Top WordPress Plugins to Improve Site Performance
Nov 16th, 2017
A well-performing website offers a range of benefits. Most notably, the user experience will be improved and make users more likely to return to your site. If your load times are high, your bounce rate is also likely to be high as users grow frustrated waiting for elements to load. WordPress plugins offer a number of ways to improve your site performance with ease. These handle everything from caching to optimization of assets. Using these can enhance your website in multiple ways, including its search engine optimization. It’s worth using Google’s PageSpeed Insights to find which areas are most in need of improvement. You’ll then be able to measure the effect the plugins have on performance and user experience, using the same tool.
In this article, we’re going to round up a selection of the top WordPress plugins to improve site performance.
WP Super Cache works by generating static HTML files from your WordPress site. These are then shown to visitors instead of the heavy PHP scripts which are normally loaded. The simple mode within WP Super Cache is really quick and easy to set up. The use of this plugin should help decrease your website load times noticeably.
Lazy loading works by only serving assets on demand. An example is a page with many images and videos. When served up front, the loading times can be very high. By using lazy loading, only the first assets that are in view will be loaded. The remainder will be loaded as the user scrolls down the page. It’s a great way of improving user experience and reducing your site’s bounce rate.
Using a CDN (content delivery network) service like Cloudflare improves loading times by caching a version of your site across multiple servers around the world. A user can then be served your website from a server near their location, rather than halfway across the globe. The WordPress plugin makes Cloudflare super easy to set up and they offer a comprehensive free plan with a range of features.
WP-Sweep works to optimize your database file. This means cleaning up aspects like revisions, auto drafts, deleted comments, duplicate data, and more. It also optimizes database tables. It will make your WordPress dashboard faster and more organized.
This image optimizer by EWWW compresses media files to reduce load times. As well as optimizing images on upload, it can also compress and convert existing assets to the best file type available. The plugin allows you to select the level of compression depending on your preferences around load times and pixel-perfect assets.
Adding pagination to your website splits long content posts and pages into multiple pages. The makes individual page load times considerably lower, particularly when incorporating multiple images and other media assets.