Learn about the most important WordPress site acceleration plugins
Learn about the most important WordPress
There is no doubt that website loading speed is an important factor for any website you browse on the internet, and for any website built using the WordPress system in particular.
One of the main downsides to WordPress as a content management system is the aspect of speed. One of the most common problems that WordPress site owners face is the slow loading speed of their site pages, which leads them to search for solutions to increase their speed and efficiency.
In today’s article, we will help you learn more about concepts related to your site speed and how to measure your site speed and whether it is slow, fast or average speed, and help you diagnose the reasons for a slow site, and finally we suggest you a group of the best free and paid WordPress site acceleration plugins.
How fast is a website
Do you know how fast your website loads? On what basis do you determine whether it is a fast or slow site, and does it need measures to speed up and improve its performance?
According to Google , the page load time must be between one and three seconds at most for the site to be generally considered fast. Website page load time is the time it takes a visitor after arriving at a page to view the content of that page.
If your site does not load within three seconds or less, this means that Google considers your site to be slow, and it means that most of your visitors will leave without seeing its content!
In some types of websites the speed meter is more stringent for example in online stores the minimum speed for Google is only 2 seconds, and statistics show that over 87% of shopping carts are abandoned if the loading time is more than that. The same goes for live video streaming or gaming sites where the speed criterion is more stringent.
You have to take care of speeding up your site, as this boosts your site’s rank in the search engine, strengthens your brand, makes people view more pages on the site, increases the conversion rate and increases the purchase rate if your site is an online store .
How do you measure website speed accurately?
In fact, calculating your site’s overall loading speed by a page’s load time in seconds is not an accurate and sufficient measure to judge a site’s speed or slowness for several reasons.
The speed varies from one page to another in the site and from one user to another according to the content of each page and according to the speed of browsing the Internet, the type of browser, and so on.
Also, not all web pages are loaded at once but rather they are loaded part by part and the speed varies from time to time and cannot be judged at a specific moment..
So defining your website speed as a fixed number is not accurate, so several other metrics to judge a website as fast or not are adopted by dedicated website speed checking tools and each tool has its own metrics.
Some of the most popular of these tools that you can use to test your website’s loading speed are:
- GTmetrix This tool is one of the most used speed test tools on the web and it is available in both free and paid versions. With this tool, you can enter the URL, specify the actual geolocation of any site whose speed you want to test, and select the type of browser. The tool will analyze your site and give you several results, scores and graphs of its speed metrics, and it will show you warnings about your site errors that you need to watch out for and correct them.
- Google Page Speed : This tool from Google measures the time taken from the moment a website is requested to the moment it is ready to display in the browser. It evaluates the speed of the website through several metrics it uses to test the page load and you can verify that your site is technically fast on mobile devices and desktop computers and provides you with several tips to improve the performance of your site.
- Web Page Test is a free tool to test the performance and speed of website pages. This tool produces its metrics using real world browsers to load the web page being tested. The main advantage of this tool is that tests can be run from locations around the world with real browsers and with real connection speeds allowing you to test performance from where users are actually and see real load times.
- Pingdom Website Speed Test is an easy-to-use tool that is available in both free and paid professional versions. This tool has its own speed tests, just enter your webpage URL and select a test area and the tool will test your page load speed and calculate performance metrics. It also monitors your websites, apps, and servers and monitors load performance so you can see how visitors experience your site.
- IsItWP : This is a WordPress learning site that aims to help beginners and small businesses learn everything about WordPress, themes, and plugins. This site provides a free, easy-to-use tool that you can rely on to test the speed of your WordPress site.
After selecting the tool you prefer, you have to understand its metrics and know how to read it, and accordingly you can judge your site as fast, medium or slow according to each metric accurately and for sure.
If your website is slow according to specialized tool tests, then you should start taking steps that will increase the speed of your site and improve its performance.
Why is my wordpress site slow?
In fact, there are several reasons that cause your website to slow down, the most prominent of which are:
1- Bad hosting
Site hosting plays an important role in its speed . Shared hosts for example store multiple websites on one server, so in this type of hosting if other sites on the server are consuming resources it will slow down your site as well.
