean up your database in a single click then Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions plugin is best for you. In just one click you can make this plugin to delete a number of unnecessary data like trashed posts, spammed comments, unused tags, expired transients etc. This plugin also keeps a log of everything it does and is available in many languages. This plugin also works with WordPress Multisite.
Some of its Features: Deletes revision of posts, pages and/or custom post types, Deletes spammed comments, Deletes unused tags, Optimizes the database tables, Creates a log file of all the optimizations, Optimization can be scheduled to automatically run once hourly, twice daily, once daily or once weekly at a specific time.
If you are looking for one of the most popular and free web caching option then you can use W3 Total Cache which is the most advanced plugin for web performance optimization till now. This plugin has been downloaded more than 1 million times. This plugin is one of the most respected WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) frameworks which is recommended by major web developers and web hosts. It has also gained the trust of big businesses like AT&T, Mashable.com, pearsonified.com, css-tricks.com, mattcutts.com etc. W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing the website performance, reducing the download times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration. This plugin can give you the benefit of at least 10x improvement in overall site performance, improvements in conversion rates, improvements in search engine rankings and up to 80 % bandwidth savings.
We have just discussed the important and most popular WordPress plugins which you can use to optimize your WordPress site in reducing the loading time and in increasing its overall performance. We have discussed some plugins for caching of your website, some for image optimization, some for database optimization and some for lazy loading. If you are struggling to speed up your WordPress installation then just install a few of these plugins and have a dramatic improvement on your page load times. Please note that you need not install all of these. Only install what you need and remember that less is more. Although there may be some other ways also to speed up your site but some of these plugins are one of the great ways to start with and speed up your WordPress site.