There’s nothing worse than launching your impeccably designed and well-written WordPress site only to find it lags when it loads.

We all know a site that doesn’t load in a flash leads to nearly a 100% bounce rate. People just don’t have time to hang around.

You can check how quickly your WordPress site loads by visiting GT Metrix. Just type in your URL, and it’ll grade your site based on performance.

How To Speed Up Your WordPress Site

First, check with your internet service provider (ISP). If your host offers download times of less than 200 ms, it’s time to find a new host.

Install Speed Plugins

If you don’t already know, plugins are software add-ons you install on your site.

Speed plugins attach—or “plug in”—to your existing WordPress theme to speed up your site’s performance. This process is known as optimization.

With those basics in place, we’ll push directly ahead with our collection of the best WordPress speed plugins so you can see which makes the best fit for your site.

WP Sweep

This plugin cleans your database with straight-up delete functions rather than running direct-delete SQL queries.

If you’re still unsure why your site is slow, it could be due to old data from previous themes and plugins.

This plugin will save you a lot of effort as you won’t need to do a full reset. Just install the plugin and activate it, and it will get to work cleaning your database to make it more efficient.

Installation is super-simple. Just upload the wp-sweep file to the wp-content/plugins directory then activate it from the Plugins menu in WordPress.

WP Sweep is not compatible with some plugins including:

  • Asgaros Forum
  • Viba Portfolio
  • Meta Slider
  • Slider Revolution
  • MailPress
  • Elementor PopupBuilder
  • Polylang

WP Sweep has over 81% positive reviews from web developers who have used it with compatible plugins. Just watch out if you’re using WooCommerce as it could delete your data.

OptiMole-WP

how to convert wordpress images to webp format with optimole

Resizing high volumes of images in Photoshop is tedious. This plugin will do it for you at the push of a button. OptiMole will go through the images on your site and resize them without compromising quality.

OptiMole replaces your image URLs with cloud URLs and compresses them when people visit your site. In this way, it doesn’t replace the pictures on your site. Instead, users see images compressed in real-time according to the device they’re using. The images are cached for one month on that user’s device. If a user’s internet speed is sluggish, OptiMole will reduce the quality of the image on their device to optimize download speed.

OptiMole’s basic plan will work for 5000 users a month. Free users get a range of benefits. OptiMole has an option to add watermarks to images automatically.

If you are interested in learning how to configure this plugin then why not check out my Optimole tutorial.

WP-Optimize

This three-in-one plugin has over 1000 five-star reviews. It speeds up your WordPress site in three ways:

  • By compressing your images using cloud technology
  • By caching your site, so it loads as static files
  • By cleaning your database of stale data

Your WordPress site runs a MySQL database in the background, which is constantly updated as you add new posts and content. As such, it becomes clogged up with old data, spam comments, and pingbacks.

WP-Optimize cleans up your database weekly to keep it working efficiently, although it will leave some data in place for a few weeks. You can also decide what data you want to keep in the options.

clean database
With WP-Optimize you can get rid of all unnecessary data in your database

As stated earlier, WP-Optimize also offers the ability to compress  your images making them smaller and thus will allow them to load faster.

WP-Optimize is free, although Premium paid users can use the plugin across multiple sites. This plugin works on WordPress versions 3.9 or higher.

Another neat feature of this plugin is how it relays your database statistics.

Many reviews claim this to be the best WordPress speed plugin.

Perfmatters

Perfmatters can dramatically speed up your WordPress site by streamlining the script and HTTP requests. Cleaner code means faster speeds. Perfmatters doesn’t use JavaScript on the frontend and brings in everything under 60k on the backend.

This plugin works by disabling certain superfluous functions in your code, such as emojis. These are automatically downloaded on your WordPress site instead.

perfmatters options

Installation is seamless. Decide which features to disable by clicking each toggle for features like emojis, embeds, query strings, RSS feeds, and feed links.

EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer will optimize all new and existing images on your site, no matter which plugin you use.

This plugin helps your site become more efficient by improving storage space and bandwidth while reducing the amount of unnecessary data in your images.

It handles unlimited file sizes and offers the option to convert certain file types, such as jpg, png, and gif files, into a more efficient next-gen WebP format.

This plugin also offers a bulk optimization feature, allowing you to optimize multiple files simultaneously, leaving you time to focus on more important tasks.

This plugin consistently garners five-star ratings, but keep in mind that it works more favorably with specific web hosts. Be sure to check to see if it’s compatible with your service provider.

Clearfy

When you create a WordPress site, it comes with some standard features that slow your site down. For example, the embed feature can be disabled if you’re not going to add videos to your pages.

Clearfy will automatically optimize your site by inserting the alt tribute and last-modified header. If you’re using Yoast, it’ll remove Yoast SEO breadcrumbs and image tags from the Yoast SEO SML sitemap. It’ll also remove Yoast SEO comments from the head section.

All of these measures will streamline loading, boost speed, and help push your page further up in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Clearfy will scan your site and remove any unnecessary data and features slowing it down, including date archives, author archives, tags archives, and post pagination.

Clearfy consistently receives five-star ratings.

AMP for WP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

This plugin essentially takes your pages, makes copies of them, and then strips your HTML content of unnecessary data and code, so it loads faster for mobile users.

Most people surf the web on their smartphones nowadays, so it makes sense to ensure your site is fully optimized for cell phones and tablets.

AMP includes additional features including:

  • AMP AdSense support to incorporate ads into your content
  • Contact Form 7 support to build forms
  • Email opt-in support
  • Call-to-action support

This plugin needs correct implementation to work efficiently. Click on the AMP version rather than the main version to increase your page ratings.

AMP is the official AMP plugin for WordPress. It automatically comes with both Yoast and the Twenty Fifteen theme. Other AMP-ready plugins include Atomic Blocks and Mailchimp for WordPress.

This plugin is a must-have if you want to rank higher on the search engines.

GT Metrix

To keep a close eye on how your site is performing in the search rankings, you need a tool that can scan your site for any issues holding your site back. G-Metrix can perform detailed analyses of every aspect of your site, giving you complete control over its performance.

The tool features detailed reports on anything preventing your page from ranking higher and advises you on what you need to do to improve it.

There is a plugin available but it’s not been updated for the past 7 months now and I don’t think you need it. You can always just visit the site itself and use the tool directly there.

gt metirx scores

Asset CleanUp: Speed Page Booster

Installing multiple plugins junks your site up with lots of unused CSS and JavaScript code. All this redundant code slows your site, leading to fewer conversions and lower page rankings.

Asset CleanUp boosts your website by cleaning up the HTML source code. When you install Asset CleanUp, it scans each page and gives you the option of deactivating the CSS and JavaScript that you don’t need. For example, if you’ve installed a plugin for contact forms, it will install this to each page. You can deactivate the code for the pages that don’t use a form since you only need the contact form on one page.

The result is a cleaner, more functional site that isn’t sending unnecessary HTML requests. In turn, this speeds up your site and improves your overall page ratings. This plugin has had five-star rave reviews so far, and it works on WordPress versions 4.5 and later.

Query Monitor

Query Monitor is the developer panel on your WordPress site. It’s here that you can streamline the performance of your site by debugging the following:

  • Database queries
  • PHP errors
  • Hooks and actions
  • Block editor blocks
  • Enqueued scripts
  • Stylesheets
  • HTTP API calls
query monitor reporting

This plugin allows you to zone in on each plugin and theme, then identify which background areas are causing your site to lag.

The plugin presents the information in a user-friendly way.

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