47 WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins: The Ultimate 2022 List (Updated For Core Web Vitals And Way Too Many Hours Of Research)

Need a legit list of WordPress speed plugins?

I’ve spent countless hours writing/updating this list. It includes plugins that address specific core web vital items, reduce CPU usage, and optimize specific elements like CSS, JS, and fonts.

I also updated it to reflect new plugins/updates. For example, WP Rocket got pushed down behind LSC + FlyingPress for several reasons, NitroPack is at the bottom because it cheats scores, and many free cache plugins are at the bottom because they haven’t been updated to fully address core web vitals. You’ll also see FlyingPress, Cloudflare’s plugin (to set up their APO), and probably quite a few speed plugins you’ve never heard of before. I hope this helps!

Warning: you don’t need all these plugins and some of their features overlap. Many cache plugins (and Perfmatters) already have several features built-in. Some things can be also done be done by adding a single line of code to your site. Otherwise, view the list and use specific plugins to fix core web vitals. Also use tools like PageSpeed Insights + GTmetrix Waterfall chart to learn what needs to be optimized on your site.

 

 

1. LiteSpeed Cache

LiteSpeed Cache is arguably the fastest cache plugin right now with it’s server-side caching and ability to address core web vitals. While you can use it on any host, you need a LiteSpeed host (I recommend NameHero) to use LiteSpeed’s exclusive features which you can find on the plugin page. It also integrates with QUIC.cloud CDN which uses HTTP/3. It’s one of the fastest setups which are all free on a LiteSpeed host. LiteSpeed servers + LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC = fast site. I also have a detailed tutorial on configuring the best LiteSpeed Cache settings with QUIC.cloud.

Litespeed cache plugin

Litespeed vs nginx vs apache
LiteSpeed vs. Nginx vs. Apache (lower is better, source: LiteSpeed)

 

2. FlyingPress

Gijo Varghese’s plugin from WP Speed Matters.

I switched from WP Rocket to FlyingPress by accident. WP Johnny was helping me with optimizations (trying to improve web vitals) when he suggested I try FlyingPress. I agreed thinking it wouldn’t do much, but I immediately saw the difference when browsing through the website. My scores/web vitals didn’t change much compared to WP Rocket since this ended up being an unrelated issue, but real-world browsing was so much faster. The biggest complaint is price, but since WP Rocket stopped offering renewal discounts (FlyingPress does), the plugin is actually cheaper long-term ($42/year renewal with FlyingPress and $49/year with WP Rocket). And unlike LiteSpeed Cache, you can use FlyingPress regardless of which hosting you’re using.

Omm switches to flyingpress

Omm flyingpress comment

 

3. WP Rocket

WP Rocket used to be on the top of this list, but I pushed it down to #3.

I don’t think it’s caching is as aggressive as FlyingPress (and it’s definitely not more aggressive than LiteSpeed Cache). They also stopped offering renewal discounts and the JavaScript is delayed automatically with no option to add it manually. It’s becoming a “one size fits all” plugin. It’s still a good plugin, I just think there are better alternatives. Here’s a 10% off coupon and I have a guide on setting up the WP Rocket settings. Like FlyingPress, it can be used on any host.

 

 

4. Cloudflare

Used to set up Cloudflare’s APO which can make big improvements to TTFB, LCP, and other metrics by serving your entire website from Cloudflare’s edge network. I use APO (among other Cloudflare features) and achieved great results in KeyCDN’s performance test which measures TTFB in 10 global locations. It’s $5/month or free on Cloudflare Pro. I have instructions on setting up APO using the plugin. It doesn’t have the best reviews but I found it worked perfectly.

Cloudflare automatic platform optimization for wordpress

Keycdn ttfb performance test

 

5. WP Cloudflare Super Page Cache

Speed up your website by using Cloudflare to cache HTML pages instead of only static files. This is basically the same thing as setting up a cache everything page rule only the plugin lets you exclude certain web pages, sessions, ajax requests, and other things from the cache. Out-of-the-box settings are usually fine, or you can see the documentation on using it with WP Rocket.

