Are you interested in the best ways for boosting up your website speed? Here is the Ultimate 2020 guide and tips to boost, optimization, increase and speed up WordPress performance.
Prior to everything, you need to know that website speed optimization is a very time-consuming process and some of the methods that have been referred to in this article would require a significant amount of time to implement.
If you don’t have the time our knowledge to do it, we can speed up WordPress for you.
So it’s right about now that you should probably ask yourself whether it’s worth spending so much time on it.
Our expert team has spent years analyzing what metrics benefit the highest rated websites in search engines and have come up with their own checklist that will be used to both speed up WordPress and its ranking.
Worth noting that if you’re running a business it is recommended that you take all the necessary steps to optimize your website since it will have a direct impact on your business.
The first realistic step you could take to speed up WordPress would be to use the Google Lighthouse tool to better familiarize yourself with the issues affecting your website.
The next step would be to compress images to lower the time it takes to load the first colored pixel on your website. A quick estimation would reveal that such a project would take about 3 months to complete on websites that offer a lot of images-based content.
Once you’ve taken these initial steps, updated your website and optimized your website’s loading, you will instantly see an increase in your ranking on Google’s search engine. On the other hand, your conversion rate will increase a total of 3 percent.
It’s a well-known fact that Google’s search engine prioritizes websites that load quickly and ranks them more positively as well.
The steps you take using this post as your goal post will have a minor impact at first but in the long run you will see major improvement in terms of your website’s ranking and loading.
Regardless of what kind of website or business you run, we strongly recommend that you tackle issues related to speed optimization since no user likes a website that takes too long to load.
The Significance of Website Speed
Speed is an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration both when improving SEO and building your infrastructure.
But since it’s a complex and technical issue, you need to be well versed in different aspects. Some of the vital factors that need more attention are mentioned in this piece.
How Are Web Pages Loaded?
On the surface, the user opens their browser of choice and enters a URL. When you enter a URL, a DNS request is sent from your end.
This issue directly pertains to your domain and hosting provider.
DOM request additional resources from the server to run everything correctly. This is where everything starts going downhill culminating in your website loading very slowly. This short description might have helped spark a few ideas on what things you could do to improve your website.
Factors That Slow Down Your Site
So who are our first suspects?
- Images are the primary cause for reduced loading speeds most of the time. Large images in particular take a long time to load
- Hosting Issues
- Plugins, applications, widgets and all third part scripts could reduce your website’s loading speed
- Badly optimized themes
- Multiple redirects are also impactful in terms of your website’s loading speed
if we consider all these to be present on your website then this chain effect will significantly reduce your website’s speed. So this post will cover certain resources you can use and metrics you ought to keep an eye on to significantly optimize your website speed.
Website Speed Testing Tools & Other Resources
The first resource listed here is Google Tool and the Google Suggested Insights section. You may find it interesting to know what metrics these tools actually analyze especially when testing speed or what user metrics are taken into consideration.
We need to familiarize ourselves to an extent with how these tools work otherwise it will be much harder to figure out why your website’s ranking is stuck.
We know that Google prioritizes websites that load faster. Their proposed estimate is somewhere between 1 and 3 seconds.
So set your sights on that timeframe but if it’s possible to reach a faster loading speed, go for it. We’d also suggest taking a look at your competitors’ websites and analyzing their website’s speed to set a bar you can judge your own website against.
1. Chrome User Experience Report
Chrome User Experience Report is designed to provide helpful information on how real-world users interact with websites.
Unfortunately, though, it works best on websites with a large number of visitors. It can be found in BigQuery.
You also need a basic understanding of the SQL language to help you with this.
Lighthouse is the analytical tool of choice for web developers and admins and can be found in Chrome’s Developer Tools section.
Once on a web page click on Inspect Element and go to the top Audits menu. Run Lighthouse from there and view the report that has just been prepared for you.
Something that in the case of this tool is very useful is that it provides common examples of how you might be able to resolve your issues.
