We all are aware that site speed or page loading speed is a crucial ranking factor by Google.
But how to make your WordPress site faster and stop visitors taking an exit path?
It will have a detrimental effect on your business if you ignore the speed factor of the site.
With the plethora of WordPress plugins around, it is a formidable task for us to pick the best plugins to boost the speed of our WordPress blog.
Here are 5 Best Plugins to Speed Up WordPress Site:
- Image Compression.
If you widely use images on your blog, it is necessary to keep a close eye on the size of these image files before you upload.
Images with big size could slow down your blog, and slow site implies fatal user experience which Google don’t appreciate.
We can use free and best image optimisation plugin –WP Smush.it which essentially reduces the size of the images (automatically), improves the performance and elevates SEO.
What it does is, it smushes(compress) every image file, shreds unnecessary details and scales inappropriately before it is added to the media library.
Here`s what you achieve using WP Smush.it:
- Your images are optimised with superior lossless compression
- You have flexibility to SET height and width for images.
- It supports multiple formats: JPEG, GIF and PNG image files.
- It smushes the images (in BULK) which are already uploaded- A Power feature to reduce the file size in one go.
- Smushing process is quick and fast.Download: WP Smush.it
- Loading Images above the Fold.
Improving page loading speed is our primary motto, and one way to accomplish is to render the images above the fold.
In Web Design, above the fold is the section of the site that is visible in the browser window when the page is loaded and below the fold refers to the section that requires scrolling.
You don’t want all your images load at once as it will consume lot of bandwidth needlessly.
A cool WP Plugin: BJ Lazy Load does the fast loading of pages and conserves bandwidth optimally.
Interesting to note is its ability to work in conjunction with CDN (Content Delivery Networks).
Know more about : BJ Lazy Load
In software and web development world, programmers follow the practice to insert ample white space in code which enhances the readability and interpretation.
But, adding these spaces will make these files heavy which is not good from speed optimization angle.
Minification is a process of getting rid of all redundant and unwanted characters from code without diluting or changing its functionality
- White space characters
- New line characters
- Block delimiters
Fortunately, plugin – Better WordPress Minify does this with ease.
Know more: BWP Minify
- Enable Caching – Bump up the Speed.
Caching is the process to store recently used information in the temporary storage area.(or memory).
When we request any web resource or visit a web page for the first time, information and files associated with it get stored in this temporary storage.
Now, next time when you visit same resource /webpage, you will be served with the copy of the information which is retrieved from the temporary storage section.
OK, allow me to simplify further.
In the illustration above carefully observe the data flow. How ‘request’ is triggered from the web browser to web server and how ‘response’ is rendered in the form of HTML.
Two types of caching concepts that are important to know:
A: Client Side Caching.
B: Server Side Caching.
Client Side Caching is methodology where browser the stores the copy of recently accessed web resource on local machine/device.
And, Server Side Caching refers to a concept of storing and retrieving the data/pages from WordPress server that are repeatedly requested.
What if I tell both of these methods can be implemented on WordPress site with ease.
Yes, we can achieve this by most popular WordPress Plugin: W3 Total Cache which is said to implement by most popular websites around.
With W3 Total Cache,
- End user experience of you site will be improved: Fast page loads will make users and search engine happy.
- Server performance will be enhanced: Sustains high traffic spikes
- Downtime scenarios will be eliminated with “Content Delivery Networks”.
- Armed with Powerful caching option detailed below:
Download:W3 Total Cache
- Clean and Optimize WordPress Database.
Ok, don’t get intimated.
Firstly, why it is important to clean up your WordPress Database?
- You might have changed the theme or its configurations. There could be some information left which is of no use.
- You might have uninstalled certain plugins which would have left certain junk information which is of zero value.
- The database stores the data related to the revision of post which is again of no value.
- Database also holds information about comments, pingbacks and spam.
All these gets accumulated thereby increasing the size of the database which eventually slows down your website.
Hence, it is crucial for us to keep our WordPress database well optimised as it helps to reduce the site load time.
Best approach is to install plugin: WP Optimize
It’s an effective plugin to clean up WordPress Database comprehensively without getting into technical know-how of it.
Two things I would request you to be cautious:
- Plugin shows the option in RED. Unless you are very sure, leave them unchecked/unselected.
- Advise you to take a back-up before you execute and run the plugin.
You don`t need to run the WP Optimize scan every day.
Here`s the list of the main features of WP-Optimize:
Donwload WP Optimize
One Important Tip: Enable Monitoring for Plugins.
It`s not all about WordPress speed optimization plugin.
Sometimes, we have to envisage the factors that may act as the hurdle to achieve end objective.
In our context, the goal is to achieve top performance.
Here`s where plugins like P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) has a vital role.
What it does effectively keeps an eye on all plugins and alarms us about the plugins which are problematic.
It provides a dashboard (called as a profile) of plugins with key metrics basis which you can determine the action step.
Click here to download: P3 Profiler
Do you feel we need cover more plugins to increase the speed of WordPress site?
Feel free to voice out your views and suggestions.