top 22 wordpress speed optimization plugin ( get GTmetrix 100%)
- wordpress speed optimization plugin Here are the best to make your site run super fast (the same plugins I use to get 100% speed in GTmetrix)
Need a powerful list of plugins to boost WordPress speed?
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I have a list for you. Caching plugins, image optimization, lazy loading, AMP, Gravatar caching, load time monitoring, plugins that fix Google Font + Analytics errors in GTmetrix and Pingdom. I use many of these WordPress accelerator plugins on my site and I have 100% speed on GTmetrix and 0.5 second load time on Pingdom.
I recommend checking your WordPress site with GTmetrix (see Page Speed and YSlow tags) or another speed test tool to use as a benchmark. Once each extension is installed, retest the GTmetrix tags to see how this affects your page load time and performance. These plugins will definitely help you increase your WordPress speed. Most of the extensions have a rating of at least 4.5 stars, and rest assured, I have done my research and testing.
Note: Hosting is the #1 factor in our WordPress speed optimization guide. Google recommends a server response time of less than 200ms and you can check PageSpeed Insights statistics. I use Cloudways on the DigitalOcean plan, rated #1 in many Facebook polls (check out my Cloudways hosting review guide).
wordpress speed optimization plugin
WP Rocket plugin has been rated as the best cashback plugin for WordPress in several Facebook polls and it's what I use on all of my sites. It's an excellent $49 add-on but well worth it, since hosting and adding caching are generally the best two factors for speed. WPRocket is the easiest config cache plugin and gets updated frequently with new features to help make WordPress faster.
You should only use one plugin for the cache, but it's best to try at least 2-3 (which you mentioned) to see which gives you the best results in Pingdom/GTmetrix.
Get 10% off on WP Rocket by signing up for their email list on their coupons page. Then check the recommended WP Rocket settings for the best GTmetrix scores/load times.
With most other cache plugins, you will need to install about 7 plugins to get these features, while WP Rocket is built in, which reduces the number of plugins on your site. If you're like me, you only want to use one plugin, otherwise you'll need to search for the features that cache plugins come with, and then install those plugins if your plugin doesn't support them.
- Database cleaning (included in WP Rocket, or use WP-Optimize)
- Heartbeat control (included with WP Rocket, or use Heartbeat control)
- Lazy loading of images/videos (built-in WP Rocket, or use WP YouTube Lyte)
- Host Google Analytics locally (included with WP Rocket, or use CAOS For Analytics)
- DNS Prefetch Requests (built-in with WP Rocket, or use Pre*Party Resource Hints)
- Host Google Fonts locally (included in WP Rocket, use CAOS For Fonts, or SHGF)
- Compatibility with Cloudflare or another CDN (included with WP Rocket, or use CDN Enabler)
2. SG Optimizer
SG Optimizer only works if you're using SiteGround hosting which I don't recommend since SiteGround has gotten very slow in my speed tests and has gone down completely in recent years.
Since the big update of SiteGround to SG Optimizer, it is now similar to WP Rocket. It also uses server-side caching and binaries which are faster and more efficient than file-based caching by other caching extensions (including WP Rocket). If I were at SiteGround I would definitely use it.
SG Optimizer Features
- caching (static, dynamic, memcached)
- Minify and merge HTML, CSS and JS
- Gzip . compression
- Database cleaning
- Prefetching external domains
- Choose the PHP version
- Google Fonts Optimization
- JS Delay Banning Display
- Compress new + existing photos
- Lazy loading of photos, videos, iframes, Gravatars and thumbnails
SG Optimizer non-existent features: CDN URL, remove unused features, host fonts + analytics locally.
Perfmatters are developed by Kinsta and are similar to Clearfy and Asset Cleanup. Lets you disable unnecessary functions including WooCommerce cart parts, scripts, and styles. You can also disable plug-ins selectively. Pricing starts at $24.95/year for one site, I keep using it on my website. Here are all its features.
Perfmatters includes a Script Manager feature to selectively disable scripts/plugins on certain content (same as Asset CleanUp). Some plugins are loaded across your entire site even when not in use. By selectively disabling plugins, you will reduce page sizes and make them load faster. There is also a Regex option for better control of where plugins are loaded.
