Speed up WordPress: is there an alternative to W3 Total Cache?

The most frequent question I get is: how can I speed up my WordPress site?

First of all we should do a site analysis, check if the theme has structural problems (as often happens), how many plugins are installed and check the server’s performance , response time, et cetera, et cetera.

If all this has already been checked (and only after checking everything) we could think of installing a plugin that optimizes the cache, serving navigators with versions of “static pages” optimized to be loaded as quickly as possible.

If you too have googled a bit in search of a solution to this need, you will surely have missed a few posts (even more than one) that advised you to install W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache .

Now let’s get straight on the use of these plugins. These are plugins that can really improve navigation and speed up the processes of our sites. They are very advanced plugins , with many options and features with names that are sometimes completely unknown to most people and all these choices could cause confusion for the less experienced user.

The results come only after a series of tests carried out directly on the site, activating or deactivating the items that interest us, increasing one value and decreasing another, but I must also say that we often risk creating conflicts with CSS and JS files , especially when there are Facebook pixels, AdSense banners and other special scripts. As mentioned plugin like these are very advanced and honestly I have seen them used well only by some system administrators of expert servers who really know where to put their hands.

Auto-check plugin

P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

This plugin is useful to solve the classic “bottlenecks” , in fact by performing a simple test, it returns a graph where you can understand the loading times and the resources used by each plugin installed on your WordPress.

At this point, my advice is to turn off all the offending plugins one by one to see if the situation improves. To have objective parameters, I would recommend using services like Pingdom or GT Metrix .

Cache plugin

Autoptimize

I have used W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache for years, but when I discovered this plugin I cried like a child opening the gift he always dreamed of receiving at Christmas. Autoptimize is practically the couch potatoes plugin to optimize site speed. It really does it all by itself. It sounds rhetorical or too simplistic to say, but in fact it really is.

Once activated just go to the settings panel, activate the one you want to optimize (be careful not to optimize everything at random, but only the one you really want to optimize) and click Save. Well, it’s all over.

WP Fastest Cache

This plugin I discovered shortly after Autoptimize, in fact added to the latter you get an exceptional effect! Here too the configurations are few, it is a freemium plugin, that is with many free and other paid features, but do not be scared, the free functions are enough and speed up to speed up your site to maximum power , without going crazy among many settings.

Personally, I would recommend WP Faster Cache as an alternative to more well-known and at the same time more complicated cache plugins .

Comet Cache

Another dignified alternative to the more famous cache plugins.

In this case, unlike the titles mentioned above, we are faced with a plugin with many more features and some more settings, certainly nothing to do with W3 Total Cache for example, where each function has lots of details to set.

He does his job very well and if you are looking for a plugin to manage the cache that leaves you a bit of freedom, Comet Cache is just for you.

Plugin to compress CSS / JS files

Better WordPress Minify

Minifying CSS and JS files is an operation that makes more or less all the cache management plugins, but sometimes there is a need to monitor these settings more closely, and this is where we meet Better WordPress Minify .

With this plugin it is possible to combine and minify CSS and JS files , improving page loading. Remember, this feature is possible thanks to the PHP Minify library, so I suggest you check the features of your server.

Plugin to compress and reduce images

Adaptive Images for WordPress

As is now known, Google prefers sites that take care of mobile browsing, and this is clearly shown also by trying to test your website from the Google website dedicated to developers , in fact if you notice Google PageSpeed ​​it shows you the results first from mobile and then those from the desktop.

 

With this plugin you will be able to drastically reduce the loading of images on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) without losing quality and above all without losing transparency. Indeed Adaptive Images is compatible with JPG, PNG and GIF (non-animated).

EWWW Image Optimizer

Like the previous plugin, EWWW Image Optimizer takes care of drastically reducing the weight of the images and therefore speeding up your site, but with the difference of not only dealing with the moving part.

Compress JPEG & PNG images

I have always used the main site TinyPNG , and as soon as the official plugin was released I installed it on all my sites and my clients’ sites, why? Try uploading an image from the site and you’ll see that you won’t be able to do without it .

Only warnings: it is necessary to generate a free KEY API to start using the plugin on your site, with which it will be possible to process a limited number of images per month, but do not worry, they are enough for a normal site.

Conclusions

If your goal is to achieve an AA result in GtMetrix, then my advice is: keep trying settings with W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache, if you are “alone” trying to make your site faster , perhaps reaching results of loading pages under a second (and sorry if it is little) , in this case, the answer to your question is contained on this page.

Posted By: Web Digital Media Group

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