Did you know that Americans spend an estimated 37 billion hours per year waiting in lines, which equates to approximately 118 hours per person? This is what statistics published by Harvard Business School had to say!
Having to wait for something, be it for buses, trains or at the airport, waiting in traffic jams, or waiting at the doctor’s office for your turn, the wait itself can be one of the most frustrating experiences for a human being. The reason why waiting is annoying is that you see a lot of your valuable time being wasted, which you could have otherwise used for something productive.
And when I think of being frustrated while waiting, the most frustrating experience for me is waiting for a website to loan. And, I find that I am not alone in this. People don’t like to wait for websites to load, making slow loading times a major cause of losing visitors, with Google stating that a website could lose more than half its visitors if its load time exceeded 3 seconds!
Load Time is Key
This only goes to emphasize the important of ensuring a fast website for business. And, given that a huge percentage of SMEs and individuals use WordPress to create their online presence, knowing why the site is slow and how to speed up your WordPress site could be invaluable.
Some of the most common reasons for slow load times are images not being optimized for the web, improperly configured WordPress hosting, cached pages not being taken care of, external scrips slowing down your site and more.
The good news is that there are several WordPress plugins that can improve the speed of your website. Here’s a list of the 10 best WordPress plugins for improving page speed.
A plugin from a team that has over 14 years of experience in speeding up and optimizing WordPress sites, Perfmatters can give your site lightning fast speed. This 50Kb plugin increases speed by disabling unnecessary options, reducing external HTTP requests, stripping code and minimizing back-end load. You don’t need to be a techy or hire a developer to install and use Permatters, since it comes with a minimal and easy-to-use dashboard, with one-click toggles.
2. BJ Lazy Load
Replacing all post images, gravatar images, post thumbnails and content iframes with a placeholder, BJ Lazy Load is a useful plugin that works out-of-the-box to make WordPress sites load faster and save bandwidth.
3. WP-Sweep Plugin
WP-Sweep improves the speed of WordPress sites by cleaning all unnecessary options, such as revisions, auto drafts, deleted comments, unapproved comments, spam comments, trashed posts and unused tags, etc. This plugin analyses the WordPress database and presents a report, divided into different sections for your posts, comments, user meta, options, terms and database, covering all the clutter that can be cleaned.
4. WP Optimize
A plugin that automatically cleans and optimizes the WordPress database, without the need for phpMyAdmin, WP Optmize is an effective tool to remove all unnecessary data, including trashed, unapproved, spam and stale data, along with trackbacks, pingbacks and expired transient options, which help optimize your site for improved performance.
5. WP Fastest Cache
When you get a visitor on your site, the system uses a lot of RAM and CPU, which means that the page is rendered slowly. A plugin that is used by over 200,000 people now and has managed to receive amazing reviews on WordPress.org, WP Fastest Cache works by creating a static HTML file, making multiple users reach the same static page rather than having the page render repeatedly.
6. W3 Total Cache
Boasting features like CDN support, browser and database cashing, minifying and more, W3 Total Cache is a plugin popular for its speed enhancing properties. What makes this plugin unique is the fact that it is not just a caching plugin, but a complete framework that helps to improve the speed of your WordPress site.
7. WP Super Minify
8. WP Smush
You may not realize but the images that you upload to your WordPress site may contain some hidden bulky information, which is capable of slowing down your site. WP Smush is one plugin that strips away all that useless information, which significantly reduces the file size, without losing quality.
Slider is an interesting web design element used by many blog owners, photographers and online retailers to showcase their best work on their website. However, this feature is capable of making the site slow. Slider in WordPress creates an issue in mobile readiness. The issue becomes persistent if the responsive website uses a non-responsive slider, which break a site’s layout for different devices and screen sizes. Slider plugins like Soliloquy help to optimize the slider load speed.
10. Envira Gallery
Helping users create beautiful, responsive image galleries that are lightning fast to load, Envira Gallery is a powerful plugin that is optimized for speed. This quick and easy-to-use plugin is fine-tuned to ensure that the WordPress site a high performing one. This drag & drop photo gallery plugin is so easy that you don’t need any technical expertise or a developer to install your WordPress image gallery.
While using plugins to improve website performance is a good thing, did you know that installing too many plugins can also slow down your site? It is, therefore, recommended to first check out the plugins and then make an informed decision, choosing only those that will be of maximum benefit to you.