WordPress powers roughly a third of live websites.
Bloggers, business owners, and professionals turn to WordPress for beautiful templates and cost-effective design. WordPress plugins give many WP users the option to optimize their site for the best user experience.
However, WordPress sites aren’t always the fastest when it comes to loading speeds. If you’ve typed “how to speed up my WordPress site” into Google, you understand.
Luckily, there are many ways to speed up WordPress, especially when it comes to WP plugins. In this post, we’ll discuss the WP plugins that can help optimize your site for the best speeds!
WordPress & Speed
WordPress is an international web-building platform that makes it easy for anyone to craft a website. Its free themes and templates, plugins, and tools are extensive enough to make a WordPress site a valuable resource for any professional.
Nonetheless, just like any other web-building platform, WordPress sites can be slow to load. This is particularly the case for sites that depend on a less-than-stellar web host or have a unique layout.
Some customers complain that “free” templates take longer to load versus premium templates. While this has yet to be confirmed, it’s worth noting that premium templates come with more optimization features than free templates.
Whatever the case, a good place to start when it comes to speeding up a WordPress site is WP plugins. There are plenty of these technical tools at your disposal for ensuring that all of your content is at its best for loading purposes.
We recommend cleaning out your current lineup of plugins before downloading these, as too many plugins can hinder loading speed. Eliminate any plugins you don’t need and upgrade existing ones.
Here are some of our favorite plugins for optimizing WordPress loading times.
1. WP-Cache Plugins
All WordPress sites are dynamic sites rather than static. This means that every time a visitor drops by your site, WordPress assembles all of your page content for viewers.
While dynamic sites have been known to load faster than static sites, the dynamic assembly process can be time-consuming. For this reason, it’s essential to cache your pages so that visitors can view copies of your content rather than originals.
As such, cached pages can load up to five times faster than non-cached pages!
There are several caching plugins that you can download to make sure that this process happens every time. WP Super Cache and WP Fastest Cache are amongst the highest rated caching plugins for WordPress users.
The download process is fairly straightforward. Once the plugin is installed, navigate to your Settings and select “WP Super Cache” or “WP Fastest Cache.” Be sure that caching is enabled for either plugin.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your caching plugin is working, ensure that the plugin is updated and test the caching process by clicking on “Test.”
2. WP Smush
One of the biggest culprits of a slow-loading WordPress site is poorly optimized images. Images and other media uploaded in the wrong format or size can take far longer to load.
In general, it’s wise to upload JPEG images, as these are much smaller than other image formats and tend to load faster.
You can also make sure that your images are optimized for fast loading speeds by using WP Smush Image Optimization and Compression. This plugin will automatically compress all of your images to the smallest possible size, without sacrificing on quality.
This is the case even if you upload non-JPEG images, such as PNG or GIF files. If you don’t feel like dealing with image compression yourself, WP Smush can optimize images for you.
Merely download Smush, enable automatic compression, and initiate “Bulk Smush” to take care of already downloaded attachments that need optimizing.
3. Soliloquy and Envira Gallery
Many WordPress themes come with sliders and gallery pages. A slider acts much like a mini slideshow, giving visitors a taste of multiple blog posts, news stories, or page content.
Gallery pages often display portfolio work, detailed images, or other media.
These components can eat away at your loading speed, requiring valuable seconds to load. If your WordPress template involves a slider, gallery, or both, download two plugins to enable faster loading: Soliloquy (for sliders) and Envira Gallery (for galleries).
Soliloquy enables quick loading and advanced customization of sliders. It also generates responsive sliders, ones that adapt to fit the screens of mobile and tablet users.
Soliloquy is also ideal for WordPress users who want to incorporate a lot of customized, image-heavy sliders. If you have a WooCommerce store, Soliloquy can help you craft sliders ideal for promoting goods.
This plugin is not free; however, WordPress often offers sales on subscriptions.
Envira Gallery is also ideal for WordPress templates that depend on an impressive, fast-loading gallery page. If you are a photographer or artist showcasing your work, don’t neglect this nifty plugin.
Envira subscriptions give most users WordPress support, unlimited slideshows and galleries, lightroom capabilities, watermarking, and more. We recommend using Envira if you want high-quality media content to load quickly for users.
Final Thoughts: How to Speed Up My WordPress Site
If you’re always wondering, “how to speed up my WordPress site,” we’re here to help. You can work with any slow-loading WP site simply by adding the right plugins.
The best WP plugins for fast loading WP sites optimize your images for quick presentation and cache dynamic content. Plugins like Soliloquy and Envira Gallery can ensure that your sliders and gallery content load as quickly as possible.
Once you’ve added these plugins, it’s important to monitor your site uptime to ensure that they’re doing their job! Perform regular audits on your site speed and performance by testing loading times on different browsers.
At Site Uptime, we know how much your site’s loading speed matters to you. For this reason, we’re here to ensure that your site enjoys as much uptime as possible! Learn more about the services we offer here.