25 Best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins (Free/Paid)

Share Now

Here is the list of the best WordPress speed optimization plugins.

Plugins cause your website to slow down. Use one cache plugin ( recommend FlyingPress) and one asset optimization plugin; that should be enough for most websites. No need for image optimization plugins( do it before uploading to your server) and no need for security plugins(use Cloudflare).

I know many people try to optimize for Gtmetrix, Page Speed, Pingdom, and other machine stuff, and most plugins focus on promoting those but remember that they are just computers, not humans. So speed optimization should be optimized for human visitors rather than speed test metrics.

Yes, most plugins are designed for speed tests using bypass gimmicks, but they are super slow. Only a few plugins truly optimize for human visitors.

Use Cloudflare’s free services as well as DNS management for your websites. Its “CDN” also caches static resources like images, CSS, JS, fonts, etc., and delivers through proxies closer to users at the DNS level.

Many websites have become super bloated. Themes and plugins have become highly advanced and feature-rich, which means super heavy. 

There are a ton of tutorials about speed optimization, hosting, and other things, but they primarily focus on affiliate marketing and making money. However, you will only learn through experience and time. Many plugins promote similarity, making it hard to determine which are well-coded.

WordPress Plugins Meme

OK, let’s go to my comprehensive list of the best WordPress Speed Plugins; almost all are free but include some useful pro plugins.

Best Speed Optimization plugins for WordPress

1. FlyingPress

FlyingPress

Disclaimer: I use aff links to FlyingPress, and I appreciate your help.

This is the cache plugin, everything you need. I use it. Wow, fantastic performance, the best premium cache plugin for me, and a simple UI. I use fewer plugins for my optimizations, but FlyingPress cuts off other crap plugins. 

I noticed a significant improvement after using FlyingPress. Page speed metrics are essential or not. With my own eyes, I saw the site moving at breakneck speed. I tried free and paid cache plugins, but none provided this level of progress. 

Yes, LiteSpeed CP has more features, but the UI could be easier to use and configure. In contrast, FlyingPress requires only a few ticks to fast your website. Gijo is the man who created this iconic plugin. 

FlyingPress’s price is low and straight to use. It’s probably the best premium cache plugin currently. For more details, see my FlyingPress review.

The best features

  • Lazy render HTML elements: skip rendering the element until it is required. This is the first cache plugin I know of that handles this.
  • JS Optimization: minify JS, preload, defer, and load on user interaction.
  • Font Optimization: combine and self-host Google Fonts, Display Fallback, and Preload; prioritize loading fonts that are required instantly for the render.
  • Image: many cache plugins, including WP-Rocket, do not provide image optimization. Still, FlyingPress does, with features such as excluding the above fold Images, preloading critical images, and more.
  • iFrame: valuable features are Self-host YouTube Placeholder, Use of Placeholder Images for Video iFrames, and Lazy Load iFrames.

2. LiteSpeed Cache

LiteSpeed

I am a big fan of LiteSpeed and the cache plugin.

This fantastic FREE cache plugin with one condition (it needs LiteSpeed servers). Except for caching, non-LS servers can use all other features. Yeah, sure, the plugin is impressive, and it is entirely free. The fact that it costs nothing. WOO! Usually, big growth companies do not offer fully functional products for free.

Use the Litespeed server with this plugin to get outstanding performance without spending a cent on the cache plugin. I like the user interface. And all configurations have extensive documentation accessible with a single click. It’s better for websites with lots of pages and lots of visitors.

I noticed that low-traffic websites didn’t work well. You can still try. Many advanced features, but the average WordPress user might find it too tricky. The Server Cache runs even quicker if you have a LiteSpeed web service.

Key features

  • Server-side caching: using a server to build cached pages rather than PHP.
  • Object caching – can help ease the load on your database.
  • Image optimization – yes, most cache plugins, even paid ones, lack image optimization, but LSC gives excellent image optimization, including WEBP.
  • Script Optimization: there are many options that most of you will recognize from other PAID plugins.
  • Media Optimization: fantastic features such as lazy load images, image placeholders, adaptive placeholders, LQIP, lazy load Iframes, adding missing sizes, LQUIP, and more.
  • Heartbeat Control: In most cases, this should not need optimizing until it causes significant CPU usage.
  • TTL: most plugins lack TTL configurations, but it’s better to leave these alone.

