WP-Optimize: speed up your WordPress site

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WP-Optimize is an all-in-one solution to help you clean up your database, compress your images, and cache your web pages. This plugin has over 1 million active installs and boasts an excellent rating of 4.8/5 for over 1800 reviews. You can install the plugin from the Plugins tab, or download it directly from the wordpress.org site or from the publisher’s website.

Your website database could probably use some spring cleaning. With the help of WP-Optimize, you can remove all unwanted data and optimize your website performance. And, as you know, faster page load times mean better sales conversion and it’s also an essential criteria used by Google for your SEO.

Why is your WordPress database essential?

Your WordPress database houses all of your website content: themes, pages, comments, drafts, and posts. It is therefore an irreplaceable part of your company’s online presence. That’s why it’s so important to maintain your database properly to avoid any future problems. But this data is not only your current information, your database also stores all your past revisions that you have deleted.

The benefits of cleaning your WordPress database

Although it is an essential part, most website owners do not clean their database. This runs silently in the background, so no one thinks to check that it is working efficiently.

However, your database should only contain a few revisions of your website, it should not be cluttered with all kinds of useless files because of changes accumulated over several years. And if your WordPress database contains too much data, it can slow down your website speed. There are therefore two major advantages to optimizing databases:

1. You save space

Web hosts give you limited space to create and manage your website. After getting rid of all the junk data, you’ll have more room to build the website you want without worrying about whether you’ll have enough space.

2. You optimize the performance of your website

Every action on your site is stored in your database. As more and more data is stored, your database will take longer to process the information. Cleaning your data will thus decrease the loading time of the pages of your website.

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Comparison before / after configuration of WP Optimize

performances avant installation du plugin WP Optimize 1
Performance before installing the WP Optimize plugin
Performance after configuration of the WP Optimize plugin
Performance after configuration of the WP Optimize plugin

This comparison is made with the free version of the plugin. The results are already interesting, and would be even better with the Lazy Loading function, available in the Premium version.

Features of the free version

1. WordPress Database Cleanup

Plugin WP Optimize Nettoyage de la base de donnees WordPress
WordPress Database Cleanup

To keep your database clean, WP-Optimize automatically detects and deletes all unnecessary data such as spam comments, old post revisions, Pingbacks and Trackbacks. As we just saw, this process helps you reclaim wasted space on your database and improves your site’s performance.

But all your old data will not be erased: the plugin keeps recent copies of your data. You can set how long you want to keep your posts. After each optimization, you get a report showing your database statistics as well as the space you saved.

The plugin also gives you the ability to optimize your data tables and you can select the specific optimizations you want to perform on your database.

Another great feature is the ability to schedule cleanings, which leaves you with one less task to remember and perform manually. You can schedule daily, weekly, or monthly cleanings, and run additional cleanings whenever you need them.

2. Image Compression

Plugin WP Optimize - Compression des Images
Image Compression

Large image files are often overlooked as a website optimization problem. This is, however, one of the most common causes of slow loading times. Larger files take longer to load, and image files are often the largest files on a web page.

To solve this loading time problem, WP-Optimize comes with a built-in image compression tool to convert large images into compressed files and automatically save them to your media library. The compressor works with PNG, JPG and GIF files up to 5MB.

Image compression uses the Gzip format, and this compression can be lossless or lossy. EXIF data will be retained.

You’ll save time by compressing multiple images at once with the bulk compression feature (64GB max), as well as the auto-compress feature that lets you automatically compress images when uploading them to WordPress.

3. Page caching and preloading

Plugin WP Optimize - Mise en cache et préchargement des pages
Page caching and preloading

Page caching improves your website’s performance by keeping dynamic data in a temporary storage area so your server can fetch pages faster.

After WordPress processes the dynamic files to generate your pages, WP-Optimize saves it as a static HTML file in a cache folder. This way, your visitor doesn’t have to wait several seconds to see your pages.

