In this review, we introduce you to a new feature of the popular TheGem WordPress…
If you’re looking for a way to speed up your WordPress website, then WP Speed of Light is a plugin built for exactly that purpose. In this WP Speed of Light review, we’ll check out the main features of this plugin. We’ll also test what impact it has on the loading times of a WordPress website.
Thanks to its selection of features, WP Speed of Light isn’t just a standard WordPress caching plugin. It can do a lot more than that. So if you’re seeking a single plugin that can optimize your website in many different ways, this review’s for you.
By the end of this WP Speed of Light review, you’ll have all the information needed to help you decide if this is the best plugin for improving the performance of your WordPress website.
So let’s start with a quick overview of what this plugin can do before exploring its main features. We’ll then finish off this review with a look at what it’s like to use this plugin to optimize your WordPress website. We’ll also cover what sort of results you could get from this performance enhancement tool.
About WP Speed of Light Plugin for WordPress
WP Speed of Light is a freemium WordPress optimization plugin developed by the JoomUnited team. As one of many useful products in the library of tools from JoomUnited, WP Speed of Light has been created to help you optimize your WordPress website. In short, the goal of this tool is to improve the loading times and performance of your site.
Benefits of Using a Plugin like WP Speed of Light
We’ll cover exactly how this plugin achieves that next in this WP Speed of Light review. However, there are many good reasons why you should try and improve the performance of your website. For starters, slow loading times can have a real negative effect on how your visitors interact with your site.
Studies have shown that for every extra second a visitor has to wait for a page to load, they’re less likely to stick around on your site. Furthermore, poor site performance can have a drastic effect on website conversion rates. So if your website has been built with a goal in mind, such as promoting offers, selling products, or building an email list, slow loading times are probably getting in the way of your success.
Also, search engines like Google are now using loading times to decide where to list sites in their results. So if you’d like to improve the search engine optimization (SEO) of your WordPress website, a plugin like this can help.
Even if you feel your website is loading quickly, there’s a good chance those times can be improved. There are many ways to speed up a WordPress website. But a plugin like WP Speed of Light could be a useful tool in your fight against slow loading times.
So let’s check out what this WordPress website optimization plugin can do and if it can help you improve the loading times of your site in our WP Speed of Light review.
WP Speed of Light Plugin Main Features
Optimizing a WordPress website might sound complicated. But one of the best features of WP Speed of Light removes any of that difficulty. After installing the plugin, the setup wizard takes care of everything for you, in just a few clicks.
However, more advanced users can bypass the wizard and access the underlying controls through the plugin dashboard. So whether you’re a power user or you’d prefer a plug-n-play solution, this plugin should appeal to both demographics.
A WordPress Caching Plugin
At the core of what it has to offer, WP Speed of Light is a WordPress caching plugin. This means it has the ability to create a static version of your dynamic WordPress website. With this feature enabled, visitors will download a cached version of your site, which loads much faster than normal. However, due to the cache refreshing features of the plugin, they’ll never know they are viewing a static version.
Database Speed Test and Cleanup Tool
A well-optimized database can make a big difference to the loading times of a WordPress website. Thankfully, WP Speed of Light has good functionality in this area. While the free version of the plugin can help identify any issues, the paid add-on includes automatic database cleanups.
Built-in Loading Time Testing Tool
Another useful feature of this plugin is the built-in loading time recording tool. Thanks to this, you can see how fast your website and its pages are loading from within your WordPress Dashboard. You don’t just get to see the loading time. There’s also the first byte time, time to start rendering, and other measurements. This data helps give you a good overview of how your website is performing.
Other Features of WP Speed of Light
WP Speed of Light is packed with features, with too many to list in this review! So here’s a quick rundown of what else this plugin can do:
- Gzip compression for reducing file sizes.
- Resource minification for smaller file sizes.
- Browser caching.
- Caching for mobile devices.
- Automatic cache clean on save.
- Image compression (paid feature).
- Image lazy loading (paid feature).
- Font and Google Fonts optimization (paid feature).
- Cache preloading and exclusion rules (paid feature).
There’s a full list of features with a comparison of the free and paid versions on the plugin page.
So with the core features covered, let’s see how easy this plugin is to use and if it does what it sets out to achieve.
WP Speed of Light Plugin User Experience
Getting started with WP Speed of Light is very straightforward. As this is a freemium plugin, you can install the free version of WP Speed of Light from inside your WordPress Dashboard. Alternatively, you can choose to purchase the paid add-on and download it from the JoomUnited website then upload it to your site.
