Are you looking for the best WordPress speed optimization plugins and tools? Wondering how to make your WordPress site load faster? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Website speed is one of the key factors affecting your site’s growth and success. If your site is fast-loading and smooth, then your visitors may love it and possibly take the required action, like buying a product. But if it’s slow, then they’ll just leave your site and may never come back.
Various factors determine your WordPress site speed. They include your hosting, theme, code structure, etc. On top of all, you can use various WordPress speed plugins and tools to optimize speed.
Here, we’ve handpicked the best WordPress performance plugins to improve your website speed. Let’s check them out.
Why Speed Optimization is Important for Your Website?
Before directly getting into the list of speed optimization plugins, let’s discuss why speed optimization is important for every website.
Here, we’re going to explain the 3 most vital reasons why performance optimization is necessary.
i) To Improve User Experperience
Everybody knows how annoying slow loading websites can be. If your site doesn’t load faster, in the meantime your visitor/user will find another website that loads faster.
Hence optimizing your site speed is very important for a great user experience. If your website is fast and smooth, then people may enjoy using it, and hence they may come back to it again and again.
ii) For Conversion Rate Optimization
Website speed significantly affects your site’s conversion rate. Meaning if your site is slow, then your site won’t have a good conversion rate.
The conversion rate is the percentage of users completing a required action. For example, if you run an eCommerce store, then a user purchasing your products is a conversion. Simply, users don’t engage with slow loading sites and hence don’t purchase anything.
iii) SEO Optimization and Better Ranks on Search Results
Website speed is one key Google ranking factor. It means that Google loves fast loading websites and gives preference to them in the ranking order. So, if your site isn’t fast enough, then your site may not get a better rank on Google.
Another way, a faster loading website attracts more users. This helps to engage more traffic to your website. As a result, it’ll optimize your site’s SEO and help you boost your site’s search engine rankings.
18 Best WordPress Plugins to Increase Your Site Speed
There are several ways to optimize WordPress speed. Hence, there are WordPress plugins and tools built for serving those different purposes. We’ve gathered them all together here to make it an ultimate collection of speed plugins.
The WordPress speed plugins and tools are categorized into 6 different categories:
- All-in-one WordPress Speed Plugins
- Caching Plugins
- Image Compression Plugins
- Lazy Loading Plugins
- CDN (Content Delivery Network) Services
- Other plugins.
Let’s explore the plugins now!
i) All-in-one WordPress Speed Plugins
You must have guessed from the title what type of plugins these are. YES, all-in-one WordPress plugins have all the features which we’ve discussed above. Like: Caching, image compression, lazy loading and supports CDN.
Here are some popular all-in-one WordPress plugins listed below for you:
1. WP Rocket (Premium)
WP Rocket is one of the best speed optimization plugins. It has the most user-friendly interface and you’ll get all of the caching functionality you’d expect from a plugin.
WP Rocket makes the setup process easier than most of the plugins. And, it includes all features in one plugin and you won’t have to install extra plugins. For example – you get a caching option, image optimization, lazy loading, database optimization, and even the ability to host Google Analytics Code on your site.
- User-friendly interface
- Page caching
- Minimal tweaking required for speed improvements
- Cache preload
- Image lazy loading
- Database Optimization
- Advanced caching rules
- Google Analytics integration so that you can load the code from your server
- Improves SEO ranking of your site
Pricing: Starts at $49/year
2. Hummingbird (Free)
Hummingbird is another all-in-one plugin. This plugin is developed by the WordPress speed specialties who invented Smush – Image optimization plugin.
With the help of this plugin, your website will load faster, get higher search rankings (SERP), and better PageSpeed score. And a faster loading website means happy customers.
- Scan your website and find out what’s the reason your website is slowing down and with just one click fix the problem.
- Hummingbird provides a complete set of cache tools that includes a full-page, browser, and gravatar caching.
- Easy to use and setup.
- Image optimization
- Supports CDN
3. WP – Optimize (Freemium)
WP-Optimize is an all-in-one plugin that supports caching, image compression, and also cleans your database.
This plugin is simple, popular, and highly effective that loads your website fast and keeps it highly optimized.
- Allows you to clean your database i:e you can delete all the unnecessary data which you don’t need such as un-approved comments on your comments table.
- Image compression – This plugin lets you compress images up to 60MB which is higher than any other plugins offer.
- Besides, you can switch on the auto compression function, which will automatically compress all the images when they’re added to the site.
- Browser caching.
ii) Best WordPress Caching Plugins
Caching is storing data and assets elements from the previous user requests and reusing it to speed up the current requests.
