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8 best WordPress sites speed up optimization plugins[free/paid]

best lightweight WordPress speed optimization plugins
List with some of the best speed boost plugins for WP websites.

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Looking for the best plugins for WordPress speed up optimization that are lightweight and fast to help make your site load faster?

Using the right plugin(s) to make your WordPress site speed load faster is very important.

And that's what this page will do, present you with the best speed boost plugins that will help you achieve your website loading time increase goal.

If you are in a hurry, the best WordPress plugins for speed optimization are:

  • Plugin logic
  • Plugin load filter
  • LiteSpeed Cache( for LiteSpeed servers)
  • Advanced database cleaner
  • Perfmatters
  • WP super cache
  • Unbloater
  • Asset queue manager

This article is unique in that a lot of the premium and free WordPress speed optimization plugins shared are super fast plugins that we have tested and did extensive research on. And we use many of them on this website and others.

We don't use or recommend some of the slowest WordPress plugins that negatively impact speed.

OnlineBusinessConsulting doesn't go with the herd( if you look at a lot of similar articles they have the same so-called WordPress speed boost plugins list as if they copied each other.

A lot of the plugins some of them list are bloated and they list them because they will get affiliate commission instead of how good they are.

This is not the case for us. Some of the plugins for speeding up your WordPress pages we will be reviewing are simple and may not be the most popular but they are the real deal.

WordPress plugin popularity doesn't mean good or the best.

Most of the speed improvement plugins we will be discussing have great retention rates, evergreen codes, great reviews, are easy to use(most have no setting, activate and done), etc.

Using some of these fast plugins will prevent bloats which will lead to fast loading that would improve users' experience and improve WordPress SEO performance on Bing and Google search engine.

For more information on improving see, WordPress SEO checklist and tips.

Here's 8 of the best WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins that boosts site performance

Let's get to the list of some of the paid & free best speed improvement plugins for your WordPress sites that are lightweight.

Note: Some of the plugins may show that they haven't been updated for awhile but they still work fine without any issue.

Some plugins doesn't need updating because they are ever-green. They are so simple and well coded(some lightweight plugins only have one line of code) that they will probably never break.

We have been using a lot of these plugins for years now without any issue. And if any of them causes any issues with your site make sure that you set it up correctly and if it still causing issues look for a faster alternative on the WordPress.org site repository .

1. Plugin Load Filter(free)

Plugin Load Filter allows you to selectively deactivate some plugins from loading on all pages.

For example, the popular Contact Form 7 plugin loads on all your website pages which affects your site speed tremendously.

With this WordPress plugin, you can deactivate the contact form 7 plugin from loading on other pages except on the contact page itself.

This is a free and powerful speed optimization plugin and gem used by those serious about making a WordPress site load faster.

Rating: 5 star

Page speed impact: 0.03s

Download size: 75 kb

Database addition( Tables & WP Options): None

2. LiteSpeed Cache( free*)

LiteSpeed Cache is one of the best WP plugins for caching sites on LiteSpeed servers. It is free and though you can use it with any web host server( we do not recommend it for sites not hosted on the LiteSpeed server. We found that it slows down websites not hosted on a LiteSpeed server), it works best with WordPresw hosts on the LiteSpeed server(recommend GreenGeeks or NameHero).

With a LiteSpeed server, you will be able to unleash extra features such as HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 & QUIC support. HTTP/3 & QUIC can make websites load super fast.

Other features:

  • HTTP/2 Push on servers that support it
  • Browser Cache
  • Free QUIC.cloud CDN Cache
  • DNS Prefetch
  • Clean and optimize database
  • Image Optimization
  • HTML, CSS, JS minify
  • Minify inline external CSS/JS

Rating: 5 star

Download size: 780 kb. This is one of the reasons we do not recommend it for sites not hosted on LiteSpeed servers in most cases. 780 kb is a lot of weight for a plugin. But if your WordPress is hosted on a LiteSpeed server use it.

Speed impact: 0.07s

Database addition: 2 tables and over 100 WP options. That's just a lot of WP options. However, with the HTTP/3 & QUIC support, it might be worth it on a LiteSpeed server.

