All Performance settings explained

Lighthouse – WordPress Performance & Security Plugin

Lighthouse’s Performance screen shows all performance-related settings. Some of these will speed up your website, while a combination of some of them, might slow down your website. Let’s break them down below:

Performance Settings

Tick the checkboxes to selectively remove/disable WordPress actions and filters. These options will reduce database queries and HTTP(S) requests, making the site lighter. A database query is a request for information from a database. An HTTP(S) request is a browser request for a file.

Check the HTML5 Boilerplate .htaccess rules for further performance and optimisation.

Check the WordPress Native Settings Optimization guide to squeeze even more speed from your WordPress site.

Always follow the in-plugin recommendation badges:

recommended We recommend enabling this option
not recommended We do not recommend enabling this option
use with caution Only enable this option if you know what you are doing
use if needed Only enable this option of you need it

Performance Settings

  • Add a discrete “Pagespeed Optimization by Lighthouse” link in the footer: Adds a discreet link in the footer of your website crediting Lighthouse for pagespeed optimization. This link can help support the plugin developer and provide visibility for the optimization tool.

Zen Mode

  • Zen mode: Removes most of the WordPress-related clutter, notifications, meta boxes, and filters in the Dashboard view. This declutters the WordPress admin area for a more focused user experience.


  • Prerender links: Pre-renders links when a user hovers over them, potentially speeding up page loads by loading linked pages in the background.
  • Prerender and prefetch links: Pre-renders and prefetches links when a user hovers over them, loading linked pages in the background and downloading their resources in advance.


  • Enable page caching (browser caching): Enables caching of web pages in the user’s browser, reducing the need to re-download content on subsequent visits.
  • Enable ETag header: Adds ETag headers to HTTP responses, allowing browsers to determine whether a cached resource needs to be revalidated with the server.
  • Enable Cloudflare-specific caching headers: Adds caching headers specific to Cloudflare, optimizing caching behavior when using Cloudflare CDN.

Theme Clean-up

  • Remove version parameter from scripts and stylesheets: Removes the version parameter from URLs of scripts and stylesheets, which can improve browser caching efficiency.
  • Disable emojis and smilies: Disables replacing special characters with emojis and smilies in content, reducing unnecessary script and stylesheet requests.
  • Disable canonical URL redirection: Disables URL redirection when a page is not found.
  • Disable author archive: Disables the author archive page, which can help with search engine indexation, duplicate content, and security.
  • Remove prepend_attachment filter from the_content(): Removes the prepend_attachment filter from the_content() function, fixing conflicts with specific page builders.

<head> Clean-up

  • Clean up theme <head>: Removes unnecessary references from the <head> section, such as RSD, WLW references, WordPress generator tag, and post shortlinks. Also removes WordPress-generated <rel> tags.
  • Hide RSS links: Hides RSS links in the <head> section, preventing content copying and republishing.

System Clean-up

  • Disable comment cookies: Disables saving user information (name, email, website) in the browser when commenting.
  • Disable WordPress embeds: Removes embed query vars, disables oEmbed discovery, and completely removes related scripts, disallowing WordPress posts to be embedded on remote sites.
  • Disable mediaelement.js: Removes the mediaelement.js script if not required by any page functionality.

Server Load

  • Slow down the WordPress heartbeat: Slows down the WordPress heartbeat, which is a periodic AJAX request used for various background tasks.
  • Remove Custom Fields metabox from post editor: Removes the Custom Fields metabox from the post editor, improving performance by avoiding a slow meta_key sort query.

Custom Resource Hints

  • Custom Resource Hints (DNS Prefetch): Adds DNS prefetch hints for specified URLs in the <head> section of the document, improving DNS resolution speed for resources.
  • Custom Resource Hints (Preconnect): Adds preconnect hints for specified URLs in the <head> section of the document, establishing early connections to specified hosts to reduce latency.