Wp cloudflare super page cache plugin

 

 

6. Perfmatters

Perfmatters basically takes care of the last 10% of what most cache plugins don’t do. It was developed by Kinsta and has several features to optimize both the frontend and backend of your site. I find it much more user-friendly than Asset CleanUp and Kinsta releases frequent updates/features. Here’s a screenshot from one of multiple tabs in the Perfmatters settings.

Key Features

  • Remove unused CSS.
  • Delay JavaScript files.
  • Disable plugins/scripts/styles in the script manager.
  • Browser resource hints (preload, prefetch, preconnect).
  • Limit autosave interval, post revisions, disable XML-RPC.
  • Move wp-login to a custom URL to hide from bots/hackers.
  • Host fonts locally instead of pulling from fonts.gstatic.com.
  • Use a smaller GA tracking code (i.e. analytics.js, minimal, etc.)
  • Disable WooCommerce scripts/styles as well as cart fragments.
  • CDN rewrite (rewrites URLs to serve assets from your CDN URL).
  • Host Google Analytics locally instead of pulling from Google Analytics.
  • Font-display: swap to “ensure text remains visible during webfont load.”
  • Instant page (pages download in background when users hover over a link).
Ninja-tables-disabling
Unloading unused assets is one of many features

 

7. Asset CleanUp

Mainly used to unload assets with a few extra optimizations (but Perfmatters has more). I found the UI/UX to be not so user-friendly. They also have a pro version which lets you unload custom CSS while Asset CleanUp (free) and Perfmatters do not. One thing I like about Asset CleanUp is they have a test mode which lets only you see changes, which can prevent things from breaking.

Asset cleanup check all

 

8. Autoptimize

Autoptimize combines, defers, and inlines CSS/JS files.

It can help fix render-blocking resources and you can set a CDN URL to serve files from. Some cache plugins don’t give you control over how CSS/JS files are optimized, but Autoptimize does.

Autoptimize settings

 

9. Smush

Smush, Imagify, and ShortPixel are usually the 3 most popular image optimization plugins.

They all let you compress images, strip EXIF data, and backup images. Smush just has more built-in features. However, one nice thing about ShortPixel (and Imagify) is they create WebP images while you will need Smush Pro to do it (this fixes “serve images in next-gen formats” in PageSpeed Insights). Smush also has the most/highest ratings out of the 3 plugins I mentioned.

Smush plugin

 

10. WP-Optimize

Most cache plugins already clean your database, so why use WP-Optimize?

Because it lets you go through your actual database tables and delete tables left behind by old plugins marked as “not installed.” If you deleted a plugin, chances are it left behind database bloat which can be deleted. You may also notice some plugin features are causing database bloat, in which case you can disable certain plugin features/modules causing bloat. I saw Rank Math’s modules were adding bloat so I disabled their analytics, link checker, and other modules.

Wp-optimize-tables

 

11. 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 it runs ongoing scans and increases CPU usage.

Query monitor slow plugins

 

12. Flying Pages

Preloads pages in the viewport so when users click them, the page loads almost instantly. Very helpful for real-word browsing speed. It has several to prevent overloading your server like only preloading 3 req/second and stops preloading if your server is busy. Also built-in to FlyingPress.

Flying pages by wp speed matters

 

13. Flying Scripts

Delays JavaScript using a timeout period.

Mostly used with third-party code (which you can find in your PageSpeed Insights report) and even plugins loading non-critical JavaScript below the fold like Disqus and third-party comment plugins. Feel free to also view my list of common JavaScript to delay. Some caching plugins like SiteGround Optimizer don’t let you delay JavaScript in which case this can be super beneficial.

Flying-scripts

 

14. Flying Analytics

Hosts Google Analytics locally to prevent analytics.js (or similar) from showing errors in speed testing tools. Install it, enter your Tracking-ID, set the JavaScript method, and it will do the rest.