It also provides a speed report for 3G internet even though almost all carriers have upgraded to 4G by now. But this means that mobile users are also focused in this report.
Though it may be a bit time consuming, it almost always yields fruitful results that you can use to improve your website.
3. Page Speed Insight
Page Speed Insight is another handy and interesting tool to speed up WordPress. This tool also includes a Chrome user experience report.
But similar to the last tool, if your website doesn’t have many visitors then the analysis’ accuracy is less dependable.
This tool takes a look at how your website was built and suggests measures to improve upon. All in all, the suggested measures are useful in website speed optimization.
Tools to Test Mobile Speed and Website Functionalities
This website offers the best tool to compare your website’s speed.
It analyzes your website’s loading speed as if it were to be opened on a mobile and provides a report on that.
Real-time metrics are provided to help you improve your website’s user experience even for those who are on mobile.
It is an amazing tool since it sets an equal bar and standard for all developers from around the world to judge their website’s loading speed with.
In addition to the tool mentioned above, we also suggest Pingdom and GTmetrix to test your website’s speed and functionality though they are not affiliated with Google but make sure to at least try to and see whether their results are consistent.
We provided a practical solution for the most important errors on GTmetrix which you can easily use to boost your website loading speed.
You might need this: How To Improve Site Speed By Fixing GTmetrix Errors?
Website Speed Metrics: What Are Some of the Speed Measurement Factors?
– What is First Paint?
First paint is the first unblocked paint on the screen. In simple terms, it’s the first pixel change that occurs on the screen. So the first change that occurs is referred to as first paint.
– What is First Contentful Paint?
First contentful paint is the first section is shown on the web page. This could be the navigation bar for instance or any other part of the web page which is referred to as first contentful paint.
– What is First Meaningful Paint?
First meaningful paint is the first content that can be viewed. To further elaborate, it’s that moment when you go “Yes! This is exactly why I came to this website.”
– What is Time to Interactive?
Time to Interactive is the amount of time it takes for the website to become visually ready and viewable. This means that you can interact with it but it won’t function.
So to be clear, it’s when everything in the web page is loaded but you still can’t use the functionalities.
So when will users be able to use the web page? Notice how the end user is the primary metric for measuring website speed. All website speed tools are extremely user-centered.
– DOM Content Loaded
DOM Content Loaded is when all HTML codes are uploaded and parsed. Websites need to pay particular attention to this matter and act more consciously.
If you already found Speed Up WordPress is something huge and time taking, You might wanna let our experts handle that for you:
Our experts will speed up WordPress site and optimize page speed.
Answers to: How to Speed Up WordPress?
HTTP/2 can definitely increase the speed of everything. But to what degree depends on different conditions.
Prefetch, Preconnect and Preload are all extremely important in increasing your website’s speed. We know that Google considers this in SERP.
If you inspect any element on a web page, you can see that Google receives certain URLs in the Prefetching section to load them quicker.
This way you can reach your destination faster. This will help you increase your website’s loading speed.
Enable Caching & Using Content Delivery Network
Caching is an important function to utilize. Make sure to do your research on this so that you can implement effectively. Same thing applies to CDN.
Spending resources on these two points will definitely pay off in the end.
The easiest way to optimize website speed is to compress all your images.
If you’re on WordPress, this is fairly easy using various free plugins and online websites.
Optimizilla is one such tool. You can even use desktop software and save your images for web or compress properly to optimize and compress images.
You can easily optimize and compress codes and other resources. Familiarizing yourself with the process will help you when you’re compressing the code but this might get a bit technical.
Imagine having very SEO-friendly content with multiple backlinks but even with all that your ranking hasn’t improved according to Google.
You may suspect that it may be due to your website’s loading speed but everything is fine once you run it through a speed test website. In this case it’s best to hire a developer to take a look at your code.
Website optimization sometimes gets a bit tricky leaving you no choice other than to seek professional help. Similar to how you sought help for SEO, you’ll need the help of a developer to figure out why your website is slow or whether your code is written sloppy.
