Posts Tagged ‘website speed’

5 proven WordPress plugins that you can use to easily speed up your website

plugins to speed up WordPress

Your website doesn’t load as fast as it should? This is indeed a problem because users are becoming more and more impatient—especially the mobile ones. If they don’t see the loaded page after a maximum of two seconds, they may be discouraged and click “back” in the browser, or simply close the window.
In addition, the position of your site in the Google search results is also somewhat dependent on its loading speed. Slow websites have no chance of getting ranked highly, especially when the competition is strong and numerous.

Tools that measure page loading time, in addition to the results, display a list of recommendations that suggest what can be improved on the tested page to speed it up. Contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to be an expert (programmer or server administrator) to significantly reduce the loading time of your WordPress-based website.

“You don’t have to be an expert to significantly reduce the time of loading your WordPress-based website.”

WordPress plugins related to speed

There are many plugins that automatically optimize the website in terms of loading speed. Some of them work better, some are worse, others may not have any effect at all.

We have prepared a list of five plugins for you, which we have tested and which we use on our own WordPress-based websites.

The recommended plugins really do speed up the website

1. Smush Image—optimization of image files

Smush Image

The procedure that allows you to really “slim down” the website—in the sense of reducing its total weight—is the optimization of bitmap image files (PNG, JPG, etc.). It involves compressing—usually without any loss of quality—existing images.

Smush Image (formerly WP SmushIt) allows you to not only optimize all the bitmaps on the website but also to compress all uploaded images on the fly.


Alternative plugins:

2. a3 Lazy Load—”lazy loading” of images

a3 Lazy Load

“Lazy loading” is a technique of loading image files with a delay—as the page scrolls, instead of loading them all immediately.

The aforementioned Smush Image also has this feature, but it doesn’t always work correctly. In turn, a3 Lazy Load is a plugin that specializes in this and works really well.

Alternative plugins:
BJ Lazy Load
Lazy Load

3. Autoptimize—optimization of text files


Text files usually “weigh” much less than images—but many of them are loaded everywhere on the website, not just on one subpage. I am talking here about CSS styles, JavaScript scripts and the HTML code of the pages.

Autoptimize minifies the size of text files by removing any unnecessary characters from them—e.g. spaces or end-of-line characters. The optimized code is much less readable to humans, but it doesn’t make any difference to the browser—and it weighs a lot less.

The plugin performs optimization “on the fly”—that is, the file on the disk remains unchanged, while the browser serves its minified version. Thanks to this, the problem of lack of readability doesn’t exist at all.
Additionally, Autoptimize performs several other actions—adds special headers, moves styles to the HEAD section and scripts to the footer.

Alternative plugin:
WP Super Minify

4. W3 Total Cache—website caching

W3 Total Cache

To simplify, the caching of a website involves all pages getting saved to the hard drive in the form of static files, so they can be displayed faster—without the need to generate them during every visit using the database. This method gives the best results in the case of hosting based on fast SSDs.
For a long time, there has been a “race” between several popular caching plugins. You can find many tests on the Internet being won by a different plugin every time.

W3 Total Cache is one of the leaders of such rankings, usually ranking just before or just behind WP Super Cache. It is an extensive plugin that offers many options and is compatible with various web servers and most other plugins, which allows the users to significantly speed up the loading of websites and unburden the hosting’s resources.


Alternative plugins:
WP Super Cache
WP Rocket

5. Clearfy—”correcting” WordPress and plugins


Clearfy improves WordPress’s performance mainly by disabling or blocking selected functions of the platform and some plugins (e.g. Yoast SEO), which are not necessary for the operation of a given website. Clearfy also adds some new features—in total, offering more than 50 options to optimize the site.


Alternative plugins:
WP Disable

Test and measure

Do not blindly trust recommendations, even ours. Install each plugin separately in your WordPress, and then test the effects by measuring the load times and checking the Google Page Speed rating. Experiment with different settings.
Perhaps in your case, the alternative plugins listed above will work better.