Quick Start Setup Wizard
Once you’ve activated the plugin on your site, a helpful environment check wizard is displayed. The wizard checks important aspects of your website to identify any issues that might be affecting site performance. Any issues are flagged with a warning message and a helpful note explaining the potential problem. It would be nice if there was more info on how to fix the problems though, such as the PHP version or Apache Modules checks.
The next step in the setup process gives you the option of letting the plugin configure your site for the best results. Alternatively, you can take a more hands-on role in optimizing your WordPress website with the plugin.
If you do decide to take the advanced option and configure the plugin yourself, you can choose to enable aspects of the plugin such as the cache and minification.
Your WordPress website should be optimized to load faster than before simply by letting the plugin configure itself. But if instead, you opted to set the plugin up yourself, it should still only take a few minutes to start reaping the rewards of an optimized WordPress website.
Beyond the Quick Start Wizard
However, as covered earlier in this WP Speed of Light review, there’s more to this plugin than just the quick optimization features. You can also improve the performance of your website in many other ways. From the plugin dashboard, you can quickly record the current loading time measurements of your website. Then you can access the other tools that will allow you to optimize your WordPress website. You do need to generate an API key to run the speed tests on your website. However, it only takes a few clicks.
Through the dashboard, you can easily choose which page on your site to test, such as the homepage or one of the inner pages. The most recent test results are kept, making it easy for you to compare loading times after you’ve made changes via the plugin.
WP Speed of Light Test Results
To see if this plugin really has the ability to improve the loading times of WordPress websites, we created a test site. The feature-rich Divi WordPress theme was installed and activated. Then one of the advanced Divi homepage layouts was imported. This page had a large size of around 2.7 MB, mainly due to the images and features used in the design.
First, the average loading times of the test site using the Divi theme sample layout were recorded using Pingdom. The average loading time was recorded as 5.22 seconds by Pingdom.
Then the free version of the WP Speed of Light plugin was installed on the test site. The beginner option was chosen when setting up the plugin, enabling the default configuration of WP Speed of Light. The loading times were recorded again with Pingdom. This time, the test page loaded in 2.18 seconds on average according to Pingdom.
An improvement of around 3.4 seconds was recorded using the free version of WP Speed of Light – very impressive for a few clicks and a couple of minutes work!
Of course, as all WordPress websites and hosting environments are unique, your results may vary from ours.
WP Speed of Light WordPress Plugin Pricing Options
As mentioned previously in this WP Speed of Light review, this is a freemium plugin. That means you can install the limited free version of WP Speed of Light or opt for the fully-featured paid version. As we experienced good results from using the free version of the plugin, it’s definitely not a tool that was created solely to promote the paid version.
However, if you’d like to access the premium features covered already in this WP Speed of Light review, such as image compression and lazy loading, as well as the ability to set cache exclusion rules, then you can purchase the Pro add-on on the following plans:
- Pro add-on with 6 months of access to support and plugin updates: $34.
- Pro add-on with 12 months of access to support and plugin updates: $44.
The more expensive plan also includes an image compression quota of 3 GB. Whereas with the lower priced option, your quota is just 1 GB. If you plan on using the image optimization features of WP Speed of Light, this is something to take into consideration.
With both options, you can use the plugin on as many websites as you like without any extra payments required.
You can find out more about the purchase options and view the full list of differences between the free and premium version of the plugin on this page of the WP Speed of Light website.
WP Speed of Light Review Final Thoughts
As you can see from our results, this WordPress optimization plugin was able to reduce the loading times of our test WordPress website from 5.22 seconds to 2.18 seconds. That means the test page was loading over twice as fast after installing the free version of WP Speed of Light.
Because the test page had lots of features and images, it had a large file size of around 2.7 MB. Your web pages might be a lot smaller than that, resulting in a less dramatic increase in performance.
As the gains in performance we experienced were delivered using the quick setup wizard, these results are even more impressive. This really is a set-and-forget WordPress optimization plugin that only takes a few clicks to get up and running.
Although if you want more control over how WP Speed of Light works on your site, that’s not a problem. Thanks to the configuration options of the plugin, you can opt out of the quick setup wizard. Then you can work your way through each setting individually, deciding which features to enable.
So after testing out WP Speed Light, it’s fair to say that if you’re not currently using any type of WordPress optimization plugin, such as a caching tool, then there’s a good chance you’ll benefit from installing WP Speed of Light on your site. Even if you are using a similar type of plugin, it’s probably a good idea to compare it with WP Speed of Light to see which one delivers the best results.
Considering the core WP Speed of Light plugin is free to use, it’s well worth trying it on your website to see what impact it has.