Top Plugins and Tools to Speed Up WordPress Sites

If you want to optimize your WordPress blog for speed, but also, for performance and Google crawlers, you have to use some tools and plugins. They take care of the loading and the server response time. However, some plugins that people use are making conflicts, and that’s why their sites will load slower.

In this post, I’m going to show you the tools that you need to make your blog load faster, and best of all, you will optimize it for search engines naturally.

How to get a faster WordPress website

This is the most important step, and it’s, even more, important than the content itself. No one will read an article that takes a half-minute or more to load, and if your site is really slow, then, you’re losing big traffic and income.

But, you can’t notice that if you don’t have a fast server to compare things with. The below plugins and tools are not optional, but a must-have, to make any WordPress site load faster. Also, they help to put the server in a good situation when handling the HTTP requests, and that will result in a faster server response time.

Fast and well-protected server

Nothing can work well if you’re not hosting your blog with fast servers. This is what every professional blogger and business owner needs to have. Shared WordPress hosting is good for starters only, and if you’re getting a good amount of traffic, then, you have to think about premium and managed WordPress hosting.

I recommend WP Engine, they are not only a lightning-fast hosting but, the only recommended managed service for WordPress. They’ve optimized their own servers and created a super-fast caching system in their infrastructure, with top security levels.

If you can’t get your site hosted there, then, make sure to use one of the shared hosting services that you trust.

Content Delivery Network

The CDN makes your blog load fast, even, with slow servers. It’s simply a technique that hosts your static files, such as HTML, images, videos, and much more, on multiple servers across the world.

This time, when a visitor wants to access your site, he gets a copy from the nearest geographical location to him. So, the page will be loaded in half of the time, on average, and that’s what offers a good user experience.

If you don’t have an idea about the best CDN service, I recommend MaxCDN, that’s a big company with advanced technologies, and they are hosting big brands that millions of people trust.

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is a free WordPress plugin that creates a cached copy of your website, and you can enable that function with a single click of the button. If you want to add more features, such as rewriting rules, you just need to use the advanced mode, and you get all the settings in an easy structure to set up.

I recommend this plugin for both, newbies and advanced users, it’s the easier caching system right now.

If you can’t get this plugin, then, give W3 Total Cache a try. It’s another good caching plugin, and it makes the website load better with its techniques. However, this plugin has some negative points, such as the complicated settings pages, and the aggressive caching system that can make your homepage look the same, even if you have new posts.

That issue happens to newbies in general, but, you can avoid that by using the previous plugin, and of course, you have to exclude the home page from the cache.

Please make sure to use a single minify system. If you’re using the minify option in your plugin, you shouldn’t use any other tools for that exact function. That will slow down your site, and even create errors, it’s better to have one single option to avoid plugin conflict.

WP Smush

The Smush plugin was developed especially to compress every image that you upload, and it saves lots of loading time, in particular with large image files. You don’t have to set anything, just install it and forget it.

If you have old images that you want to compress, click the “Media” menu, at the left menu in your WordPress dashboard. Then, use the “Bulk Smush” option, and you can get all images compressed in a few moments.

Gzip compression

You can enable the website file compression in your cPanel, it’s a technique that compresses content such as HTML, and text. So, the web browser will get that page content compressed, and that’s what decreases the loading time by 30 to 70% in the majority of cases.

Instead of sending 1 MB of file size, the servers will send 100 KB only, and that’s a big benefit that will speed up your blog and save a lot of bandwidth, at the same time.

If you don’t have the compression option in cPanel, then, use a free plugin called GZip Ninja Speed Compression. Install it, and the compression will work instantly without settings.

WP Optimize

The WP Optimize free plugin has over one million downloads and counting. It will clean up and optimize your blog database and delete the auto drafts that you don’t use. It comes with an auto-schedule option to clean the spam comments and everything that you don’t need.

This plugin comes with its own settings page, and you can control what to delete, and what to schedule exactly.

By using the above tools, you’re not only optimizing WordPress for speed and performance, but also, you will offer the best user experience for your users. That’s without forgetting that Google is counting the speed of your website as one of the other ranking factors.

These are the plugins and the tools that every WordPress user should use, or even, try to make sure that posts will be crawled correctly. And, of course, we can’t talk about SEO without having a fast website that makes users happy, and search engines will understand your content better.

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About Fathi Arfaoui

Fathi Arfaoui is a Physicist, Blogger and the founder of He shares Business, WordPress and Blogging tips to build a better blog and succeed online.

Disclosure: The recommendations on this page are my own based on my tests and analysis. We may earn a small commission from web hosts and other partners if you use my referral link to make a purchase. That’s what helps us to maintain the site and add fresh content, Thanks for your support.

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