25 WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins For Speeding Up Your Website In 2020 (Same Ones I Used To Get 100% GTmetrix Scores)

WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins

Need a solid list of WordPress speed optimization plugins?

These are the same speed plugins I used to get 100% GTmetrix scores on my homepage and most of my posts. They’re a collection of plugins I use myself and popular plugins in Facebook Groups. I do WordPress speed optimization for a living – so I geek pretty hard on the plugins!

This is not a typical list of cache plugins: I dive into advanced plugins like selectively plugin disabling, browser resource hints for external scripts, hosting things locally, and bloat removal.

ps. If you join the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group they have a list of 60+ recommended WordPress Speed Up Tools and useful links. But I did try to include the important ones here :)

The only speed optimization plugins I use on my site are WP Rocket, Perfmatters, WP-Optimize, TinyPNG, and wpDiscuz (my lightweight comment plugin). If you’re using SG Optimizer or another caching plugin, you will need to install a few extra speed plugins since these lack some functionality (see the notes listed in each section below).

The Best WordPress Speed Plugins Of 2020

  1. WP Rocket
  2. SG Optimizer
  3. Perfmatters
  4. Asset CleanUp
  5. TinyPNG
  6. WP-Optimize
  7. WP YouTube Lyte
  8. Heartbeat Control
  9. Pre* Party Resource Hints
  10. OMGF | Host Google Fonts Locally
  11. CAOS | Host Google Analytics Locally
  12. wpDiscuz
  13. Flying Scripts
  14. WP User Avatar
  15. CDN Enabler
  16. Breeze By Cloudways
  17. Autoptimize
  18. WP Fastest Cache
  19. ToolKit For Elementor
  20. AMP For WP
  21. Query Monitor
  22. Display PHP Version
  23. GTmetrix For WordPress
  24. WP Hosting Performance Check
  25. Better Search Replace

1s-2020-GTmetrix-Report

 

1. WP Rocket

WP Rocket was rated the #1 cache plugin in most Facebook polls.

That’s because it comes with more features than any other cache plugin. This means better GTmetrix results and less plugins needed on your site. Otherwise, with other cache plugins, you would need to research which features it doesn’t include, then install these extra plugins if it doesn’t support them. If you’re like me, you want to use 1 plugin (WP Rocket) for everything.

  • Database cleanup (built-in to WP Rocket, or use WP-Optimize)
  • Heartbeat control (built-in to WP Rocket, or use Heartbeat Control)
  • Lazy load images/videos (built-in to WP Rocket, or use WP YouTube Lyte)
  • Host Google Analytics locally (built-in to WP Rocket, or use CAOS For Analytics)
  • Prefetch DNS Requests (built-in to WP Rocket, or use Pre* Party Resource Hints)
  • Host Google Fonts locally (built-in to WP Rocket, or use CAOS For Fonts, or SHGF)
  • Integration with Cloudflare + other CDNs (built-in to WP Rocket, or use CDN Enabler)

Get 10% off WP Rocket by signing up for their email list on their coupons page. Then check my recommended WP Rocket settings for optimal GTmetrix scores/load times.

2016 best cache plugin poll

2019 cache plugin poll

Swift vs WP Rocket

2016 cache plugin poll

Best cache plugins 2018 poll

wp rocket vs w3 totla cache

WP-Rocket-Features

 

2. SG Optimizer

SG-Optimizer-Plugin

SG Optimizer only works if you’re on SiteGround’s hosting.

On a demo website, I tested SG Optimizer with a fresh installation of Astra’s Outdoor Adventure theme on SiteGround’s GrowBig plan and got a 1s load time with 99%/94% GTmetrix scores. If I used a CDN, my GTmetrix scores would have been exactly 99%/100%.

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.

See my recommended SG Optimizer settings to learn how to configure SG Optimizer.

SG Optimizer Features

  • Caching (static, dynamic, memcached)
  • Minify & combine HTML, CSS, JS
  • Gzip compression
  • PHP version selection
  • Optimize Google Fonts
  • Defer render-blocking JS
  • Compress new + existing images
  • Lazy load images, videos, iframes, Gravatars, thumbnails, widgets, mobile

Features SG Optimizer Lacks

  • Heartbeat control
  • Database cleanup
  • Bloat removal
  • CDN URL
  • Prefetch + preconnect
  • Host Google Analytics locally

 

 

 

3. Perfmatters

Kinsta’s Perfmatters is the ultimate bloat removal plugin.

