Website Speed Optimization, and
Top WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins


We have compiled this list of exceptional WordPress plugins and techniques for the assistance of Website Speed Optimization. Don’t neglect your website speed, don’t lose potential site visitors due to your website loading slow, and let Google know that your site is important by having a fast loading website.

Website Speed Optimization

WordPress How To Speed Up WordPress

[1]As a side note, these are not ordered by importance or any criteria. I’ve just gathered everything I’ve learned about speeding up WordPress page loads and listed them all here.

I guarantee that using even a few will help speed up your site.

1. Choose a good host

When starting, a shared host might seem like a bargain (“Unlimited page views!”). It comes at another cost: incredibly slow site speed and frequents downtime during high traffic periods.

If you plan on publishing popular stuff, you’re killing yourself by running your WordPress site on shared hosting.

Your site’s stress going down after getting a big feature is enough to create a few early gray hairs: don’t be a victim. Invest in proper hosting.

2. Start with a solid framework/theme

You might be surprised to hear this, but the Twenty Nineteen theme (aka the default WP theme) is lightweight and quite speedy.

That’s because they keep the “guts” simple; compare that to bloated frameworks that have tons of features that you will never use, slowing your site to a crawl.

From my experience, the fastest loading premium framework is definitely the Focus Theme Framework, especially the new Focus skin (I’m using a completely bare-bones version on this site, but I personally love simplicity!). It surpasses the basic WordPress themes by being far easier to customize.

It’s an incredibly solid framework that won’t slow you down with excess plugins or custom edits. Make the changes right from the theme and avoid bloat, hoorah!

3. Use an effective caching plugin

WordPress plugins are obviously quite useful, but some of the best falls under the caching category, as they drastically improve page loads time, and best of all, all of them on are free and easy to use.

By far, my favorite, bar none, is W3 Total Cache. I wouldn’t recommend or use any other caching plugin. It has all of the features you need and is extremely easy to install and use.

Install and activate, and what your page load faster as elements are cached.

4. Use a content delivery network (CDN)

All of your favorite big blogs are making use of this, and if you are into online marketing using WordPress (as I’m sure many of my readers are), you won’t be surprised to hear that some of your favorite blogs like Copyblogger are making use of CDN’s.

Essentially, a CDN, or content delivery network, takes all the static files you’ve got on your site (CSS, Javascript, and images, etc.) and lets visitors download them as fast as possible by serving the files on servers as close to them as possible.

I personally use the StackPath Content Delivery Network on my WordPress sites, as I’ve found that they have the most reasonable prices. Their dashboard is straightforward to use (and comes with video tutorials for setting it up. Takes only a few minutes).

There is a plugin called Free-CDN that promises to do the same, although I haven’t tested it.

5. Optimize images (automatically)

Yahoo! has an image optimizer called that will drastically reduce the file size of an image while not reducing quality.

However, doing this to every image would be beyond pain and incredibly time-consuming if you are like me.

Fortunately, there is an amazing, free plugin called WP-SmushIt, which will do this process to all of your images automatically as you are uploading them. No reason not to install this one. If you prefer to manage this on your desktop, I really like Squash for Mac users.

6. Optimize your homepage to load quickly

This isn’t one thing but really a few easy things that you can do to ensure that your homepage loads quickly, which probably is the most important part of your site because people will be landing there the most often.

Things that you can do include:

  • Show excerpts instead of full posts
  • Reduce the number of posts on the page (I like showing between 5-7)
  • Remove unnecessary sharing widgets from the home page (include them only in posts)
  • Remove inactive plugins and widgets that you don’t need
  • Keep in minimal! Readers are here for content, not 8,000 widgets on the homepage

Overall, a clean and focused homepage design will help your page not only look good but load quicker as well.

7. Optimize your WordPress database

I’m certainly getting a lot of use out of the word “optimize” in this post! This can be done the very tedious, extremely boring manual fashion, or…

You can use the WP-Optimize plugin, which I run on all of my sites.

This plugin lets you do just one simple task: optimize your database (spam, post revisions, drafts, tables, etc.) to reduce their overhead. I would also recommend the WP-DB Manager plugin, which can schedule dates for database optimization.

Top WordPress Website Speed Optimization Plugins

WP Rocket:

[2]WP Rocket is the best WordPress caching plugin in the market. It is the easiest and most beginner-friendly caching plugin, which is a big help if you don’t know the technical terms used for different caching options.

It allows users to cache their website with one-click instantly. It’s crawler automatically fetches your WordPress pages to build up the cache. The plugin automatically turns on recommended WordPress caching settings like gzip compression, page cache, and cache pre-loading.

WP Rocket also includes optional features that you can turn on to improve performance further. This includes lazy loading images, CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, minification, and more.


[3]Perfmatters takes a different approach to improve page load times than most plugins on this list.

By default, WordPress has certain options that aren’t necessary for most sites and slow down performance. Perfmatters makes it possible to disable these options with the click of a few buttons. The biggest thing that tends to slow down the rendering of your pages is HTTP requests that aren’t needed.

This plugin also allows you to disable these scripts on a per-page basis. This means you can stop plugins from loading code where it isn’t needed. You can also take advantage of performance-boosting features like DNS prefetch, pre-connect, local Google Analytics script hosting, and more.

So, even if you have a WordPress caching plugin installed – you should use Perfmatters too

[4]WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache is a performance plugin with a focus on caching. It comes with a great set of features, balanced with ease of use.

Some plugins are too basic; others are too advanced – the developer of this plugin has definitely found the middle ground.

Just install, activate, and run through the settings. Then hit save, and you’re ready to go. I especially like how easy it is to set cache expiration times for certain URL strings.

And it gets better because this plugin is used by over 200,000 people and receives great reviews on


  • Easy setup
  • 1-click to clear cache and/or minified CSS etc
  • Minify CSS and HTML
  • Set posts/pages to exclude (some like admin area excluded by default)
  • Set expiration times for all posts/pages or certain URL strings
  • CDN integration
  • Premium version available with extra features

SG Optimizer:

SG Optimizer only works if you’re on SiteGround’s hosting, which I don’t recommend since SiteGround was very slow in my speed tests and has gone completely downhill in recent years.

Since SiteGround’s big update to SG Optimizer, it’s now comparable to WP Rocket. It also uses server-side caching and binaries, which is faster and more efficient than the file-based caching by other cache plugins (including WP Rocket). If you’re on SiteGround, I would definitely use it.

Asset CleanUp:

[5]The same thing as the Perfmatters script manager (lets you selectively disable scripts/plugins), only Asset CleanUp doesn’t have bloat removal options, but it is free. Plugin Organizer and Plugin Load Filter are similar, but AssetCleanUp has great reviews and is what most people are using.


[6]Compresses images to get 100% for the “optimize images” item in GTmetrix.

I have tried Imagify, ShortPixel, and other image optimization plugins, but they all resulted in a loss in quality even when the “lossless” option was selected. Slowly but surely, I am redoing these images is TinyPNG. I see barely any quality loss, which I can’t say for the other plugins.


Website Speed Optimization is one factor in Search Engine Optimization and User Optimization. Your guests will leave without fast website performance search engines will not index, and your Search Ranking Position will drop.

Should you need assistance with Website Speed Optimization, please call RapidPage today.

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