Using WordPress Website optimization plugins is a great way to improve the performance, speed, and overall user experience of a Website. In essence, the main benefit of these plugins is to reduce the loading time of a site, but also to improve its search engine optimization (SEO), and general user experience i.e. by adjusting the Website to be more user-friendly. There are many WordPress speed optimization plugins that are available for free, but if you need the best outcome sometimes you need to jump for a fee, depending on the features and functionality that you need.
Making your WordPress website faster is crucial especially if you’re running an e-commerce site. It will take less time for it to load, so people won’t get bored and leave as quickly. It will also show up higher in search results. All of these things can help you get more sales.
How do I optimize my WordPress site for the best performance?
There’s no magic bullet here, there’re a lot of options you have to consider when optimizing a site. The good news is that many of them aren’t hard to set. Let’s name a few things:
- Invest in quality hosting
- Consider a lightweight WordPress theme as a starting point
- Optimize images by compressing them without impacting quality
- Implement page caching on WordPress
- Optimize the WordPress database
- Use a content delivery network. A CDN can help to speed up your site by serving Website’s assets to visitors from its closest location
Though we have a detailed guide on speed optimization for WordPress, don’t be perplexed and overwhelmed here because the good news is that most of the optimization options you can accomplish through specialized WordPress performance plugins. WordPress is a great way to make a Website with lots of cool features, but if you add too many extra things, it can slow down your website. In this guide, we have some free and paid plugins to share with you that can help make your WordPress website work better.
What is the best WordPress site speed optimization plugin?
Cornerstone WordPress Website Optimization Plugins Available On The Market
At this point, you’re asking what choices I have. Basically, most likely you’ll look to start with one of these as a cornerstone:
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
- WP Rocket
- WP Fastest Cache
- LiteSpeed Cache
There are many different types of WordPress website optimization plugins available. Here we listed those that try to encompass many performance features, each has its own set of options, benefits, and advantages over the competitors. Worth mentioning is that many of these plugins are overlapping largely in features and you will need just one of two of them. To pick one of them, often, it may come down to what you get used to. Still, we’ll look individually into the options of most popular.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is one of the most widely used and popular WordPress website optimization plugin, boasting over 1 million active installations and more than 3700 five-star ratings. It offers features such as:
- gzip compression
- Page caching – W3 Total Cache stores a copy of each page in memory or on disk, so that it can be served to visitors without having to be re-generated each time
- Object caching – This plugin can store data from the database in memory, so it can be quickly retrieved without having to hit the database each time
- W3 Total Cache can be configured to work with a CDN (Content Delivery Network), which can help in improving website performance by serving content from servers closer to visitors.
- Further, there’re extensions for Genesis, WPML, and more in its Pro version.
W3 Total Cache has an attractive suite of features. It’s been in the market for a long time and over time they are improving the interface as well. It is designed to work well with shared hosting environments, which makes it a good choice for users who are on a budget.
Obviously, it offers a large suite of features without paying a dime, while the premium version is at a $99/year price tag.
Use W3 Total cache plugin if you’re using other BoldGrid products, the company behind the plugin, or even with other themes and website setups when you want to have most of the features under one roof.
How to Install and Configure W3 Total Cache
Installing and configuring W3 Total Cache is relatively simple and can be done in a few steps. First, you will need to download and install the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository. Once the plugin is installed, you will need to configure it to your website’s needs. This can be done by accessing the plugin’s settings page and adjusting the settings to your desired configuration.
If you would like to follow the instruction on how to configure W3 total cache plugin, you can follow it here.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is easy to set up and use. Its easy usage makes it ideal for beginners. There’s even a one-click easy start option that can get you set promptly. Its focus is on caching and that way it lacks some features that competitors provide. Still, WP Super Cache has a wide range of features that can be used to customize caching for specific needs.
- One of the most obvious characteristics is its compatibility with most hosting environments. WP Super Cache is designed to work with a wide range of hosting environments, including shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers
- Further, you can rely on advanced caching options. WP Super Cache offers a range of advanced caching options, including support for page caching, and browser caching. It supports multiple caching types such as disk caching, and object caching. An especially good option is cache preloading: WP Super Cache includes a cache preloading feature, which can help to improve the speed of a website by proactively generating static HTML files for pages that are not yet in the cache
- WP Super Cache also supports CDN integration for better performance. WP Super Cache can be easily integrated with a CDN to further improve the performance and scalability of a WordPress website
It’s not surprising that it is widely used since Automattic company is providing support nowadays for this plugin, the company most influential in the WordPress ecosystem. WP Super Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins for WordPress, with over 2 million active installs. This means that it has a large user base and a strong community of developers who contribute to its development. WP Super Cache is regularly updated with new features and bug fixes. It’s free to use.
