WordPress 101 – Best Free Plugins to Improve Your Website Speed

Easily improve your WordPress website load time

 

The beauty of WordPress is the code is open source, the community creates extensions to the core framework in the form of plugins, many of these are free and open source (some opting to offer a premium option that is paid). We should talk about the plugins that improve speed as they can achieve a quick result with minimal effort and no need for coding.

 

 

Plugins that can boost speed

Speed, or load time, is the number one thing about a site that can really hurt performance, affecting how well you rank on search engines. Not only can a slow site turn users off but it can have a negative impact on SEO. With some modifications you can boost your load time without having to get a new server or redesigning the website altogether.

 

Smush Image Compression and Optimisationhttps://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/

Resize, optimise and compress your images to reduce the server load and improve your site speed. This plugin removes data from images without reducing the quality and can have a dramatic impact on load times.

Note: Free version only works on new uploaded images.

 

W3 Total Cachehttps://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache/

This Caching plugin does exactly what its name suggests, all manor of caching facilities are added to your site, access them via the admin menu and see instant results. Minify code, accelerate mobile pages and connect with content delivery networks to improve load times.

 

WP-Optimizehttps://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-optimize/

Cleaning your WordPress database can improve the speed of your site, by making quicker queries, with less data to search through, this plugin will bring your database up to maximum efficiency. It also compresses existing images and maintains an automatic clean up operation.

 

Autoptimizehttps://wordpress.org/plugins/autoptimize/

Minify scripts, optimise Google fonts and lazy loading images are some of the great features of this easy to use plugin. It will improve the load time of your site considerably and works well with some other plugins, listed in the products description.

 

 

Things not working as you expected? Refresh the permalinks

Permalinks, or permanent links, are the individual permanent URLs to your blog posts. They allow other users to link to your site or section of your site. When updating your website or making changes to the way it functions a good rule of thumb is to update or refresh the permalinks.

Its advisable for the permalink structure to be set to “Post name”, instructing WordPress to show the title of your blog post in the website address. There are other settings that will show the date or numeric values. For best results set it to include the post name, making it easier for users to identify pages.

 

Word of Caution

 

Be wary as things can go seriously wrong when you play around with the structure of a website. It is advisable to activate one new plugin at a time then check that the site still works as you expect.

“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.”

Warning: Too many plugins may slow down your site speed by making too many calls to the server

Warning: Some plugins can conflict with each other causing unexpected outcomes

Warning: Some plugins can’t be uninstalled easily

 


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