If WordPress CMS is the core of a website, then Plugins are the soul of the website. WordPress Plugins give functions to a website making it workable or more efficient. It also helps to enhance some website functions, such as enhancing and optimizing website speed.
In today’s digital world, technology is changing rapidly. People demand faster loading apps and websites and can no longer tolerate slow loading websites. Thus making sure your website always loads fast is important to retain website visitors and attract new ones.
In this article, we wish to share with you the top 20 WordPress Plugins that can help to speed up your website. Keep reading…
Caching and Website Optimization
WP Rocket is one of the well known WordPress speed optimization software on the market. It is able to perform multiple types of optimization including caching, compression, preloading, CDN, lazy load and much more. The advantage of this plugin is it helps to do all the necessary work to optimize your website speed within one plugin. However, WP Rocket is a premium plugin that costs as low as $49. If you wish to get good optimization with less effort and don’t have a budget restriction, WP Rocket might be one of the best choices for you.
If you are looking for a free version of WP Rocket, then W3 Total Cache is the one you should look into. Total Cache is one of the most popular speed optimization WordPress plugins that is Free to use. Its functions are basically similar to WP Rocket, such as caching, eliminate render-blocking CSS, minify codes and much more. There are a total of 25 features that this plugin can do. Refer here for more details.
Developed by Automattic (WordPress’s developers), it is another popular caching plugin in the WordPress community. Basically it is similar to other cache plugins like W3 Total Cache, optimizing all the required elements on your website. Some technical skills are required to setup this plugin for the best optimization. It can also perform a high level of caching and compression on your website code, but be aware of the setting as it might over-compress, causing your website layout to collapse. This plugin is Free to use.
A website optimization plugin that we recommend despite its unpopularity. The reason we recommend this plugin is it’s relatively easier to use, and no complicated coding and settings are needed. The plugin will suggest the suitable level of optimization based on your website setup such as PHP settings, 3rd party plugins, timeout test, loopback, connections and various caching settings. The plugin also helps to improve CDN optimization. You can upgrade to a Pro plan if you need more functions.
An image optimization plugin that helps you to optimize your images through lazy load, resize and compression. It will automatically optimize and compress your image every time you upload new images to your website. Besides that, the plugin can also help to detect incorrect image size and optimize to the correct one. This plugin is great and you should try it. It is Free to use but if you want more advanced features, you can always upgrade to a Pro plan.
This plugin is relatively less popular if compared to other WordPress plugins stated here, but personally, we feel that this plugin deserves a shine. The setup is pretty simple (almost no setup required) to start optimizing your image. If you really need to configure, you can configure these few options: CDN setup, Compression, WebP and Lazy Load. We love this plugin because it really builds for busy people like us, and make it possible for us to save a lot of time when optimizing our website.
Imagify is another plugin that helps you optimize your website image. Free to install, it provides almost all the basic features of image optimization. Bulk optimization is one of the core features that enable you to optimize all your website images at one time. It also lets you select the compression level of your image so that it won’t compromise the image quality. Imagify enables you to restore your media in their original versions when you need to after the optimization and compression.
This free plugin will automatically optimize new images that you upload to your website. It can also optimize all the images that you have already uploaded, and optionally convert your images to the best file format. Two Compression options can be chosen: pixel perfect compression or high compression options that are visually lossless. This plugin can compress less common image formats such as jpegtran, optipng, pngout, pngquant, gifsicle, cwebp. Most importantly, all the processes are done automatically, you can just sit back and relax.
Created by the well known TinyPNG, this plugin serves the same purpose as their website. This plugin automatically optimizes all your images by integrating with the popular image compression services, TinyJPG and TinyPNG. This plugin is also fully compatible with Woocommerce which saves you a lot of time when uploading your products. Multisite compatible is also the key feature of this plugin. You are able to set the API key for all websites by defining the key in your wp-config.php file.
CDN – Content Delivery Network Optimization
As the most well known CDN service provider, Cloudflare always provides the best CDN solutions to the community. It has a great feature called Automatic cache purge, which will automatically purge your cache every time you make a change on your website. This feature might have saved a lot of developers time. Cloudflare not only provides CDN, but it also provides security protection to your website as well through Web application firewall (WAF) rulesets. However, the features provided in this free plugin are limited. If you wish to have more features and better optimization, you are required to pay a fee for the premium version.
BunnyCDN is one of the best Cloudflare alternatives for CDN related plugins because of its simplicity of setting up. Only few information is needed such as site URL, pull zone name and CDN domain name in the entire setup process. It is very user-friendly and effective when it comes to website speed optimization. Most importantly, the service is free to use.
CND Enabler by keycdn is another plugin that is popular among the WordPress community. This plugin helps you to link assets to load from a CDN, set included directories, define exclusions (directories or extensions) and enable or disable CDN for HTTPS. Again, setup is super easy with just a few clicks and it is free to use.
Another Free CDN service plugin in WordPress. The setup is also relatively easy. Install, activate and register with the CDN service and all your static assets on your website will be served through this plugin’s global content delivery network. A small CDN tool for you to discover.
This plugin makes setting up your AWS CloudFront Distribution easy. It helps to link your AWS CDN to your website and serve static contents. Now it even supports WordPress Multisite setup! You can also use other CDN providers that provide a custom CDN URL (example: cdn.yourbestsite.com)
Other Website Speed Optimization WordPress Plugins
Third-party fonts such as Google Font are one of the ways to make your website request spike. These fonts usually will generate a request to its original server when your website loads, causing your website to load slower. OMGF can efficiently remove any requests to external Google Fonts by automatically downloading the fonts you want to the WordPress content folder, and generate a stylesheet for it. The generated stylesheets will then be automatically included in your website’s header and are highly compatible with other website optimization plugins such as W3 Total Cache.
Thinking of cleaning up unused data on your website? WP-Sweep can help you. This free plugin does a very good job in clearing unwanted data such as revisions, auto drafts, spammed and deleted comments, unused terms, duplicated meta, Transient options, optimizing database tables, oEmbed caches in post meta and much more. It is good for people who needs assistance in management.
Plugins are great but when you have plenty of them, managing them is chaos for certain developers. As we know, the more plugin on your website, the more requests it will produce, hence slowing down your loading time. In this case, let “Plugin Load Filter” help you manage your plugins, especially those unused ones. This plugin will automatically deactivate unnecessary plugins for each individual post and page that you specify. Cool? What’s better? This plugin is free.
Peftmatters is a premium WordPress plugin that performs even deeper website optimization. It optimizes what most plugins do not do, such as disabling emoji, disable embeds, disable self pingbacks and some API related queries. The scripts manager features will also allow you to disable scripts on a per post/page basis. This awesome plugin was priced at $24.95 per year for a single website.
Bonus: Choose the right theme
Choosing the right theme can also affect your website loading speed, in fact, it is a major factor that affects your loading speed. If you choose a good and lightweight theme, in some cases, you don’t even need a plugin to enhance your speed. Here are some good themes we recommend:
- eCommerce Gem
For more details of these awesome themes, see best wordpress theme here.
In conclusion, speed matters in this modern technology era. It is webmaster’s responsibility to provide a fast and seamless web experience to its visitors. We hope the list above can help you further enhance your site’s loading speed.
However, refrain from installing all the plugins above. Just pick one from each category based on your requirements. Having too many WordPress plugins increases the number of web requests and data queries. Installing too many plugins can cause plugin conflict, which can be a big problem.
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Hope it helps, happy coding!