3. Swift Performance Lite

Swift Performance Lite

Yes, there are some bad comments about the Swift Performance plugin, but some pros, such as “WPJohnny,” have recommended it. 

I tested it, and it wasn’t awful at all. There are many features, but they need to be more transparent for beginners and unsafe because people activate stuff that crashes and slows down the website. And don’t be worried about negative feedback when you use this aggressive plugin, and see how fast it is.

The official documentation needs to be included, as many people still need to learn what each setting does and how to identify issues when they happen. You can securely set up by reading Johnny’s unofficial tutorial.

4. WP Rocket

WP Rocket

Yes, WP Rocket was the ideal solution before FlyingPress and LiteSpeed Cache.

Still has enough features and is functional. Since it doesn’t have as many functions as the other plugins, the user interface is relatively well-made and straightforward. Recently, WPR hasn’t improved much, and its features are behind competitors. Honestly, I think an abandoned plugin.

Back in the day, this was the first caching plugin that was simple to use, worked flawlessly without any complex settings, and had highly user-friendly features.

I like how each option has valuable visual support and detailed descriptions. Users leave WP-Rocket because of its prices and the need for specific parts like image optimization. If you really like WP Rocket, you should try FlyingPress. It has similar features but is more skilled and straightforward and is improved in every way. 

Key features

  • Cache: user cache, lifetime, mobile, and a few others.
  • Media: lazy load, iframes, and missing attributes for images.
  • Preload: preload cache, links, prefetch DNS, fonts, and a few others
  • Rules: like ignore URL and query strings
  • Add-ons: varnish, Webp compatibility, Cloudflare, sucuri.

5. WP Speed of Light

WP Speed Of Light

WP-Speed of Light is not widely popular. It is a cool plugin with many features, reporting tools, and an easy-to-use, user-friendly” panel that some users want. And the free version is enough for tiny websites.

I like their user interface; it’s spotless and simple to understand what you’re doing. I wish there was a simple explanation for that stuff, but it’s OK for me.

Critical features

  • Separate cache for mobile, tablet, and desktop.
  • Minification: removes unnecessary or duplicate assets without crashes, unused code, space, and other things.
  • Combine: multiple Script files into one file. However, it might damage how the site functions.
  • Database cleanup: similar to others

Yes, this is a simple cache plugin with no additional features. There is a pro version with features like image optimization, WooCommerce, preloading, DNS pre-fetching, and more. Still, the free version will suffice if you have a simple site.

6. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize

Many cache plugins scrub your database automatically. But WP-Optimize allows you to look at your exact database tables and remove tables left behind by the old plugins indicated as not installed. If you removed a plugin, it likely left behind so much autoload stuff that you can delete from this plugin.

You can find that some plugins render too much autoload, so in that instance, you should deactivate those functionalities from the plugins. 

WP-Optimize offers options for image optimization, caching, and minification, but I don’t recommend that for WP-Optimize. I only use WPO to improve my database. I don’t use the other features because they aren’t useful.

WP-Optimize Database optimization

Key Features

  • Database optimization: you can clean up all post revisions, auto-drafts, trashed, spammed, and comments.
  • Remove tables from old plugins: I mentioned this feature; this is the most useful feature in the plugin.
  • Compress images: they use reSmush, a free image compression service. 

7. Unbloater

Unbloater WordPress Plugin

Unbloater is a simple free WordPress optimization plugin for the removal of the junk. The plugin provides many features. I like this plugin, and it’s a gorgeous free bloat removal approach. Limits post revisions, disables XML-RPC, removes jQuery migration, and controls auto-updates, among other backend features.

Useful features

  • Disable the XML-RPC: not related to speed but is regularly used by attackers. 
  • Remove the WLW: Windows Live Writer is outdated; no longer required.
  • Feed Generator: remove the generator tag from RSS feeds
  • DNS Prefetch: remove the DNS prefetch to WPORG
  • jQuery Migrate: remove the jQuery Migrate
  • Comment: optimize the comments by loading them when required.
  • Hyperlinks: disable hyperlinking of URLs in new comments.

This is fine; it needs more attention. Use it to improve your website a little.

