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The Best Plugin to Speed up Your WordPress Website

optimize wordpress page speed

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WordPress plugins and perfect performance… it’s a never-ending story.

Some people even claim that there simply are no WordPress websites that have good page speed.

We have compiled a list of different site speed plugins for WordPress in this article. With this list, you can easily compare, make an informed decision when choosing a plugin that suits your needs.

At the end of the article, you’ll also learn why a good performance plugin is only half the battle and what really matters for fast WordPress sites.

What Is a WordPress Performance Plugin Anyway?

A performance plugin for WordPress makes the page load faster – just as the name would suggest.

So far, so good.

But the method to help speed up a website is not always the same. There are different caching plugins, plugins for images compression, and plugins that enable lazy load.

There are multiple ways to increase the loading speed of a WordPress site.

The best page speed plugin for WordPress combines as many of these options as possible into one solution.

This is where two page speed plugins for WordPress particularly stand out:

WP Rocket – The Premium Page Speed Plugin

WP Rocket – unlike numerous other performance plugins – is only available in a paid version.

wordpress pagespeed

For your money, WP Rocket offers everything you’d expect from a plugin to speed up your WordPress website. The features range from caching, to minimizing your CSS and JavaScript files, to lazy load for media files.

The prices for WP Rocket are as follows:

  • 49$ for one year of support and 1 website
  • 99$ for one year of support and 3 websites
  • 249$ for one year of support and unlimited websites

If you’re managing more than 7 websites, the biggest license is definitely the best choice.

For a small additional monthly fee of $7.99, you can use WP Rocket’s in-house Content Delivery Network (CDN). However, this is only really relevant if your website is used globally or in big countries.

Websites that are made for a very small area don’t really need a CDN.

This WP page speed plugin is particularly popular because of its easy setup. Usually, setting up a caching plugin without messing up your website’s layout can be somewhat of a technical challenge.

WP Rocket is hard to beat in this aspect – and it also has great support. It also works flawlessly with most popular page builders, such as Divi or Elementor.

Once purchased and uploaded to WordPress, the plugin takes care of speeding up your website almost by itself. Well, except for clicking a few buttons.

WordPress Autoptimize: This One’s a Freebie

Autoptimize is a free WordPress plugin that can help you optimize load times on multiple levels.

wordpress autoptimize

Unlike WP Rocket, Autoptimize is more specialized in optimizing your site’s code – i.e. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.

In other words, this free plugin helps make your code as lean as possible so that it loads quickly.

In terms of caching, Autoptimize doesn’t offer as many options as other providers. To be precise, Autoptimize doesn’t offer proper page caching at all, and people therefore often use it in combination with specific caching plugins (a few of which are mentioned below).

If you want to use Autoptimize with WP Rocket, that’s entirely possible. WP Rocket is even compatible with Autoptimize out of the box, so the two plugins can work together seamlessly to improve your page speed.

Thanks to the integration of ShortPixel – a plugin that will be mentioned below – you can compress large image files with Autoptimize very easily.

FYI: WP Rocket does not offer this feature.

At GREYD we work exclusively with Autoptimize, and we have even developed an optimized integration for GREYD.SUITE.

You don’t have to worry about all the settings in detail – you can activate the settings we recommend with just 1 click.

Of course, you can still make customizations if you prefer. Also, we have automated the cache clearing, so that the cache does not have to be cleared manually every time.

Die GREYD.SUITE eignet sich ideal für Conversion Websites

By the way: A page speed plugin for WordPress can only do so much. If the website is not built on lean code, a plugin won’t help much.

With GREYD.SUITE, the best all-in-one tool for WordPress, you can now build websites that deliver great page speed even without plugins.

Take a closer look at the tool and try it for free!

More Performance Plugins to Speed up WordPress

Of course, there are numerous other page speed plugins for the world’s most popular content management system (CMS).

