5 Best WordPress Plugins To Speed Up Your Website

Best Plugins To Speed Up Your WordPress Website
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Does your WordPress site suffer from annoying lag when loading? What does Google Speed Insight have to say about your loading times? Don’t worry. There are simple steps you can take to solve the problem, without going ‘under the hood’ yourself.

WordPress has boomed in popularity since its launch way back in 2003, becoming the world’s most popular content management system (CMS); in fact, a massive 1 in 4 websites are built with WordPress.

Despite WordPress’ well-deserved reputation as a user-friendly CMS, problems such as frustrating waiting times still arise because one size does not fit all. Fortunately, the great benefit of WordPress is that solutions can be easily found with the use of plugins.

These handy tools can work wonders behind the scenes, optimising your site to speed it up at the touch of a button. We recommend that you run your website through Pingdom or Google Speed Insights before installing any of the plugins below, to measure any speed improvements.

WP Optimize

WP Opimize
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This plugin is great for conducting a quick health-check on your website. WP Optimize is built to scan your site’s database, which is a directory of all the themes, plugins and other changes that you’ve made. While the database is needed for the smooth running of the site, it can get clogged up with entries for old themes and plugins no longer in use. WP Optimize will find and remove any dead-end entries so that your site isn’t wasting time on them.

Imsanity

Imsanity
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This plugin gives you automatic powers to scale down and compress the images on your site. If you’re sick of resizing and converting all your images to small jpegs, simply install Imsanity and it’ll do the job for you.

Autoptimize

Autoptimize
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This tool is ideal if Google Speed Insight tells you that you have CSS or JavaScript issues on your site. Simply install Autoptimize and use its beginner-friendly options to minimise these scripts and let your site load without their interference.

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache
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Just as it sounds, this plugin works like a cached version of a website. Caching is when your computer stores a version of a website locally, so that it doesn’t need to load everything from scratch each time. WP Super Cache produces static HTML files of your website so that visitors can speedily load it up, without having to load everything each time. Make sure to adjust the settings to determine how often this happens, or visitors may miss out on updates.

WP Smush

WP Smush
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This plugin simply ‘smushes’ images into smaller files, just like Imsanity. WP Smush is great for reducing size without reducing quality and even performs this operation with the images already existing on your site, allowing you to make retroactive repairs if you fear that large images are a big part of your speed problems.

Update:

WP Rocket Plugin Logo
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Back in April 2016, 6 months after publishing this post, we tested newer plugins that became available to download as free or premium caching plugins.

After running various tests on these newly available plugins, we highly recommend WP Rocket, a paid plugin which offers so many features, such as lazy load, Content Delivery Network (CDN) integration, minification of HTML, CSS, Java Script, Google fonts, database optimisation, caching for mobile devices, feeds and SSL along with sitemap preloading.

We hope the above information was helpful for you. If you also want to learn more about fixing or hardening the security on your WordPress site, see our post here on How to Fix and Protect Your Hacked WordPress Website.

By |Monday, 2 November, 2015|On-Page SEO, Web Design, WordPress|

About the Author:

Mark Baldwin is the managing director of Baldwin Digital, an Irish digital marketing company based in Cork, Ireland. He is a digital marketing specialist with expertise in search engine optimisation, Google AdWords management and website development. When he’s not implementing digital marketing strategies in collaboration with his team, he enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family and friends.

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