Leverage browser caching gtmetrix

 

15. Unbloater

Bloat removal plugin with 35+ features for the frontend, backend, Gutenberg, and third-party plugins. Perfmatters removes some bloat, but Unbloater addresses even more and is also free.

Features

  • Disable XML-RPC
  • Limit post revisions
  • Disable jQuery migrate
  • Disable/limit heartbeat
  • Disable/limit auto-updates
  • Remove bloat from the admin
  • Many other bloat removal options

Unbloater plugin

 

16. SiteGround Optimizer

Only works on SiteGround which I don’t recommend.

Their plugin isn’t that good. Even though it uses server-level caching and they’ve updated it to address core web vitals, it doesn’t compare to plugins like LiteSpeed Cache or FlyingPress. The plugin has a lot of compatibility issues and it seems to not be thoroughly tested before releasing new versions. I wouldn’t trust this on any high traffic site that needs reliability. If you decide to use it, here are my recommended settings. I would install Perfmatters on top of this to take care of asset unloading, bloat removal, delaying JavaScript, and other features lacking in their plugin.

Sg-optimizer-plugin

 

17. Redis Object Cache

Connect Redis to your site which is known to be faster with more efficient memory usage compared to memcached. This can be especially beneficial for larger/eCommerce websites. You’ll also need to make sure your host supports Redis (both Cloudways and NameHero do).

Redis object cache

 

18. OMGF | Host Google Fonts Locally

Host fonts locally instead of pulling from fonts.gstatic.com.

Your GTmetrix Waterfall chart and PageSpeed Insights report tells you whether fonts are hosted locally or being pulled from Google Fonts which generate third-party requests (it’s faster to host locally). Elementor and several themes/plugins also have an option to host fonts locally. The plugin has settings to serve fonts from a CDN, preloading, and font-display: swap.

Third-party fonts

What the settings look like:

Omgf-settings

 

19. BunnyCDN

BunnyCDN is highly recommended in Facebook Groups and has solid performance and reliability on cdnperf.com (better than RocketCDN/CloudwaysCDN which use StackPath). Once you sign up, you will create a pull zone and they will give you a CDN URL. You should add this to both the BunnyCDN plugin as well as your cache plugin which can help serve even more assets from their CDN. It’s relatively cheap and you can choose which zones to serve content from which all have their own pricing and can be turned ON/OFF. Here are setup instructions.

Bunnycdn plugin

 

20. WP Crontrol

View and edit cron jobs (scheduled tasks) running on your website. A popular method is to disable wp-cron and add a real cron job (usually in your hosting account of Cloudflare Workers).

Wp-crontrol

 

21. Heartbeat Control

Disable or limit WordPress heartbeat which consumes resources by sending you real-time plugin notifications, when other users are editing a post, etc. I recommend disabling heartbeat in the WordPress dashboard then setting frontend/post editor to 120s. However, many speed plugins already do this (LiteSpeed Cache, WP Rocket, Perfmatters, and SiteGround Optimizer).

Disable wordpress heartbeat control

Without using a plugin, you can add this code to your functions.php file.

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

 

22. Pre* Party Resource Hints

Add preload, prefetch, and preconnect resource hints.

However, you shouldn’t need this plugin since most major speed plugins already support this. Or you can just add a line of code to your header.php file. Otherwise, you can use this plugin.

  • Preload – PageSpeed Insights tells you fonts to preload under “preload key requests”
  • Prefetch – check your third-party code report in PSI to see which domains to prefetch.
  • Preconnect – usually only done with CDN URLs and external fonts (i.e. fonts.gstatic.com).

Pre* party resource hints plugin

 

23. ShortPixel Adaptive Images

Serves smaller images to mobile devices which can improve mobile scores and load times. Images can be served from ShortPixel’s CDN in next-gen WebP format if browsers support it. Very similar to Cloudflare Mirage where devices with smaller screens receive smaller images.