There may be variables that are not easily detectable and on the surface for someone with no technical expertise. At the same time, there are things you can do to improve your website speed without the need for specialization.
18 Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Site
So we asked more than 100 developers on what their suggestions are for less tech savvy people to speed up wordpress so that you only need to hire a developer as a last resort.
1. Test Your Website Speed
First things first, let’s use an analytical tool to check and see what may be wrong with our website and if there is an easy way to fix it.
Test your website speed using Google PageSpeed or any other online website. They will all let you know how much it takes for your website to load on an ordinary connection.
Based on the suggestions we received, you should aim your website speed to be somewhere between 2 and 3 seconds. Visitors expect your website to be loaded in 2 seconds at least.
Note that we’re considering users who are searching for a specific thing, not a user who frequents your website and wouldn’t care if it takes 5 seconds for the site to load.
At least 40% of new visitors will leave your website if it takes a longer time than the average for it to load.
– What Are the Best User Speed Test Tools?
The following had the highest popularity among the developers we surveyed:
- Google Page Insight
- Google Lighthouse
We suggest using a mix of these tools to get a better feel for what might be the real issue causing your website to load slower.
The best choice for websites that have recently been created are GTmetrix and Lighthouse.
These two provide an accurate account of your website’s current status and how it can be improved. The details provided by these two tools are extremely useful when optimizing your website.
A 70 plus rating from these tools is an okay score while 80 plus is even better; indicating that your website will be loaded within 3.5 seconds or sooner. Loading within the +8 seconds (even 5) is very concerning and you should definitely look into improving your infrastructure be it your theme or host provider.
In addition to those two, Pingdom is a simple and free to use tools that let you know which pars need to be improved.
But also make sure to use the free tools provided by Google to optimize website speed, potential issues and functionalities.
We suggest using the tools provided by Google because of the metrics they take into consideration.
Your goal is to increase your website’s ranking by optimizing your website speed so it’s best to follow their analytics.
In addition to this, Google has invested a lot into improving their tools so that developers and users can rely on them confidently.
We’re positive that you can find the underlying issues of your low load speed using these tools.
To do so load the website you want with Chrome and right-click on the page, go to Inspect and then Audit.
Audit provides a description of the issues you need to fix though the solutions it offers are rather impractical and out of date.
The Coverage tool in Google’s console is the better choice since it is available in Google’s search console.
The reason it’s better is that Google’s crawler uses real data to show you the cause of your website’s issues. With just one click, you’ll figure out what Google’s AI considers as problematic.
This is extremely important because Google has neigh infinite resources and can crawl limitless websites. During the crawling process if your website has a loading issue, the crawler will make one more attempt before skipping your website leaving it without an index.
So if they’re not indexed, they won’t be shown in Google either.
2. Optimize Your Website’s Images
Optimizing your website’s images is the most sure-fire way to decrease loading time and speed up WordPress.
A good way to conceptualize why image compression is important is to think of a printer. It takes longer to print an image that has more colors and is larger both in terms of time and the amount of resources needed to print it.
A similar argument can be extended to website images. If you’ve images that haven’t been optimized and compressed, it takes longer for any browser to load them. The folks we interviewed have some suggestions on what else you need to do when uploading your images.
3. Choose the Right Image Resolution
“Most admins unfamiliar with these principles simply copy an image from Unsplash and upload it on their website.
These kinds of images usually have a higher resolution than what is needed on your website; probably fit for printing even. Their resolution is 300 DPI so keep in mind that you only need 72 DPI when uploading images on a website.”
If you use an image that acts as your website banner, it doesn’t need to be any more than 1500 pixels and higher than 72 in terms of resolution. If you upload a 300 DPI image, it will be around 4000 pixels and that’s when your website speed will go down.
Once you’ve optimized all your website’s images, you’ve most likely freed up a significant amount of space while also having increased your website’s speed.
