If you’re managing a WordPress website, sooner or later you’re going to want to optimize it. The problem is that you have an abundance of plugins, but not all of them are completely accurate. There are a number of different ways to make your website more search engine friendly.
Whether you’re just starting to learn how to optimize your site or are a seasoned veteran, you may still be looking for ways to improve your efficiency with the plugins you already have.
What is WordPress Optimization?
Optimization is an overused term in the WP community. Everyone tries to ‘optimize’ SEO, speed, themes, or content.
For this article, we’ll refer to optimization as a process of improving website performance and page speed in order to improve your search engine rankings. It’s not a secret that Google uses page speed as one of the factors to rank websites. That is why you need to make sure your website is lightning fast.
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With that in mind, let’s get into our list of the must-have plugins to improve your sites speed and performance.
Although there are many plugins like WP Smush, this plugin was the first one to take image compression to another level.
The plugin gives you more control over image compression that most other plugins with excellent UI. For example, the plugin allows you to determine the maximum image sizes including specific width and lengths.
In addition, its bulk smush feature instantly compresses all of your website’s images & drastically reduces the size of your website.
Of course, nothing beats manually compressing your images, WP Smush works great as a small-scale solution.
GTMetrix is a popular tool to test your sites speed. It gives a comprehensive look at so many dimensions of speed factors, allowing you to diagnose and improve website load times right away.
What many users don’t know is that GTMetrix now has a WP plugin so that you can constantly check your site for any issues – it’s very convenient.
GTMetrix looks at essentials like the actual code of your site, your web hosting server, cache, image sizes, TTB, etc.
For anyone whose serious in improving site speed or making large changes to their site, I highly recommend getting GTMetrix.
In general, a caching plugin works by creating a static version of a dynamic page and serving the static version when a request is made. Therefore, static pages are generated and stored on your server in memory, significantly improving load times on your WordPress site.
This problem basically means that code on your site could be compressed to load a little faster. Autoptimize is aimed to fix that problem. It automatically compresses the code for you and fixes this very common GTMetrix issue.
This plugin is underrated and helps resolve such a common issue that it deserves to be on this list. It also has the option of adding your CDN and compressing HTML code.
A very well-known plugin – WP Optimize is like CCleaner for your website. It removes spam, deleted comments, pages, posts. It also defrags your SQL table.
Over the years, this plugin has added some very convenient features like scheduled cleaning and statistics.
This is great for a website that you’ve been running for a long time but has never optimized. That being said, it will only make a discernible difference to large websites or sites that haven’t been optimized in a very long time. It’s the type of plugin I install every few months or so, depending on the size of the site.
Although there are many more plugins out there, the plugins on this list will make the most significant impact on either your WP sites speed or code.
Remember, the plugins mentioned on this list were created to speed up your website and improve its performance. Keep in mind, performance is only a small part of winning the game of SEO
Looking for more optimization tips? Check out our other article here.