Amr Zeidan

wordpress speed optimization tools and plugins

Best WordPress Speed Free Tools and Plugins to Speed Up your Website

Do you want to improve your WordPress speed?

Stop losing rankings, traffic and customers because of slow page load times.

In this post, I will show you how to test your website speed, and give you a list of powerful WordPress speed plugins. Which will let you speed up your WordPress website to load much faster.

Why do you need to improve WordPress site speed?

Google and other search engines now take site speed seriously in their ranking algorithm. They are penalizing slow websites, and push them down in search results.

That means slow website speed can harm your rankings, and in result you will be losing traffic and visitors.

On the other hand, if your website loads fast, user experience improves, pageviews increase, and it will help your website SEO to better rank.

So, if you want higher rankings, traffic, leads, and sales from your WordPress website, then you need to have a fast WordPress website!

Check website speed to identify what slows down your WordPress website

When someone visits a website, modern browsers like Chrome will store the website in the cache and automatically prefetch it.
And as you are constantly visiting your website, you may think it’s loading fast (for you), but for new users, it takes ages.

That’s why we recommend that you check your website speed using a free online tool like ISITWP WordPress speed test.

The best free Website speed test tools

website speed from-google page speed insights

What Makes Your Website Speed Slow?

Your website speed test report will show you multiple recommendations for improvements. However, most of them are not easy for beginners to understand and fix.

Knowing what makes your website speed slow is the key to improving performance.

The most common reasons for a slow WordPress website are:

  • Bad Web Hosting
  • WordPress is not serving cached pages
  • Huge Page Size
  • Heavy Plugins
  • External Scripts

Now that we identified how to check your website speed and what slows down your WordPress website, let’s fix it.

How to Speed Up WordPress in Easy Steps

I can guarantee that using just a few of these fixes will help speed up your site dramatically.
Don’t worry, I will show you how to fix website speed without coding knowledge.

Use a good host to speed up WordPress

The hosting provider is very important for your website performance.

A fast WordPress hosting service like SiteGround makes your life easier to optimize your website for performance.

We strongly recommend SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting as our best choice in terms of quality/Cost.

Choose a speed optimized theme

your WordPress site’s theme has a great influence on your website’s speed.

To improve your website’s load up and higher rankings, you need a WordPress theme that is fully optimized for speed.

Based on the speed tests that we’ve done, we have found that the fastest WordPress themes we have worked with are:

Best Speed Optimized WordPress Themes

Install a WordPress Caching Plugin

If you want to make your WordPress site 2x faster We recommend using a caching plugin.

Caching can make your WordPress site anywhere from 2x to 5x faster.

There are many WordPress caching plugins available out there, but we recommend using:

SiteGround SuperCacher (Only SiteGround Users)

If you are using SiteGround, you can enable SuperCacher in your cPanel under “Site improvement tools”.

Then go to your WordPress dashboard to Install & Activate SG Optimizer Plugin to manage SuperCacher settings.

W3 Total Cache Free Plugin

If you want a complete speed optimization free plugin, your go to plugin is W3 Total Cache.

The plugin supports many advanced features like:

  • Browser Caching
  • Minifying
  • Object Caching
  • Database caching
  • CDN Support

WP Super Cache Free WordPress Caching Plugin

One of the most installed caching plugins available for WordPress.

It’s very easy to setup, and have many other advanced features like:

  • Different caching types (Mod_Rewrite, PHP and Legacy)
  • Serve static html files
  • Cache preload
  • CDN support

Best WordPress Caching Plugins

Use Cloudflare CDN to speed up WordPress

Content Delivery Network (CDN) servers all around the world will store “static” files of your website and serve those static files from whichever server is closest to your visitors, which will improve loading times for your visitors from different places in the world.

I personally like the combination of CloudFlare CDN with W3 Total Cache on my WordPress sites.

Or you can also use this plugin, Free-CDN WordPress Plugin, but I have never used it.

Best CDN to speed up WordPress

Optimize Images for Speed and Add Lazy Load to your images

Images in original formats can have big file sizes. For my WordPress websites I only use JPEG and PNG:

  • For an image with many different colors use JPEG.
  • For a simple image or image with a transparent background use PNG.

My go to plugin to auto optimize and decrease image size on WordPress:

Smush Image Compression and Optimization for WordPress

Scale images and reduce image file size on upload. Improve performance and boost your SEO using the free WPMU DEV WordPress Smush API. Optimize all of your images with the incredibly powerful and 100% free image smusher, brought to you by the superteam at WPMU DEV!

Best Auto optimize and decrease image size on WordPress:

Use Latest PHP Version for Optimal WordPress Speed

If your website is using a version lower than PHP 7, then ask your hosting provider to update it for you.

Optimize WordPress Database

You need to optimize your database to improve the performance of your WordPress website.

This can be easily done with this free WordPress database optimization plugin:

WP Optimize

This is the most used plugin for database optimization on WordPress,

It allows you to clean your WordPress database by deleting things like trashed posts, revisions, unused tags, deleting pingbacks and trackbacks, showing database stats etc. It will also optimize your database’s structure with just a click.

Best Plugin to Optimize WordPress Database

Don’t Upload Audio/Video Files Directly to WordPress

You should never upload audio or video files to your WordPress, because it takes bandwidth and slows down your website.
Instead, you can use any service like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, SoundCloud to upload your video or audio, and embed it on your website.

Keep Your WordPress Site, Themes and Plugins Updated

Finally, keep your WordPress site, theme, and plugins up to date to the latest versions. Outdated plugins can slow your website speed, and make it vulnerable to security threats.

Each update offers new features and fix security issues and bugs.

Final Words

I hope you this article helped you speed up your WordPress website, don’t forget to test your website before and after.

If you ever find yourself too busy to optimize your website speed on your own, or you want some insights from an expert you can always contact me.

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