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Looking out for the perfect WordPress caching plugin?

If you want to make WordPress quicker, implementing net web page caching must be on the excessive of your itemizing. With web page caching, WordPress can retailer the static HTML mannequin of an online web page and serve that to company in its place of dynamically processing PHP for every net web page load. This reduces server processing time which presents an unlimited improve in effectivity (and this can even help your web page keep up throughout occasions of extreme guests).

Until you’re using managed WordPress web internet hosting that implements net web page caching for you on the server stage, you desire a caching plugin to set each half up.

On this put up, I’ve collected eight of the popular and most interesting plugins that allow you simply do this. At a minimal, all of these plugins make it easy to implement net web page caching. Higher however, loads of them moreover go extra and allow you implement completely different WordPress effectivity most interesting practices akin to browser caching, Gzip compression, code optimization, and further.

That can help you choose the perfect plugin for your desires, I put in each plugin on a examine web page and ran some effectivity assessments. Past that, I’ll moreover share each plugin’s key choices and a take a look on the particular person interface to have the ability to select the plugin that most interesting meets your desires.

Let’s dig in…

Efficiency Check Abstract Desk

In the occasion you’re in a rush, proper right here’s a quick take a look at which plugins carried out most interesting inside the effectivity assessments. Preserve finding out to be taught additional about each plugin and the place this information received right here from.

  • *The median value of 9 separate assessments
  • **Greater is more healthy. I consider this makes it less complicated to examine effectivity between completely completely different plugins by seeing the p.c value for how quite a bit each plugin lowered the load time.
  • ***TTFB = time to first byte — additional on this beneath
  • ****Not technically a caching plugin — additional on this later

Particulars on Our Check Setup

That can help you understand the place this information comes from, let’s go over how I prepare the examine web page and ran the assessments.

First off, the examine web page is using the favored Avada theme (our assessment). To make it a sensible state of affairs, I imported the total Avada Freelancer demo web site which contains a good amount of content material materials. I’m testing the homepage, for reference.

As for web internet hosting, the examine web page is hosted on a reasonable cloud VPS from DigitalOcean (the $5 plan) and managed by SpinupWP, which makes use of Nginx as the online server. Whereas low-cost, this setup does present significantly larger out-of-the-box effectivity than funds shared web internet hosting. If you are using low-cost shared web internet hosting, you’ll most likely see a additional dramatic enchancment with any of these plugins. In my personal experience, I usually see velocity reductions of about 40% when together with net web page caching to funds shared hosts.

To configure the particular person caching plugins, I enabled any extra effectivity choices that don’t require any detailed configuration. For occasion, if a plugin presents HTML minification and Gzip compression, I’d enable them because of they’re nearly “set it and overlook it”. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t configure it to combine JavaScript or CSS recordsdata because of this normally requires information intervention in order to steer clear of breaking points.

I’ll phrase which choices I enabled previous the defaults after I concentrate on each plugin.

To collect the examine information, I used WebPageTest with the following configuration:

  • Check Server — Dallas, TX
  • Check Connection — Native
  • System — Desktop w/ Chrome

I configured WebPageTest to run 9 separate assessments. Then, I used the median value of those 9 assessments. I’ll share metrics for every time to first byte (TTFB) and cargo time (doc full):

  • Time to first byte — how prolonged it takes for the browser to acquire the first byte of information from the server. As a results of caching plugins in the reduction of server processing time, they should significantly velocity up your web page’s TTFB.
  • Load time (doc full) — the aim at which all the static content material materials has been loaded.

Eight Best WordPress Caching Plugins

Now, let’s dig into the plugins themselves after which I’ll finish out by recapping the knowledge and making some recommendations.

1. WP Rocket — $49

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is a popular premium WordPress effectivity plugin that handles net web page caching along with a bunch of various WordPress effectivity most interesting practices:

  • Gzip compression
  • Browser caching
  • Script minification and combination
  • Script optimization — e.g. deferring JavaScript and inlining essential CSS
  • Database optimization
  • Heartbeat API administration
  • Lazy loading for photos and films
  • Choices to domestically host Google Analytics and Fb Pixel
  • Cache preloading

One in each of WP Rocket’s key differentiators is its simplicity. The dashboard is well-designed and comprises tons of helpful knowledge, which makes it easy for even casual prospects to configure the plugin.

WP Rocket settings

One different differentiator is that WP Rocket works with many managed WordPress hosts that in some other case ban or discourage caching plugins. For occasion, it’s best to use WP Rocket with WP Engine, with SiteGround, with GoDaddy, and so forth.

