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5 WordPress Plugins to Improve Your Websites Speed

By Airon Rodrigues

Page speed is an important factor for ranking in Google search results. Load time affects not only visitor engagement, retention, and conversion rates, but it can also affect a website ranking.

How quickly, or how slowly, website loads will impact the website in many ways. The main way being user experience.

In this blog post, we will discuss 5 WordPress plugins you can start using today to improve your site speed.

Why Page Speed Is Important

Google considers the loading time of a page as an indication of how long a user will have to wait to see results. If Google knows a certain website has a slow page speed, it is less likely to offer the information as the first choice to users.

Faster loading websites result in satisfied users who are likely to leave with a positive experience and return to the site in the future. However, faster sites don’t just improve user experience; they can also improve conversation rates.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache speed up wordpress

W3 Total Cache is one the most widely used WordPress plugins to improve page speed. The reason why it is such a recommend installment is that of it more than just a simple plugin, it’s a complete framework. Meaning, there’s a huge array of options and various caching methods that are supported.

Ultimately, W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of a site by increasing a website performance by reducing download times.

However, because it’s quite a large installment it doesn’t make for an easy setup.

What are some of the features?

  • CDN Support
  • Browser caching
  • Database caching
  • Object caching
  • Minifying
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support

Price: Free

GTmetrix for WordPress

gt metrix

GTMetrix provides insight on how well your site loads and provides actionable recommendations on how to optimize and rectify it.

GTMetrix reports on different page speed aspect and grades them from A to F. This allows a user to quickly see which areas of a website need attention compared to which areas are currently performing well.

These features are now included in WordPress, that actively keeps track of your WP installment and sends you alerts if your site falls below certain criteria. In addition, the GTMetrix plugin connects you with the GTmetrix API which allows you to run analyses, schedule reports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and receive alerts about the status of your site directly within your WordPress dashboard.

Price: Free

WP Super Cache

WP super cache speed up wordpress

What makes WP Super Cache such an effective plugin is because it offers a load of features and it’s easy to set up. (At least easier than some other plugins). This plugin has seen over 5.5 million downloads, so it must help in increasing site speed.

Ultimately, this WP Super Cache generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress website. After an HTML file is generated, the web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier WordPress PHP scripts, which it would have done had this plugin not been installed. Because the web server must no longer process the heavier WordPress PHP script, the website will, therefore, respond faster.

Some of the features include:

  • Support for multiple caching types (Mod_Rewrite, PHP, and Legacy)
  • Serve static HTML files
  • Cache Preload
  • CDN support

Price: Free

WP Smush

WP smush

One of the most common reasons for a slow site speed is images that are too large and are taking too long to load. In the past, the only way around this issue was reducing the quality of the image which would reduce the size.

However, thanks to WP Smush, the quality of the image can remain the same while simultaneously loading at a faster speed.

With WP Smush, every image is compressed so that the overall size is decreased, yet the integrity and quality of the image remain intact.

Some of the features include:

  • Strips un-used colour from images
  • Strips metadata from JPEG’s (this isn’t needed anyway)
  • Optimizing JPEG compression
  • Integrates with the Smush.it API
  • Choose to run existing images through the plugin

Price: Free

WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache

Like WP Super Cache, Faster Cache offers an easy set up will a list of features.

With over 3 million downloads, Faster Cache offers faster rendering to your website by creating a static HTML file, so that multiple users reach the same static page rather than having the page render repeatedly.

Some of the features include:

  • Easy setup
  • 1-click to clear cache and/or minified CSS etc
  • Minify CSS and HTML
  • Set posts/pages to exclude (some like admin area excluded by default)
  • Set expiration times for all posts/pages or certain URL strings
  • CDN integration
  • Premium version available with extra features

Price: Free

As these are only 5 plugins, there is still a great number of plugins for your WordPress site that will make a world of difference.

The important thing to realize is that site speed is important, and you have to do everything you can to ensure your website is performing to a certain standard.

To assess your website in terms of its current speed, head to Google Page Speed Insights and see what the results are. After one of the above plugins has been installed, run another test on your website and document any improvements.

Begin increasing your site speed today!

Categories: SEO

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