Balancing Act: 7 Essential WordPress Plugins and How to Use Them Without Speed Issues
When you first get into WordPress, there is a huge variety of WordPress plugins to choose from. Many of them interfere with your site’s speed, however – and not in a positive way. If you are looking for some high-quality WordPress plugins, here are 7 of our favourites that won’t drag down your load times.
W3 Total Cache
This is the answer to the topic above – which plugin is essential WHILE reducing speed issues? W3 Total Cache helps your whole site run faster. It is designed to increase the load speed for your WordPress site pages, which helps your site’s rank in search engines. Since you are looking for traffic, you probably want to be higher on search engines, which makes W3 Total Cache a must have.
If you use a lot of images on your WordPress site, there is a wide variety of WordPress plugins that can help you set up a gallery. However, Envira Gallery allows you to create a beautiful and responsive gallery in WordPress. Multiple galleries, albums, you name it, Envira can do it.
With that in mind, how do you keep those images from slowing down your site? These two essential image plugins can really help you out.
Another plugin that is designed to help your overall speed is Smush.it. This plugin is perfect if you use media such as images on your site. Media adds to your site, but many people don’t know that having media load along with your page can drag down your page’s load time. This can turn people away from your site.
With Smush.it, your images don’t need to be optimised and re-uploaded. The plugin is designed to compress the images so that they don’t interfere with the page’s load time. The quality remains, but the load time is faster.
BJ Lazy Load
Similar to the issues that Smush.it fixes, BJ Lazy Load helps with your image download time. If your site uses a lot of photos, compression might not be enough to keep your load times under 3 seconds. This is because your images really like loading all at once – unless the pages are told otherwise.
Enter BJ Lazy Load. With this plugin, the images are loaded as they are shown on screen as opposed to all at once. This helps with your site’s speed immensely.
Jetpack is one of the best plugins you can install on your WordPress site.
It has a lot of helpful features including enhanced security, improved site performance, various content tools, and visitor engagement features. It has it all.
While it is fairly lightweight as is, a good way to stay on top of it to enhance your speed is to continuously update it. Updating Jetpack will keep it as lean and mean as possible while leaving it be will render it clunky and less secure.
As we have mentioned before, the load time of your site can affect your traffic positively or negatively. Not a lot of people will wait 8 seconds for a site to load these days.
If you are having an issue with your site’s load time in general, Hummingbird is an excellent tool. It too is essential, as it performs an analysis of your site to see its overall site speed score. With this score, you can make adjustments and right the wrongs that are slowing down your site.
Security is important with any WordPress site, and having everything backed up is important. There is a wide variety of WordPress plugins designed to help with security. Snapshot stands out among them and should be an integral part of your backup plan. While you may already be backing up your site, you might not be backing up that backup. That’s where Snapshot comes in. Schedule your backups with ease so you don’t have to worry about it in the future.
Despite your security being paramount, your backups can become a bit of a burden on your WordPress effectiveness. If you are storing backups from when you first started your site, you may want to discard them in favour of your newer ones. The oldest versions of your site are likely not being revisited anyway. Your site’s speed will thank you.
With These Plugins, Slow Load Times are History
Whichever of these plugins you choose, you can rest assured that they will help your site immensely. No matter the content of your site, these plugins will keep your site’s speed from slumping.