Choose a certain resolution for your images in different sections and stay consistent with it. There are different tools you could utilize to change your image size from Photoshop to GIMP. It’s worth noting that GIMP is free to use.
4. Sources for Downloading Suitable Images
Very often you can choose the size of the image you’re about to download. We recommend download the web version or at least downloading the largest one and then saving it as web.
5. Choose the Right Image Format
Image format has a direct impact on how long it would take for it to load.
When downloading an image from ShutterStock, you can choose the web version which has a 72 DPI resolution rather than the standard 300 DPI.
Make sure the image format is in PNG or JPEG. This will help speed up WordPress.
6. Install the Lazy Loading Plugin to Upload Images
This useful plugin only loads images that are necessary unless the user clicks on them to view them so not all images need to be pre-loaded thus increasing load speed.
Only images within the user’s view will be loaded so it will take less time to load the whole page. You can find it on WordPress under the name Lazy Load — Optimize Images.
If you’re on WordPress, you can also use Autoptimize which compresses images for you. There are similar free plugins as well that do this sort of task.
7. Remove Unnecessary Slides, Videos & Images
Another option to speed up WordPress would be to remove images and videos that you deem unnecessary from key pages.
These elements increase the time it takes to load the first meaningful color pixel (the amount of time it takes for the first content on your website to be loaded) so you can bypass this by simply removing them and significantly improving your website’s speed.
An efficient way to do this is to take a look at all your images and remove the ones that aren’t necessary. A great tool for this purpose is SEMrush that analyzes your website’s status.
This website provides a great overview on possible issues with your website and suggests unnecessary media that needs to be removed.
WordPress is the perfect platform for those who are not as hands-on when it comes to improving their website speed.
Every little thing contributes to it, from image compression to having a theme with neatly written code. This is because there are also themes that are incredibly hard to use.
These will run numerous scripts and fonts and requests that create issues when you try to load up the website.
If you chose any of these themes, you’ve already done more than enough to improve your website speed. Though make sure to check with any of the speed test website, we mentioned above.
Make sure to choose a theme that doesn’t take much space also ask your web developer to use code specific to your needs. Even though this might end up costing more it will be worth it since your website will load faster in the long run.
It is worth noting that public themes commonly found on WordPress come with loads of features that you might never even use.
All of those unnecessary features slow down your website speed and decrease the server response time. So try to either not use free themes or if you do turn off the unnecessary widgets.
8. Only Use Essential Plugins
Try not to overload your website with different plugins and add-ons when you’re trying to speed up WordPress.
Some of these plugins may be conflicting with one another.
A lot of users new to WordPress make the rookie mistake of installing any plugin that seems important or has a lot active users on it.
While they may in fact be useful, they also reduce your website speed if they’re nonessential.
9. Check Your Plugins & Make Sure They Work
We recommend you run a check-up on your plugins every once in a while, to make sure they still function as they should.
WordPress is constantly changing so plugins need to keep up with those changes to prevent any form malfunction. Make sure to update your plugins and check their change logs.
Those optimization plugins we mentioned are quite handy and if you can’t get a web dev to help with your website’s speed issues are the best thing to help increase your website at least to a manageable degree.
We’re not suggesting turning off all unnecessary plugins but rather removing the ones you don’t have a need for currently.
You’d be surprised how much your website improves once you’ve deactivated the nonessential plugins.
To do this we recommend Query Monitor.
These plugins analyze which plugins are slowing down your website. Use the analysis to turn off the unnecessary plugins.
10. Remove Unnecessary Widgets
Third party codes that slow down your website considerably need to also be taken into account. Some of these codes are Facebook or Google Double Click Ads.
Others are customer feedback, online chats, customizations that add new functionalities to websites. Though these also impact your website speed.
Check which ones you truly need and remove the ones that don’t have a crucial impact on your website. Make sure to only keep and install the ones that are truly essential.
Since they were developed by third party aspects such as loading on less optimized websites weren’t considered. Even if you ask your dev team to take a look at these tools, they won’t be able to do much.
