Best WordPress cache plugins : Compared

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Best WordPress cache plugin.

Many people have found that faster websites both rank and convert better. There are the number of ways to speed up your WordPress website however a caching plugin contributes the most. The main aim of this post is to help you choosing a right caching plugin for your WordPress website. This is because there are thousands of plugins available out there for WordPress. Making the right choice will be easy if there is a short list. I’ve made this emphasized blog post from which you can easily pick the right one.

Sometimes, you may have noticed that the website keeps loading even after it is “fully loaded”. This is not good as it forces readers to press the exit or back button. Losing your impression is easy but regaining it is very hard. No one likes a slow website. And for a GOOD impression website speed matters the most.

You may also like : how your website speed affects SEO (Google ranking).

What is web caching?

Cache is a collection of elements of your web page stored in a hidden or inaccessible place. It is served to the browser before your website completely loads.

The cache can be also called as a static version of your most visited (popular) page which can be further served to the readers without retrieving data from your web server or database. Hence, the requests to your server or database gradually decrease. It also prevents the overloading of your web server. This helps in the number-wise loading of your site elements and hence it preserves much more time than usual. Caching saves your bandwidth by 50%.

I’ve also explained in detail about speeding up your WordPress website in which caching plugin is the small topic. I’d discussed the features and importance of w3 total cache plugin in that post. I’m currently using w3 total cache for my website, 3nions.

I recommend all the “bloggers” to use w3 total cache plugin as it is easy to configure. Most of the options in it are automated by default. But it’s my duty to give you the complete information about this topic. Because A little knowledge is a Dangerous thing. And Blogging is full of reading, writing and optimizing.

Proper caching of web pages also contributes in a good position on SERP (Search engine results page).

Google takes a snapshot of each web page as a backup. It will show the cached version of the page to your visitors in case if it isn’t available live. These pages then become part of Google’s cache. If you click on a link that says “Cached,” you’ll see the version of the website that is stored on Google.

If the website you’re trying to visit is slow or not responding, you can use the cached link instead. See the screenshot below in which I have shown the example of Google cache.

best wordpress cache plugin

best WordPress cache plugin.

Hence caching is also important from SEO point of view. You can also create a good caching using Cloudflare CDN.

Now let’s not waste more time on “cache” and start with BEST WORDPRESS CACHE PLUGINS.

Best WordPress cache Plugin.

WP Super Cache

best wordpress cache plugin

best WordPress cache plugin.

WP Super Cache is the best caching plugin according to WordPress. But I didn’t understand it when I was the beginner on WordPress. I think it is a little bit hard for newbies. But anyways it has 1 million plus active installs means people are really using it.

Like every caching plugin including WP Super cache generates static HTML files from dynamic files located on your database. Hence, WP Super cache serves these generated static scripts to your visitors instead of serving dynamic and heavy WordPress PHP scripts.  The generated static HTML files deliver faster than the dynamic one. Hence, it helps in saving bandwidth and also prevents website overloading.

The Developers of WP Super cache attested that 99 percent of your visitors will be served the static HTML files ; generated by the plugin. But those who’ll fail to receive the static files will be still in profit because the scripts served to them will be faster and better than uncached ones (non-cached).

The plugin has another great option named “super caching”. If somehow it will not work on your website the normal caching will still work on it. So the overall conclusion about this plugin says that it is good for Shopping or eCommerce websites.

Also, read this detailed tutorial on How to install and setup WP Super Cache plugin ?

Positives

  1. This plugin also serves cached files in the mod_rewrite way (the fastest method of caching on Apache web servers).
  2. It also serves it in two more methods i.e. PHP and Legacy Caching.

Negatives

  1. Users of this plugin have reported that sometimes it shows compatibility issues with other themes, plugins.
  2. Super caching feature is not available for logged in users means they cannot experience it while they’re logged in.

Recommended settings (by developer)

Users might want to enable “mod_rewrite” method to serve caches. But the developer has recommended PHP method for advanced users as well as newbies. Use the settings as mentioned below.

  • Use PHP caching as it is recommended by the developer.
  • Use Compress pages option of the plugin to reduce the page size.
  • Don’t cache pages for known users (previously visited users) as this will disturb the cache.
  • Always clear and rebuild the caches.
  • Use the CDN support of the plugin. Dropbox, Amazon, etc.
  • Turn on Extra homepage checks.

W3 Total Cache

best wordpress cache plugin

best WordPress cache plugin.

As an experienced user, I will recommend you to use w3 total cache plugin as it is more effective and broad. If you are a newbie blogger then W3 Total Cache is merely made for you. It is fast. It converts better. According to many decent reviews, it is the Best WordPress cache plugin. It has an extended CDN support. This plugin is specially designed to optimize the user experience and improve page speed. This plugin is mainly made for blogs and bloggers. Though it is not popular much but still has 1 million plus active installs according to the plugin homepage.

Websites using this plugin is totally satisfied with its features. It is free. There are two to three more features that are available in the pro version of W3 Total Cache plugin. If you want, you can easily purchase a one year license at 99$ for the pro version of this plugin.

I recommend the Bloggers to use the FREE version of W3 Total Cache plugin as they do not require extra (pro) features. This plugin is also recommended by most popular web hosts like Godaddy, Dreamhost, Host Gator and more. And one thing I would like to say you that :

“W3 Total Cache is the reason why my website loads under two seconds”

I have been using W3 Total cache from months and I’ve noticed that the plugin helps me save 30% of my Bandwidth. After completely setting up this plugin I tested my website’s speed on Pingdom and I saw this shocking result.

best wordpress cache plugin

Best WordPress cache plugin.