If you want to be taught additional, you can learn our full WP Rocket assessment.

Worth: From $49

Check Particulars

Non-default choices enabled:

  • Minify CSS
  • Minify JavaScript

2. WP Tremendous Cache — Free

WP Super Cache plugin

WP Tremendous Cache is a straightforward caching plugin from Automattic, the an identical agency behind WordPress.com and WooCommerce. Past being pretty easy to utilize and configure, one different benefit of WP Tremendous Cache is that it’s 100% free.

In the occasion you’re a casual particular person, you can nearly merely take a look at a single discipline and title it a day — that’s all you must do:

WP Super Cache settings

Superior prospects do get some additional decisions, though it’s whole nonetheless pretty straightforward. The developer moreover does an excellent job of marking the “Really useful” settings. When not sure, I’d advocate merely checking the bins marked “Really useful” and ignoring the rest — these allow you enable browser caching, Gzip compression, and a few completely different tweaks.

If you want to see how WP Tremendous Cache compares to WP Rocket, try our full comparability put up.

Worth: 100% free

Check Particulars

Non-default choices enabled:

  • Caching On
  • Gzip compression
  • Browser caching

3. WP Quickest Cache — Free/$50

(*8*)

WP Quickest Cache is one different trendy chance that’s obtainable at WordPress.org. It moreover is out there in a premium mannequin that gives additional choices, though the free mannequin is all you need for net web page caching.

Listed listed below are just a few of the superior choices that you just get:

  • Code minification and combination
  • Gzip compression
  • Lazy loading (paid)
  • Browser caching
  • Remove render-blocking JavaScript (paid)
  • Database optimization (paid)

WP Fastest Cache settings

If you want to see how WP Quickest Cache compares to WP Rocket, try our full comparability put up.

Worth: Begins free. Paid model from $49.99

Check Particulars

For reference, I’m testing the free mannequin that’s obtainable at WordPress.org.

Non-default choices enabled:

  • Cache system: Allow
  • Minify HTML
  • Minify CSS
  • Gzip
  • Browser caching
  • Disable emojis

4. Swift Efficiency — Free/$40

Swift Performance Lite plugin

Swift Efficiency is a relatively new WordPress caching plugin that’s shortly gained quite a lot of recognition inside the WordPress Velocity Up Fb group. Like WP Rocket, it targets to be a full WordPress effectivity plugin that handles caching plus a whole lot additional.

Nevertheless, not like WP Rocket, there’s a free mannequin at WordPress.org known as Swift Efficiency Lite, which is what I used for testing. For caching, the free mannequin is all you need. It moreover supplies completely different useful choices:

  • Cache preloading
  • Database optimization
  • Minification
  • Browser caching
  • Gzip compression

One issue I like is that it comprises “presets” you might apply with a single click on on. That is definitely useful if you happen to occur to’re a casual one that’s undecided the place to start out out.

Swift Performance Lite settings

Swift Efficiency moreover goes previous all of these completely different plugins with a sophisticated attribute that lets you disable certain plugins on certain pages. For occasion, in case you will have a contact kind plugin, you presumably can use this attribute to ensure that plugin solely a whole bunch in your “Contact” net web page.

Worth: Begins free. Paid model from $40

Check Particulars

For reference, I’m testing the free mannequin that’s obtainable at WordPress.org. Past that, I used the Easy Caching preset inside the setup wizard.

5. W3 Whole Cache — Free/$99

W3 Total Cache plugin

W3 Whole Cache is an absolute mammoth of a plugin. When it involves the sheer number of choices and configuration decisions that you just get, W3 Whole Cache is certainly inside the lead out of any caching plugin.

Nevertheless, that’s moreover slightly little bit of a double-edged sword, as W3 Whole Cache may even actually really feel very overwhelming and complicated for casual prospects attributable to all these settings. For most people, I consider it’s larger to go along with simpler plugins akin to WP Rocket or WP Tremendous Cache.

W3 Total Cache settings

In 2019, W3 Whole Cache was acquired by BoldGrid. Since then, BoldGrid has launched a premium mannequin of the plugin for $99 per yr.

If you want to see how W3 Whole Cache compares to WP Rocket and WP Tremendous Cache, try our full comparability put up.

Worth: Begins free. Paid model from $99

Check Particulars

Non-default choices enabled:

I tried to permit minification, however it broke the online web page, so I disabled it for the examine.