A few notable features include decreasing the autosave interval, limiting post revisions, disabling heartbeat and pingbacks, prefetching + preconnecting fonts and third party scripts, and optimizing WooCommerce scripts, styles, and cart fragments. It basically takes care of the last 10% of WordPress speed optimization with features WP Rocket/SG Optimizer don’t have.

perfmatters features

Perfmatters includes a script manager for selectively disabling scripts/plugins on specific content (same thing as Asset CleanUp). Some plugins load across your entire site even when they’re not being used. By selectively disabling plugins, you will reduce page sizes and make them load faster. There’s also a Regex option to better control where plugins are being loaded.

Examples:

  • Disable slider plugin on pages not using sliders
  • Disable rich snippets plugin on pages not using rich snippets
  • Disable contact form plugin on pages not using contact forms
  • Disable affiliate link management plugin on pages not using aff links
  • Disable social sharing plugin on all pages (since it’s usually for blog posts)

perfmatters-script-manager

 

4. Asset CleanUp

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.

Asset CleanUp Check All

 

5. TinyPNG

Compresses images to get 100% for the “optimize images” items 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 in TinyPNG. I see barely any quality loss which I can’t say for the other plugins.

TinyPNG-Plugin

 

6. WP-Optimize

A big difference between WP-Optimize and WP Rocket’s database cleanup feature, is that WP-Optimize lets you delete old plugin tables.

Both plugins let you delete trash (trashed posts, spam posts, post revisions, transients) and optimize your database tables. But WP-Optimize lets you view your individual database tables and delete tables left behind by old (not installed) plugins. If you don’t plan on using these plugins again, you can delete their tables since they often leave behind pre-configured settings.

WP-Optimize-Tables

WP Rocket does the same thing, only it doesn’t let you delete old plugin tables:

WP-Rocket-Database-Settings

 

7. WP YouTube Lyte

Lazy loads videos by inserting responsive “Lite YouTube Embeds” which only calls the “fat” YouTube player when the play button is clicked. Videos take the longest time to load by far. Just to give you an idea, my W3 Total Cache tutorial only has 2 videos, but when I lazy load them that post’s load time went from 5s to 1.5s. It has the same function as light video embeds.

If using WP Rocket, you can simply lazy load videos and replace iframes with a preview image.

WP-Rocket-Lazy-Load

 

8. Heartbeat Control

The WordPress heartbeat API consumes resources by sending you real-time plugin notifications, when other users are editing a post, and so on. 99% of people should disable it.

Heartbeat-Control

WP Rocket and Perfmatters also let you disable it, or add this code to your functions.php file.

add_action( 'init', 'stop_heartbeat', 1 );
function stop_heartbeat() {
wp_deregister_script('heartbeat');
}

 

9. Pre* Party Resource Hints

Supports browser resources hints which can make fonts and scripts load faster.

WP Rocket already supports prefetch + preconnect, otherwise you can use Pre* Party Resource Hints. Third party scripts can be found in the “reduce DNS lookups” section of your GTmetrix report or shown as “reduce the impact of third party code” in PageSpeed Insights.

These can be Gravatars, Google Analytics, Maps, Tag Manager, AdSense, embedded videos, or any third party request generated on your website. You’ll want to prefetch these (Luke created a nice list of common domains to prefetch). And if you’re using Google Fonts or Font Awesome, grab your font URLs from the GTmetrix Waterfall tab and add them to the preconnect section.

Third-Party-Usage

 

10. OMGF | Host Google Fonts Locally

OMGF can fix Google Font-related errors by downloading all your Google Fonts (using the Google Fonts Helper API) and generating a stylesheet for them. You will need to configure the settings to serve fonts from your CDN and select the folders to save font files to. While some plugins like WP Rocket and SG Optimizer already optimize fonts, OMGF can often yield better results especially when served from a CDN. The Self-Hosted Google Fonts plugin is similar.

Google-Fonts-GTmetrix

What it looks like:

OMGF-Settings

Tip: if using external fonts, be minimal with the number of fonts (and font weights) you choose. If for some reason this plugin doesn’t fix errors, I have a guide for hosting Google Fonts locally.

 

11. CAOS | Host Google Analytics Locally

Leverage Brower Caching Google Analytics

CAOS fixes the leverage browser caching item in GTmetrix by hosting Google Analytics locally. Install the plugin, enter your Tracking-ID, and CAOS will add the Tracking Code to the header or footer. But if you’re using WP Rocket or Perfmatters, these already have this functionality.

CAOS-Analytics-Settings

 

12. wpDiscuz

Why is wpDiscuz in my list of WordPress speed plugins?

Because with wpDiscuz, I get an awesome comment plugin on my blog with virtually no expense to my GTmetrix report. This is usually not the case with other commenting plugins. Go to your wpDiscuz settings and use the tweaks below which should make the plugin load faster.

