10 WordPress Plugins to Help Optimize Performance

One of the biggest reasons behind WordPress’ popularity is the vast number of plugins that can not only extend its functionality but there are also many plugins that will improve the performance of a site. These plugins have the capability to make a site faster, that is, they enable it to load quicker and more efficiently. They will ultimately help in improving the search engine rank of a page. If a site takes a long time to load, it can’t expect to have good search engine rankings.
WordPress has some amazing plugins that can make a site load much faster, here are some of our favorites that will aid in improving and optimising your sites performance.


While browsers can handle up to 60 http requests simultaneously, only 2-4 simultaneous requests can be handled from the same hostname. This can potentially slow down page loads on your site. The solution Recommended by Google is parallizing resources across 2-5 hostnames on sites serving 10 or more static resources.
This plugin will allow automatically parallelizing of WordPress attachment files (images or any files uploaded using the WordPress media features) across multiple hostnames, speeding page load. To assist caching, resources will always load from the same hostname.
Parallelize →

WP file Cache

This plugin implements object level persistent caching and can be used instead of the built in WordPress WP_Object_Cache. It will also aid in significantly reducing the load-time from your database. However, it should be noted that WP File Cache shifts the load from your database to your disk/file system and if Disk I/O is a bottleneck, file based caches will not help you.
WP file Cache →

Quick Cache (Alternative to WP Super Cache)

Quick Cache
This is a very useful plugin when it comes to optimizing your website’s speed. Quick Cache takes a real-time snapshot (building a cache) of every Page, Post, Category, Link, etc. These snapshots are then stored (cached) intuitively, so they can be referenced later, in order to save all of that processing time that has been slowing your site down.
It uses configuration options, that you select from the options panel.
Quick Cache uses advanced techniques that allow it to recognize when it should and should not serve a cached version of the file.
Quick Cache →

W3 Total Cache

This plugin helps to improve the sites’s performance via caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support. It improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
Check out the W3 Total Cache overview video by Yoast below:

W3 Total Cache →

WP Minify

This plugin integrates the Minify Engine (a PHP5 app that helps you to follow several of Yahoo!’s Rules for High Performance Web Sites) into your WordPress blog, to combine and compress JS and CSS files to improve page load time. Some of its features include – debug tools, plugin hooks, support for minifying external files via caching, ability to pass extra arguments to minify engines etc.
WP Minify →

WP smush.it

WP smush.it
This plugin reduces image file size and improves performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress. Every image added to the page is automatically run through Smush.it on the fly.
WP smush.it →

WP HTTP Compression

This plugin will allow your WordPress blog to output pages compressed in gzip format, if a browser supports compression. However, it should be noted that this plugin should not be used alongside WP Super Cache or WP Cache as those plugins are already implementing compression. Your blog will keep working but those plugins will stop caching new pages.
HTTP compression generally means a 60-80% REDUCTION in the size of your pages (broadband usage) as well as an INCREASE in download speeds of 3x to 4x.
WP HTTP Compression →

Hyper Cache

This plugin is flexible and easy to configure cache system for WordPress. This is a new cache system for WordPress, specifically written for people who have their blogs on a low resource hosting provider. It can work even with hosting based on Microsoft IIS. Its features are easy to configure, easy to integrate with other plugins, global translator compatibility, redirects caching, auto clean system to reduce the disk usage and more.
Hyper Cache →

WP Super Cache

This plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a HTML file is generated, your web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
99% of your visitors will be served static html files. Those users who don’t see the static files will still benefit because they will see different cached files that aren’t quite as efficient but still better than uncached.
WP Super Cache →

DB Cache Reloaded

This plugin caches every database query within a given lifetime. It is much faster than other HTML caching plugins and uses less disk space for caching. DB Cache Reloaded ensures that a site works much faster and uses less disk space for cached files. It also makes sure that visitors always get actual information in sidebars and server CPU loads are as low as possible.
DB Cache Reloaded →

CDN tools

WP smush.it
This plugin is designed to help you drastically speed up your blog’s load time by loading data onto a content distribution network (CDN). It allows you to load Javascript and media files to an external server to drastically speed page loads. You can side load data to a commercial CDN or just load your larger JS libraries (Prototype, jQuery) for free from Google’s servers.
CDN Tools →

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This post has been written by the team here at Speckyboy Design Magazine.


  • Ovidiu

    as far as I know this isn’t the case anymore: “can be used instead of the built in WordPress WP_Object_Cache” as there is no Object Cache inside WP anymore – care to elaborate or check your statement?

  • Ah this is an excellent resource! I honestly hadn’t heard of some of these, so many wordpress plugins to solve problems you have never even thought of!

  • WordPress actually does have a quite extensive object caching system. It’s just not persistent. Several plugins exist to let it interface with things like memcached or what have you to improve performance by making the object cache persist across page requests. This -can drastically reduce the amount of database load.

    However, using a file-based persistent caching method is often slower than not caching persistently at all. The reason for this is that mySQL is often quite good at caching the results of repetitive queries in fast memory and serving the results quickly. More quickly than a file-read operation often is.

  • Nice list my favourite is always W3 Total Cache.

  • I’ve been looking for wordpress cacheing, thanks for the list

  • Nice list with great explanation !!!

  • WP Super Cache
    I am using “Super Cache ” but it’s not giving me a desirable results.