The Best Tools For Optimizing Your WordPress Site’s Speed and Performance

Page speed optimization makes the difference between a successful online business and annoyed customers who will never come back. At the end of the day, poor website performance frustrates your visitors into seeking better alternatives – patience is something you cannot expect in a digital world!

That’s why we found these simple yet effective tools to help you optimize your slow pages. Countless studies prove that page optimization is one of the most effective ROI’s, so why wait any longer.

Page Speed Testing

Google,which is often very strict in ranking preferences, has a free and simple tool to test your page speed. Google Page Speed Insights analyzes your website, informs you of its weak points and load time, and offers suggestions how to improve page performance. Scanning only takes a few minutes, and you get useful insights on what is going on with your website.

Image Optimization Tools

Larger images take longer to download. The page load time depends on the total size of everything that is downloaded from a server to the browser. Quality images are often the heaviest assets, slowing the page down, and making users wait for the page to load. Luckily, there are image optimization tools, such as Smush Image Compression and Optimization and EWWW Image Optimizer that can significantly reduce the negative impact of your images on page speed.

  • Simple tips for everyone who wants to include GIFs – use them only for small images and don’t overload a page with them. You can also resize the images to make them responsive. Compression is another thing you can do – for most images, 60-70% is a good choice. As a rule of thumb, keep the number of images to the minimum.

CSS Code and Delivery Optimization Tools

Modern CSS websites are often better at downloading assets from a server to a browser. However, page optimization isn’t always about changing the file size. The tools and practices below are best at ensuring CCS code and delivery optimization.

  • Minify CSS

Whichever CSS optimization tool you use – we recommend Autoptimize and WordPress Minify – they will suggest options to reduce the weight of your code. Compacting a code improves the downloading and execution of a page; dramatically decreasing its download time.

  • Shorthand Coding

Use fewer operators and declarations to make the code shorter. A shorter code means the delivery of more efficient assets to the browser.

JavaScriptAnd HTML Optimization Tools

Page optimization is not only about reducing the page size. It’s also important to reduce the number of browser-server requests. The simple way to achieve this is to not have so many JavaScript and HTML requests. Use special tools – for example, W3 Total Cache and CloudFlare CDN – to reduce redundant and unnecessary code lines.

Google notes that JavaScript files shouldn’t be more than 4,096 bytes in size and reducing a file by 25 bites can make a real difference to page performance. When writing a code, always remember to eliminate unnecessary bytes and lines. Utilizing all available space, removing line spaces and indentations while ensuring readability improves page performance and reduces the size of front-end files. And then you can combine different server requests (JavaScript, CSS, and HTML) into a single request to improve loading page times.

Cache Optimization Tools

Simplicity in website code is the cornerstone of good optimization. This includes using the code functions to remove extensive coding for website functionality. And every extraneous loop and unnecessary line adds a few milliseconds to page speed. All of these milliseconds compound to plunge the speed below accessible numbers.

You can reduce these times by delivering cached copies of the content instead of downloading them every time in response to every request that pings your server. Cache is the mechanism of storing copies of content to show a user when specific conditions are met. There are plenty of tools, with W3 Total Cache being the most popular that help you manage cache within several clicks. This will reduce the number of client-server trips needed to deliver content to browsers.

Fragment Caching Tools

There are code blocks that don’t change across different versions of the dynamic content. When a code reaches a block that is cached for a predetermined time, the server delivers the output of the code instead of executing it. That is called fragment caching. As a result, cache-optimized pages are the fastest, even including eCommerce pages that contain a lot of dynamic content.  The most popular tool is WP Object Cache API that guarantees your data will be cached.

Avoid Too Many Plugins

It can be tempting to add plugins that (supposedly) help the user to navigate the website better. However, too many plugins come at a high price: slow page loading. Many webmasters add so many plugins to make the website attractive (profile tools, gravatar, font tools, and statistics) that they significantly harm the performance of their site. Of course, you can have as many plugins as you want if they don’t decrease the page speed. The key here is to avoid complex actions and server processing.

Compression

If you don’t properly compress the content, your users will experience extremely slow interactions with your pages. The main reasons for this behavior are misconfigured servers, buggy browsers, web proxies, and software. Uncompressed content hurts your users waiting for your pages to load.

Although there are effective tools to support compression capabilities – for example, WP HTTP Compression and W3 Total Cache – many websites still deliver uncompressed content. We can also recommend to gzip data in the range of 150-1,000 bytes in size. The compression speed should be faster than the time necessary to deliver uncompressed content.

We hope these simple tips and optimization tools will be useful for your website. Start today by increasing the speed and optimizing your website.