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5 Useful WordPress Plugins & Methods to Make Your Website Faster

wordpress plugins
Got a slow website? I know how frustrating it can be to open your website only to wait 3 minutes until it fully loads. If your website garners many daily visitors, I can only imagine the sheer panic you may feel when you open your website only to see that it’s not loading at all. “How many visitors am I losing this very moment?” you may wonder. Did you know that your website conversion rate decreases by a whopping 7% for every second your website loading speed is delayed?

There could be two reasons as to why your website is always painfully slow:

–       Your website is using more resources than available (too much content)

–       Your web hosting service is terrible

All is not lost, though. There are many different WordPress plugins and tricks to make your website faster without the need to remove content or switch web hosting services (only if it’s not too bad). Let us clue you in on 5 of them:

Smush.it

wordpress plugins

Created by Yahoo, this plugin comes in especially useful for image-based websites. It speeds up your website by optimizing images. The plugin does it in several different ways:

–       Stripping meta data from JPEGs

–       Optimizing JPEG compression

–       Converting GIFs to indexed PNGs

–       Stripping the unused colors from indexed images

Whenever you add an image to a page or post, Smush.it automatically optimizes it without you having to do anything. If you want a quick fix to your website’s slow speed, you can use the plugin to “smush” your existing images via your media library.

W3 Total Cache

wordpress plugins

Advertised as the only WordPress Performance Optimization framework that actually works, W3 Total Cache improves your website speed by compressing CSS and JavaScript in memory, caching feeds, search result, database, and objects in memory or on disk, grouping javaScript by template with embed location control, and minifying all the unnecessary codes in posts, pages, feeds, JavaScript, and CSS. In other words, W3 Total Cache does all the dirty work for you. This plugin especially comes in useful if you don’t trust yourself to get your hands dirty with coding.

According to the developers of this excellent plugin, you can “improve the user experience for your readers without having to change WordPress, your theme, your plugins, or how you produce your content.” Definitely at the top of the list of WordPress plugins.

WP Database Optimizer

wordpress plugins

You know how sometimes you need to defragment your hard drive? Well, you need to do the same with your WordPress site. It’s because your database is constantly changing and you need to clean it up. WP Database Optimizer is an excellent plugin that automatically optimizes your database on a schedule. It clears all your deleted posts and plugins out of the database.

Using a content delivery network

A content delivery network is a system of servers with multiple data centers all over the Internet that pays ISPS, carriers, and network operators to host servers with them. The sole purpose of a content delivery network is to deliver content in the fastest way possible. This comes in especially useful if you have visitors from other countries. Did you know that someone in the U.K. usually has to wait longer for your website to load than if he had been in the U.S.A.? Because most reputable content delivery networks have servers in multiple countries, visitors from all over the world will be able to access your site much quicker.

MaxCDN is a great content delivery network to use.

Tweaking your .htaccess file

If you’re confident enough to take the matter into your own hands, you can try several different manual solutions, including tweaking your .htaccess file. To do this, you need to take the following steps:

Properly cache your content by inserting the following code into your .htaccess file:

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType text/html “access plus 20 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 3 weeks”
ExpiresByType text/javascript “access plus 3 weeks”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 month”

This helps your server set decent rules for caching your content. Add an extra line for every file type you want to cache.

Compress some text files by inserting the following code into your .htaccess file:

# Compress some text file types
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/css text/xml application/x-javascript

# Deactivate compression for buggy browsers
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html

# Set header information for proxies
Header append Vary User-Agent

Feel free to tweak the code to suit your preferences. You can add more lines to compress more types of text files you want to compress. This code allows your server to decrease download time, reduce your bandwidth, and deliver content much faster.

Do you have any website performance-increasing tricks up your sleeve? If so, please share them with us!

This guest article was provided by Simon, who is working for Jangomail, a mass e-mail service provider.  You can check out more of Simon’s work at his blogs at: http://simonsblogpark.com/.

Lead image via Ana Felix Garjan

Categories: WordPress Plugins, WordPress Tips
Tags: ,

This post was written by . You can visit the for a short bio, more posts, and other information about the author.

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Comments

  1. Torkild Smith ) says: 8/28/2013

    Great article and thanks for sharing these tips.

    I have a couple of resource demanding web sites that I host on my server and I will implement this.

    Reply

  2. Jerralyn Tanoc ) says: 9/12/2013

    Yes. I agree. Thank you for sharing this cool plug-ins. I am very satisfied using smush it, where in the plug-in optimize all the images. Really cool and tested that it can improve the fastness of rendering of your site.

    Reply

  3. netuser says: 1/24/2014

    thanks a lot Simon , i will try those plugins today !

    Reply

  4. Jonny says: 2/21/2014

    Nice article. Often the biggest culprit is the cheap shared hosting. Bluehost VPS or WP Engine are the best options for WP webmasters.

    Reply

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  6. Rahul Sharma says: 3/18/2014

    I was looking for these plugins from many days, thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  7. precious ) says: 3/22/2014

    Thank you so much.This very useful

    Reply

  8. Hidayat Mundana says: 5/5/2014

    For some websites I use W3 Total Cache to speed up my website, but for others, I instantly optimize use. Htaccess

    Reply

  9. toko online murah says: 5/5/2014

    I also use a plugin wp database optimizer

    Reply

  10. rohit marathe says: 5/7/2014

    i had got a google page speed of 90/100 but i was unable to maintain it but now it is only 60 then i changed themes did few changes can you tell me the plugin which would maintain the page speed or remind me when i do certain changes

    Reply