3. Plugin Logic(free)

Plugin Logic is another free and powerful speed optimization plugin that you can use to do selective activation or deactivation.

This and plugin load filter are two of the top optimization plugins we recommend for speeding up a slow loading WordPress site.

Extremely simple, fast, and no bloat plugin. It shows that it has not been updated for a while but it still works.

Please read the FAQ section and watch this video for the correct setup.

Rating: 5 star

Page speed impact: 0.03s

Download size: 15 kb

Database addition: 1 table and zero WP options

4. Advanced Database Cleaner Pro(premium)

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is a lovely plugin for WordPress performance. It is well coded and lightweight.

What we like about it is that it is easy and simple to use.

This premium plugin basically allows you to clean orphaned cron tasks, options, and tables in your website database.

Before deleting any data in your WordPress database, it will let you know which plugin or theme the cron tasks, options, and tables belong to. This will help you double-check to make sure you are deleting the right stuff.

NOTE: There's a free version but with that version, you can't clean cron tasks, options, and tables.

Features

  • Delete orphaned cron tasks, tables, and options
  • It gives you the number of tables/options/tasks you have
  • Displays database tables information such as the number of rows, table size, etc
  • Delete old transients, revisions, and drafts
  • Optimize and repair database
  • You can change an option autoload from yes to no
  • Delete old revisions of posts and pages
  • Delete old auto drafts
  • Delete trash posts
  • Delete pending comments
  • Delete spam comments
  • Delete trash comments
  • Delete pingbacks
  • Delete trackbacks
  • Delete orphan post meta data
  • Delete orphan comment metadata
  • Delete orphan user metadata
  • Delete orphan term metadata
  • Delete orphan relationships
  • Delete expired transients
  • Display and view orphaned info before making a database clean-up so you can be sure about what you are going to clean-up
  • Schedule cleanup to run automatically

Rating: 5 star

Page speed impact: 0.02 ms

Download size: 265 kb

Database addition: 4 WP options

5. Asset Queue Manager(free)

Asset Queue Manager is a plugin that allows you to monitor, dequeue, and re-queue scripts and styles that are enqueued on your site.

This is one of those plugins that you have to know what you are doing to use. It is a plugin used for hardcore speed up and it is laborious.

Features:

  • Monitor your scripts
  • Dequeue scripts
  • Re-queue scripts
  • Super lightweight
  • Control minification
  • Control concatenation

Rating: 4.5 star

Page speed impact: 0.01s

Download size: 26 kb

6. Perfmatters(premium)

PerfMatters is founded by a former CMO of the popular and respected Kinsta hosting( they only host WP sites). Perfmatters is a WordPress performance plugin that will help you disable some scripts which help to boost speed. It is packed with a lot of features.

Features:

  • Disable emojis and embeds
  • Limit or disable post revisions
  • Diable dashicons
  • Disable and tweak HeartBeast API
  • Change autosave interval
  • Disable author comment links and comments
  • Disable WooCommerce scripts and styles
  • Disable XML-RPC
  • Remove jQuery migrate
  • Remove WordPress version
  • Remove wlwmanifest link
  • Remove RSD link
  • Remove shortlink
  • Disable RSS feeds
  • Remove RSS feed links
  • Disable password strength meter
  • Add blank favicon
  • Disable self pingbacks
  • Disable REST API
  • Remove REST API links
  • Disable Google Maps
  • Disable Google Fonts
  • Disable Global Styles
  • Disable WooCommerce widgets
  • Disable WooCommerce status meta box

Price: Just $2 and some change a month (charged yearly)

Rating: over 80 percent 5-star rating

Page speed impact: depends on the features you enable but still lightweight

Download size: 465 kb

7. WP Super Cache(free)

WP Super Cache is a very simple and free WordPress sites speed up plugin.

It is a popular speed-boosting plugin that is not bloated and plays well with a lot of web hosting providers' servers. It is owned by Automatic the founders of WordPress.

