5 Free WordPress Plugins To Speed Up Your Website

When it comes to website loading speed, the faster, the better. Google and other search engines use a website’s loading speed to determine where that site will appear in search results.

There are plenty of ways to increase your website speed and delivery a better user experience for everyone that visits your website. This article will cover the 5 best free WordPress plugins to speed up your website.

The 5 best free WordPress plugins for speed optimization:

If you’re looking for the best WordPress performance plugins to improve your WordPress page speed, keep reading!

#1 WP Smush

wp smush - increase website speed

Smush is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to optimize your images and enable lazy loading on every image on your website. Their plugin is one of the best image optimization plugins available due to its ability to drastically reduce file sizes while maintaining image quality and reducing server processing time on each image. Smush is one of the easiest and fastest ways to increase your website loading speed, especially if your website’s WordPress media tab is filled with hundreds or thousands of unoptimized images.

This plugin can strip unused metadata from images, defer off screen images, optimize images in bulk, identify and isolate images that are too large, and even resize images as they are being compressed.

Media files take a lot of processing time and are often the largest files to load on any website. By installing and activating the WP Smush plugin, you can expect a significant increase in your website’s page speed score and possibly even an increase in organic search ranking position. Another advantage of using Smush is that it works well with the other free WordPress plugins on this list.

#2 Autoptimize

Autoptimize - speed up website plugin

Autoptimize is a WordPress plugin that millions of people use to speed up their WordPress websites. This plugin can aggregate, cache, and minify scripts, CSS, HTML, and javascript to reduce file size and increase page speed scores while reducing loading times.
Just like WP Smush, Autoptimize can also lazy load images. However, this plugin can also optimize Google Fonts, async javascript, and remove emojis. A prominent feature of Autopitimize is that the developers have made their API available for website developers to change how the plugin behaves on each website.

This plugin does many different things to make pages as lightweight as possible to minimize file sizes and cache assets. Autoptimize also works with many caching plugins like WP Rocket and Litespeed Cache.

There are many more features to this WordPress plugin that can help you speed up your website. Get started by installing it and checking out Autoptimize for yourself.

Related: Top 10 free WordPress Plugins

#3 Flying Pages

Flying Pages - page speed plugin

This is a Free WordPress plugin that flies under the radar of a lot of website developers and SEO specialists. The Flying Pages plugin detects user cursor activity and preloads pages when links are hovered over or when fingers swipe across them.

Preloading pages before users click on them will load faster, providing a better user experience and decreasing loading times going from one page to another. Suppose your website receives high traffic and the server begins to act slower than usual. In that case, the plugin will automatically disable itself to reduce its impact and free up server processing power to distribute files to all live website visitors.

If you are worried about users with slower connections, the developers of the Flying Pages plugin have already thought of them. When someone attempts to connect to your website with a slow internet connection like 2G or has their data-saving mode enabled, Flying Pages will not activate.

Related: Heading Tags & SEO

#4 Litespeed Cache

Litespeed Cache - wordpress speed plugin

Cacheing plugins are probably the best way to increase your website’s page speed score and speed up all parts of your website. Litespeed Cache is one of the best Free WordPress caching plugins you can install now and use to speed up your website. It is an all-in-one site speed acceleration plugin that allows server-level caching. In addition to its other speed improvement features such as image optimization, minify CSS, minify Javascript, minify HTML, lazy load, CDN support, integration with Cloudflare, the ability to combine CSS and JS, and built-in tools for identifying and improving  Google PageSpeed score.

Litespeed cache also offers automatic page speed caching, which can drastically improve site performance and cut loading times to less than half a second. Like other plugins on this list, Litespeed Cache works well with other popular plugins like WooCommerce, and bbPress. If you have a plugin that is not natively compatible with Litespeed Cache, their API is publicly available for you to edit the code and customize the plugin for your own use.

When compared against other caching plugins like WP Rocket, Super Cache, and Total Cache, Litespeed Cache handled hundreds more requests per second. If you are looking for a WordPress plugin to speed up your website quickly and make pages load faster than ever, Litespeed Cache is precisely what you need.

#5 Converter For Media

Converter For Media | WEBP

Unsurprisingly, image files tend to take up a lot of file space. Recently search engines like Google have placed a higher emphasis on the importance of next-gen image formats like WebP when deciding the order websites appear in search results. Converter For Media will automatically convert your .jpeg and .png files into .webp image files that have a smaller file size without losing any image quality.

When combined with Autoptimize and Smush, this tool makes image file sizes a fraction of their original file size, allowing them to be served to users faster and provide a better user experience. Mobile devices will see the most significant page speed score increase from this plugin due to having less processing power than desktop or laptop computers. WebP image files typically have 30% smaller file sizes compared to jpeg images at no loss of image quality, making them the new standard for online media. Websites with thousands of unoptimized jpeg images will instantly see results using this plugin. (Related: Does your website need to be mobile friendly?)

Related 87 SEO Tools You Can Use To Climb The Ranks

How to speed up WordPress Sites

In addition to using WordPress page speed plugins, you may want to look at a few other page speed variables.

1. Use Next Gen Images

By using Next Gen Image formats, you can decrease the server load every time someone visits your website. Using an image format like .webp will allow you to drastically reduce your image’s file size, which will increase your page load speed.

2. Use a caching plugin

You can speed up a WordPress site by utilizing a page speed plugin such as Litespeed Cache or WP Super Cache. These performance plugins will allow you to serve static html files from your dynamic WordPress website. Don’t worry if you don’t know what static html files are – these plugins will do all the heavy lifting. Using a caching plugin is vital to increasing your page speed and improving user experience. Warning. Do not use more than one page speed plugin at a time.

3. Reduce the amount of plugins you’re using

There can be a lot of bloat from plugins when it comes to your WordPress website speed. To fix this, remove any deactivated plugins, and see if you can reduce the amount of active plugins you’re using. Determining which plugins are bogging down your WordPress site speed may not be obvious… so here are some pointers.

  1. If you haven’t use the plugin in over a year, it can likely go.
  2. Find a WordPress theme that includes the functionality some of your plugins may be providing.
  3. Find alternative WordPress Plugins that can do the combined job of several plugins.
  4. Do your visitors actually use that functionality? If not, it can go.

4. Use a CDN

Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to deliver your content. Without getting very technical with it, a CDN will serve HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, images, and videos, rather than the load being placed on your own server. It’s similar to website hosting, but cannot replace it.

The Best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugin:

We can easily tell you that the best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugin will replace the functionality of most of the free WordPress Speed plugins that we mentioned above. It also does a better job.

What is this plugin?

WP Rocket: The best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugin

Wp Rocket_ The best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugin

WP Rocket can speed up your WordPress site almost instantly and it also improves your Core Web Vitals / page speed metrics.

Their CND is also incredible (paid feature) at even further improving page speed performance. If you’re curious to how fast it is, run a page speed test on any page on the HeyTony website.

So if you’re still wondering how to speed up your WordPress site or are looking for plugins to increase your website speed, look no further than WP Rocket.

We are constantly updating our blog with more information about SEO, WordPress plugins, digital marketing, and website design. If you want to learn more about how to speed up your WordPress website using other plugins, check out the rest of our blog!

Originally published . Last updated .


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