Recommended settings to speed up wpDiscuz:

Comment Thread Displaying → initiate AJAX loading after page and lazy load comment.

Disqus-Comment-Thread-Displaying

General → disable “use WordPress native AJAX functions” and enable combine/minify JS/CSS.

Disqus-General-Settings

Styles And Colors → disable “load font awesome CSS lib.”

Disqus-Load-Font-Awesome-CSS-Lib

 

13. Flying Scripts

Flying_Scripts_by_WP_Speed_Matters

This plugin helps you optimize third party scripts found in GTmetrix (reduce DNS lookups) and PageSpeed Insights (minimize third party scripts).

It delays loading of JavaScript until the timeout period you set in the plugin. For example, you can delay loading your comments plugin and Gravatars for 3 seconds which can significantly speed up initial load times. In fact, Flying Scripts is the only plugin that let me show Gravatars without them affecting GTmetrix. It is definitely one of my favorite WordPress speed plugins.

Flying-Scripts

 

14. WP User Avatar

The blank default Gravatar can still create errors in GTmetrix.

If you don’t want it to, install the WP User Avatar plugin which hosts the default Gravatar locally. Upload your own optimized Gravatar image (ideally a 50×50 pixel compressed image).

WP-User-Avata

 

15. CDN Enabler

CDN Enabler helps you set up a CDN (content delivery network). This does not work with Cloudflare which requires changing nameservers, while CDN enabler is specifically for StackPath, KeyCDN, and other CDNs that provide a CDN URL. First, sign up for a CDN (I use StackPath) then enter your CDN URL into the CDN Enabler plugin. See instructions below:

Step 1: Sign up for a CDN (I use StackPath who has 34 data centers) and create a CDN site.

Step 2: Grab Your CDN URL:

StackPath-CDN-URL

Step 3: Enter your CDN URL into CDN Enabler, then configure the settings:

CDN-Enabler-Plugin-Settings

 

16. Breeze By Cloudways

Breeze is only if you’re using Cloudways hosting.

It has a long way to go if they want to catch up to SG Optimizer or WP Rocket, and I would personally use WP Rocket instead as it lacks many features (probably why it doesn’t have the best ratings). While I highly recommend Cloudways hosting, I can’t recommend Breeze yet.

Breeze-Cache-Plugin

While the Cloudways Breeze plugin isn’t great, their hosting is.

SiteGround-vs-Cloudways

 

17. Autoptimize

Optimizes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You don’t need Autoptimize unless you’re hosted on GoDaddy, WP Engine, or any host who blacklists cache plugins, since WP Rocket and most cache plugins optimize the code for you. But while GoDaddy and WP Engine’s built-in caching might be fine, it doesn’t optimize HTML/CSS/JS. That’s where Autoptimize comes into play.

Autoptimize

 

18. WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache is usually rated one of the top free cache plugins and is easy to configure. However, it lacks quite a few features and if you want them, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version, in which case you’ll be better off with WP Rocket. I have a configuration tutorial on the WP Fastest Cache settings as well as W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Settings

 

19. ToolKit For Elementor

ToolKit does a little bit of everything (minification, combination, font optimization, lazy load, bloat removal, gzip, browser caching, expires headers), but it doesn’t do everything. You’ll be better off using WP Rocket combined with Perfmatters. One thing I like about ToolKit is the option to disable unused widgets in Elementor, WordPress, and in the WordPress dashboard.

ToolKit-for-Elementor

 

20. AMP For WP

I was using AMP, but I ultimately disabled it and now I don’t. But if you want to add AMP (accelerated mobile pages) to WordPress, this is one of the most highly rated AMP plugins since it has lots of customization options. One of the frustrating parts about AMP is that it strips some of your design elements, so you want to make sure the mobile pages still look nice.

Warning: AMP can sometimes decrease mobile conversions. Read Kinsta’s study on how their conversions dropped 59% when using AMP. I ultimately decided against it.

AMP-Pages

This plugin has tons of settings for customizing mobile pages:

Accelerated-Mobile-Pages-Plugin-Settings

 

21. Query Monitor

Find your slow loading plugins, queries, scripts, and other elements that take longest to load. Make sure you delete it when you’re done, since Query Monitor can cause high CPU in itself.

Query Monitor Slow Plugins

You can also use GTmetrix Waterfall to find your slowest plugins:

Slow WordPress Plugin

 

22. Display PHP Version

Display PHP Version simply shows which PHP version you’re running. Faster PHP versions = faster load times, so be sure to login to your hosting account and use the latest PHP version.

Display-PHP

 

23. GTMetrix For WordPress

The GTmetrix WordPress plugin monitors your load times and PageSpeed + YSlow scores, then sends you a report directly in your WordPress dashboard, or through scheduled email reports.

