Like most people, you’re probably not a fan of slow-loading websites. Odds are that your audience feels the same. Fortunately, you can speed up your WordPress website and deliver content faster with a few high-performing tools.
Without further ado, here are our top recommended plugins to turbocharge your WordPress website:
An Introduction to Website Optimization (And Why It’s Important)
A fast WordPress website has become a requirement in today’s world. However, it’s not only a matter of convenience. Your loading time could have serious implications on your site’s overall performance.
For one thing, Google uses page speed as a ranking factor. This means that the slower your website is, the lower it will likely appear in search engine results. Furthermore, Core Web Vitals is predicted to become another element on which your website is ranked.
As such, site speed is becoming more important for reaching new audiences. However, the value doesn’t end there. Once visitors arrive, more than half of them will abandon your page if it takes over three seconds to load.
If you own an e-commerce store, having a fast site is even more crucial. For a real-world example, you can consider Walmart. The mega-store saw a sharp drop in conversion rates when its page load times grew from one to four seconds.
These delays can cause a lot of problems for your bottom line. If your ecommerce store is making $100,000 per day, for example, just a single second page delay could cost you $2.5 million in lost revenue.
Given the value of a speedy site to your business, you may want to improve your load times straightaway. Fortunately, site optimization can be a simple process with the help of powerful plugins and strategies like quick themes.
How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site (The 6 Best Optimization Plugins)
Here are six of the best plugins to take your site’s speed to the next level.
1. W3 Total Cache
With over one million active installations, W3 Total Cache is a popular choice. However, it’s not all just buzz. This open-source plugin is also extremely powerful and mobile-friendly.
W3 Total Cache offers some other impressive features, such as:
- An integrated content delivery network for super-fast loading
- Specific design to optimize functionality with SSL certificates
- Very fine control over minification for a highly tailored experience
Thanks to all these traits, W3 Total Cache might be a wise choice for you if you operate an online store. It is also updated on a regular basis, so you wouldn’t have to worry about compatibility issues.
W3 Total Cache is free and does not offer any premium options. All features are available at no cost. This plugin is therefore perfect for those who have a tight budget but don’t want to skimp on performance.
Imagify is a speed optimization plugin that’s all about balance. You’ll have access to a lot of settings to calibrate it to your liking. However, the automation features are also robust, making Imagify a champion of hands-off performance optimization.
This plugin has several other handy features to consider as well, including:
- Fine-tuned control over the compression to quality loss ratio
- A native function that will optimize your WordPress theme
- The option to backup and restore images before they’re compressed
In addition to these functions, Imagify is also fully compatible with many popular plugins. As such, it might be the perfect tool if you run a large site with plenty of moving parts. Nevertheless, Imagify is equally effective on smaller sites as well.
On Imagify’s pricing plans, you’ll be paying for file sizes rather than features. The free plan enables you to compress up to 20 MB a month. You can also pay $4.99 per month to compress up to 500 MB, or $9.99 per month to compress files of any size.
3. WP Rocket
If you’re running a website for your small business, you might not have a lot of time on your hands. That’s where WP Rocket comes in. It’s pre-programmed with 80% of web performance best practices already installed. As such, WP Rocket can start speeding up your website right away.
Here are just a few of the most effective features you can access with this plugin:
- A preloading cache that provides your audience with a speedy load time on every page
- GZIP compression to decrease the size of your files
However, all of these powerful traits don’t compromise WP Rocket’s usability. It’s one of the most user-friendly interfaces we’ve seen. If you prioritize an experience that’s both effective and enjoyable, WP Rocket may be the tool for you.
Finally, let’s look at pricing plans. You can purchase full functionality for a single site starting at $49 per year. You can also choose the Plus plan for $99 and three websites, or the Infinite plan for $249 and unlimited websites.
When it comes to providing WordPress security, Cloudflare is a trusted option. However, its optimization plugin shows that the company is no one-trick pony. The Cloudflare optimization plugin makes use of the company’s impressive infrastructure to deliver lightning fast load times.
On top of those benefits, Cloudflare has a few other stand-out features:
- Automatic Platform Optimization (APO), to ensure that all visitors get the same top load speeds, no matter where in the world they are
- Regular, no-hassle cache purging to keep your content up to date
- The ability to adjust all your settings from the WordPress dashboard – no need to navigate to the Cloudflare main site
As you need a Cloudflare account to use the plugin, this might be the best choice for you if you’re already a customer. However, you can also easily sign up for an account at no cost.
The Cloudflare plugin can be downloaded for free in the WordPress directory. Cloudflare also offers other services for a fee, including security measures and other optimization options.
5. WP Sweep
There are plenty of different ways to optimize WordPress sites. WP Sweep has chosen to specialize in cleaning up non-required content. This can include deleted comments, revisions, and auto-saved drafts.
This plugin offers several features that can help your site run fast, such as:
- Reliance on WordPress delete functions rather than direct MySQL queries
- Simple, straightforward configuration to help you make the most of the program
- Elimination of any duplicated post, comment, and user meta data
WP Sweep is as powerful as it is simple, so it can be very useful if you’re running a lightweight system. However, WP Sweep has some interactions that prevent its use with other popular plugins like WPML. Therefore, we recommend consulting the compatibility list before you install the plugin.
WP Sweep is totally free. The developer accepts monetary contributions for those who feel so inclined, but it’s not required in any way and the plugin will still be fully functional without payment.
There are a lot of benefits to an all-in-one optimization tool. Besides only having to learn one interface, you can also control all of your settings from a single plugin. If you’re interested in an effective tool that can give you this experience, consider using WP-Optimize.
Convenience isn’t the only advantage that WP-Optimize offers. Other effective features include:
- A combination of database optimization, image compressions, and minification for the best speed
- Easy optimization of MySQL to keep WordPress orderly and high-performing
- Built-in elimination for spam or unapproved comments on your content
WP-Optimize is thus an impressive multitool to speed up your WordPress site. If you’re interested in a plugin that centralizes a lot of your administrative performance duties, this could be an excellent solution for you. Its simple interface also makes it a beginner-friendly choice.
If you’re interested in a free solution, you can use the basic version of WP-Optimize. The premium version comes with more flexibility, features, and support. Plans start at $39.00 per year.
A fast website is an essential part of any modern business. As such, finding ways to optimize your site’s performance is key. Fortunately, choosing an effective plugin can help you speed up your loading times without much effort.
Do you need help choosing the right optimization plugin for your website? At Pronto, we can get you started on the right path.