You see an article that you’re super interested to read, you click on the link, the page opens, you want to start reading, but you can’t.
Wait, but why?
Because the page takes eons and eons to open! At this point of time, you have already lost interest in reading this article, you have said, “Thank you, next!” and toppled over to a competitor website.
And, I don’t blame you. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human’s attention span is not more than 8 seconds in normal circumstances. For online pages, anything above 2 seconds, and you are losing out on some precious readers/ potential customers.
Google being the smartie that it is, will recognize this and stop pushing your page. Eventually, your clicks will decrease, your bounce rate will be non-existent and your page will sink lower than Titanic.How important is page load timeNote: It is debatable how important page speed is to Google and at what level. There are arguments that page speed is indeed a ranking factor but at the same time, Google plays down its importance as well.
Note: It’s debatable how important page speed is to Google and at what level. There are arguments that page speed is indeed a ranking factor but at the same time, Google plays down its importance as well.
Check out Google’s official documents library on Page Speed Insights.
But is there a way to get out of this sticky situation? There is and we can tell you how!
If you are using WordPress for your blog pages, you can use some super-neat plugins to decrease the page load time.
But wait, before we go in-depth, what is page load time in SEO?
Page Load Time – Shorter, the Better!
It basically refers to how long your website takes to load a particular page. And why is it so important for companies?
Because it directly co-insides with user-experience, duh!
A lot of small things can be optimized on the page to reduce time. For example, a page should avoid having pictures that are more than 100 MB. If you want to use videos, use YouTube links, instead of actually uploading the video. On the tech front, you can build AMP pages (they load faster, way faster!) and have caching headers.
But even if you follow all these rules, sometimes the page will not render as fast as it should.
If you want to squeeze page load time manually, here are some amazing examples and tutorials.
How to Improve Page Speed Using Google PageSpeed Insights in Rails Apps
The importance of Page speed (Podcast)
Worried? Don’t be. WordPress plugins are here to save the day!
Why Should You Use WordPress Plugins?
Now you’re probably wondering why you would use plugins because hello, too many plugins slow the page down!
I agree with you partly.
According to a case study, published by Lucid Rhino, a researcher compared the before and after performances of the website once he had used certain plugins to decrease page load time. And the results were mindblowing.
There are plugins which are necessary to optimize the web page. In this case, WordPress plugins can help your page rank higher and can improve the overall hygiene of your site. Eventually, your click rate will increase, your bounce rate will decrease and the website’s user experience will jump leaps and bounds.
This brings me to our next question, which WordPress plugin can you use to optimize page load time? Well, we have a few suggestions for you.
Best WordPress Plugins to Optimize Page Load Time
One plugin can’t look into every optimization aspect, so there are different plugins that can help you with different things. In this article, we tried to cover plugins that perform a various function.
Let’s get to them.
1. WP Super Cache
Function: To Render Your Pages Super Fast!
If you ask a tech SEO expert he/ she will in most cases tell you that WP super cache is probably one of the best optimization tools to decrease page load time.
But what’s so unique about it?
Super Cache changes dynamic pages (pages that have changed data) into static pages (pages which have the same data). Therefore, when a page is requested, static data is shown which reduces the page load time. Pros.
- Your database gets compressed, which results in faster page load time;
- Your browser data is cached (For the newbies: caching is the process of storing data temporarily, so that when the page is requested, the data loads faster);
- Overall performance of your website improves (sounds like a sweet deal!)
2. WP – Smush
Function: Optimizing your images
I don’t even have to begin telling you how important rich media is to your content. Most websites that rank at the top maintain a healthy balance between text and rich media (images, infographics, videos).
If you’re already panicking about how heavy your page will get because of all the high-resolution pictures, then WP Smush is what you need to install (asap).Pros
- Super easy to use and install;
- Compresses images quickly and reduces the size by significant percentage;
- It can compress images in bulk from your media storage.
You may think that reducing images won’t decrease your page load time significantly, but trust me when I say this, it makes a huge difference! And quite frankly, it’s a goldmine for beginners.
3. Lazy Load by WP Rocket
Functions: Loading images super fast, but only in parts!
The concept of lazy loading is pretty simple. Once the user clicks on a page, only the part up till the user scrolls to, loads. This decreases the page load time of the website by decreasing the HTTP requests.
What’s more, you can lazy load not just images in text, but also thumbnails, widgets, and iframes. Delaying is never a good thing, but in this case, it kinda is! Pros
- It is mobile friendly and improves the overall page performance;
- It loads images only when the user scrolls to the image, which obviously decreases the page load time
- You do not need J Query to set up this plugin.
4. AMP for WP
Function: Optimizing WordPress Mobile pages and FAST!
Companies use AMP so that their pages work super-fast on mobile. And why it is super important to have AMP pages?
Because we are a mobile-first economy.
AMP for WordPress automatically adds AMP (accelerate mobile pages) to your WordPress site and gives you smooth, fast-loading pages on mobile. It also provides a great user interface. Pros
- Has a bunch of features such as contact forms and various themes to choose from;
- It can be configured into three templates, Standard (Same plugin for the entire site. No difference between AMP and regular pages);
Function – Jack of all trades! And configures SUPER quick!
Is the WordPress plugin you’ve been using taking ages to configure?
Or, are you tired of using different plugins, for different things?
If you’re already fed up, then here’s something to redeem you! FlyingPress is a one-stop shop that clears cache, does CDN, and optimizes images. Pros
- It has an impeccable user experience;
- Renders as fast as ‘The Flash’;
- Does 3 major functions to optimize page load time.
We spoke about 5 of the best tools that can double down your page load time, but there’s always scope for some bonus!
Let’s check out 4 more plugins that you can consider.
Function: Caching all the way!
Cache enabler is a lot like WP super cache and performs more or less the same type of function.What’s Good?
- There is an option to clear the cache manually or even set it to clear automatically;
- It minifies the HTML and Java Script, which decreases the page load time.
- There is an option to clear the cache manually or even set it to clear automatically
7. Sucuri Firewall
Function: Stands for the quote – “Better safe than sorry”
We should take our site’s safety seriously. Period.
Sucuri is a plugin which keeps your site safe from getting hacked. Does the speed of the site decrease if it is hacked – YES! It is because of additional codes that are inserted in the pages.
If you are a growing company or even a small scale start-up, this plugin can help you stay safe from intruders.What’s Good?
- They give you a list of who logged into your site, including the failed attempts;
- Lets you know if there have been changes to any of the uploaded documents;
- In case your site is hacked, it will chart out an action plan for you.
Sounds like a sweet deal, right?
8. WP Fastest Cache
Function: It’s free and it caches. Need I say more?
Fastest Cache is again like WP Super Cache and helps you to clear cache and speed up your website. In fact, it’s quite popular and has over a million users.This is box titleExtremely easy to use, which makes it ideal for beginners
- It’s absolutely free and well, we all love free things!
9. Short Pixel
Function: Compresses bulk images at the nick of time
If you want to automatically compress and optimize images on WordPress, then Short Pixel is your jam. The best part is, it’s very inclusive. It can compress JPG, PNG, PDFs and GIFs!What’s Good?It lets you choose the extent of compression you want Lossless – No reduction in image quality.
Time is money and if your website does not adhere to that rule, you tumble.
If you’re an amateur, these steps may seem minor, even rudimentary. But, in the long run it will leave a large impact on your site’s performance. So check these plugins out, see which one’s your website really needs and use them smartly.
Do you have any other plugins in mind?
Let us know in the comments below.
Till then, eat, sleep, SEO, repeat!
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.