Shortpixel adaptive images

 

24. WebP Converter For Media

Creates WebP images which are faster than JPEG, PNG and GIFs. Most CDNs and image optimization plugins already do this, so you should just use those. But if they don’t, WebP is faster than JPEG/PNG and fixes the serve images in next-gen format recommendation in PSI.

Webp converter for media plugin

 

25. Swap Google Fonts Display

Add font-display: swap to ensure text remains visible during webfont load in PageSpeed Insights. This sets a fallback font while fonts are loading which can fix FOIT (flash of invisible text) but may also cause FOUC (flash of unstyled content). Many speed plugins and Elementor already let you use font-display: swap though, so the plugin might cause duplicate functionality.

Ensure text remains visible during webfont load

 

26. Disable XML-RPC

Disables XML-RPC which protects your site from brute-force and DDoS attacks. Hits to XML-RPC may also be consuming resources, so it’s a good idea to disable this. Make sure disabling it doesn’t conflict with page builders or plugins. XML-RPC was designed to publish content from external services and can be usually disabled if you don’t do this (it can also be done with code).

Disable xml-rpc-api plugin

 

27. Disable WooCommerce Bloat

Disables several WooCommerce features introduced in WooCommerce 4.0 and later.

  • WooCommerce admin, analytics tab, notification bar.
  • Marketing hub, home screen, password strength meter.
  • WooCommerce scripts, styles, cart fragments, widgets.
  • SkyVerge dashboard, Jetpack promotions, Elementor overview widget.

Disable woocommerce bloat plugin

 

28. Widget Disable

Disable all unused widgets in the admin.

Widget disable plugin

 

29. Async JavaScript

Often does a better job at deferring JavaScript than WP Rocket and other cache plugins which can fix render-blocking resource errors in PSI. Simply install the plugin then click “apply defer.”

Async javascript apply defer

 

30. Simple Local Avatars

Upload local Avatars to prevent third-party requests from Gravatar (mainly used if you have lots of comments). WP User Avatar pulled a bait-and-switch – so you can try this one instead.

Simple local avatars plugin

 

31. Limit Login Attempts

Limit login attempts from bad bots/hackers to prevent them from consuming resources. It lets you set lockout periods, safelist/blocklist certain IP addresses, and supports email notifications.

Limit login attempts reloaded plugin

 

32. WPS Hide Login

Move your wp-login page to a custom URL.

Stops bots/hackers from finding the original wp-login URL to stop bad bots/hackers. If you’re using QUIC, that already has features to optimize the wp-login so you may not want to move it.

Wps hide login plugin

 

33. Blackhole For Bad Bots

Stop bad bots from hitting your site and consuming resources.

There are many ways to block bad bots and some do a better job than others (Cloudflare bot fight mode, firewall rules, Wordfence, Cloudways bot protection, etc). Check your logs and make sure whatever method you’re using actually blocks them. When using this plugin, you’ll need to add the Robots Rules to your site’s robots.txt file (explained on the installation page).

Blackhole for bad bots plugin

 

34. Oxygen Builder

Popular lightweight alternative to Divi/Elementor in Facebook groups (since core web vitals, there has been a large shift of people moving from Elementor/Divi and posting better results).

But like most builders, it requires quite a learning curve. While Elementor/Divi both added built-in optimizations/experiments to help with the extra CSS/JS/fonts it loads, avoiding them all together is the best alternative. Oxygen Builder has 15+ pre-built websites to choose from.

Page builder speed

 

35. Kadence Starter Templates

Another popular alternative to Elementor/Divi with 37+ pre-built websites to choose from which can be imported using their Starter Templates plugin. I haven’t used Kadence personally but I know it’s a very popular choice in Facebook groups and is used by Adam from WPCrafter.

Starter templates by kadence wp

 

36. 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. However, I prefer the lazy loading done by FlyingPress since it eliminates requests from ytimg.com by hosting placeholders locally. Other cache/speed plugins can lazy load videos, otherwise you can use the WP YouTube Lyte plugin.