GTmetrix-WordPress-Dashboard-Widget

GTmetrix-Scheduled-WordPress-Reports

GTmetrix-Scheduled-Reports

 

24. WP Hosting Performance Check

Shows overall performance of hosting and whether your technology (PHP, MySQL, WordPress versions) is running slow, in which case it should be updated. It also shows your slowest pages.

Hosting-PHP-Server-Response

Browser-Load-Speed

Web-Server-Response-Time

Bytecheck.com and GTmetrix also show your TTFB (time to first byte) in the Waterfall tab:

TTFB Check

GTmetrix TTFB

Cool Trick: one of the only things PageSpeed Insights is good for is checking for server response times. Google says it should be under 200ms. If not, your server (hosting) is slow.

Reduce Server Response Time Under 200ms

 

25. Better Search Replace

If you see minimize redirects in your GTmetrix report, this usually means you changed the WWW or HTTPS version of your site, but didn’t change your links to reflect the new version.

Minimize-Redirects

Instead of fixing all your links manually, use the Better Search And Replace plugin to update them in bulk. It can also be helpful for fixing broken links, or even bulk updating links/images which appear on multiple pages/posts. Better Search Replace can be an enormous time saver.

Better Search Replace – WWW Versions

 

Other Notable Tools / Resources

Cloudways and SiteGround – they are usually rated the top hosts in Facebook polls by far, with many people who migrated and posted their new load times. Both use cloud hosting and are extremely fast; SiteGround is more user-friendly but renewal prices are high and they have strict CPU limits. Cloudways is usually faster but more technical and they don’t support direct email hosting (you would need a Rackspace account). Both are very fast and do free migrations.

Cloudways Response Times

SiteGround Load Time Migration

SiteGround-Bluehost-Migration

Switching To SiteGround

Godaddy to DigitalOcean Migration

2018 Hosting Recommendations

Favorite Hosting For Elementor

VPS Cloud Hosting WooCommerce Poll

Hosting Recommendations Facebook

2017-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Untitled

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

SiteGround-HostGator-Migration

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

Vultr Migration

July 2019 Hosting Recommendation

Elementor Hosting Recommendations

WordPress Hosting Suggestions

VPS Cloud Hosting Poll

2016-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Preferred-Web-Hosting-Poll

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for Cloudways or SiteGround using my affiliate link, I will earn a commission at no expense to you. I am not an affiliate for Bluehost, HostGator, or GoDaddy because they’re not fast and the results show it. I also donate a good chunk of my blog’s income to GoFundMe campaigns and would seriously appreciate your support. I try to make recommendations based on pure evidence.

Cloudflare – free CDN and speed/security service which mirrors your site (and offloads resources) on over 200+ data centers. Integrates with most cache plugins with options to use aggressive minification, Railgun, and hotlinking. All my cache plugin tutorials include Cloudflare setup instructions and don’t forget to set up page rules for your WordPress site.

StackPath – paid CDN which adds 30+ additional data centers around the world (more data centers = faster content delivery), reducing the distance between your website/visitors – a recommendation in the WordPress optimization guide. $10/month with a free 30-day trial.

Pingdom – most accurate tool for measuring load times according to WP Rocket, though GTmetrix has better recommendations for actually optimizing your site, in my humble opinion.

GTmetrix – good for identifying images that need to be optimized using the 3 methods: serving scaled images (resizing them), specifying images dimensions in the HTML/CSS, and optimizing images (lossless compression). GTmetrix recently switched to a fully loaded time metric which shows a longer load time than previously. Their waterfall tab measures individual slow loading elements, and if your time to first byte is long that indicates your hosting is slow.

Google PageSpeed Insights – most recommendations can be ignored but it’s good for measuring server response time which Google recommends <200ms or your hosting is slow.

Pronaya (My WordPress Speed Optimizer) – you can hire my WordPress speed optimizer on freelancer.com who I’ve been working with for 5 years and we’ve optimized multiple sites to load 500% faster. His name is Pronaya, he’s $40/hour and has a perfect 5/5 star review with 19 reviews (just sign up for a Freelancer account and search for user BDKAMOL). If you think I’m good at speed optimization, Pronaya is way better. I’ve also been working with Usama (his username is I333) who is quite cheaper but is also amazing with 4.9/5 stars and 375+ reviews.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

🚀 What are the 5 most important speed plugins?

WP Rocket, SG Optimizer, OMGF, Perfmatters, and Autoptimize are 5 top speed optimization plugins.

🚀 What is the best cache plugin?

WP Rocket was rated the #1 cache plugin in numerous Facebook polls because it has more speed features than other cache plugins including database cleanup, heartbeat control, lazy load, and optimizing Google Analytics. WP Fastest Cache is usually rated the top free cache plugin, and SG Optimizer is good if you're on SiteGround.

