The speed with which your website loads might be the determining factor for some of your visitors on whether they decide to stay or leave before the page even loads. This is why it is important to install plugins that will maximize the speed of your site and ensure a much better experience for your readers.
This article includes ten plugins for various needs, such as minifying, caching, lazy loading, and other types of plugins.
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Of course, all of this functionality comes at a price which is $49. If you are looking for the best deal with outstanding reviews and flawless reputation, then this should be your first choice. However, if you are on a tight budget, you might want to opt for cheaper or even free plugins.
WP Fastest Cache
Speaking of free plugins, WP Fastest Cache is one of the most popular options on the market. It is already being used by hundreds of thousands of people and gets numerous positive reviews.
The plugin is surprisingly balanced and doesn’t require a lot of learning before you can start using it. Likewise, it isn’t too plain either. It sports such features as CSS and HTML minification, CDN integration, and quick cache clearing and CSS minification in 1 click. You can also set some pages or posts to be excluded, or set expiration times for all posts or pages, or certain URL strings. If you find that these features aren’t enough, then you can switch to a paid premium version to access more tools.
WP Smush.it is another free plugin, but this time for images. It allows you to strip un-used color from images or metadata from JPEGs. You can also optimize JPEG compression. WP Smush.it lets you run existing images through it, and is integrated with the Smush.it API.
The plugin itself is based on the Yahoo Smush.it service. It is used to remove unnecessary bytes from image files and optimize images. It is also important to note the difference between this plugin other similar ones. Unlike them, WP Smush.it uses lossless formats so you won’t notice any difference in image quality.
WP Super Minify
WP Super Cache
Another popular and free plugin, WP Super Cache has a simple interface that also includes some advanced features for expert users. It supports CDN and has an option to preload cache. You can also serve static HTML files. By the way, it supports multiple caching types such as PHP, Legacy, and Mod_Rewrite.
W3 Total Cache
If you are an advanced or an expert user, then this plugin is for you. W3 Total Cache is free and has lots of options to benefit from. However, be aware that it’s not an easy plugin to set up or uninstall in case you decide it’s not for you.
W3 Total Cache supports CloudFlare and various CDN services. There is browser, database, and object caching as well as minification and many other functions. If you know what you are doing and have been using plugins for some time now, then it’s definitely worth checking out this one.
The free version of WP-Optimize lets you clean up your database and optimize it to your needs. For example, it lets you delete all the spam or unapproved comments or clean up copies of your posts. Some things WP-Optimize deletes are spam comments, trashed content, and more. It also shows database statistics and potential savings.
If you want more features, you can switch to a paid premium version and gain access to multisite support, image optimization, clean-up scheduling, WP-CLI support, and lazy loading. All of these also come with some minor additional functions such as managing your workplace.
Perfmatters is a plugin that has a completely different approach than most plugins. Instead of enabling additional features for you to use, it lets you disable unnecessary processes that WordPress is programmed to set for your site. For example, Perfmatters lets you disable HTTP requests that are preventing your pages from loading. And you can cancel these scripts for each page!
Perfmatters works well with your existing caching plugin, so don’t be afraid to install it if you already have one. By the way, it also had DNS pre-fetch support. Of course, all of these amazing functions are not for free. The starting price is $19.95 per year.
Free, lightweight and easy to set up – these three characteristics describe Cache Enabler. Before we jump into its functions, it is important to note that it has a sister plugin called CDN Enabler, which is used for adding CDN. Now back to Cache Enabler.
With this plugin, you can set up cache expiry time and minification. You can manage cache behavior such as clearing it after new posts. There is also an option to clear it in one click. In addition to that, you can set post ID’s to exclude from the cache.
Even though Cache Enabler does not sport many features, it is the perfect choice if you are looking for a free plugin that will be easy to install and use. This plugin is probably the best choice for beginners.
BJ Lazy Load
If you are looking for the perfect plugin for lazy loading, then this is the one. It’s free and has all the functions you would want such a plugin to have. If you don’t know what lazy loading is, then here’s a short explanation: in order for a long page to load faster, lazy loading instead loads only the parts of it that are visible to the user. This way, the loading speed is several times faster than it normally is.
BJ Lazy Load uses jQuery to operate. It replaces post images, post thumbnails, and Gravatar images as well as replacing content iframes with a placeholder until content needs to load. It also serves scaled down images with responsive designs. BJ Lazy Load is perhaps one of the best lazy load plugins available at the moment.
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Finally, it is worth saying that you will definitely find something appropriate for yourself on this list. Whether you just started using WordPress or you have been using it for a while now, it is always good to improve the speed of your site and there is no better way to do it than by using the best available plugins for it.