One of my Tuts+ tutorials talks about top 10 WordPress optimization tips. Some of the tips in that post mention using caching plugins, compressing CSS and JS, optimizing images, and so on.
In this post, I’ll give you a quick overview of the best plugins you can use to do all of this and more with relative ease.
1. LiteSpeed Cache
LiteSpeed Cache is one of the best if not the best plugin out there for optimizing your website. Don’t let the plugin name fool you. It actually does a lot more than just caching content.
- It supports lazy image loading with the ability to use responsive image placeholders when loading images. You can also lazy load iframes.
- You can optimize images with lossy and lossless compression. The plugin also provides support for converting images to WebP format.
Some optimization and caching features require tight server integration with the plugin. Therefore, they are only available on servers with LiteSpeed installed on the server.
- You can set up automatic page caching to load pages much faster. There is also private cache support for logged in users.
- Caches are bound to become obsolete after some time. LiteSpeed understands this and lets you schedule the deletion of specific URLs. You can also set some related pages to be automatically deleted based on certain events such as posting.
The only downside to the LiteSpeed cache is that it requires you to spend some time learning what all the options related to website optimization do.
2. W3 total cache
The W3 Total Cache plugin also called W3TC is a web host agnostic WordPress optimization plugin. A huge advantage of using this plugin is that it will work equally well with all types of sharing services such as shared hosting, dedicated hosting or private hosting.
- This plugin comes with support for caching mobile version of pages based on user agents. It also works with AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages.
- You can also cache data for categories, tags, comments or search results both in memory and on disk and on CDN.
- There is support for caching database objects and fragments in memory or on disk.
3. Faster WP Cache
The WP Fastest Cache plugin is another option for people looking to optimize their website. It is easy to set up and uses a number of techniques to improve website performance.
- As you may know, generating a web page in WordPress requires some PHP processing and fetching data from the MySQL database. Repeating this process for each page visit will consume CPU cycles that could be used elsewhere. The WP Fastest Cache plugin solves this problem by caching a static HTML version of your WordPress posts.
The free version of this plugin is sufficient for basic optimizations, but you will need to use the premium version to access more features.
The premium version offers a dedicated cache for mobiles and widgets. It also allows you to optimize your images by compressing them and converting them to more efficient formats such as WebP. You can also upload your own images with the premium version.
While WP Fastest Cache is a good plugin, I find its free version to be lacking compared to other available options.
4. WP-Optimize cache
The WP-Optimize Cache plugin is a feature-rich WordPress optimization plugin that uses multiple techniques to make sure your website is running at its best.
There are three things that can slow down a WordPress website: lack of proper caching mechanism, clogged database, and non-optimized images. The WP-Optimize Cache plugin solves all these problems for you.
- You can set this plugin to clean up the database periodically. This step involves more actions like removing unnecessary data like comments and deleted posts. You can also defragment your MySQL tables to improve query speed.
- You can also set browser caching options with this plugin so that pages load much faster on repeated views. What if you don’t want to cache some specific parts of your website? You can easily exclude them from the cache using advanced cache exclusion rules.
- WP-Optimize Cache also offers amazing image optimization features. You can apply lossy compression on large images to significantly reduce their size. You can perform mass compression on multiple images at once and if you don’t like the result, there is an option to restore the original images. You can also tell the plugin to automatically compress all new images that are uploaded to the website.
Some features like slow loading of images and quick deletion of unused or unwanted images are only available in the premium version of the plugin. The premium version also provides WP-CLI support, multisite support, and advanced scheduling features among other features.
5. Super page cache for Cloudflare
Anyone who knows what a CDN is has most likely heard of Cloudflare as well. This Super Page Cache plugin from Cloudflare is incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is provide your Cloudflare account API key. The default settings that come pre-applied in this plugin work perfectly. However, you can also tweak some options if you’re not happy with the results and want to experiment.
This plugin works great in combination with other optimization plugins I mentioned above. You just need to make sure that the page caching feature is disabled on those plugins while all other optimizations work normally. All aspects of page caching will be handled by this plugin.
If you’re using a web host that has LiteSpeed installed on its servers, you should go ahead and install the LiteSpeed caching plugin without a second thought. This plugin does a great job of optimizing your WordPress website. It will take some time to figure out what all the available options do, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you are using a web host that does not have LiteSpeed installed, I recommend using the WP-Optimize Cache plugin in conjunction with the Super Page Cache plugin for Cloudflare. Using both together will really improve the performance of your website.