🚀 What's the best image optimization plugin?

ShortPixel, TinyPNG, Imagify, and Smush are 4 popular image optimization plugins.

🚀 Which plugin is best for optimizing fonts?

OMGF, Perfmatters, WP Rocket, and Autoptimize all have font optimization options. WP Rocket and Perfmatters let you preconnect them which makes them load even faster.

🚀 Should I add AMP?

We chose not to use AMP after reading Kinsta's article about how their conversions dropped by roughly 50% due to AMP.

My WordPress Speed Optimization Tutorial – has 400+ comments with people saying things like “My page speed score on gtmetrix went from 69 to 93” and “this might be one of the most helpful posts I’ve ever read.” Tons of people have used it to improve Pingdom/GTmetrix scores.

I hope you find these WordPress speed optimization plugins useful! If you have questions leave me a comment. Or if you simply need to fix your slow WordPress site, see my tutorial above. It has over 400 comments and has helped many people reduce their load time to <1s.

Cheers,
Tom

65 Slow WordPress Plugins To Avoid Because Of High CPU

Avoid these 65 WordPress plugins and your site will load faster.

Many of you remember using P3 Profiler to run scans that detect slow plugins. But it hasn’t been updated for several years – so I created this list which also includes talks about finding slow plugins in GTmetrix, alternative lightweight plugins, and disabling unused plugin settings.

There are certain plugin settings known for causing high CPU like Wordfence’s live traffic report, Broken Link Checker’s ongoing scans, and other settings that run scans, collect statistics, send email notifications, or robust plugins that offer tons of functionality (but you only need some features… like only using one feature from Jetpack). I would also install WP Disable to turn off WordPress settings you don’t use (Emojis, Gravatars, heartbeat API, etc).

Thank you Ivica from the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group for creating this awesome list on his resources page – I also added quite a few. I would definitely join his group which has over 10,000 members. You can also read my own WordPress speed optimization guide which includes over 40 tips to make your site load faster (using WP Rocket, Cloudflare, AMP Pages, image optimization, plugin optimizations and plenty more) which has over 350+ comments.

Slow Loading WordPress Plugins

*Most slow WordPress plugins include social sharing, statistic (analytics), sliders, portfolios, page builders, calendars, chat, contact forms, related post, sitemap, Wordfence, WPML, WooCommerce, and any plugin that runs ongoing scans or processes. These can be identified using Query Monitor or GTmetrix Waterfall.

  1. AddThis
  2. AdSense Click Fraud Monitoring
  3. All-In-One Event Calendar
  4. Backup Buddy
  5. Beaver Builder
  6. Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps
  7. Broken Link checker (use Dr. Link Check)
  8. Constant Contact for WordPress
  9. Contact Form 7
  10. Contextual Related Posts
  11. Digi Auto Links
  12. Disqus Comment System
  13. Divi Builder
  14. Essential Grid
  15. Facebook Chat
  16. Fancy Gallery
  17. Fuzzy SEO Booster
  18. Google Analytics
  19. Google Language Translator
  20. Google Translate
  21. Google XML Sitemaps
  22. Jetpack
  23. Leaflet Maps Marker
  24. MyReview
  25. NextGEN Gallery
  26. NewStatPress
  27. Real Estate Website Builder
  28. Really Simple Share
  29. Reveal IDs
  30. Revolution Slider
  31. Sharebar
  32. ShareThis
  33. S2 member
  34. SEO Auto Links & Related Posts
  35. Share Buttons by AddToAny
  36. Share Buttons by E-MAILiT
  37. ShareThis
  38. Social Discussions
  39. Socialable
  40. Similar Posts
  41. Slimstat Analytics
  42. SumoMe
  43. Talk.To
  44. Tribulent Slideshow Gallery
  45. Ultimate Social Media & Share
  46. VaultPress
  47. WooCommerce Customer History
  48. Wordfence (disable live traffic reports)
  49. WordPress Facebook
  50. WordPress Related Posts
  51. WordPress Popular Posts
  52. WordPress Social Ring
  53. WP Bakey (formerly Visual Composer)
  54. WP Facebook Like Plugin
  55. WP Jump Menu
  56. WP Social Bookmarking Lite
  57. WP Social Share
  58. WP Statistics
  59. WP Power Stats
  60. WP-PostViews
  61. WPML (if you use too many extensions)
  62. wpCloaker
  63. WPML
  64. Yet Another Related Post Plugin
  65. Yuzo Related Posts

 

Finding Slow Plugins In GTmetrix

Since P3 Profiler doesn’t work anymore, an alternative solution to finding YOUR slowest loading plugins is to run your site through GTmetrix and check out your report. If when you expand items the same plugin appears multiple times in your report (or simply takes a long time to load in the GTmetrix waterfall tab), you should probably delete or replace that plugin.

