I have been blogging with WordPress since more than four years, and my hands-on experience with it leads me to believe that Wordpress is one of ideal frameworks for creating websites & blogs. Due to its easy to use features and a huge library of freely available plugins, even a newbie or non-coder can make pro websites using WordPress. The only condition, however, is that you should smartly implement the built-in functionalities and the right set of add-ons.
One of the most important features of WordPress that can be improved using add-ons i.e. plugins is its speed. And after some recent updates in Google’s ranking algorithm, site loading speed has become even more important for ranking website.
So I think this is the perfect time to publish my first-hand list of useful speed optimization plugins for WordPress. To verify whether this plugins work for your site or not, I recommend you to note down your site speed using Google Page Speed Insights or a similar tool before and after installation. This way you will better comprehend their effect. Feel free to share your experience with these plugins after installing, & please do let me know it I am missing something.
WordPress plugins to Improve Loading time of your Blog
When it comes to speed, you will inevitably find W3 Total Cache in must have WP plugin lists. W3 cache imposes automatic cache control of database objects, posts, pages, content, etc. on your WordPress site. It improves server-side performance, reduces download times and provides smooth CDN integration for faster site speed.
- How to install & configure W3Total Cache plugin
- WP-Rocket: Is it really the best cache plugin for WordPress?
This plugin is must have for sites with at least a couple of images per post and beneficial for other sites too. It reduces image file size by compressing JPG & PNG files and converting high size formats into JPG & PNG. Though it performs lose-less image compression that doesn’t reduce image quality, you can optionally set it for lossy compression if image’s visual quality is of no much importance to your site.
Advanced Lazy Load activates lazy load mode in WordPress that makes image load only when they are scrolled up in the visible area by the user. It means even if you have fifty images in your blog, only the ones in the visible area will load upon opening that page. The rest will load one by one as the user scrolls down the web page. This also saves user’s surfing data and makes your webpage’s loading speed superior.
One of the reasons of slower site can be site’s database. Most of the websites won’t have a huge database usually, but for sure there will be many redundant rows. Thankfully, removing such rows is not as much hard in WordPress as in other frameworks. WP-optimize is a database optimization plugin that will automatically identify redundant i.e. useless entries in your database and make it sleeker by removing them. Lesser rows mean faster queries which mean faster site loading ultimately. Though the difference made by this improvement is very minute, it is worth implementing because all you have to do is to install a plugin!
Similar to images in WordPress, videos can also be configured to load on user request only. Lazy Load For Videos will automatically identify videos in your post and replace them with a static thumbnail that will load video only when the user clicks upon thumbnail. This reduces loading time for pages having video elements.
While coding the websites and themes, WordPress developers use a lot of space to keep the codes well-documented. However, this results into redundant memory usage that can be removed by GZip compression. GZip compression removes useless space in coding and makes CSS, HTML, etc. files smaller. This compression is so efficient that it reduces more than 50% file size on average. Coders, don’t worry though because this plugin will not modify the original files. It uses compressed versions of them. So in future if you need to modify the code, you can still do it.
While W3 Total Cache also does this, I recommend you to use this dedicated GZip compression plugin instead for better management and efficiency.
P3 i.e. Plugin Performance Profiler performs a check on your website and creates the detailed, comprehensible breakdown of plugins’ load time. This report enables you identify & replace the time-consuming plugins with the optimal ones.
The last plugin in my list is for keeping other plugins neatly arranged. As you identify the heavy and lighter plugins with P3, you will be easily able to decide which plugin is more important for your site and which is the least one. With Plugin Organizer, you can make specific plugins load only on specific pages & set their loading order manually.
Along with this, I highly recommend you to configure Cloudflare with your blog. It’s free & it offers free CDN & make your blog secure. You can read the benefits here & see the below video to learn more about it.
So how useful did you find this post? Please do let me know your experience or if I am missing something.
This post is contributed by Darshan. Want to contribute something for ShoutMeLoud bloggers community? read our submission guidelines.