8. Perfmatters

Perfmatters Logo

I’m not a fan of Perfmatters, but it does handle many optimizations that aren’t general with cache plugins. Its script manager and bloated cleanup options are stunning. You can see other features typically offered in the cache plugin. 

Key Features

  • Remove Comment URL: prevents spammy links in comments.
  • Limit Post Revisions: this allows just a few copies of old posts while preventing your database from getting cluttered with revisions.
  • Change Login URL: great security feature (a custom login URL)
  • Script Manager: remove unnecessary stuff from certain pages
  • Preload Critical Images: preloads images above the fold while stopping them from lazy loading
  • Display Swap: font-display “swap” to the font CSS; it can fix “ensure text remains visible during Webfont load.”
  • Local Analytics: host locally GA
Perfmatters UI

I like it over Asset CleanUp because it provides better features and a decent UI. Also, the Unbloater and Debloat plugins are good free alternatives to Perfmatters. You won’t find everything, but those two plugins have some great features if you don’t want to get Perfmatters.

9. ShortPixel

ShortPixel Logo

ShortPixel is the top image compression plugin pricey but well worth it. The free version is fully functional, but you can only compress 100 images monthly. This is an ideal choice for most image-related problems in WordPress. However, you must subscribe to the paid version to use all of the features.

The free edition is fine if you have a website with minimal traffic. If your website gets a lot of visitors, more is needed.

Typically, I don’t use image optimization plugins for my work. I use Photoshop to choose the same quality and width manually. Use image editing software. You can use a free online compression tool, such as ShortPixel(not entirely free), and many others, such as Ezgif, Cloudconvert, etc.

10. Autoptimize

Autoptimize Logo

I do not prefer Autoptimize, but it is a helpful plugin for improving CSS and Javascript, affecting basic web vitals. It has setups to improve the fonts, and the plugin’s prior task is to optimize scripts. Autoptimize is worthwhile if you use a free cache plugin that does not support enhancements like optimization CSS.

This is unnecessary if you use a plugin like Litespeed, FlyingPress, WP-ROCKET, or any other better plugin. Minify strategies are now something that everyone uses. However, minification is not always good, particularly for big websites, because it can cause problems.

Minification, critical CSS, and other approaches only help lean websites a little.

11. PhastPress

PhastPress

PhastPress I’ve already written a tutorial with the optimal settings, NICE UI, and Friendly features. It is worth trying, and it performs well for me. You are not required to look around constantly or study too detailed instructions.

A free plugin that lets you quickly improve your WordPress website. Good with small and medium-sized sites, such as blogs. It would help if you tried it to get insight since it optimizes page score and UX without affecting your site designs. 

PhastPress UI

Key features

  • Images: optimize images in tags and CSS and lazy load images.
  • HTML, CSS & JS: optimize CSS and load scripts asynchronously, minify scripts, and lazy load IFrames and Remove query string.

12. Debloat

Debloat – Remove Unused CSS, Optimize JS

Debloat free plugin can remove unused CSS and JavaScript. The only free plugin can remove unused CSS. Remove unused CSS but don’t use it without a cache plugin. It has additional adjustments and enhances your website’s core web vitals.

Debloat can help with Render-Blocking and improve Elementor, WPBakery, and other crap builders. Also has a feature pre-connect and swap display for Google Fonts. You can delay the execution of JS until it is served to avoid render-blocking JS. Additionally, you can run the attentive JS files after the user interacts.

However, this should only be used by experienced users.

13. WebP Converter for Media

WebP Converter for Media

This is a free plugin that you can use to display WebP for the website for all pics immediately. It can convert multiple images from specific folders to WebP format. Moreover, use this plugin; you’ll need PHP 7.0 or higher and GD or Imagick. 

The module must enable WebP and PHP, which WordPress uses to deliver pictures. Mod mime, mod-rewrite, and mod expire all be enabled on your server. You can use the feature to modify the pixel density before switching to the WebP format.

Set the rate to the presented standards for optimal outcomes. WEBP files have better quality and less size than JPG or file formats. 

It supports both lossy and lossless encoding. “WebP” is a format created by Google that reduces the size of images. WebP is used on YouTube. Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, and other web browsers currently handle WebP. A better choice is the WebP Converter plugin, which is free and simple.