My website didn’t take even a second. It just loaded in 675 milliseconds. You may also like these tools to test your website’s speed. According to me, If you’re a newbie blogger you should use W3 Total cache plugin as it is suitable and effective for WordPress Blogs.

This plugin is compatible with all types of hosting i.e. shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated web hosting. With the support of caching this plugin will also help you in minifying your CSS and JavaScript files. Minifying the HTML scripts can help you in the reduction of your HTTP requests and increases your website’s speed.

On the other hand, this plugin has the option to enable GZIP compression on your website. Learn more about GZIP compression and how it improves the website’s speed. I will soon write a post on setup and configuration of W3 Total Cache plugin, for now, let’s talk about its positives and negatives.

Positives

  1. There are multiple CDN networks available with “other” option.
  2. It supports CDN, script minification and GZIP within the plugin.

Negatives

  1. It concludes of too many customization options.

These two are the most popular and FREE WordPress caching plugins. Now the question will come in your mind that which is the best WordPress cache plugin, WP Super cache or W3 Total Cache ?

Both of these plugins are FREE. Both have a lot of active installs. Both have limitless features. But I will recommend that, if you own a big website like eCommerce or marketplace, you should go for WP Super cache plugin. And Simply if you own a small blog or website, you should go for W3 total cache plugin.

There is one more free cache plugin you may like, i.e. WP Fastest Cache.

WP Fastest Cache

Best WordPress cache plugin

Best WordPress cache plugin.

WP Fastest Cache is also a good cache plugin with more than 100,000 active installs. Though it is not as much popular than the above too, but still it is a good one to deal with your website speed. It has a good user experience and works fine with all the plugins. On the other hand, the users of WP Super cache plugin reported that it shows compatibility issues with some of the themes and plugins.

When the visitors visits your website, they are served with the information such as text, images and scripts. Each time the visitors visits your site each time it takes information from the server and then serves it. This creates the lots of loading over your web server. Thus, we use cache plugin which helps to serve the one time generated files to many of your visitors until the file expires. Those files are usually static HTML files which can be generated using the plugins or CDN (content delivery network).

Here are some of the things in which WP Fastest Cache leads over WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.

  • The free version of the plugin provides Combine CSS and Combine JS options.
  • The premium version of this plugin can automatically optimize the images whereas the others cannot.
  • The plugin also wins in GZIP compression and Browser Caching over WP Super Cache.

You can find the couple more information about the plugin on the official website of WP Fastest Cache.

Positives

  1. WP Fastest Cache uses the mod_rewrite rule which is the fastest method of serving the cached files.
  2. The expiry time of the cached files can be set for different pages.

Negatives

  1.  The WP Fastest Cache does not support WordPress Multisite.
  2. The Free version of the plugin is not accessible to Mobile Cache feature.

WP Rocket

best wordpress cache plugin

Best WordPress cache plugin.

If you want to spend some money on your website’s speed, this will be the best WordPress cache plugin for you. Some people might have a question in their mind that, why to buy a premium plugin when there is a lot of amazing free plugins available out there. Guy’s you’re absolutely right. Why would anyone spend their money on the same thing available for free? But it is not that simple. The cost of the plugin worth it. Even W3 total cache & WP Fastest Cache  has their premium versions which have a bundle of features in it. They do not offer  some of its features in a free plugin.

Visit the plugin homepage to learn more about it.

Also, the cost of the WP Rocket plugin worth it. The plugin offers the number of features to the customers. The plugin’s CDN is proudly supported by MaxCDN. Users can also implement Cloudflare within the plugin itself. It is compatible with WordPress Multisite. The plugin has the option to import settings from your old WordPress cache plugin.

Any user with the good WordPress knowledge can easily setup WP Rocket plugin. It has a high-end user experience.

Positives

  1. It has an Amazing feature of Lazy Load. It means that the images on the web page will be loaded when the user will scroll down.
  2. It improves the indexing of the web pages using cache preloader feature.

Negatives

  1. The mobile cache feature of this plugin is not much effective than WP Super cache and W3 total cache plugin.

These are some of the best WordPress cache plugins. If you are gonna ask me which plugin should be installed, premium or free? Then my answer is, it totally depends on you. I’ve provided you all the possible pros and cons of these plugins. Now you have to make the decision that which one will be precise for you.

One thing I will definitely say, that it doesn’t depend on what plugin you are using whether free or premium, the content presentation, and the easiness is all that matters. And also make sure that you’ve optimized your website for mobile devices.

If you liked this article don’t forget to share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. If you’ve any query related to this post then please make the use of the comment box. We will try to solve it as soon as possible.

Note : Always use mod_rewrite or PHP method to cache your web pages.

Happy Blogging.

best WordPress cache plugin.

Last updated: June 10, 2016

Authored by :

Hi ! I'm Prakhar Shrivastav, currently a final year BSc student and a co-founder of 3nions. I love spending quality times on Web development, Graphic designing, and SEO.

3 comments

I think w3 total cache is the best of all. I also use it on my website

If you prefer free, w3tc is the best

Erika Mohssen-Beyk

Hi Mihir,
this is an interesting post and you explain very well
about these cache plugins . I did not know about this
and that it helps to speed up the website.
Will look again at it and look at the plugins.
Thank you
Erika

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