Try to run a check-up on your WordPress once every few months to disable the ones that you haven’t been using as of late. If you can’t remove any plugins then make sure to only use the plugins on certain pages.
For example, if you used Drift’s Chatbot on your website then you need to make sure that it is disabled in the blog section of your website.
You also should check whether the code is still running in the background on the blog section since that is very possible. Removing it from the blog section will improve your website speed tremendously.
If you wish to use a plugin on certain page then we recommend using Plugin Organizer. This plugin helps you to identify and organize plugins that are used very frequently on certain pages and both disable them and their code. You can also set rules for when those plugins should be loaded.
But something to take note of is that disabling and changing categories for plugins could have some unintended effects so make sure to have a backup of your website before going on to make these changes.
11. Pay Attention to How Fast Google Ads Load
If you run ads on your website then it’s worth noting that it may also reduce your website speed to a certain degree but obviously since it contributes to your expenses it is essential.
Loading an ad on a badly optimized website could add around 5 sections at most to your total loading time.
To solve this you could ask the hosting provider for your ads to make some changes in how their ads are displayed or use Lazy Load. This way ads will only show once the user is scrolling near them.
12. Reduce the Number of Redirects
Redirecting to external sources would make the loading process take longer. This’ll increase the amount of time that it takes for the user to load your website.
One way you could reduce the number of redirects is to shorten URLs and not use HTTPS or WWW in the link. This move prevents the redirects from chaining together.
13. Update Your Web Hosting Service Provider
Something else you might want to take a look at is changing your current host provider if they’re unable to improve your service or upgrade to a better plan.
Most people use hosting services that are average at best when they’re starting out which is fair for when you’re just starting to get the hang of things but it does come with it owns shortcomings so it may be better to invest in a better plan by a more reliable provider.
You can definitely feel the comparison once you upgrade to plan that uses cloud space for hosting services. It’ll be a night and day difference.
If you use a shared host then it is strongly recommended that you move to a separate hosting service provider. Even though it may cost you more it is better for you in the long run.
Make sure to search for the perfect one for you to speed up WordPress since there are different plans out there but we’d suggest you pick one that also has a content delivery network.
A Fantastic Offer You Won’t Resist!
14. Make Sure Your Host Provider Offers Support
It’s a huge perk to be able to contact your host provider support if anything go wrong with your website’s loading and you need any sort of assistance.
Check your website speed every month using the tools we recommended and ask the support what probable causes there might be for the increase.
They would probably first clear your cache and then check what other causes there might be for this sudden slow down.
Hopefully afterwards your website speed will return to a normal 2 to 3 seconds. They might recommend you to upgrade your plan to a faster server or optimize your cache and CDN network.
15. Use a High Quality DNS Provider
Many users register domains through providers like GoDaddy or NameCheap and they also provide your DNS service.
This is a free service but most of the time due to the free nature of it, the quality and speed is extremely low. It might be worth taking a look at your DNS provider should you start to experience slow down on your website.
We recommend using quality DNS providers such as Cloudflare. This provider offers the best infrastructure available together with responsive and reliable support. This simple point will speed up WordPress by around 40% at least.
16. Make Sure to Use Content Delivery Networks
Another way you could improve your website speed is to use a Content Delivery Network or CDN.
A CDN service provider identifies static resources such as images and optimizes them for quick distribution across the world. Using a CDN has a significant impact on your website speed.
Using a CDN would mean that your content will be accessible across the world more than before.
Configuring a CDN is quite easy and doesn’t have many fees associated with it. So we strongly recommend you look into using a CDN.
Most CDN services include an automatic compression section. This means that your website’s code will be shortened leading to a faster loading experience for the end user.
Codes usually have a lot of empty space to make it easier for web developers to make their own changes to it. Though it’s important to note that browsers don’t really take those spaces into consideration when loading.
Shortening the code in fact turns into a code that is more comprehensible for the browser. It also reduces file sizes, reducing their size nearly 60%.
