Complete Analytics Optimization Suite (CAOS)
Zip file size: 7k
Far Future Expiry Header
Zip file size: 7k
This plugin appeared abandoned but it’s author returned and updated it recently. While this isn’t always necessary, it’s a good sign the plugin is “fresh.” We’ve used it for years.
This plugin will add a “far future expiration” date for various file types (like image files) to improve site performance. This is a best practice advocated by the Yahoo Extreme Performance Team. It keeps files and images cached longer. There is also a radio button to enable Gzip – a nice addition. (More about Gzip >)
Holler Box – WordPress Popup Plugin for eCommerce
Zip file size: 122k
This small plugin uses only 3 calls (HTTP requests). 2.8k, 3.6k, and 3.8k loaded in parallel. That’s about 10k. Estimated load time: less than 40 milliseconds. But not on every page – only where it’s used (selective activation). Holler Box is a nice, lightweight plugin built correctly for mobile speed.
Holler Box (112k download) does all the essential OptinMonster functions for free – plus some – and doesn’t weigh a ton. Hollarbox is lightweight and loads fast.
WP jQuery Plus
Zip file size: 3k
Almost every browser on the planet already has Google’s jQuery CDN address loaded in cache.
You can change the WordPress code to substitute Google’s CDN hosted jQuery. But there’s an easier way. Just use WP jQuery Plus. It’s a WordPress plugin that loads jQuery from Google’s free Content Distribution Network (CDN). Users geographically far from you can download jQuery faster. The Google version of jQuery is also Gzip compressed and minified for fastest page loading. Yet, even though Google’s CDN servers are fast, it’s still not the biggest motivating gain.
“Additional CSS” customization code often (usually?) disappears when changing themes and sometimes when updating. It depends upon the theme author’s diligence. Preservation isn’t built into core as one might suppose.
Adding a child theme to preserve custom CSS code generates an extra HTTP request. Our workaround (and there are others) is to use Tom Usbourne’s free “Simple CSS” plugin. It appears alongside the normal Additional CSS feature in the WordPress Customizer. This plugin doesn’t create an extra call (like a child theme) but still protects the code.
Zip file size: 136k
Email Address Encoder
Zip file size: 5k
Zip file size: 3k
PNG to JPG plugin
Zip file size: 10k
Description: Convert PNG images to JPG, free up web space and speed up your webpages:
- Set quality of converted JPG.
- Auto convert on upload.
- Auto convert on upload only when PNG has no transparency.
- Convert existing PNG image to JPG.
- Bulk convert existing PNG images to JPG.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)
Zip file size: 183k
Description: See which plugins are slowing down your site. This plugin creates a performance report for your site.
At this point, we smile. Over 100,000 sites made a bad assumption. They left this plugin active in the name of speed improvement. Ironically, the plugin slows every page and post by 12.7 milliseconds – even when sitting there. Oops!
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) causes 12.7 milliseconds of site drag. So we recalculate the results without this number messing things up. After testing, don’t leave it installed. At least, disable it. But we always remove it.
Simple Basic Contact Form
Zip file size: 261k
*All forms require placing a shortcode on your contact page.
Date/Time Now Button
Zip download size: 29k
Autodescription (aka The SEO Framework)
Zip download size: 351k
Autodescription plugin doesn’t do grotesque slow downs like Yoast SEO (from 150 to 240 milliseconds site drag). All SEO plugins consume ever-growing database resources. The plugin authors don’t tell you about that hidden liability.
Do we think SEO tricks alter ranking or increase click thru? We’re unconvinced. It doesn’t move the needle. But site owners desire feeling in control of the uncontrollable page rank and clickthrough.
Lazy Load by WP Rocket
Zip download size: 92k
Go to Settings > LazyLoad and check the 3 boxes to activate. This will then lazy load:
Deactivate XML-RPC Service
Zip file size: 26k
TWO PLUGINS WORK IN TANDEM
Simple Content Adder
Zip file size: 1.2M
WP Image Refresh
Zip file size: 823k
The two suggested plugins are free, obscure, and esoteric. We’ve experimented with various plugins. This combination works best for us.
Zip file size: 82k
Zip file size: 15k
Peanut Butter Bar (smooth version)
Zip file size: 39k
Remove Query Strings
Zip file size: 12k
These plugins are super lightweight and benign. You may see millisecond improvements. There’s no reason not to install one for speed.
The bottomline is: removing query strings does no harm – but the only benefit most likely is an improved test score – not speed. Of course, the question is, “Why do speed tests insist it be done?” It’s ivory tower idealism.