Use WP Super Cache if you want a quick start without much configuration hassle, in particular, if you’re on a budget and if you are willing to combine it with other WordPress performance plugins to achieve the best optimization for your Website.
How to Install and Configure WP Super Cache
To install and set up WP Super Cache, you need to do a few things. First, get the plugin from the WordPress plugin library. Then, open the plugin’s settings page and change the settings to what you want. That’s it! To follow configuration instructions jump over here.
Supports CDN integration. Autoptimize can be easily integrated with a content delivery network (CDN) to further improve the performance and scalability of a WordPress website.
Upgrading to the Pro version gives you the opportunity to optimize images. This can help to reduce the size of images and improve the performance of a WordPress website. You can get the Pro version at the price of $79 for one site.
Use Autoptimize if its interface suits you and you are willing to combine it with other plugins such as WP Super Cache.
How to Install and Configure Autoptimize
Installing Autoptimize is easy to do. First, you will need to get the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository. Once the plugin is downloaded, go to the plugin’s settings page and adjust the settings to your desired needs. You can get more detailed configuration instructions here.
WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin for WordPress, there’s no free version. Its main characteristic is caching, it improves the performance of a website by creating static HTML copies of dynamic pages and storing them in a cache. You’ll have advanced caching options,
- WP Rocket offers a range of advanced options, including support for page caching, object caching, and browser caching
- Further, it’s easy to use, and WP Rocket is easy to install and configure, even for users with little technical experience
- WP Rocket includes a built-in image optimization feature, which can help to reduce the size of images and lazy load those images
- Integration with content delivery networks – WP Rocket can be easily integrated with a CDN to further improve the performance and scalability of a WordPress website
Pricing start from $59 for one site.
Use WP Rocket if you want to have most optimization options encompassed under one panel. Most of the subscribed members are praising the support provided by the development team.
How to Install and Configure WP Rocket
After purchasing the plugin, you’ll have to upload it to your server and then access its configuration through the WordPress admin. WP Rocket includes a wide range of features, including lazy loading, database optimization, and support for Google Analytics. To see recommended settings, you can start here.
WP Fastest Cache
WP Fastest Cache is a plugin that is known for its simplicity and ease of use. It has a free version, as well as a premium. Advantages of WP Fastest Cache over other caching plugins include its user-friendly interface, its compatibility with most popular plugins, and its excellent technical support from their team. Though started as a caching plugin it has expanded largely in features, especially with the premium version that now offers features such as image optimizations, mobile and widget cache, and database cleanup which are not available in the free version.
- WP Fastest Cache is compatible with most hosting providers, making it a great choice regardless of who you’re using
- WP Fastest Cache, like most of the premium plugins, offers GZIP compression, which can help reduce the size of your website’s files, making them easier to download for visitors
- WP Fastest Cache also offers browser caching, which can help reduce the amount of data that needs to be downloaded when a visitor loads your website
- It can also optimize your images, which can help reduce the size of your website’s files, making them easier to download for visitors
- It also supports CDN (Content Delivery Network), which can help improve your website’s loading times by serving your website’s files from multiple locations
WP Fastest Cache is incredibly easy to set up and use, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced users alike. To check the configuration settings you can follow here. The premium version’s pricing starts at $49 per site. The advantage over most competitors is that it’s a one-time payment, not a subscription.
WP Fastest Cache is another option if you care that most of the settings are under the same panel. The major advantage over the competitors is that for its premium features you are billed just one time.
How to Install and Configure WP Fastest Cache plugin
Search for the plugin through the WordPress admin interface of your site or upload the wp-fastest-cache into the /wp-content/plugins/ folder. Then go to the Plugins section of WordPress and turn on the plugin. Set the plugin options on the options page, more details on that here.
LiteSpeed Cache is a WordPress caching plugin developed by LiteSpeed Technologies. It’s a company merited for the development of the LiteSpeed Web Server. Certainly, its caching plugin for WordPress is the most reliable solution if your hosting provides you with a LiteSpeed server, but it can be used with any web server as well.
LiteSpeed Cache can significantly improve the speed and performance of a WordPress website by creating static HTML copies of dynamic pages and serving them to users, reducing the load on the server. It can also help improve the security of a WordPress website by ensuring that all pages are served over HTTPS, which helps to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks.
