WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins

WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins

WordPress Developer

In May 2021, Google is rolling out its next big algorithm update. As we explained back in November, this update is based on user experience as measured by Core Web Vitals. In order to get ready for this update, you’ll need to make sure the following aspects of your website meet their minimum standards:

  • LCP: Largest Contentful Paint, a measure of page loading time (Target is less than 2.5 seconds.)
  • FID: First Input Delay, which is the delay between the time you click and page activity (Target is less than 100 milliseconds.)
  • CLS: Cumulative Layout Shift, which is a measure of page stability. Does the page move when the user tries to click an element? (Target is O.1 or less.)

In other words, if your website pages are slow to load, you can kiss your first page Google rankings goodbye. You’ll also need to make sure the mobile version of your website is in good technical shape.

To get ready for this major algorithm update, we tested two WordPress plugins to find out which works better for getting our clients’ website “up to speed.” Read on for a comparison of the WP Rocket plugin and the Perfmatters plugin.

WordPress Speed Plugins Comparison – Desktop Version

PluginCost for 1 YearOverall ScoreLCPFIDCLS
WP Rocket$49741.9 s3 msO.42
Perfmatters$24.95881.6 s3 msO.15

WordPress Speed Plugins Comparison – Mobile Version

PluginCost for 1 YearOverall ScoreLCPFIDCLS
WP Rocket$49492.5 sunavailableO.148
Perfmatters$24.95633.0 sunavailableO.147


The Perfmatters plugin won out overall, increasing website speed and delivering an overall score of 63 for mobile and 88 for desktop for this site, m5designstudio.com, when using the Google Developers PageSpeed test. Perfmatters performed 18.9% better than WP Rocket for desktop, and 28.6% better for mobile.

perfmatters wordpress performance plugin

Perfmatters must be used with three other WordPress plugins, all of which you can install for free:

While it is less convenient to install all four plugins rather than just using the one WP Rocket plugin, the results speak for themselves. This plugin also costs less at $24.95 for the year for use on one website.

WordPress Performance Plugin

With so much riding on speed when it comes to Google rankings, we feel it’s worth it to install Perfmatter and the three accompanying plugins for the best results possible. Some of the features included in the Perfmatters plugin are:

  • Quick toggle options to disable emojis & embeds, remove query strings, change autosave intervals, and more
  • A Script Manager that allows you to disable scripts on individual posts and pages, or across the entire website
  • Database optimization to easily delete revisions and spam comments, clean up trash, and optimize database tables
  • Lazy loading for an average 33% decrease in load times

WP Rocket

The convenience of WP Rocket is that only one plugin is required to carry out most of the tasks that come with Perfmatters and the three accompanying plugins we listed above. However, this plugin did not perform as well, as you can see from the numbers for both the mobile and desktop speed tests. WP Rocket delivered a score of 49 for mobile and 74 for desktop in the Google PageSpeed test for m5designstudio.com.

WP Rocket is also more costly, at $49 per year for use on one website.

wp rocket wordpress cache plugin

WordPress Cache Plugin

While the WP Rocket plugin did not perform as well as Perfmatters, we’ll highlight some of the features here.

  • WP Rocket is easy to use. Once it is activated, it automatically applies speed saving features to the website without need for configuration by the user.
  • Automatically enabled features include:
    • Static cache for desktop and mobile
    • Browser caching
    • Detection and support of various third-party plugins, themes, and hosting environments
    • WooCommerce Refresh Cart Fragments Cache
  • Includes advanced custom options for lazy loading, XML sitemaps preloading, CSS and JS minification, database optimization, and more.

WordPress Web Development

Is your website speedy enough for the May 2021 Google algorithm update? At M5 Design Studio, we are WordPress web development and SEO experts. We are passionate about fixing technical issues & optimizing your website performance so you can win in Google Search rankings. Contact us for a free quote by filling out our online form, or call us at (407) 968-6296.

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M5 Design Studio

We are a small, but creative and passionate team of designers and developers specializing in web design, graphic design, branding & digital marketing.

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