But which CDN should you opt for? Again, we’d recommend Cloudflare. This service provider is both reliable and provides great support, improving your website speed and security tremendously.
Using high quality CDN and DNS services will be a great boost to your website so make sure to make the right choice.
17. Enable Caching
Web caching works like this, an immediate version of your website is run and in the next step its updates are loaded.
Less important sections are loaded first so there isn’t a delay in the initial load. You can do this by adding a code to the website’s body or using a plugin.
Fair warning, though, both of these plugins are a bit complex when it gets to configuring them. So you might not be able to run it very easily and worst-case scenario you might end up causing more harm than good.
The simplest plugin to use for this purpose would be WP Rocket. All basic settings are preconfigured here and set as default so you can install it and start using it immediately.
It does offer a free version but the premium version comes with online support.
We assure you that this plugin will help optimize your website speed and bring it within the 1 to 2 seconds range.
It is worth noting that all your website functionalities would need to be tracked. From click rates to the amount of time spent on a page and how often pages crashed or a link was broken. You can keep track of all this using MOZ which measures all of these criteria.
Using these factors, you can effectively improve your SEO and also mix and match data from Google Analytics, SEMrush to get a precise understanding of your website’s functionality.
18. Improving Website Speed on Mobile View
You should take mobile view into consideration if you plan on making sales from different devices.
Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is a technology developed by Google that provides a simple view of your website and only shows necessary information.
Pages powered by AMP are stored in search engine servers and load almost without any delay.
This is what happens when someone browses our website on their phone. While the user is browsing the page, the full version is being loaded in the background without them knowing. This simple task significantly help to speed up WordPress.
Implementing AMP requires a good understanding of the technical aspects of WordPress. The plugin of choice for this purpose is AMP for WP.
Top 6 Caching Plugins on WordPress
As we mentioned, utilizing caching plugins are extremely helpful for speed up WordPress. Below we will introduce the Top 5 Caching Plugins that will assist you in that regard.
What is Cache?
Cache is a temporary storage space where data can be accessed from quickly should there be a request for it. Once a request is sent, a computer conducts multiple processes before showing the relevant information.
Cache solves the issue of constantly sending and receiving data by storing some of it in a temporary space. This allows your browser to access things quicker.
The form of caching can also be utilized in WordPress websites. This will speed up WordPress and improves functionality.
As you know, WordPress is a dynamic content management system meaning whenever a user visits your website, WordPress requests information from the database and then sends a web page to the user’s browser.
This in of itself leads to your website loading more slowly for visitors. In particular, if multiple users are trying to access your website at the same time.
Caching allows your WordPress website to bypass many of those steps and skip the data processing phase.
For example, instead of loading a page every time from scratch, your cache plugin creates an initial loading copy and that copy is displayed to the users when the want to load your web page again and that will cause a major speed up in your WordPress.
Why Is Caching So Important?
Caching leads to a faster load time for your website.
You need a proper caching to allow for faster load times. So, make sure to set up a highly functional caching system.
A website that loads quickly provides a more optimal user experience and it also helps increase your engagement rate considerably since your website will be loading up more smoothly.
A website with faster loading allows for more traffic to be directed its way and this all happens organically through search engines. Google ranks websites that load faster higher in terms of SEO and they are displayed higher on the result list.
With that out of the way let’s take a look at the best caching plugins that will help you speed up WordPress.
The main feature of Swift Performance that is the reason we use it for the websites we develop is its automatic settings that can significantly improve the website’s loading speed with just one click.
Test results show that this add-on can speed up WordPress websites for up to 440%. What’s more is that you don’t need any coding knowledge to use Swift Performance.
Optimizing images (reducing size, and determining correct dimensions), caching, optimizing CSS and JS codes, optimizing the database the website uses, and ordering the plugins the website uses are some of the most important features of Swift Performance.
To do this, simply install the add-on and select the codes you wish to optimize in the settings menu. You can also add scripts to it to NOT compress and optimize a particular code. The HTML codes in the header and footer will be compressed if you like it as well.