Let’s list the key features here:
- Page caching, Object caching, Browser caching – all options available for the best performance
- Image Optimization – It has a built-in image optimization feature that can optimize images for your Website giving you reduced image size without losing quality
- When it comes to images, it also can convert them to the web format WebP and that way delivers it to supported browsers, That’s also another boost in the website speed.
- Litespeed Cache can be configured to work with a CDN
As a regular user you may be overwhelmed by the features provided by the Litespeed Cache plugin, however, devoting some time will give you the best outcome for your site. Use it, especially if your website is hosted with a LiteSpeed server.
How to Install and Configure Litespeed Cache plugin
Litespeed cache is a WordPress optimization plugin free option, which means it’s accessible through the search option inside the WordPress dashboard. Once you install and activate the plugin, access its settings from the admin’s left sidebar.
LiteSpeed Cache besides caching provides options for the mobile performance of a WordPress website by optimizing the cache for mobile devices and serving optimized pages to mobile users. Further, it utilizes page minification, database optimization, and image optimization including lazy loading among other features. To configure all the settings you can follow a guide from here.
WP Optimize certainly helps to improve the performance and speed of a website. It is started as a database optimization tool, but nowadays provides a large specter of features, e.g. compressing and optimizing images and fonts, caching, minifying, and connection with content delivery networks.
The main advantage over the competition is its database handling, allowing users to quickly and easily clean up their WordPress databases with just a few clicks. There’s a range of features to optimize the database, such as automatic scheduling, database optimization, and automatic optimization of post revisions, comments, and even advanced features such as optimizing the database for specific plugins, and the ability to backup and restore the database.
WP Optimize is regularly updated and is compatible with the latest versions of WordPress.
WP Optimize is very affordable and offers a range of pricing options to suit different budgets.
Nowadays, WP Optimize is aiming for a tool with major performance features under one roof. It provides similar results to competitors’ WP Rocket or WP Fastest Cache. Use it if its interface suits you more.
How to Install and Configure WP Optimize plugin
Installing WP Optimize is, as usual with WordPress, straightforward. First, you will need to get the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository. Once you have it, you can go to the plugin’s settings page and make changes to fit your website. Once installed you can see the portion af its setting configured here.
Premium option with advanced optimization features starts from $49 a year for up to two sites.
Check Specific WordPress Optimization Plugins
Here we’re talking about the plugins that focus on the specific property rather than trying to be the all-in-one optimization tool. Let’s check the few available options.
The premium version of Booster Sweeper provides the options for asset cleanup of specific custom post types, e.g. products or to unload the assets in bulk. Also, you’ll have the option to unload the assets for admin pages, which is especially convenient for membership sites. The premium upgrade starts from $49 for one site with a one-time payment which gives lifetime access to the plugin.
Use the Booster Sweeper plugin for assets cleanup over the common WordPress website optimization plugins. Perfect when you want to provide more power to your site in combination with one of the caching and code minification plugins.
How to Install and configure Booster Sweeper plugin
The Booster Sweeper free version is available from the WordPress repository and can be installed directly from the admin panel. From your site’s dashboard, access the section Plugins -> Add new, and search for the Booster Sweeper. For all the configuration settings including those from the premium version visit its documentation.
With ShortPixel make your website faster by using a free plugin to compress images into special formats like WebP and AVIF. It’s easy to use, and the helpful people who made it are always updating it to make it better. The free tier comes with 100 credits.
With Pro upgrade, get more credits with pricing going from $3.99 for 7000 credits.
Use ShortPixel as an image optimizer together with other speed optimization plugins.
How to Install and configure ShortPixel plugin
To install and configure the ShortPixel plugin, first, go to your WordPress admin area and click on Plugins > Add New. Find the plugin by typing “ShortPixel Image Optimizer” in the search field and click on Install Now. After that, click Activate. Then, generate a ShortPixel API key by clicking on Plugins -> Installed Plugins and then Settings under ShortPixel. Enter your email address to generate an API key. After that, configure the General Setting in WordPress by going to Settings -> ShortPixel -> General. Additionally, you can configure Cloudflare setting in ShortPixel and look at the statistics of ShortPixel on your WordPress website. You can find more about its basic settings here.
Optimole is another image optimization tool. It fetches images and does optimization magic in real-time, taking into account the visitor’s device, browser, and screen size. Users can also remove Optimole links from their site, disable optimization for certain images, and choose between Auto, High, Medium or Low compression levels. Original images are not deleted.
Use Optimole together with other optimization plugins to further optimize your images.
This image optimizer offers the free plan which lets you use 1GB of pictures each month, plus access to CDN with 7 places around the world. You also get 10GB of viewing bandwidth each month. The Paid plans let you use a better CDN called Amazon CloudFront with more than 400 places around the world. If you already have a CDN like Cloudflare, you don’t need to worry about any conflicts. Pricing start from $19.08.