We have compiled for you a handpicked list of the most popular and most used WordPress plugins, which are used to optimize page speed:

LiteSpeed Cache

If you search for “page speed” in the plugin library, the LiteSpeed Cache will be the first thing you see.

wp page speed

With over a million active installs and a 5 out of 5 star rating, the plugin must be doing a lot right.

The feature list speaks for itself:

  • Minimize HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Object cache
  • Cleaning and optimization of the database
  • Optimize images
  • Lazy load of images and iframes

…to name just a few of the most important components.

According to the reviews, users particularly enjoy the plugin’s ease of use.

WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache also falls into the 1+ million installs category with a 5 star rating.

wordpress speed

With this performance plugin – with its cheetah thumbnail – you don’t have to rewrite the .htaccess file. WP Fastest Cache does that automatically for you, according to its own specifications.

This is a big plus for all site operators who do not want to worry about technical stuff. After all, hardly any web designer wants to deal with terms like “Mod_Rewrite”.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is a free caching plugin in a class of its own.

W3 total cache plugin

The WordPress caching plugin offers more ways to improve your page speed than many other free competitors on the market.

W3 Total Cache says it leads to better search engine results that come with optimized load times (page speed is a recognized ranking factor for Google).

Since this caching plugin offers so many features, it is rather unsuitable for absolute beginners on a technical level.

Also, this tool doesn’t offer image optimization. You would need an additional plugin for that.

WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is an all-in-one WordPress performance plugin. As the name suggests, the plugin works on several levels to increase page speed.

WP Pagespeed

With WP-Optimize, you can speed up your WordPress website in 3 different ways:

  1. The database is cleaned and optimized
  2. The images are compressed
  3. It creates a cache of the pages

WordPress can accumulate a lot of useless data due to comments, pingbacks and unpublished posts. When the databases are full of junk, they can’t work efficiently enough, which causes bad page speed.

This is where the WP-Optimize steps in and really cleans up your data so that your page speed isn’t unnecessarily slowed down.

WP Super Cache

In the list of WP caching plugins, WP Super Cache stands out in that it’s the only one that already has over 2 million installs.

caching plugins

Presumably, this has to do with the fact that the plugin comes from Automattic (the company behind WordPress). WP Super Cache has the home advantage, so to speak.

This caching plugin is very easy to use. It doesn’t offer as many possibilities to make WordPress faster as, for example, W3 Total Cache, but it fulfills all the basics of caching.

Compressing images or lazy load is not possible with this plugin.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird is a page speed plugin from WPMU DEV, a provider that develops many popular WordPress plugins such as Smush (explained below).

make wordpress faster plugin

This plugin takes its cue from the recommendations you get from Google page speed Insights about your website’s performance.

You can not only cache your site, but also minimize the code (CSS & JavaScript) of your site so that it loads faster.

For image file compression and lazy load, Hummingbird goes hand in hand with its sister plugin Smush.

Which brings us directly to the next WP plugin for page speed optimization.

Smush

Smush is the first page speed plugin for WordPress in this list that focuses on image optimization rather than caching.

lazy load plugin

Huge image files significantly increase the loading time of a website. Especially if all images are loaded immediately, even though they are not yet in the visitor’s field of view.

Smush helps by compressing the images of a website so that they are loaded faster. The quality of the images does not suffer from this process.

Thanks to the integrated lazy load of this plugin, images are only loaded when the visitors of the website scroll to the corresponding location. This optimizes the site speed considerably, because not all content has to be loaded directly.

The basic version of Smush is free and is usually sufficient for smaller websites. The paid version Smush Pro is available from 6$ per month.

ShortPixel

The ShortPixel Image Optimizer plugin is, similar to Smush, a solution to compress your images.

wordpress performance plugin

In terms of features, ShortPixel doesn’t offer much more than Smush. However, the paid premium version of ShortPixel is slightly cheaper at $3.99 per month (in the smallest package).

ShortPixel lets you choose between Lossy, Glossy and Lossless compression levels for your images. Depending on which you choose, your images will be compressed more or less and will therefore load faster or slower.

You can’t really see massive differences in quality.

