Test your page speed first Before you spend a lot of time figuring out what plugins you’ll need to get, you should start by checking your current load time. You can use any of the following websites to check what your current metrics are:
After installing my plug-ins, I was able to get my page-speed up to 91% with a load time of 1.5~2.5 seconds. This load time varies depending on where the program decides to load your site from.
Loading it in Europe, etc would take a little more time. Back up your site before you install any new plug-ins, and always install them one at a time, testing your site in between each new installation.
By doing this, I came up with the following list of plug-ins through a fair bit of trial and error. Before installing anything new, I made sure to back up my site. Installing new WordPress plugins is a quick way to end up breaking your website, so make sure you back up before experimenting, and then install each plug-in one at a time, testing your site in between each for errors.
#1 WP Super Cache Plugin
Plug-in description: This plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After an HTML file is generated, your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
Why I use it: Getting low scores on “Leverage browser caching.” There are a couple of other plug-ins that combine the Minify function and the page caching; however, I have found that these WordPress plugins either have no effect or they actually worsen the page speed. WP Super Cache packages a version of your site to show visitors much quicker than waiting for your whole website to load.
#2 Use google Libraries Plugin
Why I use it: This plug-in does uses libraries of information that are possibly already stored on your visitor’s computer, rather than automatically calling up the same information from your copy of WordPress.
#3 Better WordPress Minify Plugin
Plug-in description: BWP Minify allows you to combine and minify your CSS and JS files to improve page load time. This plugin uses the PHP library Minify and relies on WordPress’s enqueueing system rather than the output buffer, which respects the order of CSS and JS files as well as their dependencies. BWP Minify is very customizable and easy to use.
#4 Remove Query Strings from Static Resources Plugin
Plug-in description: Remove query strings from static resources like CSS & JS files. This plugin will improve your scores in services like PageSpeed, YSlow, Pingdom and GTmetrix. Resources with a “?” or “&” in the URL are not cached by some proxy caching servers, and moving the query string and encode the parameters into the URL will increase your WordPress site performance significant.
Why I use it: Getting a low score on “Remove query strings from static resources.” This issue typically occurs when you have a WordPress plugin or theme adding symbols to your URL’s that servers don’t understand. This plug-in removes them.
#5 Above The Fold Optimization Plugin
Plug-in description: Above the fold optimization toolkit that enables your website to achieve a Google PageSpeed 100 Score. Supports most optimization, minification and full page cache
Why I use it: It helps you to optimize your content “above the fold,” which is anything that shows up as soon as you land on your website. This is crucial because if your content above the fold doesn’t load right away, you’ll have more people getting frustrated and leaving your website right away.