For example: Suppose a user requests the web page about “ What is WordPress?”. The data of this page is stored in fast accessing hardware like RAM (Random Access Memory). Later, when other users search for the same page, instead of going to the backend and the database, it is reused from the memory. Which saves a lot of time and helps to load the page faster.
Here some examples of caching plugins we recommend you to try.
1. WP Super Cache (Free)
WP Super Cache is one of the most widely used caching plugins. It has more than 5 million downloads from the WordPress.org Plugins directory.
This plugin generates static HTML files. The main idea behind generating an HTML static file is to serve this file to the web browsers instead of processing the heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts. One cached file can be used/served thousands of times. Thus, this increases the loading speed of your site.
- Compatible with CDN.
- Support for multiple caching types ( Mod_Rewrite, PHP, and Legacy)
- Serve static HTML file
- Cache preload
2. W3 Total Cache (Freemium)
W3 Total Cache is another popular speed optimization plugin. It supports a huge array of options and various caching methods. Furthermore, it improves SEO and user experience of your site. Also, it reduces the load time by supporting features like CDN integration.
Since it supports so many advanced options it is not the easiest plugin to set up. So, we’ll like to suggest using this plugin for some advanced users.
- Content Delivery Network Support with media library, theme files, and WordPress itself.
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support.
- Accelerated Mobile Page ( AMP) support.
- Compatible with hosting ( shared hosting and virtual hosting) and dedicated server/ clusters.
- Caching of the database, objects, and fragments in memory or on disk.
3. LiteSpeed Cache (Free)
LiteSpeed Cache is a caching plugin, which offers server-level cache and a collection of optimization features.
In a server-level cache, all the contents, assets elements, data are stored on a server or multiple servers. It is also controlled by the server instead of a client or user.
LiteSpeed is compatible with most popular plugins, including WooCommerce, bbPress, and Yoast SEO. Also, it supports WordPress multisite i:e you can create multiple websites and even manage them all from a single WordPress dashboard.
- Database cleaner and optimizer
- Page speed score optimization
- Browser Cache Support
- Attractive, easy-to-understand integration
- Lazy load images/ Images optimization
- Automatic page caching, a purge of related pages based on certain events.
- API system for easy cache integration
- Separate caching of desktop and mobile views.
If you want to find out more plugins, check our article on best WordPress caching plugins.
iii) WordPress Image Compression Plugins
Image compression plugins optimize the images so that it’s easier to load. And the images which load easily ultimately improve the speed and performance of your sites.
Images are one of the important aspects of posts, it gives better engagement as well as increases interaction with your site visitors.
This plugins compresses images automatically and reduces the size. You can use these smaller sized images on your website which will help your website perform better.
Hence, here are some of the best Image optimization plugins for you to boost your site’s performance.
1. WP Smush (Freemium)
WP Smush is an image optimization plugin which is used to optimize image and remove unnecessary bytes from image size. It is one of the best and award-winning image optimization plugins for WordPress.
- Strips unnecessary unused color from images without affecting the image quality.
- Integrates with the Smush API.
- Optimize, compress, and shrink up to 50 images with just a click.
- Choose the height and width of the images that are being compressed so that they’ll scale down.
- Gutenberg Block Integration.
- Optimize the images up to 5MB in size for an unlimited time – no need to keep optimizing it from time to time.
2. Imagify (Free)
Imagify is another image optimization plugin. After enabling this plugin you can optimize all your images automatically, including the thumbnails of your site.
- Compatible with WooCommerce and NextGen gallery
- Convert WebP images for free. WebP is an image format just like png, gif, etc.
- Directly resize your images.
- Optimize all your existing images with just one click.
- There are three levels of compression available with Imagify
- Normal: a lossless compression technique – the quality of the image won’t change.
- Aggressive: a lossy compression technique – may lose some data but won’t affect the quality of the image.
- Ultra: the strongest compression technique – using the lossy algorithm.
- It provides backup, you can restore the image to the original version, and optimize it using another compression level among the three mentioned above.
3. TinyPNG (Free)
TinyPNG is a popular tool that is used for image compression. Remember that this is just a tool and not a plugin.
This is an easy-to-use tool. And it’ll compress your images in no time. We can say this from experience, because we personally use and love this tool.
In order to compress the images, all you have to do is go to the official site ‘ TinyPNG.com’. On the homepage, you can see a certain dotted box with text written as ‘ Drop your .png or .jpg files here!’. And all you have to do is click on there and select images and it’ll get compressed within seconds. After the images are compressed you can download the images.
- Supported by all browsers including mobile devices.
- You can optimize your animated png as well.
- You can compress 20 images at a time and also download them all at once.
iv) Lazy Loading Plugins
The work of lazy loading plugins is to reduce the loading time. Lazy loading allows you to delay loading images and load the text and selected contents first. Doing this will boost the speed of your site.