How to Install and configure Optimole plugin
To install and configure the Optimole plugin, first, log in to your WordPress admin panel and go to Plugins -> Add New. Search for the Optimole plugin and click Install Now. Then register for an Optimole account by clicking the Register and E-mail API key button. After inputting an email address, check your email to activate your account. Finally, follow the instructions on how to enable the plugin in Media -> Optimole. For all its settings, you can follow its documentation.
Use WP Meteor over the common optimization plugins to gain more optimized pages, but particularly if you care about the SEO score. It may additionally improve the web vitals result.
How to Install and configure WP Meteor plugin
Access the plugins section from your WordPress dashboard and search for the WP Meteor. Now you can activate the plugin. Use Settings -> WP Meteor, to configure the plugin.
WordPress caching plugins
WordPress caching plugins help improve website performance by creating a static version of your website and serving it to visitors instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts. This reduces the loading time of your website and improves the user experience.
All aforementioned cornerstone plugins, WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, Litespeed Cache or WP Rocket include caching as a feature. In that way, you are safe regarding caching your pages when using these plugins.
WordPress minification plugins
Like with caching, all of the cornerstone WordPress Optimization plugins mentioned in this article, like Autoptimize, W3 Total Cache, Litespeed Cache, or WP Rocket do code minification as a feature.
WordPress image optimization plugins
WordPress image optimization plugins can be used to improve the loading speed and performance of a website by reducing the size of images without compromising their quality. They can compress images to the optimal size, format, and quality while preserving the original resolution and color profile. With some plugins, you can choose the level of compression and in which level to preserve the quality.
One of the great qualities of these plugins is that they convert those images to WebP or AVIF format. WebP and AVIF are image formats developed to serve the images in a browser and to reduce image file size while maintaining its quality. WebP was developed by Google and is supported by most modern browsers. AVIF is a newer format developed by the Alliance for Open Media and is designed to provide better compression than WebP. Both formats are designed for use on the web and are becoming increasingly popular for use in web applications including WordPress.
This can also help in reducing the amount of bandwidth used by a website, which can reduce hosting costs and improve overall performance. Additionally, some plugins can also help optimize images for different devices, such as mobile devices, to ensure they are displayed correctly.
In this article, we’ve covered Optimole and ShortPixel as image optimizers.
WordPress Database Optimization Plugins
WordPress database optimization plugins help to optimize and clean up your WordPress database, eliminating unnecessary data and improving the overall performance of your website. They can help to reduce the size of your database, improve its structure, and remove redundant data. These plugins can also help to improve the speed of your website by optimizing the database queries.
In this article, we’ve covered plugins that include database optimization among other features, such as Litespeed Cache or WP Optimize, but if you need a standalone database optimizer you can check WP-DBManager or WP-Sweep plugins.
WordPress Mobile Optimization Plugins
WordPress mobile speed optimization plugins are designed to make websites more accessible to mobile users by improving the loading speed of a website when accessed from a mobile device. These plugins can help to reduce the time it takes for a website to load, which can be essential for providing a good user experience. They can also help to reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred when loading a website.
The aforementioned Litespeed cache and WP Rocket have specific optimization for mobile devices.
WordPress Content Delivery Network Plugins
WordPress content delivery network (CDN) plugins are a great way to improve the performance of a website. These plugins provide the interface to connect a WordPress site with one of the networks (MAXCDN, CloudFlare, CloudFront, etc.).
Plugins we’ve covered in this article like WP Super Cache or WP Fastest Cache help users set up and manage their CDN with ease. With a WordPress CDN plugin, users can take advantage of and benefits of a content delivery network and improve their website performance.
Summary of WordPress Website Optimization Plugins
If you’re willing to improve the speed of your website, there’s no doubt that you’ll be looking around for a good WordPress website optimization plugin. You’ll improve the performance, speed, and overall user experience of a WordPress website. Faster loading times can help to reduce the bounce rate of visitors, which can lead to increased conversions and sales. Improved search engine rankings can lead to more organic traffic to your website, and improved user experience can lead to better customer satisfaction and loyalty. Some plugins can additionally save bandwidth used by a website, which can help to reduce hosting costs.
There are so many WordPress speed optimization plugins available, and which one is the “best” will depend on your specific needs and preferences. It’s a good idea to try out a few different plugins and see which one works best for your specific website. We’ve tried to highlight some of the most popular and their features. Each of these plugins can provide specific benefits and certainly will improve the performance and speed of your WordPress website.