 

 

37. 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. But I would rather use the FlyingPress + Perfmatters combo. One thing I like about Elementor ToolKit is the option to disable unused widgets in Elementor, WordPress, and in your WordPress dashboard.

Toolkit-for-elementor

 

38. Breeze

I love Cloudways for hosting, but I’ll admit their Breeze cache plugin isn’t great.

It’s lacking several important features found in other cache plugins and I actually sent Cloudways an entire list of things that could use improvement in the plugin. If they make those updates, it should be comparable to top cache plugins. But for now, I would use something else.

Breeze – wordpress cache plugin

 

39. WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is one of the best free cache plugins.

However, I don’t recommend most free cache plugins (except LiteSpeed Cache and maybe SiteGround Optimizer) since most other plugins don’t do a great job of addressing core web vitals or optimizing for real-world browsing experience. This includes WP Super Cache, but if you insist on using it, here’s a guide I wrote on how to configure the WP Super Cache settings.

Wp super cache plugin

 

40. W3 Total Cache

Similar to WP Super Cache where it doesn’t do a great job at optimizing core web vitals or real-world browsing. Plus, the settings are difficult to configure especially for beginners. Here’s my tutorial on configuring the W3 Total Cache settings, but most people stopped using this plugin especially since it was essentially abandoned by the plugin developer for a long period of time.

W3 total cache plugin

 

41. Swift Performance

I wouldn’t ever use this plugin due to the huge amount of “scam complaints” in the reviews. However, some people still swear by it (I believe because the caching is much more aggressive than WP Rocket and similar plugins). Just based on so many poor reviews, I don’t recommend it.

Swift performance lite plugin

 

42. NitroPack

NitroPack is the absolute last cache plugin I recommend because it cheats scores in PageSpeed Insights by moving things off the main-thread, but it doesn’t improve actual load times nearly as much as other cache plugins. So go ahead and install it if you’re looking for those 100% scores, just don’t expect your website to load much faster. The price is also too expensive for what it is.

Nitropack

 

43. RapidLoad

Removes unused CSS (PSI recommendation).

However, several other plugins already started doing this (i.e. WP Rocket, LiteSpeed Cache, Perfmatters, etc). Since you’re likely already using one of those, you shouldn’t need this plugin.

Rapidload power-up for autoptimize

 

44. 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.

This plugin has tons of settings for customizing mobile pages:

Accelerated-mobile-pages-plugin-settings

 

45. WP Hosting Performance Check

Monitor your server response times 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

 

46. Disqus Conditional Load

Speeds up Disqus comments by lazy loading them, but I definitely recommend using native comments and not using a third-party comment plugin. I was using wpDiscuz and even though I delayed/optimized it, native comments are always be faster than plugins. Use native comments!

Disqus conditional load plugin

 

47. Rank Math

Rank Math (and SEOPress) are much less bloated than Yoast and several other SEO plugins.

It has almost half the lines of code as Yoast. I could fill up an entire blog post on why I switched from Yoast to Rank Math, but it’s the only SEO plugin you should need since it has so many built-in features. Just keep in mind that modules used by SEO plugins like analytics + internal link recommendations cause database bloat, so make sure you disable modules you don’t use.

Rank-math-vs-yoast-speed

 

Cloudways: Who I Recommend For Hosting

Most hosting recommendations are garbage.

SiteGround has a slow TTFB, GoDaddy is a NO, Bluehost is gangrene, and stay away from Hostinger. Most hosting recommendations are garbage and I suggest joining the WP Speed Matters Facebook Group (run by Gijo Varghese) to get unbiased feedback on speed/hosting.

