WordPress plugins are vital aspects of any website and online business. With these components, you can extend the functionality of your WordPress website, like add contact forms, and social media buttons, create galleries, enable email opt-ins, and improve SEO performance.
Most importantly, you can also take advantage of WordPress plugins to speed up the loading time and performance of your website. Increasing the speed of your website can have a significant impact on your sales, conversion rates, page views, visitor satisfaction, and also bounce rates.
In this article, you will learn about the benefits of a faster website speed, and also discover 10 of the most popular WordPress plugins you can use to speed up your website and online store.
Site Speed is Vital for Your Online Business
If your WordPress website isn’t loading or performing as fast as it should, chances are your site visitors will abandon it within a few seconds. Your customers will become impatient, and Google, and other search engines, will also be crawling your site slower resulting in lower rankings. Slow loading times have been revealed to be one of the main factors that increase website bounce rates.
According to recent statistics, 79% of online buyers that face an unpleasant visit are less likely to return and make any purchase on that site again. Furthermore, 40% of customers also leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, and 1 in 3 online shoppers are more likely to bounce from sites that make them wait longer than 5 seconds.
Here’s a quick look at some of the other disadvantages of a slower loading website:
- A delay of half a second can cause a 20% decrease in traffic.
- A 1-second delay turn 11% fewer page views.
- A 1-second delay in load time can drop conversion rates by 7%.
On the other hand, a faster loading website has the opposite effect. It should improve the levels of your website’s visitor satisfaction rate, the number of conversions, and ultimately, the number of sales. It can streamline the browsing process, enhance your website’s user experience as a whole, which would eventually help you achieve your marketing goals.
According to studies by Google and Amazon, boosting your website speed by just 1 second will increase the conversion rate between 10% and 20%. Faster loading pages will also rank and appear higher on search engine platforms and newsfeeds, while also achieving more engagement, and customer reach.
Now that you have a clearer picture of the importance of increasing your website’s speed and performance, let’s take a closer look at 10 of the best WordPress plugins you can use to optimize your website speed and loading time.
Speed Up Your Website With These Popular WordPress Plugins
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a widely used caching plugin by Automattic that creates static HTML pages for your WordPress website. With a caching plugin, each time you attempt to access your site, your plugin serves up the lighter HTML page, instead of processing the costly, and heavier WordPress Php scripts.
As of today, there are more than 2 million active users of WP Super Cache. To add the plugin to your WordPress website, all you have to do is install it straight from your plugins page. The plugin is free, and easy to use, and you can preload content into the cache.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is another popular cache plugin from BoldGrid that you can use to speed up your website. You can also use the plugin to improve your website’s SEO, and user experience, by increasing its performance, and minimizing loading times through the integration of a content delivery network, or CDN.
W3 Total cache currently has over 1 million active users and ranks among the top WordPress speed-enhancing plugins. To install this plugin, you would have to deactivate any other plugin you may be using. It’s free, and can save you up to 80% bandwidth. With W3 Total Cache, you can improve your website performance by at least 10%, increase conversion rates, and rank higher in popular search engines.
WP Super Minify
WP Super Minify is a widely used minifying plugin. In contrast to a caching plugin, a minifying plugin refers to the process of taking a piece of code and cutting out from them all unnecessary characters. Doing this can speed up loading times, and obscure your code from casual onlookers.
WP Rocket is another popular speed-enhancing plugin that is recognized as the most powerful caching plugin by WordPress experts. The plugin allows you to make your website perform faster in just a few clicks. It is easy to use, quick to set-up, and comes with sitemap preloading, GZIP compression, browser caching, database optimization, Google fonts optimization, lazy loading, and more.
WP Smush.it is a widely used lazy loading plugin that is designed to speed up image-heavy websites that can take forever to load, especially if you have a ton of them on your site. The plugin is actually based on the Yahoo Smush.it service, which is used to optimize and compress images.
WP Smush.it currently has more than 1 million active users, with a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. The plugin takes no time at all to be enabled on your website, and it’s free to use. With it, you can optimize images, turn on lazy loading, compress, or resize your images, and cut out unnecessary space from your image files.
Lazy Load by WP Rocket
Lazy Load is another well-known plugin from WP Rocket. Instead of caching, Lazy Load shows images and iFrames on a page only when they are visible to site visitors. It replaces post images, and thumbnails, and is ultra-lightweight. It is free to use and currently has over 100,000 active users. It works not only with images, but also with iFrames, and YouTube videos.
Cache Enabler is a popular WordPress cache engine that generates HTML files and stores them on the server’s disk. The server then delivers the file and steers clear of resource-intensive processes.
WP YouTube Lyte
WP YouTube Lyte is another lazy loading plugin you can use on your website to lazy load your videos. However, it can’t lazy load images and iFrames, like Lazy Load by WP Rocket. The plugin is free, and currently has more than 40,000 active users. Installing the plugin is pretty straight forward, all you have to do is install it from your WordPress plugins screen.
AMP For WP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
If you’re looking for a way to boost your website speed and performance for your mobile visitors, then AMP For WP is your top choice. The plugin automatically adds AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) functionality to your WordPress website, and comes with useful extensions, and numerous other features.
AMP For WP currently has over 100,000 active users. It’s free to use, and is considered to be among the most highly-rated and downloaded AMP plugins.
EWWW Image Optimizer
Lastly, we have EWWW Image Optimizer by Exactly WWW, which is another plugin you can use to optimize and compress all of your over-sized images on your existing WordPress website. The plugin works by compressing JPEG, and PNG images, and also PDF files.
As of today, EWWW Image Optimizer has over 800,000 million users. With the plugin, you can speed up your website, improve its SEO performance, and increase your bounce rates. All of the images are compressed, scaled to match the size of the page and device, lazy-loaded, and then converted.
There you have it! Speeding up your website can make a huge difference in your online business. It can have an impact on your sales, conversion rates, bounce rates, user experience, page views, and overall customer satisfaction. To start the process of enhancing your website’s performance, you have at your disposal these WordPress plugin options mentioned above.