Slow WordPress Plugin

 

Lightweight Plugins

Social Sharing – WP Rocket’s test showed Social Media Feather, MonarchSimple Shared Buttons Adder, and MashShare had the least amount of requests and fastest load times.

BackupUpdraftPlus.

SlidersSoliloquy, LayerSlider, or Meteor Sliders.

CommentsDisqus Conditional Load.

PortfolioEnvira Gallery, FooGallery, or The Grid.

Analytics – Google Analytics and Search Console should be plenty. Just make sure you’re hosting Google Analytics locally (using WP Rocket or WP Disable).

Page BuildersWordPress Page Builder by MotoPress, but no page builder runs faster than the native WordPress Editor. Combine this with the Duplicator plugin and you shouldn’t need a page builder (including page builders built-in to WordPress themes). Unless your team absolutely refuses to learn a little HTML (the easiest coding language), avoid page builders.

StudioPress Plugins – lightweight plugins for the Genesis Framework.

 

Turn Off Unused Plugin Settings

Go through each of your plugins and decide which settings you can turn off (this will lower CPU). For example, in Yoast under Settings > General > Features I disabled the following…

Yoast-Feature-Settings

Wordfence’s live traffic view also consumes high CPU…

Disable-Wordfence-Live-Traffic-View

 

Avoid Using 2 Plugins For Duplicate Functionality

Since Yoast creates a sitemap for you, you don’t need the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. If your host takes backups for you, you don’t need a plugin for that. If you have Google Analytics, do you really a statistics plugin that slows down your site and does about 1/1000 of what Google Analytics can do? Think about which plugins you actually need and delete the ones you don’t. And instead of using Jetpack so you can use 1 or 2 features, install a lightweight plugin that does the same thing but doesn’t have a million settings/features that will slow down your site.

 

Disable Unused Settings In WordPress

WP Disable lets you disable settings in WordPress that consume CPU and slow down your site. It also has options for heartbeat control (if you remember the actual heartbeat control plugin, you can now delete it and just use this)… as well as a few other options that can speed up your website/admin panel. Go through the settings and disable everything you don’t use…

Tips On Using WP Disable

  • Disable EVERYTHING you don’t use
  • Scheduling spam deletion is a good idea
  • Emojis, Google Maps, and Gravatars take a long time to load
  • Pingbacks and trackbacks aren’t usually worth the extra resources
  • Set post revisions to 3-5 so you have backups, but you don’t need hundreds
  • Miscellaneous options in the “request” tab can further your improve load times

WP-Disable-Requests

WP-Disable-Tags-Settings

WP-Disable-Admin

/WP-Disable-SEO.

WP-Disable-Others

 

AWStats Helps Identify Sources Of High CPU/Bandwidth

AWStats is a tool built-in to most hosting cPanels that provides statistics on CPU usage. It tells you whether certain bots, images, downloaded files, and even IP addresses are consuming a lot of CPU. You can also use the WP Server Stats plugin but I think AWStats does an awesome job.

AWStats helps you find:

  • High bandwidth crawlers
  • High bandwidth IP addresses
  • High bandwidth download files
  • High bandwidth files (eg. images)
  • Total bandwidth usage (for monitoring)

Monthly-Bandwidth

Search engine crawlers/spiders usually consume the most CPU (bandwidth)…

Robots-Spiders-Bandwidth

My WordPress speed guide has more tips on reducing crawler CPU plus tons of other tips.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

🔌 Which type of plugins slow down WordPress the most?

The most common slow loading plugins are social sharing, statistic, live chat, page builder, commenting, calendar, backup, portfolio, related post, and slider plugins. These need to be selected carefully and tested in GTmetrix.

🔌 Which plugins are the most common culprits?

If you plan on using WPML or WooCommerce, you're better off going straight to cloud hosting because shared hosting will probably not have enough server resources to handle your site. This is because (especially WooCommerce sites) usually require more plugins and generate extra scripts, styles, and cart fragments that will also take longer to load.

🔌 How can I find my slowest plugins?

Look in your GTmetrix Waterfall tab to see which plugins are taking longest to load, or use the Query Monitor plugin to find your slowest plugins.

🔌 Will disabling unused plugin features help?

Yes! If you're not using a feature, disable it. I also recommend using Asset CleanUp or Perfmatters to selectively load plugins on certain pages/posts. For example, if you only use your contact form on the Contact page, disable it everywhere else.

🔌 Does number of plugins really matter?

