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10 Best WordPress Plugins to Speed Up Your Site

Written By Aaron

TechCrunch, New Yorker, BBC, and Bloomberg are some of the huge websites that use WordPress. In fact, 39.5% of all sites are now powered by WordPress. Part of this is down to its ease of use, but do you know how important speed is to the process?

Slow websites mean reduced SEO scores. Read on as we discuss the best WordPress plugins for improving your speed. 

1. W3 Total Cache

This plugin is one of the most popular plugins among the WordPress community, and many people install it as standard. Using a content delivery network (CDN) caches your pages in the browser of visitors. When they visit the site again, they already have much of the information to hand, letting the site load quicker. 

A quicker loading time means an increased SEO score. Crucially, the plugin itself is free. It has a huge impact when people visit your site using mobile devices, and bandwidth savings can also increase to around 80%. 

2. WordPress Rocket

If you are looking for the best SEO plugin for WordPress that provides an all-in-one solution, most people will point you to WordPress Rocket. This plugin deals with all of your speed needs. It has caching, a whole host of surprise features but most of all, an extremely user-friendly interface. 

By doing what three or four other plugins do, you can lighten the load from excess applications. It is a WordPress membership plugin requiring a fee, so, unfortunately, none of it comes for free. However, it is worth the small expense and will make a huge difference to your website. 

3. Perfmatters

Perfmatters is a great plugin for micromanaging certain aspects of your website’s speed. Unlike other sites, it does not aim for sweeping changes but instead alters small settings that slow your site down. This amounts to big changes in speed. 

Unfortunately, Perfmatters does not have a caching function, so it is best to use it in conjunction with W3 Total Cache. As the changes can often be very specific, it is also best for people who know the impact the changes may have, so it is not advised for people new to WordPress and code. 

4. WP Fastest Cache

This is another great WordPress SEO plugin for fast caching. Like many of the others, it is also free and comes with a 4.9-star rating. A paid version gives even more features than the generous free one. 

As well as caching, Gzip compression, minification and CDN integration are standard. Paying gets you to access to image and database optimization, lazy loading and more. 

5. WP Super Minify

Minification can sometimes cause problems with other plugins and themes if you are unsure of what you are doing. For this reason, you should proceed with caution and use a plugin that allows you to easily reverse your decisions. Super minify lets you do just that. 

When you minify, you are placing HTML, CSS and JS files in one place. They can then be compressed and served to visitors faster. This plugin does just that with the click of a button and lets you reverse your decisions easily. 

6. ShortPixel

ShortPixel is one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress that deals solely with images. In some instances, they can account for half of the size of a website. By concentrating on their optimization, you can severely limit this amount and increase your speed. 

When you upload images, the plugin automatically resizes them and compresses them. It also has PNG to JPEG conversions and WebP conversions for browsers. The plugin works by giving you 100 free images conversions per month and charges a nominal fee of $4.99 on top of that. 

7. LazyLoad by WP Rocket

Lazyload is a technique that only loads the part of a website visible to a user. Without it, the whole webpage loads on their device, slowing download time. If these are sections are below the viewable area, this is just a waste. 

LazyLoad by WP Rocket is a free plugin that does this for you. It will replace post thumbnails and images, replace YouTube frames with thumbnails and lighten the site’s weight by installing no use of jQuery and Javascript. 

8. WP Smush.it

Smush is another highly regarded image compression plugin. It will reduce the size of your images but do so without any visible difference in quality. This is done by taking out unused colours and eliminating their metadata.

Therefore you can carry on hosting all the images your website needs without slowing down its efficiency. It supports major image formats like JPEG, PNG and GIF. For mass compression, it can work on around fifty images at once. 

9. WP-Optimize

Whenever you add a post, WordPress saves revisions of it. The more you edit the post, the more revisions are saved, and the more data is used up. 

Post can also be enlarged by spam comments and messages. WP-Optimize takes all of these factors and eliminates them. It deletes revisions that are not needed, then erases spam from the comments section. 

As well as this, it provides caching and image compression. This means it can delete a lot of the need for excess plugins. 

10. NitroPack

NitroPack is another all in one plugin for speed and performance. It aims to do everything in one, so you don’t need multiple plugins. All you do is add the plugin, then choose the level of optimization you require. 

Speed will increase by using CDNs, image compression, caching and minification. Settings can also be customized should you find any problems with the broader choices. 

Best WordPress Plugins

Now you know the best WordPress plugins, try a few out. Conduct a Google speed test and see what your main issues are. Match the problem with the plugin and increase your speed!

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