As described above, ShortPixel is integrated in the Autoptimize plugin, so you don’t need to install it if you already use Autoptimize.

TinyPNG

Officially, this plugin is called “Compress JPEG & PNG images”. But since that name does not sound very catchy, we’ll call it by the more familiar name TinyPNG.

wordpress compress JPEG and PNG

With this plugin, the name says it all: It compresses JPEG and PNG files of your WordPress site and thereby increases the page speed.

Every time you upload new images to your library, TinyPNG optimizes them automatically – by the way, so do Smush and ShortPixel.

If you want to test the difference of your compressed images without the plugin, you can go to tinypng.com and upload the files you want to compress.

TinyPNG unfortunately does not offer a lazy load feature. Not even the cute panda thumbnail can make up for this.

A3 Lazy Load

Speaking of which. With A3 Lazy Load is another lazy load plugin.

lazy load plugin

Many of these page speed plugins already mentioned include lazy load by default, so that images files will only load once they’re really needed.

A3 Lazy Load would only be of interest for you if you prefer standalone solutions for improved loading times, or if you don’t care about image compression.

However, without a dedicated lazy load plugin, this list would be kind of incomplete, so we wanted to add one.


Now that you’ve gotten a selection of great WP plugins for better page speed, one more important thing needs to be mentioned:

Besides the plugins, there are other reasons for bad page speed. For example, if your hosting provider is lousy, the best plugins won’t get you anywhere.

Same with building a WordPress website with lean code, which leads us to the next point (which is the most important point of all).

The Best Solution to Speed up Your WordPress Website

Plugins can be very useful for optimizing your load time. However, they are often only used to fight the symptoms, but not to eliminate the causes.

If your WordPress theme doesn’t allow for fast load times, or a page builder plugin bloats the code of the page too much and slows it down, caching plugins will not help much.

That’s like painting a Smart with the red paint of a Ferrari. It looks better, but it isn’t faster.

A page speed plugin can only unleash its full potential when your WordPress website is built on lean code – which makes the optimal loading time of 1 second or less much more attainable.

GREYD.SUITE allows you to do just that!

You can use it to build stunning websites that are so technically flawless that they load faster than websites built with popular page builders like Elementor.

Pagebuilder website mobile:

Pagespeed problems Pagebuilder

Same GREYD.SUITE website mobile:

Pagespeed result GREYD.SUITE

Pagebuilder website desktop:

Pagespeed Test Pagebuilder

Same GREYD.SUITE website desktop:

Hervorragender Pagespeed mit der GREYD.SUITE

The best part?

With GREYD.SUITE, you don’t need any technical know-how to optimize your page speed. Among other things, we have already natively integrated Lazy Load for images and animations – this also applies to the popular Lottie Library.

Fast prototyping in GREYD.SUITE

The best way to see the features and performance of GREYD.SUITE for yourself is to take a free trial.

You only pay when you want to publish your finished website. Before that, you test out the product without paying a cent.

Click this button here and take the next step!

By the way, WordPress itself is really stepping up its game in terms of page speed and has recently integrated a native lazy load plugin. Many lazy load plugins and thus many of the plugins listed here become obsolete.

Bottom Line

The best page speed plugin tackles several things at once – such as caching, compressing images, or lazy load – to improve the load time of your WordPress site.

WP Rocket, Autoptimize or WP-Optimize are good examples of this.

Plugins can only really increase the performance of your site if the technical basis is right. Therefore, pay attention to a good hosting provider and especially that your website code is lean, and unnecessary code is avoided.

GREYD.SUITE is compatible with most popular page speed plugins (Autoptimize even has its own integration) and allows you to keep loading times as low as possible. Your visitors will thank you for it.

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About the author
Patrick Mitter
Patrick Mitter

Patrick loves good texts. Preferably about topics concerning online marketing and WordPress. Having built websites by using well-known page builders on his own and being very experienced in the SEO industry, he is very familiar with any kind of problems regarding those plugins. This is the reason why he adopted GREYD's mission to simplify work for web designers as well as agencies.

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