NOTE: If you use a caching plugin, don’t forget to clear the cache after installing a new plugin or making changes to the configuration.

Bonus: Check your hosting

The quality of the hosting service also has a big impact on the speed of the website. Assuming you aren’t running a popular website or a large online store with huge amount of traffic, we’re talking about shared hosting here.

Ensure that:

  • you aren’t using the services of one of the market giants who “pack” shared customers as tightly as sardines
  • your server uses fast SSDs (and not outdated HDDs)
  • you are running the latest PHP version recommended by WordPress (on the day of writing this article it is version 7.3)
  • you are using a CDN (e.g. a free version offered by CloudFlare which also offers a plugin for easy integration)—especially if users of your website come from different countries.

What’s next?

If the effect achieved using the plugins and hosting suggestions described above still doesn’t satisfy you, you can use various additional tools aimed at improving the speed of websites. The next step is to hire experts to perform a professional audit and optimization of your site.

Piio: Creating Real-time Ultra-light Images for Websites

A common problem faced by website users across the world is the slow loading of webpages. One major reason for this is the time taken by images to load. As website developers struggle with their site’s loading time, help is at hand in the form of the online tool “Piio”. This tool mechanically creates real-time images for websites and helps them load at very high speeds. Customers using the Piio online tool have experienced up to 400 percent faster page loading times. This helps save a lot of time for the customers as well as website users.


Websites, which have tied up with Piio have experienced nearly 30 percent growth in sales as an improved online experience prompts users to purchase more. The tie-up with Piio also works wonders with conversion rates, which have seen a 20 percent increase. This is because the delay of even a minute in loading the page can affect the conversion rate in an adverse manner.

Piio: Helps client sales with faster website uploads

The addition of Piio to your website will work wonders not only for your site, but also your company revenues. Piio makes use of lazy loading to load images faster as one opens a website. This online tool ensures that the image quality is not compromised when the website loads at a faster speed. Adding Piio will bring down page loading time by a large extent, thus bettering the user experience and in turn, sales. The images uploaded by Piio are such that they will adjust to individual browsers and devices. That is such an advantage! Lastly, the Piio online tool is designed in such a manner that it will easily merge with the website without changing any of the original content.

Some of the main highlights of the Piio tool are:

  • This online tool uploads images faster with the help of lazy loading.
  • The Piio tool, in addition to compressing the website images, resizes them.
  • Piio brings down the bounce rates of websites with better user experiences.
  • The online tool is plug-and-play based as it is not a picture compressor.
  • Piio brings to the user, top-class images, depending on their browser and device and that too in real time.
  • Piio saves website users from the difficulties of running batch processing scripts.
  • Pilo works in the same manner as copying and pasting a code into one’s HTML.
  • When a website installs Piio, there is no need to change the existing storage as it will not take up extra space.
  • Most websites install Piio as it speeds up conversions and in turn, their performance with an excellent service.

Having Piio’s help is a must for modern website owners to retain their faithful visitors. Slow page loading times are the biggest reason for website bounce rates increasing.

Piio - screenshot

How It Works

The process of how the Piio online tool works is explained in the following steps:

  1. The first step in the process is to search for Piio in the Plug-ins page and then install the plug-in. After the procedure is complete, activate the Piio plug-in.
  2. To use the Piio online tool, one must go the Piio site and open a free account. With the help of this account, you can secure a Piio API key for the plug-in to function properly.
  3. After you are logged in, click on “Create” to enter the domain name of your choice.
  4. When the domain name is entered, an API key will be generated for that respective domain name.
  5. The next step is to configure the Piio plug-in. For this, the user needs to copy the Piio API key and paste it in the API key field in the plug-in.
  6. Following the configuration, the user must ensure that all the settings are in place.
  7. After everything is set, Piio will automatically run your images through compression to decrease the file size without affecting the picture quality.
  8. Next, the images will be resized according to the requirement and then passed through Piio’s Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Lastly, Piio online tool makes use of Lazy Load, where-in the images will only be loaded within the browser viewport. This feature helps better the loading time of the website, the overall number of requests and the total page size.