14. Breeze

Breeze cache plugin logo

This plugin is in testing and needs to be flawless. Breeze delivers freak occurrences for websites that load swiftly and without a hitch with a Varnish setup with Cloudways or NGINX servers. I tested Breeze on Cloudways, and it was speedy. 

Some complain that there are too many bugs, but I only recommend caching, not asset optimization. Yes, there are asset optimization options; it might not work, but caching will perform better in conditions such as NGINX.

Key Features

  • Caching: best feature combined with Varnish+NGINX.
  • JS to Footer: A unique feature that can place on the footer.
  • Delay JS Inline Scripts: you can use keywords to indicate the inline JavaScript that will be delayed. Same process as Flying Scripts.
  • Preload Webfont: if you use local host fonts, this is perfect.
  • Varnish: varnish is activated by default on Cloudways. However, if you do not use Cloudways, but your server, use Varnish on it.

15. KeyCDN Cache Enabler

KeyCDN Cache Enabler

Cache Enabler is a free and easy-to-use plugin for caching that generates resources and saves them on your web server. This means that, if allowed, a dynamic HTML file will be sent to visitors in place of using WordPress, plugins, and databases to deliver the outline statistics resources.

It can change the inline image URL to WebP, dedicate mobile cache, and pre-compress; using Brotli and Gzip. A basic but effective plugin has the lowest configuration. Many people claim it’s fast. Some claim it’s slow, but it works well with NGINX. You can test it briefly with this official advanced tutorial.

16. Flying Scripts

 Flying Scripts

Another Gijo WordPress speed optimization plugin is freely offered.

This can delay JavaScript by setting a timeout interval for third-party programs like Facebook, ads, affiliates, analytics, tag manager, etc. Yes, it is excellent for the speed score for delayed external JS. Although using it with ads may lessen your revenue, this is a great free WordPress speed plugin for delaying Javascript.

17. Flying Pages

Flying Pages

Another free plugin by Gijo Varghese. It can preload sites in the browser to load when users view them. It’s pretty useful for overall browsing speed. Features built-in options to minimize server overloading, such as preloading for 3–5 seconds and pausing preloading if the server is overloaded.

18. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache Logo

This is the cache plugin that caused stress for many years. Still has many puzzling settings, and common for non-techie users to ruin websites. 

I’m not overly enjoying W3TC and its old-fashioned user interface. I hate full-width text descriptions and never-ending browsing. Even simple caching functions are placed in highly complicated places. Also, the average person cannot perceive advanced functions. That’s another reason I don’t recommend it. 

Many people need to learn how things work. 

Yes, has a lot of features and extensions, but the setup can depress. If you are a beginner, start with Fastest Cache, Breeze, Cache Enabler, or any basic plugin if you can’t get a premium plugin like FlyingPress. 

W3TC has excellent stuff, including object-caching, DB-caching, cache preload, and much more. Ideal for developers and sys with an experience in server infrastructures. Those are incredible, but only if you know how to manage servers.

W3 Total Cache Meme

This plugin shouldn’t be used because there are better options due to how difficult to use. If you’re having setup difficulties, look at this tutorial.

19. Plugin Organizer

Plugin Organizer UI

Many sites are loading slowly due to unnecessary plugins on separate pages. And yet, this plugin can arrange which pages and posts are needed.

Yes, the UI is archaic and a little hard to use; you’ll constantly miss those settings…but it runs great AND is the best free WordPress plugin for speed optimization. This is helpful if you have a variety of rules for distinct types of posts.

20. Asset CleanUp

Asset CleanUp best free wordpress speed plugin

It can reduce unnecessary assets like Perfmatters but has fewer functions and a terrible UI like W3TC. It lacks features such as removing unused CSS, deferring JavaScript, lazy loading, and local HOST fonts. It also lacks as many exception controls and bulk removal options.

Asset CleanUp UI
Asset CleanUp UI

If you’re looking for a free plugin to unload assets, this is a great free WordPress speed plugin for average users. However, newbies will be puzzled.

21. WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache UI
WP Fastest Cache UI

WP Fastest Cache has an old user interface but is very simple. Though this has all of the prior features on one page but lacks many unique features.

