5 Essential WordPress Performance Optimization plugins
Among dozens of website builders, content management systems and custom solutions, WordPress is the audience favorite. What I personally love about WordPress is the customization possibility that is open for every user. WordPress performance optimization is a tedious task which requires careful touches.
Since I’m a developer by calling, who knows HTML, CSS, PHP and MySQL, I can pretty much customize any part of the website I am building. When it comes to making my site load fast, there are a lot of factors that can’t just be affected by code.
Of course, everything dials down to the code itself, but optimizing your content is essential. Every website contains either text, images, video or audio which is causing an impact on the load time. More content equals more browser request, which directly affects the loading time. Over the years, I have built over a thousand WordPress websites, either live or staging and have learned a lot when it comes to performance optimization.
Without further ado, let me dive into the list of my absolute favorites.
Now anyone that’s been around WordPress for a few years now, knows the struggle and the journey between image optimization plugins. From Smush, EWWW, Imsanity and all these other alternatives, I’ve never been able to find a cheap yet amazingly strong solution such as Shortpixel. What I love the most is this plugin’s ability to easily convert images to the next-gen .WEBP format which is around 30% faster than .JPG or .PNG formats. Additionally, I can compress images in a lossless quality which will keep their original look but still save so much space. I’ve been using this plugin for a while and for almost every client and so far it has only done wonders.
3. WP Optimize
Being the most powerful database optimization plugin, this handy tool covers a lot of ground. With WP Optimize, you can easily see what’s cluttered up in your database and clean in with a few clicks. The plugin points out risky parts of the cleaning process and recommends backups (seriously. If you don’t take daily backups I don’t know what you’re doing – stop everything and set up your backups) before you perform any actions. What I really like in the plugin is the ability to schedule weekly cleanups such as the database cleaning option.
4. WP Rocket
Even though this is a superstar on the market – being the most famous. With it being he most powerful caching plugin, I simply have to cover it. It’s worth mentioning that some of the features from this plugin won’t work with Autoptimize or WP Optimize because they essentially do the same thing. WP Rocket’s JS and CSS compression is colliding with same features from Autoptimize. For the other part, the database options collide with WP Optimize. If I want to have powerful options in one plugin I just use WP Rocket with all the features on. Those are lazy loading, file compression, caching, preloading and database cleanups.
5. W3 Total Cache
Some might disagree with my claim that WP Rocket is the best caching plugin on the market. Exactly those people are fans of W3 Total Cache. I say it’s all part of personal preference and the fact that WP Rocket doesn’t cover database and object caching like WP Rocket does. Now for those who like to dive more into technical aspects of caching and use fragment, browser, page, database and object caching with memcached for the last two, W3 total cache is the perfect option. I used go heavy on W3TC but honestly I think the plugin has decreased in quality over the last year. After I started seeing a lot of issues on my sites, I switched over to Rocket. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t use the plugin on some sites anymore, it’s just not my main option anymore. I do a lot of testing for my clients and if I see the need for memcached. I just go for W3TC as a better solution in that aspect.
I hope you enjoyed reading our 5 essential wordpress performance optimization plugins and being able to see ‘behind the curtain’ stack we use in Rank Sunshine. Stay tuned for more awesome content from our team!