Pros and Cons

Like any other online tools, there are advantages and disadvantages to using the Piio tool as well. Let us now take a look at some of these:


  • Correct-sized images: The first advantage of using the Piio online tool in websites is that it resizes the images to their correct size. When the pictures are in their appropriate size, it brings down the loading time for websites by a large extent.
  • Zero maintenance: A big positive in favor of Piio is that it requires no maintenance after integration. So once it is installed, the user can rest easy and use it to the maximum.
  • Easy to set-up: A huge relief for non-technical users while installing Piio is that it is very easy to set-up just like any other lazy loading library.
  • 1GB Transfer free: Another attraction for websites to install Piio is that it offers 1GB of transfer free every month.


There have not been many disadvantages reported about the Piio online tool although few users have said that the software is “too new” for them.

  • Drastically reduce webpage loading time with real-time image size reduction – try @piiojs via @supermonitoring

    Tweet this


It’s an overall positive verdict for Piio as most users are impressed by the fact that it is easy to install and reduces loading time for websites by a large extent. With Piio’s help, the website can retain the original top-quality of their images through simple coding. The tool is instrumental in enriching the online experience of clients and thus increasing sales and revenue. We give Piio a double thumbs up!

Master Your Website Speed with these Free Tools

website speed

Speed matters! At least as far as getting the right information at the right time is concerned. When surfing the Internet, one of the most noticeable aspects about a website is its loading speed. After typing in a URL or clicking on a link, everyone expects to be directed to their desired website in under a second, or if not, in at most 2 seconds. And any website that takes more than that to serve information starts getting on a user’s nerves. End result – the user switches to another website that serves the data he’s looking for faster. After all, in this busy world no one has the time to wait around for webpages to finish loading.

That need to get hands on information in the shortest possible time has given rise to quite an apt website design requirement – if it’s not quick enough, it’s not good enough. But this mantra is often a tough one to live up to, especially for websites that have a lot of dynamic content on their homepages. Designers and developers in the field keep struggling with strategies to bring the time needed to load websites to as low as possible so that their potential customers don’t turn away without even checking out their content.

Huge shout out to all you guys out there who’re doing this every day. We understand the kind of pressure you have to live up to in order to make your website as content-rich, engaging, unique, and light-weight as possible while ensuring that it opens up in under a second every single time.
But we also give due credit to the fact that Internet users in general are not very patient; doubly so when they’re surfing through their mobiles. Thus, as a designer, you’ve got to make sure your website is as nimble as it can be so that your organic traffic doesn’t get redirected to another website due to loading lag. And helpful as we are, in order to assist you with this little predicament we’ve compiled a list of easy ways that you can use to improve your website’s loading speed. Check these out and try them when you can. We’d be thrilled to know how they worked for you.

Why quick response is an absolute must for websites?

Regardless of how novel your product or how reliable your services, if you’re unable to showcase your stuff to the world within a couple of seconds, you will most certainly end up with loss of incoming business. At any point in time, there are more than one companies offering the same line of products and services (in other words, you always have competition). If you don’t make sure your product is the one a customer views first when buying, well, you’re practically landing your competitors the deal gift-wrapped!

Let’s take a quick look at the core statistics that prove our point:

  • As per a study conducted by Amazon1, for every 100ms of improved page load time, revenue increased by at least 1%
  • Reports1 claim that Shopzilla started making about 12% more revenue by simply cutting its page load time from 6 seconds to 1.2 seconds. Plus it helped bump up their page traffic by 25%
  • On the adverse side, an experimental deliberate1 2 second slow down of search query results by Bing resulted in a 4.3% decrease in revenue per user

Sufficient to say that a website that takes too much time to load is bound to suffer from a reduction in conversion rate and loss of new customers. This fact is restated by a survey result1 which says that to 39% of everyday Internet users, performance is more important than the functionality of a site.

