You’ve all heard how important it is to optimise your website, both to improve the user experience and to rank highly on search engines. Here are my top five plug-ins that you can easily add to your WordPress site to increase its optimisation:
Have you ever been on a site where the images take ages to load? Tempted to click away? It’s so important that your images are optimized for the web and are therefore quick to display. Smush It is a great little plugin, which compresses images without reducing their quality. There is a free version where you manually click to ‘Smush’ your images, or a paid version where it does it automatically every time you upload an image to your site.
A simple version of Google Analytics that helps you monitor your website’s speed and visitors. This plugin sits on the dashboard of your WordPress admin page and can also tell you how users found your website, and which pages they visited most often. Regularly checking your website’s speed is essential for increasing optimization because if the loading time is too long, people so often ‘bounce’ away from your site.
Yoast is all about setting up Meta keywords and descriptions, which crucially directs people toward your site when they search on Google. For example, you would include your keywords and the terms people are likely to search for if they want to find you – for example ‘web designer Southampton’ ‘Hampshire web designer’, or ‘florist in Winchester’ ‘Winchester’ florist. The plugin is 100% free and offers a quick setup wizard, as well as some great training videos to get you started. Keep an eye out for my video post on Yoast, coming soon!
If your site takes more than 4 seconds to load people can become impatient and leave.
If you are an online shop, just 2 seconds is long enough to lose customers. It has been found that a 2-second delay in load time during a transaction resulted in abandonment rates of up to 87% !!
The WP Super Cache plugin will cache your website pages meaning that they load instantly, because the plugin has saved your site. This free plugin offers ‘recommend settings’ that are highly effective and I suggest that anyone using it would do well to follow these!
An expert plug-in for ‘cleaning your WordPress database so that it runs at maximum efficiency’. Every revision to your website is stored in your database, and this could be slowing your site down enormously! WP Optimize is a really low-maintenance plug-in that you can set up to ‘clean’ your WordPress database at regular intervals – I would recommend at least weekly. This is also free, so there is no reason not to have it running to keep your website in good working order!
If you would like to check the speed of your website you can do so here.
If you need any support with adding these plug-ins to your website or have any further questions about why optimization is so important, please do get in touch and see how I can help you out.