How to Make a WordPress Site Faster For Free
These are some solutions to make a wordpress site faster for free. While there are many paid solutions available we will not cover solutions such as CDN. The most important thing to ensure is that you have a proper backup of your site before installing any of the following plugins. Make sure to use metrics to see your site speeds progress such as google page insights or pingdom.
W3 Total Cache
W3 total cache is almost a must to make a wordpress site faster. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of how this works but would like to cover the basics. If many people are visiting the same page this will enable the server to save or cache your page to a plain HTML file for easy access for the next people to view that page.
Some website hosts do not allow w3 total cache to be installed such as go daddy wordpress hosting. In this case go daddy provides their own caching solution if this is the case with a different provider make sure that they are providing you with a caching solution.
What’s great about W3 total cache is that they also provide database cache, object cache and browser cache. They also provide CSS and JS minify settings which makes it much more than a one trick pony. Make sure to enable these services and avoid downloading others that provide minify solutions while W3 total cache minify is enabled.
Better WordPress Minify
Better wordpress minify (bwp) is used to combine and minify your CSS and JS files. This is a great solution to make a wordpress site faster if a host like go daddy is blocking W3 total cache. W3 total cache offers these solutions as well and would not recommend to use the W3 total cache minify solution alongside the bwp solution. I would recommend testing the two to see which one brings better performance to your site.
Wp-optimize is used to clean your data base. They also offer other optimization features to help clean your posts which again makes wp-optimize much more than a one trick pony. One of the things i love is the ability to enable weekly schedules of optimization. If you have a lot of comments than some sort of data base optimization is needed to make a wordpress site faster or else your site will be bloated with user comments.
Ewww Image Optimizer
This is another must to make a wordpress site faster. What this plug-in does is compress all of your images so that there is less for the person to download when visiting your site. On an average you will get anywhere between 60-80 percent compression. They use tiny png and jpg optimization to achieve their results.
Best part of ewww image optimizer is that when you upload your pictures to wordpress they automatically get optimized. You can also run a scan that will find and compress all of your images which helps with images such as theme images that you would need ftp access to get to them to optimize them manually. Ewww image optimizer also finds the different sized photos such as original and thumbnail photos and compress all of these as well.
Some sort of image compression is an absolute must to make a wordpress site faster whether it’s done manually or automatically. I personally am a little obsessed with image optimization and compress my image with tiny png manually (on the website) before running uploading to wordpress and having ewww image optimizer compress it again.
Scripts to Footer
This does exactly what it says. It moves scripts to the footer of your page to help perceive faster page load times. What’s good is that you can disable this plug-in on specific pages just in case there is a certain thing on a page that does not cooperate well with the plug-in. The most important thing to know about the scripts to footer plug-in is that it only works if you have plug-ins and a theme that utilizes wp_enqueue_scripts correctly.
Above The fold Optimization