As our blogs grow and get more traffic, more “fun” things tend to get added on. We add a sidebar image here, a tracking script there, Adsense on top and below, etc. All these things eventually start becoming too much, and slows down your blog- especially when we start forgetting to delete old and outdated plugins as time goes on.
I don’t have to tell you this, but a slow loading blog makes for a poor user experience – and you do not want to lose those visitors you worked so hard for. Keep in mind that visitors subjected to poor site performance rarely complain – they just leave and don’t come back. Nobody is going to take the trouble to find your contact form and say, “hey buddy- your site is loading slow. I will be back here in 1 week to check to see if it’s fixed.”
(Also see 9 Tips to Speed Up Your WordPress Blog)
Here are a few plugins to consider that will help you to speed up your blog’s loading time.
1. W3 Total Cache
Probably the granddaddy of cache plugins, W3 Total Cache boasts an impressive list of capabilities and is nothing to be toyed with. It’s used by great sites like Mashable and Johnchow.com. Besides being compatible with most servers and server configurations, it also offers the choice of creating the cache on your own server, or using a content delivery network (a number are supported, including Amazon S3, MaxCDN, and Contendo). CDN’s usually have impressive resources, allowing you to speed up even more.
2. WP Minify
You can choose which files you would like to include or exclude- which is especially helpful in cases where a lot of scripts are used, and/or where the CSS file system is complex.
3. WP Super Cache
Since PHP coding tends to be “heavier” than normal HTML, WP super cache creates HTML versions of existing pages of your blog – allowing them to load a lot faster. Visitors who are not logged in, have not left any comments, and not accessed any password protected posts, will be served cached pages. Those who do will simply be served with normally cached pages. If a visitor does decide to leave a comment, the instruction will be handled via PHP. Usually, around 99% of your visitors will be handed static HTML pages.
There are maaaaaany other plugins that claim to improve your blog’s loading time- but few of those can boast the efficiency of these particular three plugins, and practically none can match the flexibility of the W3 total cache plugin. Between these three plugins, anyone from an absolute beginner to an experienced user can easily improve the visitor’s experience – all by improving load time. Rest assured that your readers will keep coming back to your blog with a seamless experience.
Guest Blogger Bio: Selena is an avid lover of all things technology, writing, entrepreneurship and social media- In her spare time, you can find her on her blog, esvienne.com, or writing for searchenginejournal.com. Follow her @esvienne and @selenavidya.