A2 Optimized WP


This update fixes an important security issue. Please upgrade immediately

A2 Optimized is designed to make it quick and easy to speed up and secure your website by installing and configuring several well known, stable plugins with the click of a few buttons.

Have you ever tried to configure W3 Total cache and got lost in the mess of configuration pages?

A2 Optimized has broken it down into the most valuable optimizations and will automatically configure W3 Total Cache for what works best in most shared hosting environments.

Free Optimizations

Caching with W3 Total Cache:

  • Enable Page, Object and Database caching with W3 Total cache in one click.
  • Page Caching stores full copies of pages on the disk so that php code and database queries can be skipped by the web server.
  • Object Caching stores commonly used elements such as menus / widgets and forms on disk or in memory to speed up page rendering.
  • Database cache stores copies of common database queries on disk or in memcory to speed up page rendering.

Minify HTML Pages:

  • Auto Configure W3 Total Cache to remove excess white space and comments from html pages to compress their size.
  • This provides for minor imporvements in page load time.

Minify CSS Files:

  • Auto Configure W3 Total Cache to condense CSS files into non human-readable compressed files.
  • Combines multiple css files into a single download.
  • Can provide significant speed imporvements for page loads.

Minify JS Files:

  • Auto Configure W3 Total Cache to condense JavaScript files into non human-readable compressed files.
  • Combines multiple js files into a single download.
  • Can provide significant speed imporvements for page loads.

Gzip Compression:

  • Turns on gzip compression using W3 Total Cache.
  • Ensures that files are compressed before transfering them.
  • Can provide significant speed imporvements for page loads.
  • Reduces bandwidth required to serve web pages.

Deny Direct Access to Configuration Files and Comment Form:

  • Enables WordPress hardening rules in .htaccess to prevent browser access to certain files.
  • Prevents bots from submitting to comment forms.
  • Note: Turn this off if you use systems that post to the comment form without visiting the page.

Lock Editing of Plugins and Themes from the WP Admin:

  • Turns off the file editor in the wp-admin.
  • Prevents plugins and themes from being tampered with from the wp-admin.

A2 Hosting Exclusive Optimizations

These one-click optimizations are only available while hosted at A2 Hosting.

Login URL Change:

  • Move the login page from the default wp-login.php to a random URL.
  • Prevents bots from automatically brute-force attacking wp-login.php

reCAPTCHA on comments and login:

  • provides google reCAPTCHA on both the Login form and comments.
  • Prevents bots from automatically brute-force attacking wp-login.php
  • Prevents bots from automatically spamming comments.

Compress Images on Upload:

  • Enables and configures EWWW Image Optimizer.
  • Compresses images that are uploaded to save bandwidth.
  • Improves page load times: especially on sites with many images.

Turbo Web Hosting:

  • Take advantage of A2 Hosting’s Turbo Web Hosting platform.
  • Faster serving of static files.
  • Pre-compiled .htaccess files on the web server for imporved performance.
  • PHP OpCode cache enabled by default
  • Custom php engine that is faster than Fast-CGI and FPM

Memcached Database and Object Cache:

  • Database and Object cache in memory instead of on disk.
  • Secure and Faster Memcached using Unix socket files.
  • Significant improvement in page load times, especially on pages that can not use full page cache such as wp-admin.


  • A2 Optimized Optimizations Page
  • A2 Optimized Warnings Page
  • A2 Optimized Advanced Optimizations Page
  • About A2 Optimized Page


  1. Upload a2-optimized into the wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Click ‘A2 Optimized’ in the admin menu
  4. Click buttons to enable optimizations
  5. Check out warnings that A2 Optimized has detected that may be slowing down your site
  6. Check out Advanced Optimizations that may help you identify plugins that may be slowing down your site.


How does A2 Optimized speed up my site

Caching is the fastest and easiest way to speed up a dynamic website.
A2 Optimized will install and configure W3 Total Cache with the click of a few buttons.

Does A2 Optimized make all sites faster

A2 Optimized will speed up most sites; however, not all plugins are compatible with W3 Total Cache.

If your site is slower after enabling caching in A2 Optimized, talk to a developer about finding better solutions for the plugins that you are using.

Can I use A2 Optimized with WordFence

A2 Optimized is compatible with most of the features in WordFence, however you should disable caching and logging in WordFence.

Why use W3 Total Cache over WP Super Cache

W3 Total Cache is the only plugin that handles all types of caching. It caches frequently used database queries, objects and pages. It also allows the use of Memcached as a storage engine for cache.

Can I use A2 Optimized on any host

Yes. A2 Optimized works on any host that supports WordPress. Yes. A2 Optimized works on any host that supports WordPress; however, A2 Hosting provides a few more tools for speeding up your site when hosted on an A2 Hosting server.