Whereas cloud hosting uses multiple servers, and these servers may be spread across multiple geographies, they form a cloud and work seamlessly with each other as one giant server. This type of hosting is easily scalable and the speed of your site does not depend on the traffic of any other site.
If one of the servers is unable to handle the volume of requests received for your site, this task will be taken over by other servers on the cloud, and this will solve the problem of latency and increase the speed of the site.
To learn more about web hosts and their different types, we recommend that you read the following article .
2- A large number of heavy metals on the site
So the more heavy elements on your web pages the longer it takes to display so you need to make sure to lighten the weight of your site elements to make it faster.
Overall, keep your site simple and delete anything you don’t use. Also remove everything you don’t need, even a small widget, and focus on only the necessary content and basic functions that you need.
Lots of AJAX codes
Ajax technology enables you to refresh part of a web page without having to reload the entire page. Having Ajax codes can be very useful for your website and enhance the functionality of the site such as the search function within the site’s content for example.
But on the other hand, these codes may also be the reason for the slowness of the site because it drains the CPU of the server, so be sure to keep a reasonable amount of Ajax codes in your pages.
Too many and unoptimized media
Some of your pages may be slow due to the large number of images and excessive media. Although most of us now have a fast connection to the Internet, it is still important to compress images on your site, especially if the hosting resources for the site are limited.
Therefore, you must add the media in the correct format and be in the required size and save it to suit the web. You must also pay attention to improving and compressing images and reducing their size either before uploading them to the site through specialized programs such as Photoshop, or after uploading them to the site using WordPress plugins that compress and improve images.
Too many or poorly written plugins
One of the heavy plugins installed on the site can be caused by a slow WordPress site. The more plugins you have, the more likely it is to make your site slower.
To ensure that the plugins do not affect your site speed, disable them one by one and test the effect on your site speed. If you find an extension slowing down your site, it’s mostly because it’s poorly programmed, just remove it and find a better alternative.
It is also necessary to remove any unnecessary plugins that you are not using and remove them from the root as this will lighten the weight of your WordPress site.
Use a slow template for your site
Heavy WordPress themes that are overcrowded with features or poorly written with unoptimized code will make your WordPress site noticeably slow.
The easiest way to test if your theme is slow is to use the default theme that comes with WordPress. In case the site is still slow then the problem is something else.
So be sure to choose a WordPress theme that is fast and includes only the features you need. To learn more about the template speed test and to know the fastest WordPress templates that can be installed on your site, we recommend that you read the following article
Not using caching
Not having a private WordPress site cache means that every time someone visits one of your pages the website must load all the elements from the beginning.
Whereas relying on a cache that stores your website data on the user’s device for use in future requests will greatly speed up the site because in this case the website’s browser will only need to load the updated or new parts of the page when you visit the site again Which increases page load time even with a slow connection.
Too many redirects
Actually redirects don’t necessarily hurt your website speed, but having too many redirects can slow down your website.
Because redirects lead to an additional HTTP request and response cycle and add extra latency back and forth, it’s important to keep the number of redirects your site as low as possible so that its speed isn’t affected.
There are several actions that you can take to get rid of the causes of site slowness mentioned above and increase the speed of your WordPress site . But in the following paragraphs, we will talk about making site acceleration through plugins that speed up your WordPress site easily once they are installed and set up properly.
Best WordPress Website Acceleration Plugins
Here are some of the most important free and paid WordPress site acceleration plugins that you will need to use if your WordPress site is slow, and an explanation of the most important features that each plugin provides in order to get rid of the slow site problem.
1-W3 Total Cache
This plugin can significantly increase the speed of your WordPress site by enabling caching on your WordPress site, which is one of the most important factors in speeding up the site and significantly improving its performance.
WordPress site requests a lot of data from the database while loading dynamic pages (PHP pages) and serving them to the visitor. This can greatly affect the speed and performance of the site especially when you have many visits to your website and you have a lot of plugins installed on your location.
This add-on limits the number of requests to the database and once you activate it on your site you will immediately notice a significant improvement in speed even with the default settings.
You can also control and customize the extension settings yourself so that you get a faster page. The plugin also compresses different types of files and other features that contribute to increasing the speed of your WordPress site.