The plugin also includes a browser cache feature to instruct visitors’ browsers to reuse cached resources. You will have strict control over which page elements are and are not cached.

4. Minification and combination of CSS and JavaScript files

Plugin WP Optimize - Minification Javascript et CSS
JavaScript and CSS Minification

Minification is the process of removing unnecessary data from your website’s CSS and JavaScript code files to make them smaller, thus increasing the speed of your pages to load.

This tool also allows you to defer the loading of non-critical CSS and JavaScript. In other words, when the page first loads, only the CSS and JavaScript resources that appear on the screen will be loaded, in order to give the impression of faster speeds. When the user subsequently scrolls through your website, the additional data is then loaded.

You probably know this argument: over 40% of your website visitors will abandon their browsing and leave if it takes longer than three seconds for your website to fully load.

All these features allow you to speed up your website according to well-defined criteria, such as the First Contentful Paint or the Largest Contentful Paint.

The advantages of the Premium version

WP-Optimize - Features

WP-Optimize is a freemium product, offering both a powerful free version and an extensive premium version. The Premium version costs $49/year for use on up to two sites, $99/year for use on up to five sites, and $199/year for unlimited sites.

With the premium version, you have access to additional features such as:

1. Refined optimization

The paid version allows you to select individual tables on which to run optimizations. The free version only allows you to optimize all tables at once.

2. Remove unnecessary images

The plugin will remove unnecessary images that you don’t use on your site for you, freeing up even more space.

3. Lazy Loading Feature

This feature is another technique to reduce loading times. Images are not fully loaded until the user scrolls over them, which speeds up the initial page load.

4. Multi-site support

When added to a WordPress multisite installation, “super admin” users can select more than a dozen optimization options, which can be run either immediately, at a scheduled date and time, or according to a calendar. These options also include the ability to optimize individual tables.
To add an extra level of security, the multisite support comes with an additional locking system to limit the management of optimizations to super admin only.

5. Additional options for scheduling cleanings

With the Premium version, you can choose specific times to run your cleanups. The scheduling system thus allows administrators to perform regular routine optimizations at any time of the day, weekday or fortnight, or even on a particular date each month.

6. Preload Key Request Feature

When you want to improve the speed of your WordPress site using WP-Optimize, one of the new features is the ability to preload key requests.

This is a system that gives web browsers hints about the resources or files that will soon become necessary to load the web page. The preload key works by using an audit to identify resources to preload on your WordPress site. The browser will then pre-load the resources so that they are immediately available when needed, thus avoiding a possible later waiting time, thus speeding up the loading of your site.

7. Support

You will have access to in-person support from the WP-Optimize team, in addition to the plugin documentation.

8. Other features of the Premium version

You get more detailed reporting, more options for cleaning up your media files, multilingual caching and currency caching, automatic Cloudflare cache purging, geolocation and taxation for WooCommerce sites.

WP-Optimize - Premium Version

What is the best WordPress optimization plugin?

1. WP-Optimize vs WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache only has a free version and can be downloaded from wordpress.org. All of its features are somewhat limited as they are only available on a free version, there is no paid version.

WP-Optimize has a Free version and a Premium version. In most cases, the free version will be enough to improve the basic performance of your website. You can download the free version by visiting the publisher’s site. Of the two plugins, WP-Optimize offers more features and more tools, giving your WordPress site optimization a bigger boost.

2. WP-Optimize vs. WP Rocket

WP-Optimize offers an already very complete free version, as well as an image compression feature.

FAQ

On how many sites can I install WP-Optimize?

The free version of the plugin can be installed on any number of single site installations. When you purchase the Premium version, you can install on any number (limited to the number of licenses you purchase) of single or multisite WordPress installations.

What is Lazy Loading?

Lazy loading is the technique of only loading parts of a web page when they are visible to the user.
Parts, usually images or videos, are replaced with placeholder elements until they are needed.

The advantage of lazy loading is that the initial page load is much faster. Rather than waiting for everything to load on the page, the user can quickly start viewing visible content.

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