WordPress is among the most popular content management systems available. So, wordpress speed optimization is one of the most discussed topics on the internet to improve page loading speed of the website. This platform is used by several users to build and maintain a website offering everything from products and services to information. Around 40% of websites existing on the internet are built on WordPress, which is a significant percentage when compared to competitors.
Although individuals and teams invest a lot of time and effort into developing a multifaceted and rich WordPress website, keeping it optimized can be a difficult task. One of the biggest factors that can ruin the user experience is the speed of the website. Slow websites are often ignored by users, so what can you do to make your website faster? The answer is WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins.
You can use a variety of plugins to increase the speed of your website, and enhance the user experience. In this list, we have covered some of the most effective and popular WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins that can accelerate your website by resolving the issue of speed.
1. PageSpeedy (Best WordPress speed optimization plugin)
PageSpeedy is considered one of the best cache cloud-based plugins in the market. Since this is a cloud-based plugin, this doesn’t add any extra load on your server as other plugins do. This has more features than any other cache plugin in the market. This allows better GTmetrix results and also reduces the number of plugins needed on your website. With other cache plugins, you will be required to list out unincluded features and install extra plugins to compensate for that, but if you use the PageSpeedy, you won’t need to install any other plugins to your website.
PageSpeedy uses advanced caching features that include smart cache invalidation, warmups, and other special features like awareness caching that is based on browser, sessions, devices, cookies, etc. PageSpeedy also offers features like advanced image optimization that includes lazy loading of background images in CSS, adaptive images, and WebP conversion. This plugin also comes with additional optimizations like preconnect/prefetch, critical CSS, minification, and CDN. Some of the highlights features of this plugin are:
- CDN integration
- Database cleanup
- Adding font-display which swaps your fonts to ensure that text remains visible during Webfont load.
- Preloading of links
- Preconnect/ prefetch
- Heartbeat control
- Lazy loading of images and videos
- Hosting Google analytics locally
People using the LiteSpeed server should use the LiteSpeed cache as their cache plugin. It is also a well-recognized cache plugin setup. The biggest benefit of installing this plugin is that this plugin uses server-level caching, which is a faster option than file-based caching used by many WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins.
LiteSpeed cache also includes other optimization features that are similar to that of WP Rocket. If you want the whole package, then LiteSpeed server, LiteSpeed cache, and QUIC. Cloud CDN can be a fantastic option.
Perfmatters works by removing bloating and unloading unused assets. This plugin was developed by Kinsta, and it is more user-friendly than a lot of other options. Some highlighted features of this plugin include limiting post revisions, prefetching and pre-connecting fonts on third-party code, decreasing autosave interval, disabling heartbeat and pingbacks, and optimizing WooCommerce scripts, cart fragments, and styles. This plugin can be used to do the last 10% speed optimization with a variety of features that other cache plugins don’t have. So, you can get a better score on GTMetrix.
Perfmatters comes with a script manager that lets the users selectively disable scripts and plugins on specific content. Since plugins load the entire site, even when they are not being used, selective disabling scripts will reduce the size of the page, and make them load faster. You can also find a Regex option in this plugin to better control the plugin. Some examples of the features include:
- Disable affiliate link management plugin on pages that are not using any affiliation link.
- Disabled any unused CSS + JS in the page builders
- Disable the social sharing plugin on all pages, as this feature is only used for blog posts.
- Disable rich snippets plugin on pages that are not using any rich snippets.
- Disable contact form plugin on pages that are not using contact forms.
- Disable slider plugin on pages that aren’t using any sliders.
The Asset CleanUp plugin is very similar to Perfmatter, but it is not as user-friendly as the latter. The plugin comes with several tabs and the user interface is not that good. Although this plugin has some issues, it is free of cost, it also has a test mode that lets you review all the changes without putting your site at breaking risk. You can also go for the pro version of asset cleanup, this version allows you to upload custom CSS which the free version does not.
7. Rapid Load
Rapid Load is a WordPress plugin that removes any unused CSS from the websites. This plugin is on the premium side, and people were unaware of this fact, this is why it doesn’t have tons of great reviews. Now, the website has been updated and it says that Rapid Load is among the premium WordPress plugins.
Although it is a premium tool, it works really well. It does what it says and effectively removes any unused CSS from the websites. This plugin is also automatic, so you won’t have to go through the fuss of setting it up. Just install it, head to the Rapid Lord tab in settings and you can see the file size reducing in every post and page. This plugin works great on sites without breaking them.