Impact on organic traffic

Page loading speed is a significant factor in determining your website’s Google ranking. A while ago Google started to consider page speed when evaluating websites; as a result, a website that is too slow to load isn’t considered that useful. So even if your website content is great, it won’t show up within the first few search result pages if it is taking too long to load.

Now that you know the why, we’re sure you want to know about the how.

Tricks & Tools to help you speed up your website’s loading time

There are a whole bunch of articles out there that can help you with tips for enhancing your website’s loading speed. Herein we’re making you privy to the actual tools which can help you apply the tricks you’ve read about to bring in some real change. Every tip is accompanied with the names of tools you can use to really experience the effect of that the tip.

Measure your website’s current loading speed

First, you need to know your starting point (a.k.a. how bad it is). Find out your website’s current loading speed using any of these tools:

  • Google Page Speed Insights & their Mobile Website Speed Test module – Online page speed test site which provides some great insights on what you need to do to improve your site’s performance. These tools help you detect the exact pain points which play the role of bottlenecks to your website’s loading speed. On running the test your website will get a score from 0-100. If it ranks above 90, you’re in good shape. Otherwise it might do you good to heed Google’s suggestions on why your page is loading slowly and how you can improve it.
  • – One of the most versatile page load testing tools which can test your website from multiple locations worldwide, using real browsers. By default it makes 3 runs and then displays loading times, detailed waterfall chart, request details, and of course, optimization suggestions. It also has its own grading scheme (6 grades from F to A). It can even capture a video of your website loading.
  • GTmetrix – Provides a great analysis of websites by giving grades on both Page Speed and YSlow. In addition to measuring speed, this tool also gives you info about why your page speed is slow.

After you’ve found out if your page speed is slow, use one or more of the below mentioned methods to pump it up a notch. Also, during the entire process ensure that you verify the impact every modification has on your website’s speed by repeating this step.

Optimize Images

It’s a no-brainer that the heaviest component of a post is its images. Large sized images are the prime contributor to slow loading websites. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using them to enhance your text. You just need to compress them with the right tools to ensure they reduce in size and load much quicker. You can decrease the size of bitmap files with lossless compression using:

And while you’re at it, you may also want to optimize animated GIFs and SVG vector images using tools specific to those kind of images. A great tool to optimize GIF images is ezGIF and SVG Optimizer by Peter Collingridge works great for SVG images.

Bonus Tip: While compressing is a great idea, you should probably keep evaluating the real need of all those high-res images on your website.

Optimize Site Code

In addition to reducing the size of images, you can also reduce the overall size of your code. Known as “code optimization”, this mechanism reduces the load that is sent to the browser by removing unnecessary characters like spaces, tabs, end of line, etc. You can minify any kind of code that’s sent to the browser – HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. Also, you can apply smart techniques like moving web resources such as fonts, CSS files, and JavaScript to the bottom of the page to facilitate the loading of text before other web components; that way if by chance your images or videos take a couple of seconds to load, at least the user can read your content and be engaged. You can optimize website code manually or use a tool like Refresh-SF or Minify Code for the purpose.

Use Caching

Browsing caching is primarily applicable to websites with a database connection such as ecommerce or content management platforms but it can be used for all websites in general. The idea behind the concept is to set an expiry date, or a maximum age limit, in the HTTP headers for static resources like images, CSS, JavaScript, PDF files, etc. Caching basically saves “snapshots” of your webpages and delivers them as static HTML which is the fastest way to access data on the web. Thus by enabling caching, browsers automatically load previously downloaded static resources from local disks rather than over the network thus avoiding direct data requests to the database, which in turn contributes to a quicker loading time for your website. Check if your website makes use of caching with Browser Caching Checker. To enable caching on your website you could either make direct code changes through scripts or use a plugin like W3 Total Cache for WordPress or WP Super Cache.

