21 Speed Optimization Plugins for WordPress to Optimize Performance

The speed of a website is well regarded as one of the most important criteria in its overall evaluation. Metrics, parameters, special values and functions, all these and many more are components of the AI’s special algorithms which give a mark to how great your website is. Yet, that’s only the technical part.

No one likes to wait – that’s a real fact, especially in today’s society where everything moves around and changes so quick. In virtual terms, a day is perceived as years, which means that keeping your website up-to-date is a constant concern most of the owners have to deal with. And again, speed makes no exception from the rule.

From a SEO perspective, visitors are known to be the real assessors to your website’s ranking. The higher the traffic, the better and more stable its position and rank is. Yet, the same goes for low traffic – which, in turn, creates damage to the final impact. These being said, in case you are looking forward to knowing more concerning the subject, make sure to stick with us and keep an eye onto the following lines to meet some of the best WordPress speed optimization plugins from which to choose the one you like most.

What is a WordPress Speed Optimization Plugin?

Nothing bothers a visitor more either in online or offline world than struggling with low speed. Image loading, content display or widgets and plugins’ appearance are just key aspects which build a website’s foundation and make it appealing. But none of these will ever be spotted if the required load time is way too high to make any of the pages live. And remember – it’s not enough for your website to be appealing, it has to be also functional.

Due to the high increase in tehnology development, it’s getting more difficult to discover the required variables to set up a great SEO strategy. The need of an automatic tool has found its solution, known to be the WordPress speed optimization plugin. This useful software is created to improve the time required for your website pages to completely load, from head to toe.

Nowadays, there are various WordPress themes from which you can choose the one that best suits both your niche and your style taste. But some of them could come up with various widgets, plugins and special features which take additional time to load. And that could be a real turnoff for your visitors.

With the help of a WordPress speed optimization plugin, all of these fears just start to fade away – your website’s performance will boost, trust me.

Why should you use a WordPress Speed Optimization Plugin?

According to a Google Company conducted research, 53% of the current visitors scrolling down a website are eager to leave it if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. That’s basically one of the biggest nightmare of website owners, since keeping your visitors interested and engaged with the site’s content and appearance is the key to a successful business. In SEO terms, that’s what they call a high bounce rate.

By definition, the bounce rate is the amount of visitors, expressed in percentages, who drop off your website right after they got to your landing page. The higher the bounce rate, the lower your Google ranking is bound to be, since Google officially stated that it is a decisive factor in positioning your website among search results.

That requires no additional details in explaining why the mere use of a WordPress speed optimization plugin is so important and vital to your website’s overall success. Beyond everything, it is a proper trick used by most of the highly ranked successful websites to maximize and ensure their presence on the Internet market.

When should I use a WordPress Speed Optimization Plugin?

The answer in here is pretty simple – as soon as possible. Regardless of how great of a SEO expert you could be, Google ranking’s mechanism is based on algorithms that are specially crafted and constantly changed with new features – which can be known only by a software. That’s why a WordPress speed optimization plugin comes in handy – to cover that for you.

One way to see your current website statistics is with the help of a speed testing tool. A great pick in here is GTmetrix, worldwide used as a benchmark to evaluate how well your website’s looking from a technical point of view. Right after running your website through it, you’ll get the right page load time together with other useful scores perfectly showing where your website stands – and what should you improve.

The right moment to start using a WordPress speed optimization plugin is right after seeing the GTmetrix results. Another great one is when you decide to improve your website’s parameters or keep it constant. There are a lot of technical aspects that can’t be properly managed, at the same time, by the human brain – but a WordPress speed optimization plugin would definitely make that happen.

Which are the best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins?

These days, you’ll find plenty of WordPress speed optimization plugins perfectly designed to help you obtain a better ranking. Before making a choice, it’s recommended to look into your website’s needs and discover what should be the parts a WordPress speed optimization plugin fill in. Each example comes with different points of focus, reason why two websites having different niches could actually benefit from different plugins, since they might not share the same points of interest – or views of improvement. To help you make the best choice, we set up a list of the best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins able to be found today on the market. Here’s what you need:

1. WP Rocket

Installs: 200,000+ | Rating: 4.9/5 stars

By far the best cache plugin mostly chosen in various Facebook pools, WP Rocket comes with great advantages to be further used in speed optimization. Its price starts at $49, setting it up as a premium plugin – and the investment is bound to pay off, since speed is mostly influenced by both hosting and the mere choice of a cache plugin. From a technical point of view, WP Rocket takes as long as 5 minutes to be configured and constantly receives further features. If you want to know more about WP Rocket, click here.

