WordPress is a well-known CMS in today’s market. It is often utilized by various businesses to build and handle sites that offer information as well as solutions.
There was recent research that Kinsta had conducted that stated almost 40% of sites over the Internet are created by utilizing WordPress. It is extremely good in comparison to their competitors like Joomla that hold 2.6%, and WIX at 1.6% globally.
In spite of various individuals and teams that put in a lot of their efforts in order to develop rich as well as multifaceted WordPress websites, there is always one thing that ruins a user’s experience, and that is site speed.
We have written many articles about this and how important it is for every business to have good website speed and why business owners must optimize their site speed.
Today we will discuss how WP customers can enhance their WordPress website by gaining leverage on plugins that would help them to optimize the speeds in WordPress.
Increasing the Speed of WordPress
There are numerous reasons that raise a red flag, and we do consider their significant concerns; these concerns are;
- There are various researches that have shown, website loading speed that takes over 2 seconds will end up in approximately 47% of site visitors losing interest and leaving the website. So, if you, as a website owner, want to maintain the interest of at least half the visitors, then you must consider speeding up the WP.
- Multiple search engines, including Google, rank websites with quick loading times much higher in comparison to the ones that load slowly. So, to maintain good rankings on the search engines, you should prioritize improving the loading speed.
- Online customers are very impatient, and they want a page to load in seconds. So, if you own an E-Commerce shop on WP, then I must say that you need to gear up and make some significant improvements so that your business is more profitable.
Testing Loading Times of the Website
The initial thing that you must do is analyze the present load time of the website. Always remember that the speed will vary from one page to another because it depends on numerous factors that include;
- The number of requests that it generates,
- Size of the specific page,
- If a page is cached,
- Finally, the type of content it hosts.
The website’s homepage is generally utilized as the benchmark in order to test the loading time. So now, to examine the speed of the site, there are three tools that are utilized extensively by multiple users, and they are;
- PageSpeed Insights (it does not show the page load time; however, it focuses on factors that you could adjust in order to increase the speed of your WP)
Alright, let’s move onto our next segment, where we will discuss the plugins that we have shortlisted just for you;
W3 Total Cache (W3TC)
This plugin is extremely effective for caching and is a popular plugin among numerous site developers as well as the WordPress community.
This plugin is highly advanced and increases the performance of a website by decreasing the load times of a page considerably through the leverage it gains by Content Delivery Network (CDN) integration.
This results in enhanced user experience and SEO. Due to the benefits offered, this free plugin is utilized and trusted by millions of global publishers.
The WordPress plugin for speed optimization offers the following advantages;
- Higher page ranking among search engines specifically for mobile-friendly sites.
- Quick delivery of pages that leads to a minimum of 10 times of overall improvement in website performance.
- Users can save bandwidth of a maximum of eighty percent.
- You will also experience an increase in visitor’s time on the website that leads to increased conversion.
There are plenty of features that this plugin offers; take a look at a couple of features. However, some of them may need a Pro version in order to be accessible.
- Database caching
- Browser caching
- Page caching
- Lazy Loading of media/images
- Auto CDN support
- Support of object caching
And much more!
The user will experience impressive performance with only minimal configuration. We have utilized this plugin and achieved terrific results; I must point out that these kinds of results were only achieved with another plugin that is WP Rocket. W3 Total Cache plugin has boosted the performance of all websites with a bit of configuration that was required.
There are plenty of caching choices that you could make, right from the caching of the browser, caching of the database, caching of the fragment, and object caching to page caching. Many caching plugins are available, which are just one or maybe two of these options.
It offers a CDN integration that is comprehensive so that you can utilize a prime CDN provider along with W3 Total Cache plugin without facing any issues.
Well, the price tag that they have is not very economical, especially for businesses that have over three sites. In such a case, you would find utilizing the WP Rocket plugin more beneficial because they allow you to use unlimited WordPress sites at the similar price tag that W3TC charges for three sites.
Prior to BoldGrid’s acquisition of W3TC, there were many that thought it was abandoned by the original developer. But today, that particular problem seems to have been resolved.
There are plenty of options that may seem pretty confusing as there is no clear explanation about the interface. They do not seem to have enough documentation, and it gets extremely difficult for the user. This doesn’t make it to our beginner-friendly list.
You should also be aware that W3TC lacks advanced features such as optimizing databases and disabling scripts, which WP Rocket provides.
This plugin is the only WordPress plugin that offers performance to rule all of them. You will receive all caching functionalities that you could expect in addition to loads of features that you would not expect.