The plugin is available with a free version from the official repository of WordPress plugins, and a more professional paid version, but the paid version is only available from within the free plugin interface and there is no discount on the extension’s license for more than one site, meaning that if you need to install the extension on ten sites, you will pay $ 99 per year For each site separately.
This plugin is one of the important plugins that provides caching solutions for your site as this plugin creates a copy of every dynamically generated wordpress page and caches it in the cache which reduces the workload on your server. It is a paid add-on and its price starts at $49 per year. You can get plans and prices here
The extension also provides the feature of lazy loading. Instead of loading the entire page at once, only the parts that the visitor is viewing is loaded at the current moment and the rest of the parts are loaded when visitors scroll down the page.
This add-on also includes other features such as increasing the cache size for the user’s browser, and integrating the caching solution with a Content Delivery Network ( CDN ) which is a network of servers scattered in specific geographic locations to deliver content faster based on the server closest to you.
Also Read: wordPress Plugins Every Website
3-WP Super Cache
One of the most popular caching extensions, this add-on is free and has more than 1 million active installs. It is a plugin belonging to Automattic, the company responsible for WordPress, WooCommerce, and Jetpack.
This plugin basically creates and caches static pages of your dynamic WordPress site, after which the web server will render these static pages instead of processing the relatively heavier dynamic PHP texts.
The extension also provides the feature of compressing cached files to get compressed files smaller in size and this improves the upload time and download these files by browsers more quickly due to their small size.
This plugin is an all-in-one solution that speeds up your WordPress site in all respects rather than just enabling caching or optimizing only images.
It also compresses site images using advanced compression techniques to convert large images into compressed files that are small in size and fast for downloading. Bandwidth consumption .
This add-on is also an integrated add-on with UpdraftPlus that enables you to create a backup copy of your site automatically before performing any optimization actions for your site. It allows you to schedule tasks and schedule a time to optimize and clean your site automatically every week or every period you specify.
This plugin is one of the most popular image compression plugins for WordPress. This add-on reduces the overall size of each image on the site without affecting the quality of this image and it supports all popular image formats (JPEG, GIF, PNG)
The extension is available in a free version with very good features. It is also available in a paid version that requires a membership in the WPMU DEV platform , whose cost starts at $15.83 per month. But in return for this membership you will get a wide range of add-ons and other useful features that will help you to significantly improve and improve your website.
This extension processes images on site, removes all unused colors from images, compresses any image on your site, removes metadata from JPEG images and can handle more than 50 images simultaneously.
WordPress AMP Plugin
If your site is slow to browse on a mobile phone, this free add -on enables you to speed up your site on the phone, as the acceleration of pages system ( A accelerated M obile P ages) or what is known as AMP is an open source initiative from Google aimed at improving the browsing experience mobile users on the Internet and deliver lightning-fast loading speeds for websites viewed on mobile phones.
This plugin can help you create an AMP version of your website without having to make any changes to your existing site. It also allows you to track your AMP traffic and analyze the behavior of your visitors.
These were examples of top WordPress site acceleration plugins that having them installed on your site can greatly improve your site’s results in benchmarking tools, and get you faster load times for your site pages.
Of course, you don’t have to install all of these add-ons, you can choose the right ones that give you the features you want and install only what you need from them.
If you have not succeeded in diagnosing the reasons for the slowness of your site on your own and all your attempts to increase its speed and improve its performance have failed, you can hire professionals to help you perform this task. On freelance websites such as Fiverr and Freelancing , you will find thousands of people who provide you with this service and take over the task of examining your site and diagnosing the reasons for its slowness and working to solve them.
In today’s article, we showed you the importance of speeding up your site, how to accurately judge your site to be fast or slow, and we showed you the most important WordPress site acceleration plugins for you. And in the end, we mention that the hosting server has a great impact on the speed of your website, so take care of choosing a strong and fast hosting before you take care of any other procedure.
And remember that your website is your brand identity in the digital world, having a slow website or online store makes a bad impression on the brand.
On the other hand, a fast website enhances your brand and improves your customers’ trust in you. So value the time of your visitors and customers and give them a quick website and they will undoubtedly appreciate your content, services and products that you provide to them.
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