WordPress Plugins to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

Speeding up your WordPress blog goes a long way to improve its popularity. As the website loads faster, your visitor enjoys browsing, driving high traffic and generating revenue. While there are many proven ways to boost a site’s performance (a lot of these are explained in the WordPress Optimization Tips and Tricks post), in this article we will take a look at some WordPress plugins that allows you to perform critical front-end and back-end optimizations, within the comfort of your WordPress dashboard.

In the first section of this article I have listed the well known WordPress caching plugins and my recommendation. The next section has a list of few nice utility type plugins which you might find useful (depending on your situation). Please note that you don’t need to install all of the plugins listed here on your site (Just pick whatever fits your needs).

Top WordPress Caching Plugins

W3 Total Cache

A lot of people still use the WP Super Cache plugin. WP Super Cache is a nice plugin but have you tried the W3 Total Cache plugin yet? If you are using a WordPress caching plugin and you have never tried the W3 Total Cache then you seriously need to give this plugin a go. W3 Total Cache is a relatively newer caching plugin with better performance and the configuration is much easier and cleaner. It works nicely with the WP eStore, WP eMember and the WP Affiliate Platform Plugins too (more details here).

W3 Total Cache is the fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization plugin. Trusted by many popular sites like: mashable.com, smashingmagazine.com, yoast.com…. tipsandtricks-hq.com :) and others.

W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your blog by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download time of your theme and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

Hyper Cache

Hyper Cache is a new caching system for WordPress, specifically written for people who have their blogs on low resources hosting provider (CPU and MySQL). It works even with hosting based on Microsoft IIS.

WP-Cache

WP-Cache is an efficient WordPress page caching system to make your site much faster and responsive. It works by caching WorPress pages and storing them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code and then building the page from the database.

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a HTML file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

DB Cache

The DB Cache plugin caches every database query with given lifetime. It is much faster than other HTML caching plugins and uses less disk space for caching.

1 Blog Cacher

1 Blog Cacher is a WordPress plugin that caches your pages in order to increase the response speed and minimize the server load. Cached files are stored in HTML files, and organized in directories emulating the URLs (if “safe_mode” is not enabled), so it’s easy to display the content of the files and organize them (for instance deleting the cache for a given entry, for all categories, for all searches, for all posts from a given date, etc.)

Other Useful Site Speed Related Plugins

Clean Options

As you go on installing, using and uninstalling plugins on WordPress, the ‘wp_options’ table becomes bloated. Even some themes use this table to store settings related data. Some of those records don’t get deleted as the plugin/theme is uninstalled. The table continues to grow and contribute to progressively slower load times. The Clean Options plugin gives users an easy and safe way to get a bloated wp_options table down to a manageable size. It’s equipped with many built-in safety features so you don’t accidently delete any data that’s needed for your blog to operate.

IFrameWidgets

Bloggers often add various widgets to their site for social networking, advertising, weather update etc. Widgets remain hidden until they are completely loaded. Some of these widgets could be written using slow JavaScript, causing your page to slow down. If they somehow give up, the page gets broken as items after the slow widgets fail to load. The IframeWidgets plugin eliminates this problem by loading the widgets within an Iframe. Iframes load parallel to the rest of the page, so if one or more of those sluggish widgets hang, the page on its own remain unaffected.

Optimize DB

Optimize DB lets you speed up your MySQL database, without you needing to learn complicated optimization techniques. This plugin runs the ‘optimize table’ command on your WordPress tables and defragments them. This significantly reduces the query execution time and physical space on disk. Use it to optimize the tables which are updated the most.

CSS Compress

CSS Compress is a nice plugin to reduce the size of bloated CSS files. It removes comments as well as white space characters from the CSS (new lines and tabs). It also performs GZIP compression. Using this plugin reduces the CSS for the default “Kubrick” theme from 8 KB to 1.7 KB! It’s also very easy to install and use. If you are using the W3 Total Cache plugin then you shouldn’t need to use a CSS compressor plugin.

Digg Protector

Many bloggers have complained about ‘invasion of Diggers’. If one your posts get Digged, it’ll drive a lot of traffic, stretching out your server-load to maximum. Most of this load is caused by high amount of images that are loaded. The Digg Protector plugin will determine if a visitor is from Digg, and if he is then the plugin will serve him a remotely-hosted version of the image, taking the load off your site’s server. Otherwise, the plugin will serve the locally-hosted (on that server) image.

PHP Speedy

Another handy tool for boosting site performance. PHP Speedy can speed up the download time of your web pages by joining together all the appropriate files and compressing them. The recently released version(0.4.7) requires WordPress 2.6 or higher.

Hopefully you will find some of these plugins useful. Also, checkout the list of best WordPress plugins to find out what other plugins you should be using.