Bonus Tip: In quite a few cases, a not-so-great hosting provider can impact page speed for websites with databases. Thus, before you spend time on caching optimization, it would be a good idea to think about choosing a better hosting provider.

Generate CSS Sprites

Another great way to ease some load off your website is to use CSS Sprites. This technique essentially combines multiple small images (icons, buttons, etc.) into a single file called “sprite” and displays them at once. By combining smaller images into a single larger one and requesting for that single large image you’re effectively reducing the number of HTTP requests the browser has to make and thus contributing to a faster loading website. You can easily generate such merged files and obtain CSS code at the same time with CSS Sprites Tool or CSS Sprites Generator.

Check GZIP Compression

GZIP is a file format and an algorithm used for file compression and decompression. It is widely known to save 50 to 80% bandwidth, significantly increasing website loading speed and is thus recommended by page speed tools like Google Page Speed. In fact if GZIP compression is turned off for your website, these speed testing tools will tell you that and suggest you to switch it on. With Check GZIP Compression you can check really quickly if the compression is present and see how much transfer is saved thanks to it.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

While the Internet is one big invisible “connection” of networks spread across the globe for which distances shouldn’t matter, the ground reality is that, the farther your website visitors are from the server returning the information, the slower your website loads for them. This is because data needs to go through more “Internet nodes” to get to those visitors. That’s why Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) were first thought of. A CDN is a high-performance network of servers that replicates the static assets of your website and serves them to visitors from the closest POP. Simply put, a CDN includes proxy servers located throughout the world. When visitors view your website, they will be shown content from the mega server that’s geographically closest to their location. This “clone-and-relay” action results in a much quicker serving of a website and it is this ability of CDN networks that has made them one of the most effective ways to supercharge your website’s speed.
You can check what CDN providers are used on a website with CDN Finder.

Edit .htaccess file to speed things up

Now here’s a real winner of a tip. A large portion of the server configuration required for speeding up a website is done via editing the .htaccess file. In fact, editing this file is the main way to implement GZIP compression and website caching. We didn’t find an on-line .htaccess file generator that would focus (or include) pro-speed code. Instead, we collected some of the best code snippets that repeatedly appear on many blogs and combined into kind of a boilerplate2:

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml text/css text/javascript
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzip dont-vary
Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary
php_flag zlib.output_compression on
<Files *.php>
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
<IfModule mod_headers.c>
Header unset ETag
Header unset Last-Modified
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-php
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/cgi-php5
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/cgi-php53
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/cgi-php54
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:exe|t?gz|zip|bz2|sit|rar)$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:pdf|doc)$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:avi|mov|mp3|mp4|rm)$ no-gzip dont-vary
Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary
<ifModule mod_gzip.c>
mod_gzip_on Yes
mod_gzip_dechunk Yes
mod_gzip_item_include \.(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$
mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^application/x-javascript.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*
<ifModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/html "access plus 1 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 604800 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 216000 seconds"
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access plus 216000 seconds"
FileETag None

Just copy and paste this at the beginning of your .htaccess file and check the results.

Wrapping things up

We’re hoping the tricks and tools listed above will help you make your website significantly faster. It’s a great feeling when you’re closing in to a 100/100 Google Page Speed result. But don’t forget that your website is a live entity. It changes, so can its loading speed. Monitoring loading times is a smart move. It lets you react before users start voting with their feed and before Google decreases your website grade.

1 Statistic data source:
2 .htaccess file based mostly on magento-htaccess

  • Browse Categories

  • Super Monitoring

    Superhero-powered monitoring of website or web application availability & performance

    Try it our for free

    or learn more
This website uses cookie files to improve user experience. If you don't approve, please turn off the cookie usage in your browser settings. close