- Disable adding sliders on pages that don't use sliders
- Disable adding structured data on pages that do not use rich snippets
- Disable adding a contact form on pages that don't use contact forms
- Disable Affiliate Link Management Plugin on Pages That Don't Use Affiliate Links
- Disable social sharing on all pages (because posts are usually only articles)
wordpress speed optimization plugin This is a necessary plugin that should disable unnecessary features in WordPress core that may consume CPU. It also helps to remove query strings (although a better solution to this would be to use lightweight plugins), load fonts asynchronously, host Google Analytics tracking code locally, limit the number of published revisions, disable autosave, and other speed features.
Allows you to disable:
- RSD (Really Simple Discovery) tag
- Shortlink Tag
- WordPress API from header
- Windows Live Writer tag
- WordPress Generator Tag
- Google Maps
- Pingbacks + trackbacks
- WooCommerce scripts
- WooCommerce reviews
- Woocommerce Cart Fragments
It can also paginate pages after 20 comments or disable them after 28 days.
Selectively disable plugins from loading on certain pages/posts. This can reduce the number of requests and thus increase the speed of WordPress. The most common example is loading the contact form extension only on pages that actually contain a contact form. But you can do this with a number of plugins.
- Disable adding sliders on pages that do not use sliders
- Disable adding structured data on pages that do not use structured data
- Disable adding a contact form on pages without a contact form
- Disable add-on management of advertiser links on pages that do not use referral links
- Disable social sharing extension on all pages (since it's usually for article posts)
Compress photos without losing their quality to improving GTmetrix's image elements. I have a complete guide to optimizing images with Imagify (there are 20 ways actually) but the main ways are lossless compression, rendering of resized images (resize them to the correct dimensions) and setting image dimensions (setting width/height in HTML or CSS for images). ShortPixel, Smush, Kraken, and EWWW do the same thing. You only need to use one plugin to enhance photos.
- Compress photos without losing their quality
- Resize large photos
- remove EXIF data
- Sign up for Imagify
- Install the Imagify plugins
- You will be prompted with the instructions below:
- Enter the API key from your Imagify account
- Set compression level
- Optimize all images on your site in bulk (it's free/paid feature)
It removes trash, spam, revisions, transient files, and other junk files stored in your database that can slow down both your WordPress site pages and admin panel. I'd recommend running this every two weeks (both WP-Optimize and WP Rocket have the option to schedule database cleanups). If you are using WP Rocket, you do not need this plugin since WP Rocket has an option for this in the database settings. If you are using another cache plugin, use WP-Optimize.
- Back up your database!
- Install the plugin
- Go to the WP-Optimize tab
- Run the plugin as default but uncheck "unapproved comments"
If you're using WP Rocket, you don't need WP-Optimize (WP Rocket has this in the Database tab).
It loads videos by inserting the responsive "Lite YouTube Embeds" that only calls the "fat" YouTube player when the play button is clicked. Videos take the longest time to load. Just to give you an idea, the WPRocket tutorial only contains a video, but when I load it slow, the article loading time dropped from 6 seconds to 2.6 seconds.
- a3 Lazy Load
- Lazy Load
- Lazy Load For Videos
- BJ Lazy Load
- Lazy Load By WP Rocket
- GIF Animation Preview
If you are using WP Rocket they have this feature in ("Media" settings).
The WordPress heartbeat API consumes resources by sending plugins notifications in real time, when other users are editing a post, etc. 99% of people should disable it.
WP Rocket and Perfmatters also allow you to disable it.
This enables DNS prefetching, pre-rendering, preconnection, prefetching, and preloading. If you are using external resources on your website, this helps browsers to anticipate and load them faster.
WP Rocket has a DNS prefetch option, but no pre-connect option, while this plugin does. The difference between DNS prefetch and prebinding is that prefetch only allows DNS lookup, while preconnect performs DNS lookup, TLS negotiation, as well as TCP handshaking.
