Welcome to “Plugged In” where we look at WordPress plugins in various categories. This week we inspect several plugins that can help optimize your site for improved performance. Whether it be lightening up your database or stripping images of unneeded metadata, these plugins can assist with WordPress site optimization to make your web pages run faster than before.

(To get a diagnosis of your website’s speed, check out the WordPress Speed Test.)


Plugged In: Amazing Plugins For WordPress Site Optimization - WPOptimize

Over time your site will start to accumulate unnecessary data. WP-Optimize is a WordPress site optimization plugin built to help clean up your WordPress database for maximized efficiency. The plugin works to de-fragment MySQL tables as well as remove data like pingbacks, trashed comments, expired transient options, post revisions, and so on.

The plugin offers great control over which areas of your site you want to optimize. You also have the option to run automatic, scheduled cleanups of your site’s database.

Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions

Plugged In: Amazing Plugins For WordPress Site Optimization

If you’d rather clean up your database in a single click, then the Optimize Database after Cleaning Revisions plugin might be for you. In just one-click, the plugin will work to delete a number of unnecessary data, like trashed posts, spammed comments, unused tags, expired transients, and more. Additionally, the plugin keeps a log of everything it does, is available in multiple languages, and also works with WordPress Multisite.


Plugged In: Amazing Plugins For WordPress Site Optimization

Minification, the process of removing unnecessary characters from source code (like whitespace and newline characters), is one way to improve page load times. Autoptimize helps with WordPress site optimization by minifying certain assets of your site, like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files.

Simply install the plugin and then checkmark the boxes for the code you want to be minified. You can even add scripts for the code you don’t want to be compressed, as well as control whether or not you want the compressed files in the HTML code header or footer.


Typically WP Engine disallows caching plugins (because we already do it for you). However, we’ve recently worked with WP Rocket, who has optimized their caching plugin to work on our platform. WP Rocket is a WordPress plugin that helps with site optimization through things like minification of CSS and JS, lazy loading images, deferring remote JavaScript requests, and more.

It’s a great plugin to invest in if looking to improve site speed and page load times across multiple websites.

Smush Image Compression and Optimization

While we’ve discussed ways to optimize your database and code for improved site optimization, it’s important not to forget about optimizing images for fast load times. In fact, according to Soasta.com, images account for 62 percent of a page’s total weight. Therefore, using a plugin like Smush Image Compression and Optimization can make a huge impact on page load times.

The plugin works to resize, optimize and compress all of your images for the web so they load faster than before. If your site is photo-rich, then this plugin is a must-have.

Of course, there are many other things you can do to help speed up your site for improved performance. Want to know more? Check out 15 Ways to Make Your WordPress Site Lightning Fast for some additional tips.

Consistently updating your plugins is key to any successful and secure WordPress site. To help you manage your plugins with confidence, WP Engine created the Smart Plugin Manager.  Smart Plugin Manager is an automated solution that checks your plugins for updates nightly and ensures that when updates happen, your site doesn’t break.