Almost ten years ago, every 100ms of latency cost e-commerce giant Amazon 1% in sales. Today, it almost feels like the popular car racing game, Need for Speed, has taken over our lives, where all of us are constantly racing to do things as quickly as possible otherwise we’ll lose something. And, where else is this urgency most displayed but online? Most statistics show that a visitor will leave a mobile website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, and they aren’t very much more patient on their laptops and desktops either.
One of the fastest growing CMS software today, WordPress, is also the basis of a large percentage of websites, mobile-compatible or not. This platform is allowing bloggers and businessmen across the globe to create more innovative websites. The cherry on the top is that there an amazing number of plugins that are helping extend WordPress’s functionality.
10 Plugins for WordPress Site Speed Optimization
Here are 10 plugins that are of immense help in optimizing a WordPress site for speed, which in turn will ensure a lower bounce rate for your website.
A slow loading website is frustrating for visitors. What’s worse is that this frustration reaches its peak if it happens while visitors are browsing on their mobile phone. It is for this reason that the Google AMP project, or the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, was in the limelight recently. Using this open source initiative, publishers can easily create mobile-friendly content once and have it load instantly, everywhere. When you install AMP for WP, the Accelerated Mobile Pages functionality is automatically added to your WordPress site. As a result, mobile visitors can access your website really fast.
2. Speed Booster Pack
Today, there are only two things important for a blogger or business, WordPress and speed. No publisher would want the hard work they put into creating the website to go waste, just because it takes a few seconds more to load than visitors are willing to wait. This will only create a bad impression of your business in their minds. Speed Booster Pack is an amazing plugin that improves load times and performance of a website by compressing new images further than the default image compression setting.
3. Lazy Load For Videos
Bloggers are increasingly embedding videos for user engagement. However, in order to take advantage of YouTube videos, bloggers do not realize how much they are compromising on the load time of their site. This is where the FREE Lazy Load for Videos plugin comes to their rescue. The plugin improves page load times and increases the Google PageSpeed Score by replacing all embedded Youtube and Vimeo videos with a clickable preview image. The plugin uses jQuery for this purpose.
4. Page Speed
As I emphasized earlier, with fast and optimized pages, one can achieve higher visitor engagement and retention, which leads to higher conversions. Here is one more plugin, Page Speed, which leverages on browser caching to identify speed bottlenecks to help improve the performance of your website.
A heavy image is the major culprit for slow loading times. Created by the developers of WP Rocket, a well-known caching plugin, Imagify, is the most advanced image compression tool that helps to compress images, without losing on quality. This will eventually speed up your website. Once installed on a WordPress site, all images, including retina images and thumbnails, will be automatically optimized, which will improve the site’s performance.
6. WP Disable
Revisions, autosaves, garavatar, embeds, querystrings, emojis, Google maps, shortlink tag and RSD (Really Simple Discovery) tag are some of the features of WordPress that are capable of slowing down a website, since they consume a lot of CPU power. WP-Disable helps you disable all such features to improve site speed.
Each time a WordPress site is accessed, the database gets accumulated with past revisions, posts in trash, auto draft posts, spam comments and other junk files. All this will only slow down both the WordPress site and the admin tool. This calls for a useful plugin that can clean the WordPress database of all this clutter, so that the site can run at its maximum efficiency. This is where WP-Optimize comes in handy, a plugin built by the same team responsible for the popular WordPress backup plugin, UpdraftPlus.
8. NIX Gravatar Cache
If anyone wants to show an image beside their comments on a blog, they create a Gravatar. Of course, adding comments is good for your social marketing and online profile. This way, the blogger makes their site more engaging, which helps build contacts and generate more leads, creating new business opportunities. But, did you know that having a lot of comments on your posts will impact your site’s performance, since each person’s gravatar will slow down the loading of the post? Caching gravatar images, using NIX Gravatar Cache, helps you disable gravatars completely. However, you’ll have to settle for a very simple comments section.
10. P3 Plugin Performance Profiler
I have left a very interesting plugin for the last. Did you know that while plugins are wonderful, installing too many plugins on your website will significantly impact its speed? Of the many plugins available today, only a few will be really useful for your website. What if you are given the opportunity to find the slowest loading plugins on your website and replace them with lightweight plugins to improve the speed of your site? P3 Plugin Performance Profiler helps identify the slowest loading plugins and organizes them in a really cool pie chart for you to make choices.
So, go ahead and check out all the plugins but use only those that will enhance your site and lead to better visitor engagement.