Features:

  • Preloading
  • Compression of pages
  • CDN support
  • Simple caching
  • Expert caching
  • Fast
  • Super easy to use for beginners

Rating: 4.5 stars

Page speed impact: 30 ms

Download size: 74 kb

Database addition: About 4 wp_options

8. Unbloater(free)

Unbloater is a free WordPress plugin that is used to speed up the admin dashboard and others.

It disables some core and other plugin features in the WP admin area such as the Welcome pop-ups, etc.

Features:

  • Disable XML-RPC API
  • Remove WordPress ‘W’ admin bar item
  • Remove admin footer text
  • Limit Revision
  • Remove jQuery Migrate script
  • Remove Emoji Scripts & Style
  • Reduce Heartbeat Interval

Rating: 5 star

Page speed impact: 10 ms

Download size: 35 kb

Database addition: Zero

Frequent asked questions( FAQs):

Below are some questions you may have and the answers.

Q: How did you pick the WP speed boost plugins?

A: We take WordPress sites speed seriously because we know why fast loading speed is important.

This is why we looked at different factors before picking any plugin or tools to install on any website.

  • We picked some of the speed optimization plugins by checking their download size by downloading and inspecting the gzip file.
  • We also used Plugintests.com and WPHive.com to check the download size and speed impact on the pages.
  • We focused on finding plugins with zero or one to three WP options or table additions to the Database.
  • Some of the WordPress plugins don't need a setting after activation. We always prefer plug-n-play plugins for speed purposes. These types of plugins are typically coded well(some have just one line of code) with javascript. When plugins don't have a setting, it makes it easier for beginners to use. Simplicity is always better.
  • We looked at speed improvement plugins that do one job instead of doing a lot. The all-in-one plugins tend to be badly coded and they make your site slow. Especially, the premium and popular ones. This is why we do not bother with popularity and rarely use premium plugins with our WordPress sites or clients' sites.

Q: What should do to pick the right speed boost plugin(s)?

A: Before picking a WordPress plugin for speed enhancement, make sure that you do the following:

  • Check to see if WordPress has the speed feature. For example, WP already lazy loads images so you don't need to add a plugin for that.
  • Use Plugintests.com and WP Hive to check the memory and speed impact. Use them to check the impact plugin will have on your website memory and load time.
  • Focus on WordPress plugins that decrease page loading time and TTFB not speed score. The most important factors in any WP website speed optimization success are the actual page load time and time to first byte(TTFB) improvement, not some score or green light. Page load time and TTFB is what will save you money with web hosting, visitor conversion, and search engine ranking page(SERP) improvement. We are not against scores but they are not important as most people think.
  • Some of the plugins might not show any load time changes. After activating some plugins but you might see HTTP requests decrease and score increase on GTMetrix & Google PageSpeed. We told you we are not against higher scores :).

Q: Should I hire a WP expert to help?

A: If you are looking to optimize your WordPress site for speed, just downloading and activating plugins is not enough.

There are so many aspects of site performance optimization.

Sometimes a good speed plugin will not work on your website because of other conflicting plugins and codes. You have to know how to troubleshoot that and set some plugins up correctly to work as intended.

Speed turning for websites is tedious. Lots of testing, installing and deactivating some plugins and codes because for some reason that particular site won't work.

Also, in a certain situation, you are better off using custom codes in addition to plugins for speed optimization. You have to know which code to use for what and how to add them correctly.

So we recommend that you consider hiring speed experts specializing in WordPress.

The right company will be able to help set up some of the plugins here properly and apply advanced WordPress speed tuning that will get you better results.

Let's us speed up your WordPress site with fast plugins correctly for better WordPress SEO performance, users experience, conversion rate, and savings with website hosting plans.

Emmanuel Okeke

A Los Angeles resident who loves to write awesome guides on SEO, WordPress speed/security, content strategies, business and personal finance, digital and growth hack tools, legal stuff, etc, that are helpful to businesses, solopreneurs, bloggers, and consumers.

What I write about is based on tests, extensive research, and 11+ experience as a former Senior digital & content marketing consultant with a division of Thomson Reuters and running a successful digital marketing agency...[Read full bio]