Website load speed is important in 2020, as you want your user to be engaged with your content as soon as possible. The beauty of websites built in WordPress is that you have full access to their extensive library of plugins that can further optimise and add on to your site. Optimisations that may have taken hours of development time can now be achieved with a few clicks, so that developers can spend their time on more complex tasks. The most useful plugins we use in the majority of projects are in the area of speed optimisations for your website, so save time from going through the plugin library, we’ve compiled a list of effective speed optimisation plugins that work!
WP Fastest Cache
Try it yourself: WP Fastest Cache on WordPress Plugin Library
WP-Optimize will allow you to clean your database that stores trashed posts, auto-draft posts, post revisions, spam and unapproved comments, and optimise your database tables (and delete unused tables) – all with a single click of a button! If your website has been undergoing revisions or has been live for a while, it is very likely that your database is full of these unwanted files which will inevitably slow down your WordPress website.
Try it yourself: WP-Optimize on WordPress Plugin Library
Clearfy has a beautiful interface making speed optimisations easy for the user. If you’re a beginner with WordPress plugins, Clearfy’s quick start feature allows you to optimise codes and scripts, code clearing, security, SEO optimisation and more with a single click. For more advanced users, you can jump to specific areas (such as JS/CSS optimisation or SEO optimisation) and choose if individual functions are active or deactivated. Be careful when trying combinations of optimisations on Clearfy as they may unload certain functionalities on your website, however they have nifty warning labels to let you know their recommendations.
Try it yourself: Clearfy on WordPress Plugin Library
Google now favours the WebP format for image delivery on websites, and as they explain: WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Serving WebP images on your website is highly beneficial to speed optimisations as image sizes are 25%+ smaller for both .JPG or .PNG formats. WebP does involve some coding to be properly integrated, but never fear, WebP Express is here! You can adjust the quality for both .JPG and .PNG and can alter the HTML for you to serve WebP formats for compatible browsers. The only tricky part is serving WebP for background images, which will require some development work.
Try it yourself: WebP Express on WordPress Plugin Library
Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster
Some themes or plugins load many unnecessary scripts which increase the number of HTTP requests made from your website. With Asset CleanUp plugin, you’ll be able to disable various plugins to decrease your load speed. The great thing is you can unload plugins from specific pages or posts – great if you are optimising all individual pages on your website. Be careful to reactivate the unload functions on pages if you make further changes that will require those certain plugins. Overall, an excellent plugin to optimise your site’s speed.
Try it yourself: Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster on WordPress Plugin Library
Use one, a few, or all of these plugins simultaneously to speed up your website. Some functionalities described above are offered in multiple plugins, so be sure not to double up on the options (eg. if you minify CSS in WP Fastest Cache, you will not need to check the minify CSS option in Asset CleanUp). It’s fun optimising the speed of your website, you can check the results of your experimentation with GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights. Let us know if there are other plugins you like to use, and we will update this article if we find other gems!