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WordPress Blog Speed Hacks: 6 Plugins For A Faster Blog πŸš€

Wordpress plugins for a faster loading blog.

Slow loading sites are a pain! Your users don’t like it and Google doesn’t either. If you want to improve your WordPress blog speed, you’re in the right place.

With the free WordPress blog speed hacks I’m going to show you, your blog will be loading faster than ever! 🚀

Why This Matters

There are two reasons why your blog needs to load super fast. First and most importantly, user experience.

You will lose a lot of traffic because people just don’t want to wait longer than 2 seconds for any page to load.

Second, Google looks at the speed of your blog as a determining factor in including your blog in the search results.

In other words, slow sites won’t get Google traffic! 🐌

Why Your Blog Is Slow

Why your WordPress blog is so slow.

Your blog could be slow for a few different reasons. Each of them will need to be addressed if you want to have a fast loading blog.

Your host sucks.

If you are using a host that overloads their shared servers with too many sites, your blog is going to be slow.

To correct this, you can contact your host and ask to be placed on another server. If it still doesn’t help, you can switch to a new webhost  or upgrade from “shared hosting” to “managed hosting”.

You have too many plugins.

If you have too many WordPress plugins, your blog speed is going to suffer. Only use plugins you actually need and only use plugins that are highly rated.

Here is my list of the best WP plugins for new blogs.

It’s your WordPress theme, yo.

Many free WordPress themes are not properly coded. For example, there may be too may PHP calls and sloppy code which slows down your site.

The solution is to get a paid WordPress theme that is optimized for speed.

You don’t compress your images.

When you download an image, it could be anywhere from 500kb – 2mb in size. Uploading these huge images to your blog is going to cause your posts to take longer to load.

Instead, optimize your images to reduce the file size. I use ShortPixel to optimize my blog images.

How To Make Your Blog Faster

How to speed up your WP blog.

To test your WordPress blog speed, use the Pingdom website speed test site or Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

How did your blog do? If it sucked, there’s a few things you can do.

You can either switch to a faster web host or you can optimize your blog.

I’ve compiled a list of 6 free plugins that are designed to boost your WordPress blog speed… without having to upgrade your hosting plan.

1. ShortPixel Image Optimizer

Shortpixel Image Optimizer | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

The faster your images load, the faster your website will load. The answer isn’t having small bad quality images, but rather having images that are well optimized.

With this plugin your images will be reduced in size anywhere by 40-80% from the original.

If you use this link to sign up, you get not 100 free images, but 200 free images per month to optimize.

2. Cloudflare

Cloudflare CDN plugin to speed up your WordPress blog.

Cloudflare is a free Content Delivery Network (CDN). This means they have a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide faster delivery of websites.

So basically, if a user in the east coast accesses your blog (and your server is on the west coast), they can be routed to Cloudflare’s east coast server. This action shaves a few milliseconds off your load time.

Bottom line, use Cloudflare and your blog loads faster.

They also have additional features like blocking spammers and bad bots from entering your blog.

3. Merge + Minify + Refresh

Merge, Minify and Refresh WordPress plugin to speed up your WP blog.

The number of HTTP requests that are made to the server takes some time. The more requests are made, the slower your site will be. Imagine there was a way to minimize the number of requests made? Well there is with this plugin.

With this plugin, your javascript files and css files are combined into groups, reducing the number of requests to the server.

Then, javascript files are minimized using Google Closure and css files are minimized with Minify. Unnecessary whitespace and comments are removed and then served with gzip encoding and optimal client side cache headers.

Finally, there’s no need to clear the cache every time you update a file, as the plugin uses the last modified date to automatically re-process the minified and merged files.

4. WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is a WordPress cache plugin that makes your blog load quicker.

The WP Super Cache plugin has been installed in over a million wordpress blogs. It’s popular because it works.

Here’s how the plugin works: it generates static html files from your dynamic wordpress blog. This lightweight html is then served to your visitors. A static html is faster to load than the typical wordpress page with php scripts.

Think about it, how often do you update an older post? Why do you need to serve a php file to every single visitor every single time? There’s no need to.

And when a blog post is updated, a static html file is automatically generated for this updated page so your readers will see any updates you make to your blog posts.

5. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin to speed up your blog.

This plugin claims that when fully optimized, your blog will achieve an A grade on Webpagetest.

This plugin will minify, compress and cache your files to serve them at lightning speed. If you use (and implement fully) the features of this plugin, you may not need many of the others on this list since this app does a lot of the same things.

6. WP Optimize

WP Optimize makes your WordPress database load faster.

We’ve talked a lot about optimizing your images and files in order to improve your WordPress blog speed.

But what about the database?

Your WordPress blog calls on the database to display your posts, comments and your theme’s settings, to name a few. Is your database fully optimized?

With this plugin your database will be automatically cleaned so that it runs at maximum efficiency. Cleaning consists of removing unnecessary data such as trashed and spam comments, pingbacks and trackbacks.

This plugin also cleans up post revisions. When you edit your blog posts, revisions are created as you continue writing your post, sometimes dozens of them!

I actually had 32 revisions of this blog post saved in my database, as I continue to add/remove/update plugins from this list.

So, what’s the bottom line?

Don’t go crazy trying to score an A grade on any website speed test!

Just do the old eye test. Does your blog load fast, or does your blog load slow?

If it’s a little sluggish, my recommendation is to install a cache plugin and use Cloudflare. Both are free.

If you want your blog to be even faster, I suggest you use Bluehost or SiteGround, the only two hosts I recommend. 👍🏻

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How To Start A Successful Blog

Get my free 5 day Launch Your Blog eCourse for beginners!

  • Brandon says:

    Great share, Edwin. Website speed and user experience is one of the most important SEO factors in 2019 and every blogger should start focusing on it.

    Thanks for sharing the list of amazing plugins.

  • Hi Edwin, thanks for sharing this piece. I’ve been working on my site to decrease the page load time. I have WP Optimize, use a cache and also WP Smush (free) to optimize images. I don’t see any significant difference in image optimization so I use an online tool be an smetool site to reduce image size before uploading. Do you think Shortpixel will do a better work in terms of image size reduction?

    • Edwin says:

      I’d mess around with the settings on wp smush or shortpixel to see how much you can optimize before the image starts looking fuzzy.

      Honestly, if you already have your images under 100KB already I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

      • Ow, that’s great cos the online tool I use is able to reduce most images to below 100kb. Searching online, I saw EWWW Image Optimizer. I’ll give it a try. Will let you know what I discover after comparing. You can visit my site to review some pages and let me know what you think. Cheers

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