— Highlights:
• Its interface is very friendly for user usage;
• Any speed improvement requires only a minimal tweaking;
• Able to minify anything from Javascript to HTML and CSS;
• Does well with page caching;
• Comes with a set of rules of advanced caching;
• Provides the integration of Google Analytics specially designed to get the code right from the server.
— Pricing:
• You can get WP Rocket for a price starting at $49.

2. WP Fastest Cache

Installs: 1,000,000+ | Rating: 4.9/5 stars

There’s a harsh debate on which category of WordPress speed optimization plugins is best – either the paid one or the ones free-of-charge. Well, that’s a topic quite important to tackle upon, since WP Fastest Cache is a completely free option which integrates all the required parameters for a successful website. Its configuration setup is easy to be organised and is available to be integrated with Cloudflare + StackPath. In contrast to WP Rocket, WP Fastest Cache has no option involving the loading process for lazy images (or videos) or for database cleanup. That’s why you’ll need to use, together with WP Fastest Cache, other WordPress speed optimization plugins to make it work as expected.

— Highlights:
• Not at all complicated to configure;
• Takes as much as one click to erase your cache or minify CSS;
• Works within the post and page area and has the ability to exclude them;
• Organizes the expiration times for both posts and pages;
• Integrates CDN;
• The premium version comes with a wider number of additional features.
— Pricing:
• WP Fastest Cache is free-of-charge.

3. WP-Optimize

Installs: 900,000+ | Rating: 4.8/5 stars

Use one of the best WordPress speed optimization plugin and choose WP-Optimize. Nothing makes your website feel more secured and relieved, as well as always in the visitors’ sight than one that is truly appealing – and has nothing to do with trash, transients, junk files that are being stored within the database, post revisions or spam. This is indeed the role of WP-Optimize, together with the general view of making everything possible – even to decrease the bounce rate. Still, this plugin works best if you have no other WordPress speed optimization plugin installed, such as WP Rocket. If you do, it is recommended not to go for a second one. Either way, a cache plugin is well used with WP-Optimized. In a nutshell, this plugin has the following:

— Highlights:
• Able to clean up the entire database;
• Provides the best optimizing parameters for your website;
• Makes sure to cache the website’s pages in order to obtain a fast load time – mostly wished for by all sites;
• It always compresses images and at any cost.
— Pricing:
• The WP-Optimize yearly subscription starts at $46.41.

4. Shortpixel

Installs: 200,000+ | Rating: 4.7/5 stars

Run your GTmetrix scan on your own website and see where it stands to fruitfully start using Shortpixel. This WordPress speed optimization plugin features a compressing image method in a lossless manner, which improves the quality of the images and optimize them in just a blink. The entire process is made of serving scaled images (to help them obtain the right dimensions), as well as setting up the image dimensions specifications (in terms of width and height). Some of the various other tools that share the same characteristics are Kraken, Imagify, Smush and EWWW. Still, one of these plugins are enough to help you get going. And the following details perfectly resume what Shortpixel is all about:

— Highlights:
• Provides the ability to compress images in a lossless manner;
• Able to resize any image that does not fit the optimization dimensions;
• Help you get rid of the EXIF data.
— Pricing:
• Shortpixel has different price ranges, starting from $0 for as much as 100 photos per month and going up to $29,99 for 55,000 images per month.

5. Clearfy

Installs: 90,000+ | Rating: 4.7/5 stars

Get rid of any unnecessity using Clearfy. Due to the fact that it is a WordPress speed optimization plugin, it is used to improve the load time required for pages to be completely displayed through various steps. One of these features is emojis, which could be either turned on or off. The same goes for jQuery Migrate and many others for which you can choose the right option. Moreover, it makes sure there are no query strings and reduces the number of total post revisions. Let’s not forget to mention that Clearfy gets rid of autosaves and any other junk files which are basically taking up storage. And here’s what Clearfy makes you to be sure of:

— Highlights:
• Provides all that it takes to turn off various features in WordPress, such as revisions, emojis, Google Maps, RSS, WooCommerce scripts and reviews;
• Has a user-friendly interface and requires nothing but great use.
— Pricing:
• Clearfy is available to purchase for $19 per year.

