Best Plugins for Faster Loading WordPress Websites

WordPress is one of the leading and ideal framework for creating websites. It is easy to use and has a huge library of freely available plugins, making it seamlessly convenient and easy for even a newbie or non-coder to make professional websites with WordPress. The only condition, however, is that you should smartly implement the built-in functionalities and the right set of add-ons.

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Like all other Content Management Systems, one problem with WordPress which should be addressed is the speed. This, however, can be improved using plugins. A recent update in Google's ranking algorithm puts site loading speed as a ranking factor.

This publication provides a very useful and somehow complete list of speed optimization plugins for WordPress. The word complete is used here because with these plugins, you will achieve excellent speed for your website. To verify how these plugins improve your site speed, you need to check and record the speed of your site before and after installation of the plugins using some tools like Google Page Speed, Pingdom or a similar tool.

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Recommended WordPress plugins to Improve Loading time

1. W3 Total Cache

This plugin has been considered a must have as far a WordPress speed improvement is concerned. You will inevitably find W3 Total Cache in must have WP plugin lists. W3 cache imposes automatic cache control of database objects, posts, pages, content, etc. on your WordPress site. It improves server-side performance, reduces download times and provides smooth CDN integration for faster site speed.

2. EWWW Image Optimizer

This plugin is very useful for sites that have images in posts. It is also useful for other websites. One good side of this plugin is that it reduces image file size by compressing JPG & PNG files and converting high size formats into JPG, PNG. It performs lose-less image compression which will not reduce image quality and can optionally set images to lossy compression if image's visual quality is of no much importance to your site.

3. Advanced Lazy Load

Images can be compressed to be lighter but that does not guarantee high speed if the images are much. A website can still be sluggish if they have dozens of images. Lazy load plugin is the WordPress mechanism to deal with this issue.

Advanced Lazy Load activates lazy load mode in WordPress that makes image load only when they are scrolled up in the visible area by the user. It means even if you have fifty images in your blog, only the ones in the visible area will load upon opening that page. The rest will load one by one as the user scrolls down the web page. This also saves user's surfing data and makes your webpage's loading speed superior.

4. WP-optimize

Database issues can cause slowness of websites. For some websites, the databases may not be huge but for sure there will be many redundant rows. This problem is adequately handled by WP-optimize. WP-optimize is a database optimization plugin that will automatically identify redundant i.e. useless entries in your database and make it sleeker by removing them. Lesser rows mean faster queries which mean faster site loading. Though the difference made by this improvement is very minimal, it is worth implementing it.

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5. Leverage Browser Caching Ninja

Most modern browsers have the caching function that is not activated by default. The activation can be done through your website. By imposing browser caching, you can make browsers save smaller elements of websites and CSS in computer memory that will allow website load faster because only bigger items will need to load every time the site is reloaded. Leverage Browser Caching Ninja is the best-rated plugin for browser caching and it requires no configuration. Just install and it will start working.

6. Lazy Load for Videos

Similar to images in WordPress, videos can also be configured to load on user request only. Lazy Load For Videos will automatically identify videos in your post and replace them with a static thumbnail that will load video only when the user clicks upon thumbnail. This reduces loading time for pages having video elements.

7. GZip Ninja Speed Compression

WordPress developers use a lot of space during coding in order to keep the codes well-documented. This results in redundant memory usage that can be removed by GZip compression. GZip compression removes useless space in coding and makes CSS, HTML, etc. files smaller. This compression is so efficient that it reduces more than 50% file size on average. Coders, don't worry though because this plugin will not modify the original files. It uses compressed versions of them. So in future if you need to modify the code, you can still do it.

While W3 Total Cache also does this, I recommend you to use this dedicated GZip compression plugin instead for better performance.

8. P3 Plugin Performance Profiler

This plugin, P3.e. Plugin Performance Profiler performs a check on your website and creates the detailed, comprehensible breakdown of plugin's load time. This report enables you identify & replace the time-consuming plugins with the optimal ones.

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9. Plugin Organizer

This plugin is used to keep other plugins neatly arranged. As you identify the heavy and lighter plugins with P3, you will be easily able to decide which plugin is more important for your site and which is the least one. With Plugin Organizer, you can make specific plugins load only on specific pages set their loading order manually.

It is also highly recommended that you configure Cloudflare with your blog. It's free; it offers free CDN make your blog secure.

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