And all this is available with a user-friendly interface that we have ever seen with a plugin just like this.
Specific caching plugins require users to learn courses in order to utilize their service; WP Rocket offers a simple setup process that is extremely easy when compared to their competitors.
We are very fond of the fact that they have included various features that you do not find included with other plugins; you would have to install them separately.
For instance, they offer you lazy loading images and Google Analytics code that can be hosted on the WordPress site and database optimization.
This plugin is definitely worth exploring, especially if you are looking at optimizing the speed of your WordPress website. This plugin takes care of everything.
I remember when we had initially installed this plugin on one of our websites, we were able to then uninstall three other plugins.
- The interface is extremely user friendly
- In order to enhance the speed, it would require minimum tweaking
- Page caching
- Preload cache
- Image lazy load
- Caching rules that are advanced
- Database optimization
- Version rollback
- Export and import settings
- Integration of Google Analytics two load codes from the server
- Cloudflare integration that is direct
- CDN integration
I do agree that we have stressed plenty about their support, but I must say that they do offer great support.
The user interface is stunningly beautiful. So far, I must say this is an amazing-looking interface in comparison to any of its competitors.
Of course, WP Rocket has had its share of criticism from certain individuals who are part of the WP community as they strongly believe that every plugin must adhere to all standard WP design patterns. I must say that we do understand the point they are making, but personally, I feel it looks fantastic.
This plugin has features that are robust in comparison to any of its competitors. We have even compared it to multiple Pro versions; when you add the Imagify plugin that is utilized for compressing images, you would then realize that you have begun your journey to a powerful WordPress site.
This WordPress caching plugin is extremely easy to utilize compared to various other plugins. WP Rocket immediately sets a wide range of boosters as soon as it is activated.
It can also be configured in under 15 minutes. In addition, it has made efforts to remove web pages or assets that you do not find the need to cache, and all this can be done with a procedure that is not at all complex.
As I mentioned earlier that we had utilized this plugin and what we have seen from our experience is, we have not found any drawbacks yet. However, we do like to add that they could work on their premium price tag.
In countries that are poor, you would not find a price tag match making it difficult for everyone to enjoy fantastic site speed.
So, if you are all worked up about the price tag, then we also have another alternative that is free, WP Fastest Cache.
Besides the price tag, we have not found any disadvantages, and overall, they are an excellent plugin to utilize.
It’s a plugin that goes beyond an average plugin in terms of performance, and it is a platform that is totally optimized to speed up WordPress.
This platform was created with a focus to make easy the entire process of increasing the speed of a website. So instead of utilizing numerous plugins where you would have to manually make a decision of what needs to be optimized and whatnot, the NitroPack will optimize everything you require.
All you need to do is add the site and get the connector plugin installed. You will then need to select optimizations that you want and the level of aggression.
These optimizations operate on their specific servers in order to reduce the usage of your web server. These changes enhance the primary web vitals too.
To get more performance from this, the settings can also be customized; however, on strong settings, there are drastic improvements in the load times of a page as well as PageSpeed rates of Google.
We have also utilized the eliminator and experience lower load times by almost 3 seconds. When we utilized GeneratePress, we were able to get the page speed score for a mobile in 90s.
I would also like to point out that they do have a free package; however, it does add the badge “powered by” to the footer. It is sufficient for a site that is small or even for testing reasons; however, we highly suggest going in for a paid package in order to avoid the badge.
- JS, CSS and HTML compression
- CSS minification, JS and HTML
- JS loading defers
- DNS prefetching
- Images are converted into the format of next gen
- Auto image optimization
- numerous caching types like browser, page, and more
- Auto-configuration and global CDN is included
- Supports various CMS’ and WP
- Auto web optimization
- It is a plugin that has it all in terms of being a site performance plugin. It also replaces the CDN image optimization, code optimization, and caching plugin.
- According to our experience, it increases the site speed by almost 57%, so if you aren’t utilizing CDN then, you could receive much more.
- “Above the fold” does not look good with this plugin. However, this cannot be avoided if you need to reduce the initial content paint time in Google PageSpeed.
- Some websites may find this mode a bit too aggressive.
The primary benefit of reducing the load time of your website is, it assists in enhancing the user experience tremendously. The benefits are the same for PCs or mobile devices.
In addition, it also enhances the ranking in SERPs. A decrease in the usage of bandwidth for hosting and quick loading speed will undoubtedly benefit you now and in the future. You can also check our article on 5 Must-have WordPress Plugins for an Ecommerce Site.
That’s all for this article, do share your comments and feedback with us.