6. CAOS | Host Google Analytics Locally

Installs: 20,000+ | Rating: 4.9/5 stars

Right before looking for the best WordPress speed optimization plugins for your website, it is utterly important to run the speed test with tools such as GTMatrix. If the report includes the following recommendation, as in – leverage browser cache – you know it’s time to leave no stone unturned for CAOS | Host Google Analytics Locally. This one is perfect for leveraging the browser caching for scripts such as ga.js, analytics.js or gtag.js.
The setup process is fast and requires nothing but your Google Analytics Tracking ID. Moreover, it works best with Monster Insights and provides you excellent results in no time. Here is some further information you should know about CAOS | Host Google Analytics Locally:

— Highlights:
• Organizes and configures the expiry period for cookies;
• Provides anonymity to any IP address;
• The script within wp-cron can be removed with it, which means it can be further manually introduced within Crontab;
• The analytics within analytics.js, gtag.js or ga.js can be updated through a single click;
• It is compatible with many tools, starting with Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WP (Analytify), Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WP (Monster Insights), WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration and Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (Exact Metrics).
— Pricing:
• CAOS | Host Google Analytics Locally is entirely free and ready to be downloaded.

7. CDN Enabler

Installs: 10,000+ | Rating: 4.1/5 stars

Take the most out from the benefits of a CDN using the following WordPress speed optimization plugin – CDN Enabler. All of its main advantages are available, starting with scalability and going through reliability to finish in a great tone using a high performance. By this way, your website will load faster than ever before, since the entire content will be downloaded right from the CDN – which will, indeed, shorten the required load time. By this way, the content found on your website will be automatically linked to the CDN, providing you with the necessary URLs to make that happen. Moreover, this plugin is easy to use and requires no technical background to be set up or configured by any means. On top of that, it’s intuitive. If you decide on CDN Enabler, here’s what you’ll get:

— Highlights:
• Option to either enable or disable in terms of HTTPS;
• Provides link assets used to load the necessary data found within a CDN;
• It has a set which has all the necessary directories;
• Able to support Bedrock;
• Open for contributions on its own GitHub place.
— Pricing:
• CDN Enabler is yet again a free-of-charge tool specially designed to optimize speed and load time.

8. Perfmatters

Installs: 40,000+ | Rating: 4.2/5 stars

Turn your own website in a great catch using this fortunate WordPress speed optimization plugin. Based on a quick install, you’ll get plenty of knowledge on the stuff which is bound to provide you with a slow performance. By definition, Perfmatters looks into the default options that are being enabled by WordPress (and other plugins) and decide which ones should be changed. When a website is being created, WordPress enables (and disables) certain options as a default process – which can further be changed with the ones you like. For us, some are important to be adjusted due to the fact that they are slowing down the website’s overall performance. One of the options which are being changed as soon as you start using Perfmatters is unneeded HTTP request. Another one is disabling these various scripts on each and every page basis. And there are a lot more to give some credit for. Here’s a great overall:

— Highlights:
• Doesn’t interfere with already installed caching plugins;
• Able to change WordPress parameters based on a thoughtful algorithm;
• Provides support for DNS pre-fetch;
• Comes with an intuitive and lightweight behavior.
— Pricing:
• Can be purchased starting at $19.95 per year.