WP Rocket is one of the best caching plugins out there. It is very easy to use and does not require you to have an extensive knowledge of WordPress to be able to use it.
It allows you to implement caching on your website with just one simple click. Its crawler automatically calls your website pages to activate caches on your website.
Afterwards, the plugin enables the recommended caching settings for WordPress which include Gzip Compression, Page Cache and Cache Pre-loading.
WP Rocket also providers two modes you can select which will improve your website’s functionality. This includes Lazy loading images support for CDN and DNS and also compressing files and many other file types that will help you to speed up WordPress.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins on WordPress. This is a comprehensive plugin that includes various bells and whistles. On first glance, it might seem like a confusing plugin to users.
It includes features you might need out of a great cache plugin to speed up WordPress.
Web page Cache, Object Cache, Gzip Compression, Compression Support, CDN Support and more. Hence why some might find working with this plugin a bit difficult at first, but once you read up on it a little you start to figure things out on your own.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a popular free plugin with loads of functionalities and is recommended by a lot of hosting providers.
This plugin has all the practical features and also helps increase your website speed which is done through Gzip compression, page caching and using cache before loading, CDN support and that’s only parts of its functionalities. It has two tabs, one with comprehensive settings and one which includes basic settings.
Sucuri Security is one of the best WordPress firewall and security plugins. Sucuri acts as your website’s firewall and already has preset options to allow for web caching and gzip compression in one simple click.
This is the prime choice for any website. This is because Sucuri is a DNS firewall. This also means that it caches your content so users can request access even before reaching the destination. This increases your website’s practicality, keeping it in tip-top shape.
Top 5 AMP Plugins For WordPress
AMP is one of Google’s projects with the aim of increasing loading speed on mobile browsers.
If you want to add AMP functionality to your WordPress website, you need AMP plugin. We’ll cover this in far greater detail below.
What is AMP and is It Necessary to Use It?
AMP Stands for Accelerated Mobile Page meaning that mobile browsers load pages quickly. This project has been helmed by Google with the goal of significantly improving loading speeds on mobile devices.
In order to realize this, pages will utilize the AMP Framework code. Additionally, Google will cache AMP pages so that users have a faster loading in their Google searches. Aside from that, the cache plugins provided by hosting providers also specialize in this matter as well.
Why is It Necessary to Install an AMP Plugin?
It’s fair to say that it depends on multiple factors.
There’s also clear evidence pointing out how effective AMP plugin has been in increasing website loading speed and bounce rate. Events Ticket Center has done a study on this and the numbers speak for themselves.
- 10 percent decrease in bounce rate
- 6 percent increase in the number of viewed pages
- 13 percent increase in time spent on a website
- 100 percent increase in purchase conversion rate
But AMP hasn’t been as effective for everyone. Some websites like Kinsta have noticed that AMP has caused their website to be down 59% of the time.
So we urge you to try it out for yourself and see if it helps you or bricks your website. All AMP plugins are easily installed and configurable on WordPress. So try it out for yourself and pay attention to Google Analytics data. Notice downward or upward trends to help you make that decision.
This is the Official AMP Plugin for WordPress announced and introduced by Google for WordPress.
It is fully free and very easy to use. All you need to do is to activate and get to work. Though the downside is that it doesn’t offer you much room for how AMP impacts your content visually and which functions it will perform for you.
For example, if you go to the customization section of WordPress the only options you’ll have access to are:
- Text color and background color
- Choosing between a light or dark theme
Outside of that you’ll have access to a few simple settings such as having a specific and separate URL for AMP pages and what kind of posts should AMP utilize. You’ll also have a separate analyze section, allowing you to add analyzer scripts (made for tracking) to AMP pages.
In short, this is an extremely simple and flexible way to enable AMP on your WordPress website. Please note that if you want to use this plugin and Yoast at the same time, you’ll need to install Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP plugin to add SEO metadata to AMP content.
