Most of the traditional PID tuning methods are heuristic in nature. The heuristic approach-based tuned PID controllers show only nominal performance. In addition, in the case of a digital redesign approach, mapping of the heuristically-designed continuous-time PID controllers into discrete-time PID controllers and in case of the direct digital design approach, mapping of the continuous-time plant (forward converter) into the discrete-time plant, results in frequency distortion (or warping). Besides this, nonlinear elements such as ADC and DAC, and delay in the digital control loop deteriorate the control performance. There is a need to tune conventionally-designed digital controllers to enhance performance. This paper proposes optimized discrete-time PID controllers for a forward DC–DC converter operating in continuous conduction mode (CCM). The considered conventional digital PID controllers designed on the basis of the digital redesign and direct digital approaches are tuned by one of the multivariable unconstrained pattern search methods named Hooke–Jeeves (H–J) search method to ensure excellent output voltage regulation performance against the changes in input voltage and load current. Numerical results show that the H–J-based optimized PID compensated forward converter system shows tremendous improvement in performance compared to its unoptimized counterpart and simulated annealing (SA)-based compensated system, thus justifying the applicability of the H–J method for enhancing the performance. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.