Unlike other options Divi and Elementor, Oxygen Builder is bloat-free and it doesn’t add numerous div wrappers. Oxygen also offers around 15 pre-built websites to choose from. If you are looking for a lightweight solution free of all the bloat, then Oxygen Builder is for you. You can also look at some similar alternatives like Kadence theme, GeneratePress, Gutenberg, etc.
9. OMGF | Host Google Fonts Locally
Serving fonts from other third-party websites can affect the speed of your website. You can host your fonts locally to prevent any third-party requests. OMGF can fix all your font-related errors. This plugin works by downloading all your Google Fonts using the Google Font Helper API, then this plugin generates a stylesheet for them. You will be required to configure the settings you serve all the corresponding fonts from your CDN and select the folders to save these fonts files to. Although some plugins like WP Rocket optimize these fonts, they still don’t host them locally, but this plugin lets you host your font locally. Another great alternative to this plugin is the Self-Hosted Google Fonts. To use this optimally, keep the number of font families, weight, and icons limited.
10. Short Pixel
ShortPixel is one of many WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins that allow you to optimize the speed of your website. This plugin works by compressing images, it serves these images from a CDN and converts them to a WebP which can serve images in next-gen formats and encode image items in a Lighthouse.
This plugin is a popular option on several platforms. It can convert PNG images to JPG and is also compatible with WP Retina 2x and NextGEN Gallery. This plugin also optimizes thumbnails and features images.
11. ShortPixel Adaptive Images
This plugin is perfect for optimizing websites on mobile phones. It serves smaller images to users on mobile devices, using this plugin can improve mobile scores while reducing the load time of the website. All the images are served from ShortPixel’s CDN that is stored in the next-gen WebP format when the browser supports it.
This plugin is an image optimization plugin that is used for lazy loading (simply means without jQuery), compressing, adaptive images, and serving them a CDN (AWS CloudFront CDN that has an edge location in more than 200 global cities). There are several features to like about this plugin, but one that stands out the most is the option to serve lower-quality images when users are on a slow internet connection.
13. Redis Object Cache
Redis object cache connects Redis to your website which can have a significant impact on the speed of your site (especially the e-commerce ones). To use this plugin you will need to activate Redis in your hosting account first. Redis is available on almost all cloud hosting accounts, but it may not be available on shared hosts.
WP-Optimize is a bit different from other WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins. The primary difference between WP-Optimize and other plugins is that WP-optimize lets the users delete old plugin tables. Several plugins let the user delete all the trash like trashed photos, post revisions, transients, spam posts, and let’s optimize your database tables, but WP-Optimize also lets you view your individual database tables and then delete tables that are left behind by the old and uninstalled plugins.
If you are not planning on using these plugins again, then you can delete their tables since they are often left behind pre-configured settings from the plugins. WP Rocket also does the same thing, but it doesn’t let you delete old plugin tables, so in some way, this plugin can be used to optimize your database.
15. Query Monitor
With Query Monitor, you can find your slow-loading plugins, scripts, queries, and all the other elements that take the longest to load. With Query Monitor you can find these elements and delete them once you are done using them, this will optimize your pages, and make them load faster. After using Query Monitor, delete their element too, since this plugin can also cause a high CPU usage in itself.
16. Swap Google Fonts Display
This plugin is used to add a font display to fix, that ensures text remains visible when the Web Font is loading Lighthouse item when using Google Fonts. Use this plugin to optimize your site, or else you will see a (flash of invisible text) FOIT when the website is loading, and it can put off the users.
17. Flying Pages
Flying Pages is one of the WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins, which is similar to the “preload links” option you find in WP Rocket. This plugin works by preloading a website or web page when the user is hovering over a link, and before they actually click it. Using this plugin ensures that when the user finally clicks the link, it is instantly loaded, which will bode well with the user. This is a must-add plugin if you want to optimize the speed of your website, and is one of the great WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins by Gijo Varghese.
18. Flying Scripts
19. Flying Analytics
20. Swift Performance
Swift performance is one of the most popular cache plugins in the market. Many people have reported amazing results with Swift Performance, this plugin is a bit more aggressive than other available plugins. But people have reported that this plugin can break sites, have .htaccess issues, or bill unethically. Although this plugin has some features, you should consider all aspects before installing it to your website. Due to mixed reviews, you must do some extra research and then make a decision.
21. SG Optimizer
SG Optimizer plugin only works when the user is on SiteGround’s hosting, which is considered a bit slow, has a very slow TTFB (reported by Backlinko), and is not recommended by most people. After the big update of SiteGround, it is now compared to WP Rocket in terms of features.
This plugin, similar to WP Rocket, also uses server-side caching and binaries by other WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins (including WP Rocket). If the user is already using SiteGround, they should go for the SG Optimizer plugin, as it will work great on their hosting. Some of the features of SG Optimizer include:
- Database Cleanup
- Compress new+ existing images
- Caching (Memcached, static, dynamic)
- PHP version selection
- Gzip compression
- Optimization of Google Fonts
- Lazy loading of images. Gravatars, thumbnails, videos, widgets, iframes, and more.
- Heartbeat Control
- Defer render-blocking JS
- MInify & combine CSS, JS, HTML
- Prefetching of external domains.
You can only use this plugin if you are using Cloudways hosting. Unlike SiteGround, Cloudways hosting is recommended by various people and users. Breeze plugin has a long way to go, if done right, this plugin can catch up to other notable plugins like SG Optimizer or WP Rocket. Breeze is a plugin that offers some essential features, but it lacks the depth and options that WP Rocket offers. Users often recommend Cloudways hosting, instead of Breeze yet.
23. WP Fastest Cache
WP Fastest Cache is often rated as one of the top WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins, this plugin is free of cost, and is easy to configure. However, this plugin lacks a few features that are essential in speed optimization. If you are looking for more features, then you would have to upgrade to the premium version of this plugin. You can easily find a configuration tool for WP Fastest Cache and other plugins like WP Super Cache, or W3 Total Cache.
The ToolKit is a plugin that can do a little bit of everything like combination font optimization, bloat removal, minification, expires headers, lazy load, browser caching, gzip), but even after all these features, this plugin cannot do everything. If you are looking for an advanced plugin for your needs, then you should go with WP Rocket, and combine it with ToolKit, because it can’t perform all the functions on its own. One major benefit of ToolKit is that it offers the option to disable unused widgets in Elemetor, WordPress, and the WordPress dashboard as well.
25. WP YouTube Lyte
With WP Youtube Lyte, you can lazy load the videos on Youtube by inserting responsive “Lite YouTube Embeds”, this response only calls the “fat” Youtube player when the user clicks the play button. Videos are the longest to load, and they also take up a significant time, when compared, the page with only two videos can take up almost three times to load. However, if you lazy load them, the loading time of the post will go down three times, which is a considerable improvement. With this tool, you can simply lazy load all your videos and replace the iframes with a preview image. This will reduce the loading time of your page without compromising on its look.
26. Rank Math
Rank Math is another plugin that is used by several people. The direct comparison of this plugin is with Yoast, but this plugin is much less bloated in comparison to Yoast, this means, using this plugin will result in a faster site. This plugin has the same number of code lines as Yoast, but it is much faster. Due to its better features, many users are switching to Rank Math from Yoast.
27. Heartbeat Control
Heartbeat Control is a WordPress API that consumes resources by sending your plugin notification in real-time. When any other user is editing a post, they must disable this plugin to concentrate on the post. Other plugins like WP Rocket and Perfmatters lets you disable this API, and even add this into your functions.php files.
28. Pre* Party Resource Hints
These plugins are often used to optimize any third-party code. This can be anything like Google Analytics, AdSense, Gravatars, Tag Manager, embedded videos, Maps, or any other third-party request that is generated on your website. When the request is generated, you are required to prefetch these, and if you are using Google Fonts or Font Awesome, you must grab your font URLs from the GTmetrix Waterfall tab and try to preload them
BunnyCDN is a plugin that usually outperforms other similar plugins like Cloudflare, RocketCDN, and other CDNs available in the market. This is one of the most highly recommended plugins by users.
Several users will tell you to make a switch to BunnyCDN, and upon switching you will find that setup instructions are super easy, and it does everything that is promised and is so much better than its competitor RocketCDN.
30. CDN Enabler
With CDN Enabler you can set up a CDN (Content Delivery Network). This plugin does not work with Cloudflare, as it requires changing the nameservers. CDN Enabler is usually meant for StackPath, KeyCDN, and other CDNs that provide a CDN URL. to use this plugin, first the user will have to sign up for a CDN (BunnyCDN is a highly recommended one, do check it out). Then the user must enter their CDN URL into the CDN Enabler plugin, and the user is good to go.