When there are two equally great products gaining popularity at a fairly equal pace in the same market, only small but important detail can set them apart.   

Think of two high end hairdressers that both offer the same services and quality hair cuts. The first hairdresser will answer the phone and process your booking within 30 seconds, while the second hairdresser leaves you on hold for 20 minutes as they are too understaffed to take the call. Which hairdresser would you most likely end up going to? In a world where your time is limited and everything demands efficiency, your answer would most likely swing towards the former. 

This is the same with websites. People are more likely to visit and continue to use your website if they are sure it’s fast. The loading speed will largely determine if they will stay or return. For every 100 people that visit your WordPress website, around 50 of them will abort if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. 

In this article we will discuss two of the most popular speed boosting WordPress plugins – WP-Optimize and W3TC. While both of these plugins can increase your website speed, the small, but important details will dictate which plugin you end up using.

What can performance-boosting plugins do for your WordPress website?

At some point, everything needs a boost to improve performance. Race cars require a measured dose of nitrous oxide for that extra final kick and humans consume energy drinks to get some more work done. A website is no different. A WordPress site needs a performance-boosting plugin such as WP-Optimize or W3TC, to significantly improve its performance. 


WP-Optimize is a market leading all-in-one plugin. It caches your WordPress website, cleans your database and compresses your images. With over a million active installations and tens of thousands of 5-star ratings from all over the world, WP-Optimize ranks at the very top of the list of the most trusted, used and sought-after performance-boosting plugins. 

Does it meet your needs?

The following are just some of its functions to help you decide:

Optimizes your site’s database

Redundant files, such as unusable comments, unnecessary drafts, transients and revisions to mention only a few, will only slow down your WordPress site. You need a suitable plugin that will seamlessly get rid of these redundant files from your site while still leaving your site intact and running smoothly. WP-Optimize is your best option for achieving this.  

With the additional benefit of the integrated UpdraftPlus Backup plugin that comes with WP-Optimize, you won’t need to install a third-party backup plugin to secure your site.  

Compress your images

WP-Optimize compresses your site’s image files to your precise desired size without any dent in the resulting quality. While other plugins may use Imagify for this purpose, the feature comes built-in for WP-Optimize. 

With WP-Optimize, users get to determine the degree to which they are compressed. The image optimization feature in WP-Optimize is a cutting edge and leading image optimization platform. One of the easiest and quickest ways you can improve the speed is by optimizing your images. This process, which is commonly known as ‘smush’ or ‘smushing’ allows users to optimize, compress and resize all the large original images and convert them to smaller file sizes that are easier and quicker to load, without sacrificing any loss in image quality.

WP-Optimize Premium lazy loading

The Premium version of WP-Optimize includes a feature called lazy loading. . Lazy Load helps your website to delay the initialization of some of these components until they are needed as not all components are required to load every time your website is viewed. This feature can help improve performance and maximize the resources of the system. 

Page caching

By caching your site’s pages with WP-Optimize, your site is able to generate a separate set of files for mobile or desktop users, as well display personal page preferences for users that are logged-in. By using this feature, it can further add to the speed and help boost the overall performance of your site. 

Free/Premium versions

The WP-Optimize plugin has both a free and a premium version for download. The core features of WP-Optimize are free and can be downloaded here. Although the premium version, which is available here, comes with additional features that can help improve the speed and performance of your site further.  

W3 Total Cache (W3TC)

Like WP-Optimize, the W3TC plugin also has more than one million active installations. It comes in just behind WP-Optimize in both popularity and has a user review score of 4.5 stars. 

The following are some of its features: 


While this often causes some problems for WordPress sites (in which case you have to perform a restore), it can be useful, especially if you are combining JS and CSS files.

Page cache

Although not as effective as WP-Optimize, W3TC also offers page caching when you enable it on your site. Others caching options include Opcode cache, Database cache, Object cache and Browser cache. 

Import & export

Both the free and the premium versions of W3 Total Cache feature import and export options. This option allows you to export your primary settings to your computer and then upload them to other WordPress sites. This can be a very useful feature for businesses with multiple websites. 

Robust feature set

While W3TC has an extensive set of features, this can lead to some confusion for less experienced WordPress users as the menus and multiple options can often be unclear and difficult to understand. 

WP-Optimize vs W3TC

Features WP-Optimize W3TC
Database optimization Yes Yes
Page Cache Yes Yes
Image compression Yes No
Mobile-specific cache Yes No
CSS and JS minification Yes Yes
GZIP compression Yes Yes
Simple setup Yes No
Preload cache  Yes Yes
Free version Yes Yes
Built-in backup Yes No


After reading this blog, some things should be clear. They include:  

  • It is important that your WordPress website has a performance-boosting plugin to give visitors the best experience. 
  • WP-Optimize and W3TC are both top examples of performance-boosting plugins that are 2 of the most highly rated and downloaded available.  
  • Of the two plugins discussed in this article, comparing both their free and premium versions, WP-Optimize comes out as the clear leading in this comparison 

You know what your WordPress site needs now. Good luck. Download and install WP-Optimize today!

The post WP-Optimize vs W3 Total Cache (W3TC): Which is the best WordPress optimization plugin? appeared first on UpdraftPlus. UpdraftPlus – Backup, restore and migration plugin for WordPress.