9. WP Smush.it

Installs: 1,000,000+ | Rating: 4.8/5 stars

Get rid of a high load time using a bunch of strategies set up by the WP Smush.it, one of the easiest speed optimization plugins found out on the market. Thanks to its features, you can benefit from image files which are well optimized in such a way that you will not have to deal with unnecessary byes – as soon as it is being used, they are automatically removed. And you don’t have to worry about the quality of the images, since the plugin doesn’t interfere with it. WP Smush.it uses a lossless format, which makes sure the photos remain as qualitative as always. There’s still a drawback to it, since the plugin comes with a few bugs that might be rather annoying – and might require additional plugins able to cover the missing points within WP Smush.it. But here’s a list of all you need to know about it:

— Highlights:
• Picks up the colors that are not being used from images;
• Gets rid of the meta data found within the JPEGs – they are not needed, anyway;
• The compression of JPEGs is well optimized;
• Works best with the Smush.it API;
• Able to optimize even the already existing images.
— Pricing:
• WP Smush.it could be all yours for free.

10. WP Super Minify

Installs: 20,000+ | Rating: 4.9/5 stars

Decrease the required time for website loading using WP Super Minify, one of the easiest and most useful tools for JS, CSS and HTML file combination. This strategy is widely used, since it offers a great range of benefits – and the biggest of them all is the short period of time generated for page load to be made so perfectly. Still, remember that WP Super Minify is known to interfere with additional and particular themes, as well as other plugins, reason why you should better look into it beforehand and know for sure how things are being organized in there. Either way, here’s exactly what you should know about this great WordPress speed optimization plugin – as well as additional reasons to go for it:

— Highlights:
• Integrates CSS, Javascript and HTML;
• Provides an option to turn off the compression of both CSS and Javascript;
• Its usage comes right in handy.
— Pricing:
• WP Super Minify is available to download for free.

11. LazyLoad by WP Rocket

Installs: 90,000+ | Rating: 4.1/5 stars

Set up a great load time strategy using LazyLoad by WP Rocket. This amazing speed optimization plugin is perfectly crafted to reduce the load time in a pretty calculated manner – let me tell you, that’s purely mathematic. Unlike other great WordPress speed optimization plugins, this one loads each page (and each part of it) separately and once at a time. Basically, it is based on the idea of gradual loading, displaying each element only when it is needed. This process requires no special configurations, so remember that this might come in handy when looking for displaying a high number of images without interfering with a high bounce rate. Nonetheless, this feature persuades visitors into spending more time on your website, since it takes less time for the images to load – and for each page to be displayed from head to toe. And that’s one of the greatest tip for a fast website’s success. Let’s dive in and see what LazyLoad by WP Rocket is all about, in a nutshell:

— Highlights:
• Handles anything from post images to post thumbnails and replaces them;
• Requires neither jQuery nor Javascript;
• Extremely user-friendly and easy to use;
• If you have YouTube iFrames, remember that LazyLoad could turn them into preview thumbnails.
— Pricing:
• WP Rocket is widely free-of-charge.

12. W3 Total Cache

Installs: 1,000,000+ | Rating: 4.3/5 stars

It is best used if you’re a daily WordPress user. It comes with numberless options and features which are extremely beneficial for your website’s overall performance — as well as delightful caching methods to choose from, not to mention CloudFlare and CDN support. Still, all of these options are rather hard to cope with if you don’t have your hands on the WordPress configuration techniques. This is why W3 Total Cache is totally recommended for advance use.
Although catchy and rather appealing, this WordPress speed optimization plugin can get some bad headaches as soon as you decide to uninstall it. It can get tricky. But here’s a general recap:

— Highlights:
• Makes the best CDN support;
• Comes with browser caching;
• Provides database caching;
• It minifies;
• More to discover.
— Pricing:
• Just like various other WordPress speed optimization plugins, W3 Total Cache is all free.

13. WP Super Cache

Installs: 2,000,000+ | Rating: 4.3/5 stars

Nothing speeds up more the load time of a website than a popular plugin – as far as we know, if there’s such a fuss about it, it means that’s definitely a thing to go for. The same happens for WP Super Cache, one of the greatest from our list. Only during 2019, this WordPress speed optimization plugin had been downloaded for more than 5.5 million times. If its features doesn’t seem that appealing at first, this number is definitely one high enough to aim for.
But here’s what WP Super Cache is all about – from the very beginning, it generates some changes at the setup level and is perfect enough for any advance user who knows how to deal with WordPress. Get back for a quick glance:

— Highlights:
• Provides support for various types of caching, such as PHP, Mod_Rewrite and Legacy;
• Provides static files of html;
• Generates some cache preload;
• Comes with a great CND support.
— Pricing:
• Nothing makes a plugin more appealing than zero cost— and WP Super Cache makes any exception from the rules.