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Comments (35 responses)

  1. admin says:

    What caching options did you enable in that plugin?

  2. H Peters says:

    Before W3-total cache
    Load Time: 7.50 s

    W3-total cache Installed
    Load Time: 14.52 s

    First i thought i’ve configurated it wrong. So followed all steps for best performance. Worst loading with w3 is 23.73 s

    If W3-total cache can proof me wrong, please do contact me W3-total cache otherwise i am very disappointed.

    I’ve uninstalled this plugin because without it my website perform the best.

  3. thnx for infromation i will use w3 total cache plugin too now

  4. Jijin Mohan says:

    W3 Total Cache plugin work like charm. I been searching for some tips to increase my blog loading speed and never know about this plugin, I’m a newbie BTW. Very informative post mate and yeah I bookmarked your blog for future references! Thank you very much for sharing.

  5. I read both your plugin article and our article on optimizing your site and I am walking (actually i am sitting) away with more knowledge than I had intended on getting. Thank you for the very informative content. I have now bookmarked you. Great writing.

  6. For IFrameWidgets plugin, I want to say one thing that it is not necessary that it will increase speed. I know that IFrame takes more time to create. I think better option is to write Javascript tag like this:
    document.write(‘<' + script' + …);
    or if possible,write your script tag in Google Analytics style.

  7. For speeding up the website read this also- http://www.satya-weblog.com/2010/08/website-performance-optimization-plugin-ordering-stylesheet-javascript.html
    There you will know about one more unique plugin for optimization.

  8. -ST- says:

    Great post, thanks.
    Cheers!

  9. Paul says:

    Thanks for this information. My blog is getting slower for all the plugins I have installed. I will give these a try hehe

  10. Mas Joe says:

    Thanks For Sharing Master

  11. I just had to commend you on a cool post, boss. I’ve seen good results with W3 on a couple of my blogs, so I guess it’s more so preference since many people feel different ways about each plugin.

    Cheers!

  12. Very cool list. Bookmarked for later research when I work on optimizing my site.

    Thanks!

    -Paul

  13. Ayush Kumar says:

    Great tip, I was aware of that tool but never used it but now I am gonna use 1 Blog Cacher :)

    Your rock, i have added your website in my favorite list and bookmarked too. I am not gonna miss your post from now-onwards!!

  14. Jen says:

    Great tips thanks! I just started using W3 Total Cache and love it.

  15. I’m considering a plugin like these because eStore is causing major hanging but I think its a Javascript problem.

    I’ve tried the Minify plugin and that disables Ajax in a lot of themes. I don’t like the idea of installing a plugin to speed up WordPress because it is technically fast enough already. If your blog is going slow, get rid of your plugins, get a good theme and develop your own basic plugins that do only what you need them to none of the extras.

  16. mrwindowsx says:

    W3 Total Cache is the best!

  17. admin says:

    @Neil, glad to hear that :)

  18. Neil Norton says:

    Wow, W3 Total Cache is amazing, thank you for the tip! You’ve made me the star of my small organization. The speed of upload is like night and day!

  19. Jennifer R says:

    There’re now new plugin but thank alot for your contribution :)

  20. Umesh says:

    I used to use W3 total but now I am using wp super cache. W3 didn’t work well with me and I switched to Wp super cache. My blog is extremely fast now. 0.39 sec. huh!!!

  21. 3gp to avi says:

    Really pleased to see this article, I learned a lot. Xiexie Bo Lord of the!

  22. 3gp to avi says:

    Great post! I like the W3 Total Cache plugin too.

  23. I Use Super Cach and have noticed a difference in load speed.

  24. Mel says:

    Thanks for this plugins list. The clean option is very nice one… I didn’t know that something like this existed.

  25. I prefer W3 Total Cache over WP Super Cahce in terms of being easier to use and had less problems with my site using it.

    Another option is WP-Minify if you aren’t using a caching plugin already offering compression.

    Looking forward to trying Optimize DB and Clean Options.

    Thanks,
    ~Jeff
    MileHighTechGuy

  26. admin says:

    Hi Bill, Thanks for the input. yeah, WEBO site SpeedUP is pretty good but I tried to mention only the free options in the article :)

  27. Peter says:

    Great post! I like the W3 Total Cache plugin too.

  28. You failed to mention WEBO Site Speed Up. I tried to use some of the others you mentioned above but found that Site SpeedUp increased my site’s page load speed by several orders of magnitude; from 66 YSlow to 97, and 96 Page Speed

  29. admin says:

    I use the W3 Total Cache plugin too and it seem to work really well without any tweaking.

  30. Asif says:

    Another very nice and informative post! I am liking the W3 Total Cache plugin, it seem to do pretty much everything.

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