It has an easy UI. But not fast. Just another cache plugin with no advancement; there are plenty of other better plugins that easily surpass this. I understand why this plugin is so popular but not the speediest.

Although it is OK, you will feel it is lacking as you grow. But a good speed optimization plugin is free and available in the WP Directory.

22. Use Any Font

Use Any Font

You can use custom fonts without the Google API, typically local hosting. Use any custom font (TTF, OTF, WOFF). Only upload one font in the free version. However, it is enough to use only one font to get the most valuable results. Many cache plugins include fonts with locally hosted options.

The font is small, but it causes significant problems for the core web, mainly if you use a third-party such as Google. Now, thousands of Google fonts can load with a plugin. Because of this, it is challenging to manage where fonts are loaded.

Fonts seriously affect speed, no matter how big or small your web pages are. Many things to consider about fonts significantly impact how fast your content loads. However, this plugin only hosted one or a few fonts, so use a plugin like FlyingPress that can manage font cases easily without involving advanced stuff.

23. Plugin Load Filter

Plugin Load Filter

Plugin Load Filter is an asset organizer plugin that is easy to use. You will not want all the plugins that load posts and pages. This plugin allows you to disable unnecessary plugins for each post and page. An ideal way to deactivate plugins at a time. But, it is hard to track when you want to change it across multiple pages.

24. Query Monitor

Query Monitor

Query Monitor is not a speed optimization plugin.

So what the heck is this?

An analytic plugin displays databases from plugins, themes, or other stuff. This plugin assists in keeping an eye on your essential plugins, themes, and page builders through page study and accurate error detection.

Query Monitor show the individual’s view in boxes as well. You can find the slowest plugins, queries, scripts, and other things. It’s best to remove it once you’re done because regular scans require a large processor time.

25. Redis Object Cache

Redis Object Cache

Redis Object Cache helps to rewrite faster data replication and compression, cache routing and analytics, and protect TLS. 

The plugin includes numerous settings. Make sure your host lets Redis before adding it. Cloudways uses Redis. If Redis is available in your hosting control panel, you can activate it. Also, this isn’t necessary if you have a small site. It’s only valid if you have a large website with a lot of dynamic caching content.

Read WordPress Themes With Demo Content.

Other Free WordPress Optimization Plugins

Here are other free plugins that need to be listed.

  • Super Page Cache for Cloudflare: this allows you to improve the speed by taking caching to a higher rate with FREE Cloudflare.
  • OMGF: optimize Google fonts to reduce cumulative layout shift
  • CAOS: enables you to host analytics.js/gtag.js locally.
  • Async JavaScript: usually more effective at deferring Js than cache plugins at addressing render-blocking resource errors.
  • Local Avatars: use local Avatars to avoid third-party Gravatar.
  • Lazy Load for Comments: You can lazy load WordPress’s default comments without complex setups.
  • Remove WordPress Overhead: another junk removal process.
  • Advanced Database Cleaner: like another WP-Optimize, but allow more advanced stuff. Only use it if you know what you are doing.
  • Flying Analytics: Gijo plugin to Host Google Analytics locally.

Conclusion

Before you look at plugins, look at your web hosting because hots decide how quickly it can process and how much traffic can handle. Switching your web hosting provider is one of the easiest methods for increasing site speed. 

Low-cost shared web hosting will benefit the most from moving to cloud hosting or VPS. A faster server can serve more requests than a slower one. It’s not a significant concern for a small website. Medium and high-traffic sites should follow hosting before speed optimization. Related WordPress Hosting Providers.

Shared hosting is slower because many websites are jammed onto one server to make it more profitable. This causes more downtimes, unannounced failures, site restarts, threats, and more. Cloud, VPS, and dedicated servers are fast because the user has more resources.

Plugins are not always the best option and can cause up to 90% of your site’s slow. Lightweight plugins load only the required parts while serving. Heavy plugins load excessive stuff, deliver slow responses, and load CSS and Javascript on pages. Dev plugins are created to be minimal, with a single core function and no style, explanation, or help. But these plugins aren’t built for beginners.

OK, I’m done here; I hope you found something useful.

Additional Readings


[hurrytimer id="19021"]
Techexplains

Techexplains

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *