Everyone loves a fast-loading website (that includes you and your readers, too), so of course, you already know that website loading speeds affect user experience.
Why get your hands dirty in trying to edit and hack the codes of your WordPress site when there are plenty of great WordPress plugins that you can install instantly and do all the dirty work for you? Here are 12 WordPress Plugins we’d recommend to speed up your WordPress website.
Read more: How To Measure Frontend Website Performance
Autoptimize boosts your website’s loading speed by applying various performance tricks. It joins all scripts and styles then minifies and compresses them to decrease the data transfer from your blog or site to a client’s browser. It moves styles to the page head and scripts to the footer, making your page lightweight and faster to load.
It also adds expires header, which allows caching of site files by the browser to reduce the download overhead and improve the site’s loading speed. One of its key features is its support for caching-plugins like WP Super Cache or HyperCache for a performance boost.
Compress JPEG & PNG Images makes your website faster by compressing JPEG and PNG images. It uses the popular lossless image compression services – TinyJPG and TinyPNG – to automatically optimize images. This results in compressed images that are smaller by 40-60% for JPEG format and 50-80% for PNG format, and yet still maintain good picture quality.
This plugin helps your website load faster for visitors while saving a lot of storage space and bandwidth. Also, the converted files have RGB color profile, which has greater compatibility on all modern browsers.
Kraken Image Optimizer optimizes your new and existing images using its API. The plugin reduces its file sizes comparatively while still maintaining decent image quality. Unlike ‘Compress JPEG & PNG Images’, the API supports JPEG, PNG, and GIF formats, lossless as well as lossy (but intelligent) image compression schemes.
All optimization is carried out by sending images to Kraken Image Optimizer’s infrastructure, which optimizes millions of images each month and saves you bandwidth costs and storage space along with providing a better user experience.
BJ Lazy Load makes your website faster by replacing all your post images, post thumbnails, Gravatar images, and content iframes with a placeholder. It only loads the actual images when the visitor scrolls to that particular area of the page. The result is a faster website with less bandwidth usage and a better user experience for visitors.
The plugin even works with text widgets and iframes, and so it supports lazy-loading for embedded videos of streaming services like YouTube, Vimeo, etc. It is compatible with the RICG Responsive Images plugin to lazy-load responsive images that adapt to the screen size.
WP-Sweep improves your website’s performance by cleaning and optimizing your site’s database. A website, after running for a while, will clog up with lots of unwanted data such as trashed posts, pages, and comments, revisions, and auto-drafts, orphaned meta things, etc.
WP-Sweep helps to get rid of these items so that your WordPress runs at full power without any hindrance. Once you run this plugin, it shows avoidable data that can be removed, and gives you options to clean them individually or in batches.
WP Optimize By xTraffic optimizes your WordPress blog or site by improving various aspects. One of its feature is to optimize links ie it automatically links keywords in your posts and comments with the best focused links. It can set "nofollow" attributes and make external links to open in a new window on your site.
Google Webfont Optimizer boosts your website if it uses web fonts from Google Fonts’ APIs. Modern websites use Google Fonts for a beautiful and fancy look, but this slows the load times because the browser needs to make lot of requests to Google Fonts for each page.
Read more: Optimizing Google Web Font
This plugin makes your website faster by combining all these requests into a single request for all the required fonts. It is also easy to use as you only need to install and activate the plugin, and it does the rest for you.
Simple Revisions Delete removes the unnecessary data created by the WordPress’s revisions feature. It removes and deletes old post revisions as well as optimizes your site’s database to reduce its size and improve site performance. It allows you to delete specific post revisions, keeping only the revisions you want.
It is very lightweight, simple to use, and is perfectly integrated in the WordPress backend, and it only uses native WordPress functions to safely delete revisions.
The result is a speed boost in page loading, which improves the user experience. The plugin also has a feature to disable its functionality on specific pages and posts.
WordPress Instant Articles may substantially improve your website loading speed and user experience by pre-loading the content. It pre-renders the last two posts on the front page, the next and previous posts on a single post, and even sticky posts. It does DNS prefetching, which resolves domain names before a user actually clicks on a link; this eliminates any delay after.
Disqus Conditional Load brings advanced features to the Disqus Commenting System. Your website’s performance can degrade as more people write comments on your site with Disqus working on your blog or site. The plugin provides power options to tweak Disqus in areas such as lazy loading, comment widgets, script disabling, etc.
It’s SEO-friendly, provides shortcodes, supports custom post types, and can be instructed to set container widths in comments, as well as control the count script. This plugin will work wonders to improve your site’s loading speed if you feel your web pages load slower due to the Disqus Commenting System.