Every plugin adds to your load time, it just depends how much. Using lightweight plugins is more important than reducing number of plugins, but both should be taken into account.

 

What If You Absolutely Need Resource-Hungry Plugins?

Your hosting plan has a limited amount of server resources (#1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide). If a plugin is consuming too much CPU your only option (other than deleting or replacing it) is to upgrade your plan to include more server resources. Some of you know I recommend SiteGround for many reasons as their speed technology is extremely fast. And if you’re currently hosted with someone like Bluehost, Godaddy, InMotion or any of those other crappy hosts, this will be a huge upgrade for your server hardware which should improve both your scores and page load times in GTmetrix, Pingdom, and Google PageSpeed Insights.

See Also: Hot I Got 100% GTmetrix Scores

If you found this tutorial helpful, a share is always appreciated :)

Tom

How To Find Which WordPress Plugins Are Slowing Down Your Site

Slow WordPress Plugins

Too many WordPress plugins (or just 1 large plugin) can slow down your site significantly.

WP Engine says “it’s not the number of plugins, it’s the quality” which is partially true, but fact is that each plugin DOES slow your WordPress site – it’s just a matter of how much. I’ve optimized multiple websites to load under 1.5 seconds and wrote an extensive WordPress speed optimization tutorial which lots of people had success with (read the praise in the comments). One of the FIRST things I do is learn which plugins are slowing down the site.

We’ll be using P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) to find the slowest plugins…

 

Run P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

1. Install and activate P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

2. In the plugins menu, select “Scan Now”

P3 Plugin Performence Profiler

3. Select “Auto Scan”

4. Wait for the scan to complete, then view results

P3 Performence Profiler

There’s also an option to view a more detailed breakdown…

P3 (Plugin Performence Profiler) Detailed Breakdown

 

What To Do Now?

Delete plugins you don’t need – would you rather delete that large plugin, have a slow WordPress site, or pay more for faster hosting? These are your 3 options. Don’t just deactivate the plugin, delete it completely or it can leave your site vulnerable to hackers.

Delete “one time” plugins – once you’ve ran P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) you’re pretty much done with that plugin, so you can delete it. Are there other plugins you only use once in a while that you can delete for now, then reinstall when needed?

Replace plugins with code – your Google Analytics tracking code can be inserted into your footer manually, so you don’t need a plugin for that. Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram have badges so you don’t need one for those.  Get where I’m going?

Find alternative (lightweight) plugins – find your slowest plugins and see if there’s an alternative plugin that is more lightweight (loads faster). You can do this by installing both plugins then running P3 to see compare their load times. Then make a decision. I would avoid Jetpack, Google Map, and many social sharing plugins since these are common culprits.

 

Alternative Solutions

Plugins may not be the only thing slowing down your WordPres site. Bad hosting, not having your cache plugin configured correctly, and other things can cause slow load times. Use my WordPress speed guide to find more tips, or drop me a line in the comments if you need help. I also offer WordPress speed optimization services if you don’t want to deal with site speed.

Like my post? Please share it up! I would appreciate that.

Cheers,

Tom Signature

7 Simple Ways To Improve WordPress Speed Performance

Here are a few down and dirty tips to make your WordPress site load faster.

You don’t need to know code to do any of this – it’s just a matter of configuring a cache plugin (W3 Total Cache), importing my pre-configured settings, deleting plugins you don’t need, and following my instructions. By the end your website should load much faster especially if you haven’t done these steps already (and even if you have, I bet you will learn something new).

I like to start with sitewide optimizations (things that affects the performance of your entire website) which is more efficient than doing things like optimizing individual pages and images.

Different websites have different bottlenecks which slow it down, so naturally the first step to improving WordPress speed performance is to find out what items are slowing it down…

 

1. Run Your Website Through GTmetrix

Run your WordPress site through GTtmetrix to see your page load time and which items are slowing it down. You can click on each item to see more details. This can help you find out which plugins, images, pages, and other elements of your site are slowing it down the most. Be sure to check both the Page Speed and YSlow tabs to see all GTmetrix recommendations.

New-GTmetrix-Report.png

  • Under 2 seconds = legit!
  • 2-4 seconds = nice
  • 4-7 seconds = meh
  • 7-10 seconds = ouch
  • 10+ seconds = really?