Lazy loading reduces the server bandwidth by loading the images only when they’re needed. For e:g there are images which are at the bottom of your site, hence lazy loading will only load the texts which come at first, and as you scroll down, only then it’ll load the image.
You can apply the lazy loading to only selected pages or your whole site. Here are some of the popular lazy loading plugins.
1. Lazy Load by WP Rocket (Free)
Lazy load by WP Rocket is an easy-to-use lazy loading plugin. It will only load the images when they’re visible to the users. It’s by the makers of WP Rocket, a very popular speed optimization plugin which we’ve featured above in all-in-one category.
- This plugin can be applied not only to the images but also to the videos, thumbnails, texts in widgets, avatars, smilies, or iframes.
- It reduces the loading time by reducing the HTTP requests mechanism.
2. a3 Lazy Load (Free)
a3 Lazy Load one of the most fully-featured, easy to use lazy loading plugins of WordPress. This plugin is mostly mobile-oriented. With the help of this plugin’s admin setting you can decide what element you want to lazy load and when will that element appear to the user.
a3 Lazy Load supports lazy loading of images, videos, iframes, webP images, also compatible with WordPress AMP, and many more.
- It is compatible with all the popular plugins like WooCommerce, JetPack, Elementor, MobilePress, etc.
- You can apply lazy load to the Posts, Pages, and Custom post types ( All content area), avatars, etc.
- Supports lazy loading of the youtube videos, Vimeo, and HTML5 video, also video in widgets types, Text widgets, and HTML widgets.
- supports iframe lazy load of the WordPress embedded media, features in Facebook like boxes with profile, like buttons,
- built-in support for WordPress AMP plugin.
- Full support of JQueryMobile framework
- WordPress multisite ready
- Backend support RTL display
- Translation ready
v) CDN Services
A content delivery network (CDN) refers to the network of servers distributed geographically in a group to provide fast, easy, cheap, reliable delivery of internet content.
Also, since we’re talking about plugins in this article, don’t confuse CDN with plugins. It is an independent service that delivers content to your end-users. And, to deliver your content, CDN service charges some amount.
How does a CDN improve website load times?
- We know a CDN is geographically distributed which means that CDN connects the users to the shortest data center. Hence, when the user seeks the answer to their questions on the internet, the nearest data center loads the data faster.
- CDN also provides services like minification and file compression. We already know from the above examples how important minification and file compression is. Lesser file size loads faster which automatically boosts the performance of your site.
There are different CDN services available. Some of them are discussed below.
1. Cloudflare (Free + Premium)
Cloudflare is a CDN which not only speeds up your website but it also provides protection from online security threats.
According to the data provided by Cloudflare itself, the websites using Cloudflare loads two times faster, uses 60% less bandwidth, has 65% fewer requests, and is more secure. Isn’t that amazing?
- Cloudflare speeds up your site by reusing the copies of your site. The copies of your site are cached in the datacenter and then served to the users from the geographical nearest to them.
- Cloudflare provides security by blocking the threats on your site.
- Protects against Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS).
- Improves page loading speed, reduces CPU usage on the server, reduces bandwidth usage.
2. MaxCDN/StackPath (Premium)
MaxCDN was founded in 2009. It was independent till 2016, but in 2016 MaxCDN was acquired by StackPath.
It is one of the best when it comes to CDN, so now StackPath could be equally good with additional features and services.
- Easy to set up.
- Supports 65Tbps of total throughput across 45 locations around the world.
- Uses high capacity SSDs.
- Reduce your content delivery time from more than 200 milliseconds to just 20 milliseconds.
- Free SSL ( Secure Socket Layer) certificates.
- Offers detailed traffic analytics and GZIP compression.
3. KeyCDN (Premium)
KeyCDN is another CDN service that can make your site perform better and faster. It has 34 data centers all around the world.
- Provides DDoS Protection
- All the unnecessary contents can be removed by just one click.
- The contents of your website will load faster because the data is restored in almost all the data centers around the world.
- Every request by the visitors to your website is automatically routed to the nearest available location where the data center is present.
- Easily Integrated with Content Management Systems such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, etc.
- Rank your website higher with the help of KeyCDN.
vi. Other Speed Optimization Plugins
Here are some additional plugins you can Install which might help the performance of your site.
1. Heartbeat Control by WP Rocket (Free)
The WordPress Heartbeat API is a great feature that provides a real-time communication protocol between browser and server.
This API function will continuously sync all the data between the server and your WordPress dashboard. It also provides callbacks while receiving data, using AJAX calls.
Furthermore, when you create or edit a post, it provides a function to autosave your post. But this autosave function and real-time notifications can be harmful.