I use Cloudways Vultr HF which is a popular choice in Facebook Groups. You can check my GTmetrix report, TTFB, or click through my site to see yourself. I moved from SiteGround to Cloudways which cut load times in half and fixed CPU issues (it’s also monthly pricing with no higher renewals). They use Object Cache Pro/Redis with NVMe storage and 44 data centers. Main cons are no file manager/email hosting and their Breeze plugin + CloudwaysCDN aren’t great. I suggest WP Rocket or FlyingPress, Cloudflare or BunnyCDN, and Google Workspace. They do 3-day trials, a free migration, and a promo code for 30% off 3 months. Some people are afraid they’re techie since it requires an extra step to launch a Vultr HF server, but it’s not hard:

Cloudways launch vultr hf server

Siteground slow ttfb

Siteground cloudways cpu usage

Siteground vs cloudways pricing

Spend 5 minutes looking at recent Facebook polls on “the best hosting,” migration results of people who switched, and unbiased feedback in Facebook groups (click thumbnails to enlarge).

Favorite-cloudways-server

Moving away from siteground

 
LiteSpeed hosting on NameHero is another solid choice (if you haven’t heard of LiteSpeed, go read about it). It’s cheaper than Cloudways because it’s shared hosting – but faster than most.

I’m not sure why people use other LiteSpeed hosts like Hostinger/A2 when you get more CPU cores + RAM with NVMe on NameHero. You can use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin with server-side caching, QUIC.cloud, HTTP/3, and Redis. This is arguably the fastest setup you’ll find on a budget. I don’t know anywhere else you get 3 CPU cores, 3GB RAM, and NVMe on LiteSpeed for $8/mo. WP Johnny and I both have solid guides on configuring LiteSpeed Cache with QUIC. The main con is they only have data centers in US + Netherlands. Otherwise they have higher uptimes with less ‘frequent maintenance’ compared to Hostinger/A2’s uptime status page with US-based support. Ryan (the founder) is a down to earth guy if you watch his YouTube channel.

Namehero plans resources
NameHero has more resources compared to similar LiteSpeed hosts (see specs page)

Web server poll

Web server poll oxygen

Siteground vs cloudways vs namehero

Namehero vs siteground feedback

Siteground to namehero

Cloudways trustpilot review

Namehero trustpilot review

Affiliate Disclaimer: I use affiliate links to Cloudways + NameHero and appreciate your support. But what do I know? I’m just a biased affiliate. Do your own research in FB groups.

What are the 5 best WordPress speed plugins?

LiteSpeed Cache, FlyingPress, Cloudflare, Perfmatters, and WP Rocket are some of the top WordPress speed plugins because include optimizations that address several areas of speed and core web vitals.

What is the best cache plugin for WordPress?

LiteSpeed Cache and FlyingPress are arguably the best cache plugins right now since they not only address core web vitals, but real-world browsing experience as well.

What is the best image optimization plugin?

Smush and ShortPixel are 2 popular image optimization plugins and support compression, WebP, and can serve images from a CDN.

See Also: Ultimate WordPress Speed Guide

There are several other speed plugins I didn’t include, but most them overlapped with plugins already in the list. If I missed something that wasn’t here, drop me a comment and let me know.

Cheers,
Tom

About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

123 thoughts on “47 WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins: The Ultimate 2022 List (Updated For Core Web Vitals And Way Too Many Hours Of Research)

  1. Thank you so much sir for your kind help, this article helped me a lot, I have searched many articles based on these keywords but no other websites shown me good results then I clicked on this website and the information which I had to want I got from this article. I also shared this article because I found this article very informative and useful. Have a great day sir.

  2. WP Super Minify helps to speed up page loading by combining, minifying and caching the HTML, inline CSS and JavaScript files. Installing this plugin is very simple.

    1. Take a look at your GTmetrix Waterfall report and look at the “domain” section. Looks like you’re serving resources from many different domains: your site (fit-heal), Google Ads, Google Fonts, i0, i1, etc). I would concentrate on minimizing those third-party requests. Host fonts/analytics locally and definitely get rid of JetPack. TTFB is around 700ms which isn’t great, but I would do those other items first.

  3. I used wp optimiser Plugin and found good results. Currently using the free. what you think any other plugin can good works for optimize code ?????

  4. A price structure in your article would have been helpful. I don’t bother to read about a plugin and then to find out it’s $49/month

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