OMGF can fix Google Fonts errors in GTmetrix, Pingdom and PageSpeed Insights. It will download all Google Fonts to your site (using the Google Fonts Helper API) and create a stylesheet for it. Next, you will need to remove any requests for external font sources.
12. Flying Analytics
13. Flying Scripts
This plugin helps you optimize the third-party scripts in GTmetrix (reduce DNS lookups) and PageSpeed Insights (minimize third party scripts).
If you have a lot of comments on articles, Gravatars can ruin load times and GTmetrix reports. You can use this add-on to store comment photos. Another option is to disable Gravatars completely (although this will prevent images from appearing) and make your comments section look boring. But it's a trade-off between Gravatars and your load times.
15. CDN Enabler
CDN Enabler helps you set up a CDN (Content Delivery Network). This does not work for Cloudflare (which requires changing the name servers) while the CDN enabler is for StackPath, KeyCDN, and other CDNs that provide a CDN URL. First, register with the CDN, then enter the URL of the CDN in the CDN Enabler extension. See instructions below:
Step 2: Get Your CDN Address:
Step 3: Enter your CDN address in CDN Enabler, then configure the settings:
Breeze only if you are using Cloudways which was the fastest WordPress cloud hosting in multiple tests.
Breeze still has a long way to go if they want to catch up with SG Optimizer or WP Rocket. Personally, I would use WP Rocket instead because it lacks many features (maybe why it doesn't get the best reviews). While I highly recommend Cloudways hosting, I can't recommend Breeze just yet.
While the Cloudways Breeze plugin isn't great, their hosting is pretty awesome.
18. WP Fastest Cache
It is the top rated free caching addon that is easy to configure. Unlike WP Rocket, this plugin does not have the option of lazy loading of images/videos, database cleaning and other options. So you will need to use WP-Optimize and the Lazy Load For Videos plugin if you also want these features (recommended).
19. AMP For WP
Accelerated Mobile Pages is a Google project that makes mobile pages load faster. It also adds an "AMP" stamp next to your mobile pages. This plugin will change the layout/design of mobile pages, so be sure to fully customize the settings. If for some reason you don't like it, delete it and it will go back to your old design.
Warning: Before thinking about installing an extension, you need to first understand what AMP is and what its advantages and disadvantages are.
This plugin has several settings for customizing AMP pages:
- Install the plugin
- Customize the content you want for AMP pages (pages, articles, etc.)
- Add /amp/ to any page on your website to see how it looks and make sure it works
- Wait for Google to recrawl your site and add AMP search results in mobile search
- Visit the Accelerated Mobile Pages section of Google Search Console for AMP errors.
20. Query Monitor
Look for WordPress plugins that are slow to load, queries, scripts, and other items that are taking longer to load.
P3 Profiler has been great at finding slow plugins, but hasn't been updated for years. Use Query Monitor as an alternative. Another alternative is to run your site through GTmetrix and use the Waterfall tab.
Display PHP Version shows you which version of PHP you are running for your site.
Higher versions of PHP make your site run faster.
You can upgrade to new versions in cPanel hosting.
PHP Compatibility Checker checks plugins for compatibility with new PHP versions. Some WordPress plugins are not updated frequently or are well coded - Running this beforehand can prevent errors (such as your website crashing) due to incompatible plugins.
Other notable resources / Advice
Hosting recommendations are usually incorrect.
Join our WordPress hosting group on Facebook to get unbiased feedback. Most members swear by Cloudways hosting. Specifically DigitalOcean / Vultr High Frequency.
Yes, it's a little pricey at $10-$13 a month, but we're talking about speed here - not cheapness. With Cloudways, you have the option to use DigitalOcean, Vultr High Frequency, Google Cloud, AWS, or Linode. These are worlds faster than shared hosting and can handle resource-intensive tasks better (Elementor, Beaver, Divi, WooCommerce, AdSense, etc.).
Cloudways makes it easy to test and see the difference in load times: they do free migrations, monthly pricing, and a migration plugin.
I hope you find these wordpress speed optimization plugin useful! If you have questions, leave me a comment. Or if you simply need to fix a slow WordPress site, see my explanation above.