14. Cache Enabler

Installs: 80,000+ | Rating: 4.4/5 stars

Get the best from a WordPress speed optimization plugin using Cache Enabler. This useful tool is perfect for setting up the expiry time for your cache, together with magnification setup and various other features you’d be more than excited to try out for yourself. It works best using the CDN Enabler, which is an additional plugin specially used for setting up a content delivery network service. Other than that, Cache Enabler is easy to use and can quickly run in the background with no problem whatsoever. It will never bother you. Let’s see once again what it has to offer in just a blink:

— Highlights:
• Easy to do the setup;
• Takes only one click to clear the cache;
• Configures the cache behavior, such as making a cleaning after each and every new post;
• Comes with a great feature – it minifies;
• Able to set up the expiration times;
• Able to set up the post ID.
— Pricing:
• Cache Enables can be freely download and used.

15. Harry’s Gravatar Cache

Installs: 1,000+ | Rating: 5/5 stars

A high number of comments is a nice way of people telling you how great your content is – or how viral your website gets. Yet, at the same time, this number is ought to affect your load times – and it’s pretty logic, to be honest. When you got various comments at a single post, they require additional time to load properly. This is where Harry’s Gravatar Cache kicks in, being perfectly organised to cache the Gravatar images. Also, it comes with the option to turn off the Gravatars for good, but remember that this will end up in no photos being displayed at all – at least into the comments section. Still, it definitely decreases the required load time which is the ultimate goal, no matter what. This and other various features can be seen while using Harry’s Gravatar Cache. In a nutshell, that’s all you need to know:

— Highlights:
• Gives you the ability to change the Gravatar Size, cachetime and the method by which Gravatars are to be copied up on the server;
• Organize the size in a manual manner;
• Get a statistic regarding the number of files, whether or not they are cached and the dimensions of each one of them;
• Can be used together with Avatar Manager (starting from version 1.5.1 and going up).
— Pricing:
• Harry’s Gravatar Cache is also free and ready to be used anywhere.

16. Specify Image Dimensions

Installs: 1,000+ | Rating: 4.0/5 stars

Never struggle again with two of the most important characteristics, known as width and height in your posts. Specify Image Dimensions is one of the best speed optimization plugins on the market, since it works directly within your website. The process is quite simple – first, it scans the images automatically and fill in the two parameters where there are tags. Thus, the pages are able to load immediately due to the fact that the dimensions are already there. This is a great step towards improving the load time and these metrics can be seen while using a bunch of website speed tools, ike Google’s PageSpeed or GTmetrix.
And nothing feels like having a short time related to page loading. Here’s a list of what you can benefit from:

— Highlights:
• Automatic characteristics that are being inserted within posts (width and height);
• Easy to use;
• Extremely friendly and intuitive;
• Works upon the CSS or HTML automatically;
• Comes in handy and does not interfere with any other widgets or plugins.
— Pricing:
• Specify Image Dimensions is one plugin that is being free-of-charge for anyone to download.

17. Autoptimize

Installs: 1,000,000+ | Rating: 4.7/5 stars

Improve the level of optimization of your website in just a blink using the Autoptimize plugin. This useful tool is able to aggregate, cache or minify scripts, as well as inserting CSS within the page head automatically. Moreover, it works upon the images which are lazy-load and works great with Google Fonts – it basically optimize them. Compared with other WordPress speed optimization plugins, Autoptimize can deal also with HTTP/2, which means that the performance of your website can definitely improve no matter the protocol used. But there’s more that Autoptimize puts on the table – it features an async nonaggregated Javascript and has the ability to get rid of the WordPress core emoji cruft. Moreover, you can decide upon a high number of extensive API which care made available in order to help you adjust Autoptimize upon your website’s specific requirements
— Highlights:
• The page head receives automatically injected CSS;
• It minifies HTML and CSS;
• Automatically generates a better performance for your website;
• Comes with the ability to benefit from an extensive API;
• Easy to use and extremely user-friendly.
— Pricing:
• Autoptimize is free and ready to be downloaded at any time.

18. AMP For WP

Installs: 1,000,000+ | Rating: 4.7/5 stars

AMP, also known as Accelerated Mobile Pages, is regarded as a useful project created by Google and specially designed to help pages load faster than before. Next to each of the mobile snippets, this WordPress speed optimization plugin puts a stamp that says „AMP”. Moreover, AMP automatically changes the way both the layout and the design used by the mobile pages look like, and is able to do whatever you configure on the settings. Also, in case you don’t enjoy its look any longer, you can always delete it to get back to the proper style. One plugin that works best with AMP is Glue For Yoast & AMP which provides the user with the ability of changing the text and link color, as well as the hover color and anything else that is being found on your mobile page. Yet, there’s one possible drawback which needs to be taken into consideration – every once in a while, AMP affects the mobile conversions. But here’s what you should not forget:

— Highlights:
• It has a star rating;
• Comes with up to 4 designs;
• Features a list for recent comments;
• It is automatically integrated within the website;
• Features a support for custom post type;
• Features a support for Google Analytics;
• Comes with a color scheme that has loads of shades and combinations.
— Pricing:
• AMP is, as well, a free-of-charge WorgPress speed optimization plugin ready to be used.

19. Query Monitor

Installs: 90,000+ | Rating: 4.9/5 stars

Monitor eacn and every part of your WordPress website using Query Monitor. This great tool is perfect for observing what does not look that good on your website and is also easy to use. All that it takes is to install it from the very beginning and know how to read the table. Basically, here you’ll get to see which are the plugins that load the slowest, as well as the daunting queries, long scripts and various other aspects which are rather difficult to handle. Yet, it also includes any of the PHP errors, blocks towards the block edictor, any HTTP API calls and various other stuff which are ought to be taken into account. But that’s not it – Query Monitor is perfectly designed to offer the best method of presenting the information in a well organised manner. It has database queries on various plugins, functions or themes which work alltogether. Remember to consider that:

— Highlights:
• Every text domain has its own language settings;
• Provides information about the environment, together with a bunch of detailed aspects regarding the PHP, WordPress and even the real web server;
• Organizes everything in database queries.
— Pricing:
• Query Monitor is free and easy to use.

20. GTmetrix For WordPress

Installs: 10,000+ | Rating: 4.8/5 stars

Track the load time of your own website pages using GTmetrix for WordPress.This tool is not only useful, but highly recommended by most of the reviews found online. After running and scanning the websites, GTmetrix displays a list with all the detailed elements, starting from analyses per days, months and then years. It gives you a general overview of what is happening on your website and makes sure that nothing is left aside. All of these information (and many more) are obtained through a report which, in turn, is being sent right on the website’s WordPress dashboard – or, when needed, through a set of email reports that are being scheduled prior to anything. But here is what is that important about GTmetrix for WordPress:
— Highlights:

• Provides a detailed list on the load time of the website pages;
• Gives a set of scores for Page Speed + YSlow;
• Is easy to use;
• Requires no prior technical experience or background;
• Makes no major changes to the website, only informs the user.
— Pricing:
• One of the greatest advantages provided by GTmetrix for WordPress is indeed its price that equals zero.

21. Display PHP Version

Installs: 60,000+ | Rating: 5/5 stars

Always know which PHP version you are using with Display PHP Version. This great tool is extremely lightweight and easy to use and might be of great help to you and your website, both now and in the future. This is a useful resource perfectly crafted to make things happen faster, since the plugin will always display the right version no matter what. In addition, it requires no prior technical background or coding skills – making it a perfect choice for anyone who wishes to find more about his WordPress website.

— Highlights:
• Tells what PHP version the user is currently owning.
— Pricing:
• Display PHP Version has no fee to be paid.

Choosing the best WordPress speed optimization plugin is a matter of taste and need. Even though one tool might be perfect for a single task, there might be one that solves more of them at the same time. This means that you’ll get exactly what you need, but first noting down these stuff will be of great help.

The best speed optimization plugins vary. The mere use of a single one of them might interfere with the use of another one, reason why knowing this aspect beforehand is pure gold. Although it might seem hard at first, we are sure you’ll get your hands on it. These being said, what are you still waiting for? Have you already made your pick?