8 of the Best Plugins for Optimizing WordPress Site Performance

How do you avoid having a website that’s as slow as molasses? Our last article detailed ten techniques for optimizing your WordPress performance. This follow-up post is a quick reference of the best plugins that satisfy your need for speed.

We’ve covered eight of the best plugins that cover all the bases. We’ve also listed almost two dozen alternatives so you can explore which best suit your needs. Dive in and see what makes the most difference to your site.

If you’re following our WordPress Maintenance Checklist you’ll probably already be using some of these plugins. Keep it up! That cruft will continue to accumulate.

Have we missed your favorite plugin? How has it helped? Let us know in the comments.

1. W3 Total Cache

  • Cost: free
  • Active installs: 1+ million

This plugin provides Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching—caching of posts and pages to memory or disk, caching of feeds, search result pages, database objects and minified CSS and Javascript files. To get the most out of it, spend some time configuring it carefully.

W3 Total Cache can also work with your CDN (like Cloudflare or MaxCDN) to further improve load times.

W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing download times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration.

Alternative caching plugins include WP Super Cache, Hyper Cache, WP Fastest Cache and Cache Enabler.

2. WP-Optimize

  • Cost: free
  • Active installs: 600,000+

This free plugin will optimize your WordPress database with the click of a button, or automatically with its built-in scheduler. Redundant information like spam comments, post revisions and other trash items will be cleaned from your mySQL database, speeding up how quickly your site loads.

WP-Optimize is an effective tool for automatically cleaning your WordPress database so that it runs at maximum efficiency.

Alternative database optimization plugins include Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions, WP Cleanup, WPOptimize, WP Database Cleaner and WP-DBManager.

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Source: Sitepoint