January 3, 2019
This plugin broke our CiviCRM cron script as well as a mailing list subscribe widget. It may have made a minor improvement to our desktop load time but had a negative effect on our mobile load time per Google PageSpeed Insights.
November 29, 2018
Thank you for your plugin. Didn't have any problem so far. Everything work as described in listing.
September 20, 2018
First, they did a bait and switch on their hosting pricing. Their advertised monthly plan did not disclose the price was actually for a paid yearly plan. That is false advertising. Next, if you signup for their hosting while using VPN, they will put your account on hold and ask you to send a scanned copy of your credit card and your drivers license or other photo ID. I've had an easier time getting through airport security. Then when you install the plugin, if you do not have your hosting with them, the plugin will subject you to heavy-handed advertising reminding you that the plugin is best used with their hosting. But even if you do have A2 hosting, the plugin will either crash your site or cause conflicts with other plugins. That was the last straw for me. I canceled my hosting plan and got my money back. At least that was hassle free. No doubt they have a lot of experience with issuing refunds.
July 23, 2018
I thought because A2hosting is such a good host it's Word Press optimization plug-in would make my Word Press site even better. I've had this thing installed on my sites for more than a year. It's interfered with other plug-ins most notably WordFence. It has also sometimes interfered with the update of my Elegant Themes, Divi theme. I've had to disable this plug-in before the update would become available. Recently I've discovered it has been slowing down my sites and the reason I've had no comments on any of my posts the last few months is that it requests completion of a captcha, but doesn't supply any captcha to complete. I've deleted the thing. A2hosting should be ashamed.
May 8, 2018
After experiencing the great service A2 Hosting provides, I heard about their plugin and assumed it would be of similar quality. I was using WP Super Cache so I uninstalled that and installed this plugin as well as their W3 Total Cache "optimized" plugin. Using this instead of WP Super Cache, my CPU usage was down slightly but my physical memory usage and IO usage spiked very high, to the point of causing faults on my A2 shared hosting plan. Page load times went significantly higher, on the range of 2-3 times higher. Uninstalled and went back to WP Super Cache. Given the quality of A2 Hosting, this plugin was a huge disappointment.
April 19, 2018
This A2 Optimized plugin has the optimized presets for the W3 Total Cache plugin which A2 hosting recommends people use on their shared server, although this is not strictly necessary. If desired, the A2 Optimized plugin presets can be manually changed in the W3 total Cache plugin. When I first activated the A2 Optimized plugin, it warned me the iThemes Security plugin was incompatible with it (I.e. W3 Total Cache plugin). I had previously read that deactivating the 'Hide backend' option in the iThemes Security plugin would solve the incompatibility issue with W3 total Cache. So I did this and then used the 'WPS Hide Login' plugin to hide the backend which iThemes had previously done. Unfortunately this did not solve the incompatibility issue and I got locked out of my website. (This had previously happened to me when using the iThemes Security plugin with another web host and might have been an incompatibility issue with the WP Super Cache plugin and iThemes). So I swapped the iThemes Security plugin for the Sucuri free WordPress upload version and this solved all the plugin incompatibility issues I was having. A2 Hosting also have a free site scanner in their Lite package which although is not as efficient as the paid for Sucuri scanner, it is never the less reassuring to have. To summarize, the A2 optimize plugin did all the hard work of setting up the W3 total Cache plugin for me and let me know there was an incompatibility issue with the iThemes Security plugin. This has saved me a lot of time and energy and I am truly grateful for this.
Read all 23 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“A2 Optimized WP” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.


*Fixed compatibility issue with X Theme

*Added feature to regenerate wp-config salts

*Added helpful information on extra plugins installed along with A2 Optimized on A2 Hosting accounts

*Added option to block unauthorized XML-RPC calls

*Added option to dequeue WooCommerce cart fragment calls

*Wordfence is no longer marked as an incompatible plugin

*Changed code to reduce notices for users with debug enabled

*Removed P3 Profiler from list of optional plugins

*Changed protect config files to an optional optimization

*Fixed error with KB search

*reCaptcha for comments enabled for mangaged hosting

*Emails site admin if login URL changes


*Settings page for custom reCaptcha options

*Fixed issue with some plugins causing slowdowns on dashboard screen

*Fixed issue with getting current user for some operations
*Removed incorrect KB link

*Clearer information when incompatible plugins are detected
*Fixed issue with gzipping being enabled inadvertantly while changing other settings

*Clearer information regarding W3 Total Cache upgrade
*Fixed issue where sites installed in subdirectories may not function as expected


*Updated reCAPTCHA to API v2
*Better support and triage for unsupported versions of W3 Total Cache
*Better support for mobile and tablet screen sizes on our optimizations page

*Added plugin update notices to ensure users are aware of any important update details

*Additional check for compatible W3TC
*Added check to see if your server is already has compression enabled


*Enable SSL caching by default


*Revert use of PHP short arrays


*Removed Clef and tested against WordPress 4.8


*Added dmatteson as a plugin author


*added namespace class to css to prevent collision with other plugins


*minor bug fixes
*check for PHP version >= 5.3


*Move from SaaS to Full GPL