7 Free Plugins to Speed Up Your WordPress Site
If we talk about plugins that cannot be missing from a website, we have to talk, without a doubt, about plugins to optimize WordPress.
When designing a WordPress website, in addition to taking into account the visual and creative part, which of course is very important and is what we always insist on (having a different and unique design is essential), we must also pay attention to the technical part.
When we talk about the technical part, we refer to the optimization of the web so that it has very short loading times, something that Google and the user who visits it love.
For this reason, in this article, we are going to review several of the plugins that I use to optimize WordPress. Of course, there is much more, but in order not to overwhelm you, we have reduced it to a few.
7 plugins to optimize WordPress
1) WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a Plugin to Speed Up Your WordPress Site for managing page loading and caching. In fact, it is the one we have installed on some of our websites.
It is a paid plugin, but it is worth investing in. Its objective is to improve the loading time of WordPress, something fundamental for SEO.
What are the main features of WP Rocket?
- Caching WordPress pages improves page load time.
- Cache preloading. The plugin's crawler simulates a web visit to preload the cache, thus improving indexing by search engines.
- Images "on demand". Photos only load when the user scrolls through the page. That is if you have an image in the footer, but the user does not scroll to that part of the web, said image is not loaded so as not to consume resources.
2) SG Optimizer
SG Optimizer is another of our favorite plugins to manage the loading speed of a website.
Also, it is the one we recommend if your page is hosted on SiteGround, as it is a plugin developed by their own team.
So, if your hosting provider is SiteGround, the plugin we recommend installing for all things WPO is SG Optimizer because they fit the bill.
What are the most relevant features of SG Optimizer?
- Dynamic caching.
- Manual cache flushing for the entire web.
- Automatic cache deletion.
- Test the URLs to know the status of the cache.
- Memcached. Object cache tool for your website. Store frequently executed queries in your database and reuse them for better performance.
- Automatic activation of the HTTPS protocol.
- I change the recommended version of PHP with a single click.
- GZIP compression. Activate the compression of the content that is sent to the visitors' browsers, improving the loading time of your website.
- Minify HTML output . Eliminate unnecessary characters from your HTML saving the data and improving the speed of your website.
- Minify CSS files. Minify your CSS files to reduce their size, improve caching, and reduce the number of requests on the server.
- Remove Query Springs from static resources. Remove the query chain from your static resources to improve the cache for those resources.
- Image optimization, both old and new.
Swift Performance Lite is a caching and optimization plugin that I discovered relatively recently and it works great.
In fact, on some websites, we have installed it as a substitute for WP Rocket.
Therefore, it has become a strong competitor to what has always been the best optimization plugin for me.
The plugin is available in a freemium version, that is, the free version includes a series of (very good) features and the paid version includes other more advanced features.
Some of the strengths and tasks that Swift Performance Lite performs (as there are many, we highlight the ones that most caught our attention):
- Quick setup. It's really simple and set it up.
- Load under cache.
- Remove query strings.
- Minify and combine the CSS and JS files.
- CDN support.
- Cloudflare Support.
- Compatibility with a multisite.
- WooCommerce Friendly.
- WPML support .
- Cache for registered users.
- Optimize the database.
- Google Analytics Bypass.
LiteSpeed Cache is another one of the plugins that we recommend to manage issues related to cache loading and WPO.
Some of its features are:
- Object Cache.
- Image optimization.
- On-demand upload of images and iframes.
- Compatible with multiple CDN.
- Load CSS/JS asynchronously.
- Browser cache.
- Database cleaner and optimizer.
- PageSpeed score optimization.
- Connection with Cloudflare via API.
- Compatible multisite websites.
- Import and export settings.
- Heartbeat check.
5) WP Optimize
Over time, the WordPress database gets dirty with files that no longer appear on our website, plugins that we have removed, article and page reviews, etc.
Did you know that every time you review a post or page, WordPress saves a complete copy?
That is if you check a post three times, WordPress saves the same post three times in its entirety; if you check it twenty times, twenty copies are saved in the database, with the consequent use of space that these copies consume.
For this reason, it is necessary to periodically clean the database, which at the same time becomes fatter and consumes more space.
WP-Optimize is a very effective plugin to automatically clean your WordPress database for maximum efficiency.
Some of its main features:
- Delete all unnecessary data: trashed/unapproved/spam comments, as well as outdated data.
- Compact and defragment MySQL tables.
- You can control the optimizations you want to perform.
- Perform weekly automatic (or manual) cleanings.
- It allows you to choose which files you want to delete in each of its cleanings.
- Perform optimizations without the need to run manual queries.
- Automatically save a pre-optimization backup via UpdraftPlus
- Shows database statistics and savings.
- It is mobile-friendly and very easy to use.
Therefore, with WP Optimize you will get :
- Free up space in the database of your WordPress website.
- Control the cleanup and removal of files that are no longer needed.
- Keep your website clean and tidy.
Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions is another plugin that allows you to optimize the database after deleting revisions.
The objective of this plugin is to eliminate all those copies that are saved automatically so as not to consume so much space in the database.
You can configure it to be cleaned by days or by the maximum number of recent revisions. For example, we have it configured to do cleanup for revisions older than five days.
The full name of this plugin is "Smush Image Compression and Optimization" and its function is to compress the images on your website.
Optimizing images is essential to improve WordPress performance and, therefore, improve SEO positioning.
The plugin is responsible for resizing, optimizing, and compressing all the images that are uploaded to WordPress and those that are uploaded after its installation.
In addition, it allows you to set a maximum width and height, and thus large images will be reduced as they are compressed.
Our tips for optimizing images in WordPress :
- Adapt the size of each image taking into account the dimensions of the space where it will be placed. That is, if you need an image with a width of 700px, do not upload it with a width of 1200px, for example.
- Once the size has been adapted, it compresses the image before uploading it with a tool that performs this function. In our case, we use compressor.io
- Upload the image to the blog to be compressed again with the plugin.
So far our 7 favorite plugins to speed up your WordPress site!
We hope that these tips and plugins will help you to speed up your WordPress site and improve its quality.
While the speed of your WordPress site is important, it is not everything. Make sure you are also focusing on providing quality content and a great user experience.
These free plugins will help you speed up your WordPress site, but don’t forget to use them in combination with other optimizations for the best results.
Have you tried any of these plugins? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!