6 Plugins Guaranteed to Speed up Your Slow WordPress Site

April 28, 2017 11:16 am

Website speed is a big deal. By now you know that it could hurt your business significantly if your website has a slow loading page or generally poor visual performance. We have previously published a guide on website speed. Today, we are going to follow on from that by providing you with some of the best plugins you can use right now, in 2017, to instantly speed up your WordPress site.

Angry coder

In a recent survey, it was shown that 40% of internet users will leave a page that doesn’t open after 3 seconds. It seems unreal when you consider the internet a decade ago, but today’s web user has become extremely impatient.

The bane of a slow performing website

It doesn’t stop there. Another stakeholder that doesn’t like slow loading websites is Google. The search engine company aims to provide a convenient web experience for all internet users, and a slow website contradicts that objective. As a result, such websites are relegated in the search engine results pages, or out of them entirely.

As a business, this can impact your bottom-line massively.

Some causes of a slow performing website

Your WordPress site could be slow due to the following reasons:

  • Un-optimized image files
  • Still using flash
  • Filling your website with heavy code
  • Eternal embedded media
  • Poor Quality web hosting

The Web Hosting Dilemma

We want to spend the less we can on web hosting to get the maximum benefit. It’s kind of like car insurance; we don’t want to be let down when it matters but are going to lean towards the lower quotes. The cheapest hosting on shared servers is rarely the way forward. Shared hosting can be ok, but read reviews. Also, look out for deals where you get hosting and domains discounted when you take both from the same company. For example, on www.freeparking.co.nz/domain-names/nz/ you can get a .nz domain for life with your hosting plan. There are deals like that available through lots of different hosts and domain registrars.

With hosting you need to be able to scale up to greater server resources as your website begins to take off. Make sure that you won’t have to transfer files to a new server, and that the process will be seamless. Your hosting really can affect your site speed, so get good hosting that can perform well where your traffic will be visiting your site from.

If you are not sure of your website speed, use this tool to check it now.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at plugins that can boost the speed of your website dramatically.

1. WP Smush.it

This plugin works along the same lines as Yahoo Smush.it. It operates by optimizing images and eliminating needless bytes from image files. The majority of similar tools use ‘lossy’ formats, which lower quality, but WP Smush.it works with lossless formats, which preserves content quality.

This plugin removes un-used color from your web images, as well as metadata from JPEG. It also integrates with the Smush.it API, and optimizes the compression of JPEG files. Additionally, you can choose to run your current images through the plugin. Note that if you have any issues with image thumbnails, you can use the ‘Regenerate Thumbnail’ plugin to ensure compatibility.

2. P3 Plugin Profiler

This is a Go Daddy original plugin that has proven to be an effective tool for WordPress users. The principle behind the plugin is simple. It works by scanning your WordPress installation to identify which plugins are responsible for your website’s slow performance. Then it presents an analysis of how long it takes each plugin to load, as well as the effect of your theme on load times.

The P3 Plugin gives you a complete profile of the impact each plugin has so you know which one to delete or update (as the case might be). It also provides the simple option of using your website and a debug mode should the site run into problems. In addition to a comprehensive timeline view, the P3 plugin profiler presents a nice visual data chart.

3. BJ Lazy Load

The standard format for websites is this; when a visitor lands on your page, the server presents the whole page to the visitor. If the content is too heavy, it results in a waste of time. Ideally, it may not be necessary to present every item on the page. The concept behind BJ ‘lazy loading’ is that it only presents those key elements that are required at the time.

The plugin works by a replacement strategy. It replaces post images, Gravatar pictures and article thumbnails. It also swaps content iframes with a placeholder until the particular content is needed. BJ lazy load operates with jQuery so it is fast, and it serves images with responsive designs by scaling them down.

4. W3 Total Cache

The cache is a special location in every device where files are stored. It is on smartphones, PCs, and tablets. The storage makes a delivery to the system extremely fast by saving local data temporarily. W3 total cache is a free plugin that is highly recommended. It is easy to install, activate and run on your WordPress site. Once activated, it dramatically boosts your website speed and performance.

If a web browser disables its ability to store cache data, this plugin won’t work. For non-tech-savvy site owners, it is easy to install. Without going into technical details, you can have your site speed improved in no time.

5. WP Optimise

This is a multipurpose plugin that helps resolve speed issues common with many websites. When you install and activate it, the program will request the specific features you wish to run. In addition to web speed, it can enhance database parts, limit post revisions, delete data and perform other important functions.

It also has the ability to correct plugin problems that cause websites to run slowly. WP Optimise is a one-stop plugin, capable of resolving a host of performance-related web issues. What’s more, it is free so you can boost your site’s efficiency at no cost to your business.

6. Imsanity

Imsanity is an effective plugin that resolves issues encountered when uploading large images. It resizes several images together and makes them lighter, without reducing their original quality. Imsanity is able to convert images in BMP format into JPG, significantly reducing the pressure they put on server resources.

The settings can be configured naturally into a website, so it works automatically whenever you add a new image. Imsanity works smoothly with the latest WordPress version. Be sure to update it as soon as a new version is available.

Happy coder

Each plugin mentioned above can work with the current version of WordPress. It is up to you to determine which suits you best in function and ease of use. Besides installing plugins, you could make additional changes to your website like removing flash files and editing out any heavy code that could be dragging the system. Once you have made changes, test the speed with the tool linked above again to confirm the difference. Once you have improved the speed of your WordPress site you should experience a positive increase in web traffic, decreased bounce rates, and longer average visitor times.