AMP for WP
AMP for WP is a WordPress plugin that has more functionalities that the official AMP plugin. This way you’ll be able to:
- AMP Plugins Manager — Which allows you to disable a specific plugin functionality only in the AMP version
- Custom AMP Editor — Which allows you to override your content that you had written in Post or page, so you can add the different content just for AMP.
- Google Adsense (AMP-AD) Support with 4 different Ad slots across the layout! The First Plugin to have this capability.
- Proper rel canonical tags which means that Google know the original page.
- AMP WooCommerce Support
- Switch on/off Support for Pages & Posts on AMP
Once you’ve installed AMP for WP, an installation wizard will pop up. After you’ve made some basic adjustments to the settings, you’ll be directed to the section where you can control the plugin’s features. To change how your AMP looks you can choose from the numerous AMP themes that are available in the premium version and later customize that theme.
The free version has only one theme and provides minimal customization options. If you feel like the official AMP plugin is narrow in terms of its scope and you don’t like how it works, then AMP for WP is right plugin for you since offers way more customization and fluid functionality.
The plugin offers different plans and the most basic one that includes many other extensions is $149 a year.
WeeblrAMP is another WordPress plugin that offers an expansive list of features that are not provided by the official AMP plugin. It also has a free and a premium version similar to the rest:
- The ability to take backups of your WordPress content such as posts, pages, categories and archive them
- Integrating plugins like Yoast SEO, Jetpack, Beaver Builder and Elementor
- Premium support
- Integration for Mailchimp, Contact Form 7 and Gravity forms
- E-commerce integration with WooCommerce for Easy Digital Downloads
- Facebook Pixel integration
- Polylang support to allow for multilingual AMP pages
You have access to a very comprehensive dashboard to control all the different settings WeeblrAMP has to offer. It offers various options to customize it the way you want. It also provides a user interface to manage details such as:
- Color and Style
- What information can be included
- CSS to customize it the way you want
WeeblrAMP’s free version can be downloaded from WordPress.org and the premium version costs $39 per year.
Better AMP is favorable choice and offers more features than the official AMP plugin endorsed by Google.
However, it lacks certain features that are available in plugins like AMP for WP or weeblrAMP. If you’re looking for a moderate AMP plugin with reasonable features and expectations then this is the right choice for you.
Install the plugin, activate it and get started on setting up the basic settings. You can also edit the string of text used in the AMP content.
Afterwards, you can go to the customization section of WordPress and make the necessary changes you want. This is a huge positive for this plugin. Its customization section gives you access to:
- Changeable style for the different sections of AMP
- Changeable colors
- Option to activate Google Analytics Tracker
- Add CSS or HTML code
- Navigate mobile users automatically to AMP content
- Choose post type and taxonomies for AMP
WP AMP has less popularity compared to the others but it offers loads of features. Like Better AMP it allows you to customize to the AMP looks and this is a huge win for most people.
For example, you can change the header of theme however you want. Aside from that WP AMP’s customization options include many features that allow you to:
- Choose your post type
- Change every theme in minor ways which includes the header
- Include social media links
- Add analytic scripts which include Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel, etc.
- Activate Cookies Notice Bar
WP AMP currently provides only one theme to users but the devs plan to increase the range of theme options they offer and include different add-ons to increase its functionality.
WP AMP also has a free version called WP AMP Lite but if you want access to more features we recommend you purchase the whole plugin for $49.
Which AMP Plugin Should I Choose?
If you’re looking for the easiest way to use AMP on your website then the official AMP plugin is the most logical choice for you. While it doesn’t offer the vast range of features of its competitors, it is fairly easy to use and offers acceptable functionality.
If you’re looking for the highest amount of functionality then the best choices for you are AMP for WP or weeblrAMP. They obviously have more features.
WP AMP is another impressive plugin you could opt for. Even though it’s relatively new and doesn’t offer that many comprehensive features. Better AMP is the moderate option since while it lacks some features it provides a high level of customization while keeping everything simple and user-friendly.