The 10 Best Free Optimization WordPress Plugins

The following plugins are great for any type of WordPress site in need of optimization in SEO, security, caching files, backups, spamfilters, etc.. Each of the plugins are free to use, has great support and is being updated regularly. This list is in no particular order, all plugins have their own strength in website optimization.

1. Autoptimize

Autoptimize speeds up your website and helps you save bandwidth by optimizing your websites HTML, CSS and Javascript,

Autoptimize makes optimizing your site really easy. It strings all scripts and styles together, minifies and compresses them, adds expires headers, caches them, and moves styles to the page head, and scripts to the footer. It also minifies the HTML code itself, making your page really lightweight. There are advanced options available to enable you to tailor Autoptimize to each and every site’s specific need.

2. WP Smush

WP Smush is WPMU DEV’s image optimization plugin, available in both free and premium formats. As is common with this sort of plugin, any images you upload to your WordPress site will be automatically optimized.

The plugin also packs a bulk optimization option, which as its name implies, enables you to tackle multiple tasks at once – perfect if you’re looking to compress your image backlog after installing the plugin. This bulk option is limited to 50 files at a time in the free version of the plugin.

3. Akismet

Akismet comes with pretty much any WordPress installation. It is one of the best comment spam catchers out there.

It will let you review the spam it catches under your WordPress sites comments admin screen. Another great feature of Akismet is how URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.

Akismet is currently supported in 37 different languages. You’ll need an Akismet.com API key to use it. Keys are free for personal blogs; paid subscriptions are available for businesses and commercial sites.

4. Wordfence

Wordfence provides great WordPress security. It offers easy protection from malware and hackers. It can block any IP address, will keep you up-to-date on any insecurities, lets you see who’s tried getting access to your site, has a great caching engine called falcon, making your website speed up to 50 times faster.

Wordfence is a massively popular WordPress plugin, a great addition to your websites security and optimization.

5. Optimus

While Optimus performs admirably when it comes to the actual optimization process, the free version of this plugin includes a rather stifling 100kb file size cap on the images you can process, which essentially renders it a glorified demo.

6. WP Jetpack

One of the more wellknown WordPress plugins, Jetpack comes with a huge amount of features. Some of the features are well suited for optimizing your site: Photon, which is a free CDN, serves your images directly from the WordPress servers, Vaultpress, which backs up your site, visitor stats, brute force security and many many others.

Using all features in Jetpack however, will make your homepage slower due to higher loading time – so use those features you want, rather than everything at once.

7. WPS Hide Login

WPS Hide Login lets you easily and safely change the url of the login form to anything you want. It doesn’t literally rename or change files in core, nor does it add rewrite rules. It simply intercepts page requests and works on any WordPress website. The wp-admin directory and wp-login.php page become inaccessible, so you should bookmark or remember the url. Deactivating this plugin brings your site back exactly to the state it was before.

Hiding your WordPress login page will drastically lower the amount of hackers trying to enter your site. In turn, the use of bandwidth and server power will be diminished.

8. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO encompasses a multitude of ways to improve your sites SEO. Lately however, a lot of the Yoast SEO’s plugin features has to be unlocked by payment.

9. Imagify Image Optimizer

Imagify is the most advanced image compression tool, you can now use this power directly in WordPress. After enabling it all your images including thumbnails and retina images from WP Retina x2 will be automatically optimized on the fly when you will add in into WordPress. ​

10. TinyPNG and JPG

Compress JPG & PNG Images is rather more drastic than the other plugins we’ve mentioned on this list when it comes to image optimization. It employs only lossy compression methods, which make for a drastic reduction in filesizes while mostly preserving the quality of the images undergoing the procedure.

The plugin doesn’t offer many configuration options in its settings page, since you can’t modify the compression methods it uses. However, you can choose maximum resolutions for your uploaded images, pick exactly which sizes you want to compress (i.e. thumbnail, medium, etc.), and whether or not to preserve the copyright information of each file if available.

Despite these limitations, Compress JPG & PNG images performs very well when it comes to the optimization process, and our tests didn’t show any obvious reduction in quality of the images after they were processed.

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