Page-loading times are extremely important for the success of your business. Take Amazon, for example. The company has estimated that a single additional second of loading time would end up costing them up to $1.6 billion in sales.
Smaller businesses don’t have to deal with such drastic losses. But visitors will nevertheless abandon a website if it takes more than a few seconds to load. Not to mention the impact it would have on their page rank and SEO efforts.
But what are some of the best tools and plugins you can use to speed up your WordPress website in 2018?
1. AMP Plugin
AMP or accelerated mobile pages is a mobile-oriented project developed by Google engineers to help decrease loading times for mobile users. Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source repository that allows users to create pages that load fast and smooth without too much hassle.
Once you install and activate the AMP plugin, all your posts will receive AMP-compatible counterparts that can be accessed simply by adding /amp/ at the end of your URL and quickly checked for any discrepancies and loading issues.
Just make sure to visit the AMP section in Google Search console to check for any additional page errors.
2. BJ Lazy Load
When users visit your website and hit up a specific page. All the content found on that page will be loaded automatically, regardless of how much content you might have. But having large pages with a lot of images and videos increases loading times and might drive away potential visitors.
Fortunately, BJ Lazy Load provides a solution for this problem, by only loading content when users need it. The plugin relies on jQuery to replace content frames with placeholders and serve scaled-down images and in turn, loads the page bit by bit as visitors scrolls along.
3. Comet Cache
Created the same team of developers who made the rather popular ZenCache plugin. Comet Cache is plug-and-play (install and activate) caching plugin that easy to use and beloved by its community.
Namely, the plugin has 5 out of 5 stars. With its predecessor falling closely behind with 4.6 out of 5 back in its prime. In Pingdom, the average loading times were decreased by 1.26 seconds, improving page speed by a whopping 35.07%.
Comet Cache allows for automatic cache clearing, browser or client-side caching, Atom, RDF and RSS caching. It also has automatic cache expiration time and much, much more. All these options will work wonders when it comes to boosting organic visits and increasing your page rank.
Have in mind that these options are all available for free, with the Comet Cache PRO version providing an even greater functionality.
4. Lazy Load For Videos
Every SEO specialist knows just how much images increase your page loading times. There’s a number of tutorials online on how to optimize your WordPress website for SEO and while you can add a few lines of code to lightly embed videos. Not every website owner knows how to do this and installing a simple plugin might be a smarter idea.
Lazy Load For Videos replaces all the embedded Vimeo and YouTube videos with clickable previews images that only load videos when clicked, which drastically reduces page loading times.
5. WP Disable
WP Disable is one of those must-have WordPress plugins, solely for the number of useful options it offers in such a lightweight package. With it, you can load different fonts asynchronously, remove query strings, locally host tracking code for Google Analytics. Disable autosaves, limit post revisions, etc.
It even has a heartbeat option built in. Letting other admins and users know when you’re in the middle of editing a post. You can also use it to disable gravatars, emojis, maps, shortlink and RSD tags, WooCommerce scripts and reviews, XML-RPC and even paginate comments after a certain number or disable them completely after a specific amount of time.
6. WP Fastest Cache
WP Fastest Cache is a free, easy-to-configure plugin with some of the best ratings out there. It is used to create static HTML files without having to modify the .htacces file. Decrease loading times by sending users to a static page instead of having it load time and time again for each and every request.
WP Fastest Cache can also be integrated with Cloudflare and MaxCDN and handle the increase in traffic without slowing down your website, but have in mind that it doesn’t offer an option for lazyloading images and videos though.
7. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is by far the single most popular and useful premium plugin for page-load optimization. With over 100,000 websites using it on a daily basis. WP Rocket comes with a beginner-friendly user interface and although it is predominantly used for caching. This plugin also offers a number of smaller features for performance-optimization.
With it, you can combine files, lazyload files, minify code, remove query strings and the render-blocking CSS and JS warning. The number of options can be too much to handle for novice website owners and inexperienced developers, so you might want to consider investing going through some of the best web development companies to help you set it up and iron any kinks.
8. WP Smush
One of the main ways of reducing loading times and improving your page rank is to compress all the images. This award-winning compression plugin is one of the top best plugins recommended for new WordPress websites and it does exactly that.
WP Smush compresses images without sacrificing the quality and integrity of your images. It can compress all the common formats such as JPEG, GIF, and PNG eliminates unused colors from your images. Removes metadata and work on up to 50 images at a time.
9. WP Super Minify
10. P3 Plugin Performance Profiler
When it comes to WordPress plugins, the rule of thumb is to go responsive and have as few as humanly possible and only use those you actually need. However, it only takes a single large plugin. Let alone having too many of them to slow down your pages significantly.
P3 Profiler will scan all your plugins and organize them into a nifty little pie chart detailing the fastest and slowest loading plugins. Once you know which plugins are the slowest. It only takes a couple of minutes of research to find a good, lightweight replacement and deactivate or delete plugins you don’t use.
These are some of the most useful, speed-oriented WordPress plugins. While it may be advisable to only have a single plugin per website. We all know that you need at least a couple of them to have a fully-functioning website.
Test all the best tools individually or in batches of 2 or 3 at a time and only install those you actually need. If there’s a plugin that you think deserves to be on this list. Let us know in the comment section below!
Angelina is an aspiring blogger and web designer in the making. When she is not working, she is watching tutorials on YouTube about new Photoshop tricks. She also enjoys reading novels and eating pistachio ice-cream.