 

2. Configure The W3 Total Cache Plugin

W3 Total Cache can shave seconds off your load time especially when combined with MaxCDN and Cloudflare (which integrate with W3 Total Cache). Use my W3 Total Cache tutorial to configure the ‘performance’ tabs on the left of your dashboard once the plugin is installed, then setup MaxCDN and Cloudflare. My tutorial includes a pre-configured zip file of the same settings I use which you can import into your own W3 Total Cache plugin.

w3-total-cache-performance-tab-settings

Here are the settings for the “General” tab but you’ll want to go through my full W3 Total Cache tutorial to get the most out of this amazing plugin. My tutorial has over 200 comments and has been used by 30,000+ people to make their WordPress site load much faster.

w3-total-cache-general-settings

 

3. Configure MaxCDN With W3 Total Cache

MaxCDN’s content delivery network is a paid service ($90/year with my 25% off coupon) but significantly improves load times for visitors who are far away from your server (shared hosting only has 1 server so the CDN basically mirrors your site on multiple servers around the country/world). Here’s a tutorial for setting it up with the W3 Total Cache plugin…

 

4. Get Faster WordPress Hosting

I use SiteGround and have 200ms response times with 100% GTmetrix scores and .4s Pingdom load times. Do a hosting check, run your own tests, or click through my pages to see how fast they load. They were rated the #1 host in 26 Facebook polls and are worlds better than EIG (Bluehost, HostGator), Godaddy, and bad hosts who pack too many people on the same server. They’re recommended by WordPress, do free migrations, and I use their semi-dedicated plan.

Switching To SiteGround

SiteGround Load Time Migration

Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix

HostGator To SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix

SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights

100 Perfect Score On SiteGround

SiteGround Genesis

Speed Delivered By SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix Report

Reduced Load Times With SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Times

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

Switched To SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo

Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround

SiteGround PageSpeed Insights

SiteGround On Joomla

SiteGround Reduced Load Times

SiteGround Speedy Hosting

New Pingdom Results On SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Time

SiteGround Response Time Improvement

2019 Hosting Poll

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Elementor Hosting Recommendations

July 2019 Hosting Recommendation

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2019-Hosting-Poll

Go-To-Hosting-Company

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Best-WordPress-Hosting-Provider-Poll

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WP Friendly Hosting Poll

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Favorite Hosting For Elementor

2018 Hosting Recommendations

WordPress Hosting Poll Sept 2018.png

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Hosting-Poll-For-Speed

WordPress-Hosting-Poll-June-1

SiteGround-Recommendation

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Bluehost vs SiteGround

WordPress Web Host Poll

They have 3 plans to choose from…

SiteGround-Hosting

The higher the plan, the more server resources you get (the main speed factor for hosting). GrowBig and GoGeek let you host unlimited sites, have priority support, and come with other features – but those are the main ones. See SiteGround’s features page for a full comparison.

SiteGround-Server-Resources-Comparison

 

5. Delete Unused Plugins + Find Slow Plugins With P3

The more plugins installed on your site, the slower your WordPress speed performance will be. Too many plugins (or 1 large plugin) can be the main culprit of your slow load times. Installing Plugin Performance Profiler and running a scan tells you which plugins are slowing down your site. Go through each plugin and consider deleting it, replacing it with code (eg. using a widget instead of a Facebook plugin), or find an alternative lightweight plugin.

Here’s what the scan looks like…

P3 Performence Profiler

 

6. Optimize Images

You can break this down into serve scaled images, lossless compression, and specifying image dimensions (all of which are high priority items in your GTmetrix report). Serve scaled images means you need to resize large images to be smaller (GTmetrix provides you with these dimensions). Lossless compression is done through the Imagify Plugin – definitely the best plugin for this as the completely free ones can break your images. Specifying image dimensions means you need to specify a width/height in the image’s HTML or CSS, which GTmetrix will tell you. See the image optimization section of my YouTube video to learn all this.

 

7. Use A Faster WordPress Theme

If your WordPress theme comes with tons of built-in features (shortcodes, styling, theme options…) you may consider migrating to a theme that loads faster. GTmetrix doesn’t tell you to change your host, migrate to a faster theme or anything like that, so you will need to look into the theme for this. But if your site was slow from the start, this could be why.

I use a WordPress theme built in the Genesis Framework (recommended by WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg), and you can view a list of my recommended WordPress themes which are SEO-friendly, responsive, HTML, and secure. It’s a pain, but worth it long-term.

 

Wrapping It Up

If your WordPress speed performance is still slow, check out my main WordPress speed tutorial which is more thorough. Or if you don’t want to deal with this, I offer WordPress speed optimization services (I actually use my developer for this who you can hire on that page for $40/hour through freelancer.com). I’m investing more time helping clients with WordPress SEO consulting so instead of the $700 I would charge, you can pay my Bangladesh developer $200 who is cheaper. He has helped me optimize my site (and client sites) to load 400% faster.

Pronaya-Kumar-S-Reviews

Please share this article if you found it helpful. I would appreciate that!

Cheers,

Tom Signature