Heartbeat API sends AJAX calls using the /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php file. Each request that executes these PHP files is sent to the dashboard every 60 seconds. And the requests for post edits are sent every 15 seconds.
So, larger requests mean high CPU utilization, and eventually, the high usage of CPU may lead to account suspension. Hence, the Heartbeat API should be limited and this is where Heartbeat Control by WP Rocket plays a huge role.
Heartbeat Control by WP Rocket is a plugin that helps to minimize the CPU usage by managing the frequency of the WordPress Heartbeat API. You can easily limit or even completely stop the activity of Heartbeat API.
But if you don’t want to completely stop the API then you can selectively add rules for specific locations only for e:g dashboard or front-end or post editor etc.
2. Perfmatters (Premium)
Certain options are enabled by default, which isn’t necessary for most sites and slows down the performance. For e.g: the HTTP requests which is one of the biggest things that slow down the rendering of your page.
Perfmatters makes it possible to disable these options by just clicking a few buttons.
This plugin allows you to disable scripts on a per-page basis. This means you can stop plugins from loading codes where it isn’t necessary.
Also, Perfmatters provides features like DNS prefetch, preconnect, local Google Analytics script hosting, and many more.
Hence, even if you have a WordPress caching plugin installed, you can use Perfmatters too for better performance.
- Works well with your existing caching plugins like – Wp Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, etc.
- Disable WordPress options that are slowing down your site.
- Disable scripts on a per-page/post basis.
- REST API control.
- Supports advanced performance-optimizing functionality like DNS prefetch and preconnect.
- Lightweight plugin.
3. Asset CleanUp (Freemium)
When you start a WordPress website, you install themes and necessary plugins. But did you know that these themes and plugins might be slowing your website down?
There are some themes and plugins which load on each page of your site. Which actually might not be needed.
For e:g you have installed a plugin that generates contact forms and it loads its assets ( .css and .js files) on every page. But you only need those assets on the /contact page because you’ve got a contact form on that page. And loading those assets on every page will affect the performance of your site.
Asset CleanUp scans all the pages and detects the assets on each page if it needs to be loaded or not. Also, it gives you the option to select the CSS/JS that isn’t necessary to load. Hence, while editing the posts/pages you can simply select the unnecessary CSS/JS. And the loading time of your site will reduce, which is the ultimate goal.
- Lesser HTTP requests and unloads the unnecessary CSS/JS.
- REST API link tag.
- Increase the ranking of your site.
4. ShortPixel (Freemium)
ShortPixel is an image compression plugin. We think by now you know what an image compression plugin can do.
It is lightweight and easy to use the plugin. It not only compresses the images but also your pdf documents in just a click. Also, the new images are automatically resized/rescaled and optimized in the background. In addition, this plugin does both lossy and lossless compression of images as well as the pdf document.
Furthermore, it offers glossy JPEG compression which is a very high-quality lossy optimization algorithm.
- Compatible with any gallery, slider, or eCommerce plugins.
- Compress all the images on your website including the images which aren’t in the media library. For e:g the images in the galleries like NextGen, Modula, or directly added via FTP.
- Freely convert any JPEG, PNG, or GIF into webP format. Google loves webP formats.
- Option to skip already optimized images.
- Great for photographers, compress photos with lossy optimization algorithms.
- Great for eCommerce websites using WooCommerce and other plugins.
- No file size limit.
- Get a report of all optimization every 30 days along with all the details of images.
That was the different plugins to improve the performance of your site. These plugins will help your site to rank higher and keep your visitors happy. And, always remember that
Fast loading websites = Happy customers = Higher Google rank
And a website with a higher Google rank will generate higher revenue. Once again here are different speed optimization plugins.
- All-in-one plugins: WP Rocket, Hummingbird, WP-Optimize, etc
- Caching plugins: WP Super Cache, LiteSpeed cache, etc
- Image compression plugins: WP Smush, Imagify, etc
- Lazy loading plugins: Lazy Load by WP Rocket, a3 Lazy Load, etc
- CDN services: Cloudflare, KeyCDN, etc
- Other plugins: Heartbeat Control by WP Rocket, Perfmatters, etc
In conclusion, these plugins will provide you site speed options like image compression, browser caching, remove unnecessary data from the database, and support CDN, etc. As a result, your site will have improved SEO and conversions,
We hope this article was helpful for you and you’ll be able to optimize the speed of your website with the help of these plugins.
If you liked this article, you’ll also like our article on Essential Plugins for Professional WordPress website. In case, you want to give us any feedback then comment down below.
The post 18 Best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins and Tools 2020 (Expert Pick) appeared first on ThemeGrill Blog.