Top 5 WordPress Plugins for Security and Speed

WordPress is a very capable platform. You can create any kind of website, including marketing sites, blogs, e-commerce sites, and more. There's WordPress plugins out there for everything, and countless themes to get you started.

With great power comes great responsibility, and care needs to be taken to not only to keep your site fast, but safe from hackers. WordPress sites are a common target, with over 70% of WordPress installations having vulnerabilities.

Let's take a look at some of the best WordPress plugins out there that will keep the hackers away and keep your site loading fast.

All in One WP Security & Firewall

This plugin has various options to be configured for preventing common attacks. It can be configured to block brute forcing of the login page, a common way attackers gain access to your site. In addition, it includes different sets of firewall rules that configure your web server to stop common attacks.

WP Security gives your site a score based on the options you've enabled. Don't worry too much about trying to achieve a perfect score. Not every option is relevant for every site. At the least, make sure the "Critical Feature Status" section shows all features on.

All in One WP Security & Firewall WordPress Plugin

These are just a few examples of the powerful features WP Security has to offer. This plugin is a must for all WordPress based sites.

Oxygen Builder

There's many WordPress plugins that offer page builder functionality, promising to make it easy for anyone to create great looking pages. Some examples are Elementor or Beaver Builder, but none of them are quite as good as Oxygen Builder. Oxygen is a light, stripped down page builder tool that also replaces your themes.

With Oxygen, you can create your own page templates for everything from the home page, blog index, single blog post, 404 page, and category pages. While some pre-built site examples are included, to get the most out of the plugin, you'll want to create your own templates. If you're familiar with writing CSS, especially flexbox, you'll feel right at home.

The UI makes it easy to create standard elements like div tags, add classes to elements, and change CSS properties. You can always drop down to hand writing your own HTML, PHP, CSS and JavaScript if the UI doesn't quite get the job done.

The pages that are generated with WordPress and Oxygen are highly optimized compared to competing tools. There's little unused CSS or JavaScript, and the page is free from unneeded elements. Building your pages with Oxygen is a great choice for fast pages, when other themes and page builders include so much bloat.

Autoptimize

Autoptimize is a WordPress plugin that can give huge performance increases. With most WordPress plugins, a large number of different CSS and JS files will be loaded.

Loading many smaller files makes things much slower than loading a single larger file. With this plugin, they can all be combined and minified, speeding up the time it will take browsers to download the code needed to use the website.

In addition, it has the option to lazy load images, or wait until they're visible to start loading them. This speeds up the initial page load time, since images that aren't in view, that the user might not ever scroll to, don't have to load right away. Keeping the number and size of resources down makes your page load faster. We'd recommend using this plugin for every WordPress website.

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is a caching plugin developed by Automattic, the company responsible for the free blogging service at WordPress.com. This plugin stops WordPress from having to generate your pages again and again for each user, when nothing has actually changed.

WP Super Cache generates static HTML files for your site, which then are served instead of PHP having to do any work. By eliminating the extra work that needs to be on every request, your site will load noticeably faster. This is another WordPress plugin we'd recommend every site use.

Remove Emojis

This one is one of our custom WordPress plugins. While there are other plugins that accomplish the task of removing emoji support from WordPress, and found places where code was left over after trying some of the existing plugins. We wanted something lightweight and simple that will completely get the job done.

By disabling support for emojis in WordPress, it doesn't mean you can't use emojis in your content. WordPress has a feature where text based emojis like ":)" are automatically converted into an emoji like this one -- 🙂. Unfortunately, this adds extra code your site has to load that slows things down.

You can manually insert emojis by copy and pasting them from a site like Get Emoji, or on Mac OS you can press Control + Command + Space to open a window where you can select emojis.

Our remove emojis plugin has no configuration options. You simply install the plugin, activate it, and you're ready to go.

Is Your WordPress Site Loading Slowly?

We know how to make WordPress sites that are fast, avoiding extra weight from prebuilt themes, unneeded plugins, and default WordPress bloat. We'll build you an optimized site with WordPress that's easy for you to log into and add more content on your own. We can audit your current WordPress install and find areas that need improvement. Interested in a faster website? Get in touch with us today.

Bidwell Websites is a web design agency based out of Chico, California. We take pride in building great websites that will impress your customers and help your business to grow.
twitter-squarefacebook-squaregithub-square