6 Best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins

When you think of speeding up your WordPress site, the first thing you should consider is fast WordPress hosting. However, after you’ve settled on hosting, there are a number of excellent WordPress speed optimization plugins that may assist you in improving your site’s front-end optimization.

Talking about “WordPress speed optimization plugins,” what comes to mind is caching plugins. of course, there are multiple caching plugins on this list since strong page caching is a vital aspect of speeding up your site.

However, because speed is more than simply caching, we are not limiting this collection to caching plugins. Other plugins have also been supplied to assist you in optimizing specific aspects of your site, such as how your scripts load, picture compression, and so on.

Are you ready? Let’s dive right in!

1. Perfmatters

wordpress speed optimization plugins

Perfmatters allows you to improve many little aspects of your WordPress site. It does not support page caching, however, it is an excellent complement to a caching plugin.

To begin, Perfmatters can assist you with disabling several minor WordPress options that most sites do not require. For instance, the emoji font, WordPress version number, Dashicons, and so on.

These are all minor changes in and of themselves, but when combined, they can eliminate a large number of needless HTTP queries.

It also has a robust scripts manager that allows you to conditionally load JavaScript/CSS on specific pages. For example, if your contact form plugin loads its scripts throughout the whole site, you may utilize Perfmatters to have it just load its scripts on your contact page. This is yet another example of how to cut down on unnecessary sitewide HTTP requests.

Other important performance improvements include:

  • DNS prefetching
  • Disable Heartbeat API
  • Lazy load images
  • Host analytics locally
  • Preconnect

It can also let you connect to a CDN.

Overall, if you’re already using a cache plugin (or your server performs caching for you), this is a wonderful one to add on to enhance a variety of smaller aspects of WordPress speed.

Perfmatters is just $24.95 for a single site license.

2. WP Rocket

WP Rocket is a great all-around WordPress performance plugin. It may assist you in implementing page caching as well as a variety of other speed enhancement techniques.

WP Rocket automatically uses a variety of speed optimization measures as soon as you activate it, including:

  • Page caching
  • Browser caching
  • Gzip compression

WP Rocket comes with an easy-to-use interface where you can customize other optimization strategies such as:

  • Minification
  • Combine files
  • Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript
  • Heartbeat API control
  • Lazy loading
  • CDN integrations
  • Option to host tracking scripts locally (such as Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel)
  • Database optimization
  • Cloudflare integration

WP Rocket, in my opinion, is the greatest WordPress performance plugin for novices since it simplifies everything. For example, the UI includes really helpful descriptions of what each setting accomplishes. Furthermore, the fact that it’s all contained within a single plugin reduces compatibility difficulties.

Those same features make it useful for folks who want to save time and streamline things in general.

The “downside” is that WP Rocket is a premium plugin, with prices starting at $49.

Finally, you’re paying for ease and simplicity. You can do almost everything that WP Rocket does with free plugins; it will just be more difficult, and you will most likely need to employ numerous plugins.

3. WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache is one of the best-rated and most popular free caching plugins on WordPress.org, with a near-perfect 4.9-star rating based on over 3,000 reviews.

You may enable page caching with the click of a button, making it simple to get started.

Aside from that, the free version supports:

  • Gzip compression
  • Browser caching
  • Basic minification for HTML and CSS (but not JavaScript)
  • Option to disable WordPress emojis
  • Exclude rules to exclude certain users/content from caching
  • A tool to help you integrate with CDNs

The premium version provides even more features like:

  • Image optimization
  • Database optimization
  • More advanced minification, including support for JavaScript minification
  • A tool to eliminate render-blocking JavaScript resources
  • Option to load Google Fonts async
  • Lazy loading

The premium version is sold at $59 for start.

4. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is yet another popular WordPress.org free caching plugin.

It’s the most feature-rich caching plugin I’ve ever used…but it’s also the most difficult caching plugin I’ve ever used. 

That is to say, if you are a newbie or casual user, I would avoid W3 Total Cache and instead use one of the other plugins.

This one, on the other hand, can be a terrific alternative if you’re a developer or power user who wants to manage every element of how caching works on your site. As an example, you have access to:

  • Page caching
  • Browser caching
  • Database caching
  • Object caching
  • Fragment caching

5. WP Super Cache

Another popular free caching plugin is WP Super Cache. It is created by Automattic, the same company that created WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Jetpack.

The finest feature of this plugin is its ease of use. If you’re a complete novice, you may just install it, check a single box, and you’re ready to go.

If you want even more control, there’s an advanced options section where you may configure:

  • Gzip compression
  • Browser caching
  • How to cache content
  • How often to update the cache

It also features a function for preloading material into the cache, as well as a tool for connecting to a CDN of your choosing.

WP Super Cache is completely free.

6. ShortPixel

Images make for around half of the average website’s file size. So, if you can reduce the size of your site’s picture files, you may reduce your file size significantly, which can speed up your site.

ShortPixel is one of my personal favorite among WordPress image optimizing plugins.

When you upload pictures to WordPress, ShortPixel will:

  • Resize them to max dimensions that you can choose
  • Compress them using either lossy or lossless compression algorithms (your choice)

Other image optimization tactics that ShortPixel utilizes includes:

  • WebP conversion for browsers that support it
  • PNG to JPG conversion

ShortPixel also provides a second ShortPixel Adaptive Images plugin if you want a somewhat different approach. This plugin still optimizes your photos, but it also serves them via a worldwide CDN and provides adaptive image sizes based on the viewport of each visitor. Someone surfing from a smartphone, for example, will see a lesser image than someone browsing from a 4K screen.

This form of real-time picture optimization is a relatively new strategy that is gaining traction. It’s comparable to services like Cloudinary and imgix.

You receive 100 credits per month for both plugins for free. Following that, paid plans begin at $4.99 per month.

Which is the Best in Class WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins?

Since several of these plugins accomplish different things, I can’t recommend just one. It’s more about selecting the correct combination of plugins to assist you in speeding up your site.

To begin, every WordPress site need a caching plugin (assuming your host does not already employ caching at the server level).

Overall, if you’re a frequent WordPress user ready to spend $39 for ease, I’d recommend WP Rocket. If you’re looking for a free option, I recommend WP Fastest Cache or WP Super Cache.

Finally, keep in mind that these plugins are mostly concerned with improving your site’s front-end. However, there are other aspects of WordPress speed that must be considered.

First and foremost, you require fast hosting. To identify the most performance-optimized hosting service, check out this post on the fastest WordPress hosting (with real performance data).

Second, you’ll need a fast theme.

Do you have any queries regarding which of these performance optimization plugins to use? Please leave your questions in the comments area!

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