6. Cache Enabler — Free

Cache Enabler plugin

Cache Enabler comes from KeyCDN, a popular content material materials provide group (CDN). In the occasion you’re merely making an attempt for a extraordinarily lightweight caching plugin, Cache Enabler is normally a pleasant chance. It has completely the best settings area. In precise truth, you nearly merely activate the plugin and in addition you’re carried out.

Cache Enabler settings

In the occasion you’re going to utilize Cache Enabler, I wish to suggest pairing it with the free Autoptimize plugin for code/script optimization. The 2 work very correctly collectively. Cache Enabler can take care of net web page caching, whereas Autoptimize handles minification, combining recordsdata, and deferring JavaScript/CSS.

Worth: 100% free

Check Particulars

Non-default choices enabled:

  • Cache minification: HTML and Inline JS

7. Breeze — Free

Breeze caching plugin

Breeze is a caching plugin from Cloudways, a popular managed web host that lets you choose your particular person cloud web internet hosting provider. Nevertheless, you do not should be a Cloudways purchaser to utilize Breeze, though there are some explicit integrations for Cloudways purchasers.

For occasion, if you happen to’re web internet hosting at Cloudways, Breeze has built-in help for Varnish server-level caching, which lets you clear your Varnish cache out of your WordPress dashboard.

Breeze settings

Along with its core function of caching, the Breeze plugin moreover implements one other WordPress effectivity most interesting practices:

  • Gzip compression
  • Browser caching
  • Code minification and combination
  • Database optimization
  • A CDN integration that may allow you to join along with your chosen CDN

Worth: 100% free

Check Particulars

Non-default choices enabled:

  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript minification

8. WP-Optimize — Free/$39

WP-Optimize plugin

WP-Optimize is a effectivity plugin from the an identical developer because the favored UpdraftPlus backup plugin. It started as solely a database optimization system. Nevertheless, it’s since morphed into additional of a full-service optimization system that moreover implements net web page caching, image optimization, and one other effectivity most interesting practices:

  • Gzip compression
  • Browser caching
  • Cache preloading
  • Google Fonts and Font Superior optimization

This was my first experience with WP-Optimize. However whole, I found the dashboard to be well-designed and easy to utilize:

WP-Optimize settings

Worth: Begins free. Paid model from $39

Check Particulars

Non-default choices enabled:

  • Allow net web page caching
  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript minification (by default, enabling this moreover permits combining CSS and JavaScript recordsdata. I manually disabled this attribute to take care of the examine sincere).

Bonus: Nginx Fast_CGI Cache

Okay, this one simply is not a caching plugin. As a substitute, this is usually a server-level net web page caching mechanism that many WordPress hosts use. As a results of I’m using SpinupWP to power my examine web page, I can merely activate full net web page caching with Nginx Fast_CGI cache.

The thought proper right here is to current you one different information degree of how all these caching plugins consider to net web page caching on the server-level. Total, I was really shocked that this wasn’t the best-performing decision. Whereas it nonetheless was the second-best performing caching mechanism, it was behind WP-Optimize and correct throughout the an identical stage as WP Rocket and Cache Enabler.

Nonetheless, implementing caching on the server-level is certainly worth considering, notably in high-traffic situations. For occasion, in SpinupWP’s assessments evaluating the Easy Cache plugin vs Nginx Fast_CGI cache, Nginx Fast_CGI was able to course of ~55% additional requests per second than Easy Cache.

In the occasion you’re a casual one that needs to study from server-level caching, your solely possibility is to maneuver to managed WordPress hosts akin to Kinsta, Flywheel, WP Engine, or others.

In the occasion you’re a additional superior particular person, you can also ponder web internet hosting WordPress by your self cloud VPS using devices akin to SpinupWP or GridPane.

Recap and Conclusions

To recap each half, proper right here’s the an identical effectivity comparability desk from the beginning of the put up:

Which Is the Best WordPress Caching Plugin?

Primarily primarily based on every the hands-on effectivity testing and my personal experience having used all of these plugins, listed below are my recommendations for which plugin to utilize.

In the occasion you merely want a straightforward plugin to take care of net web page caching, I’ve on a regular basis been a fan of the free Cache Enabler plugin. Whereas it solely ranked second in our examine, I consider it’s a perfect chance attributable to its simplicity. In precise truth, all you truly have to do is activate it and in addition you’re capable of go. Nevertheless, I positively advocate pairing it with the Autoptimize plugin to moreover take care of front-end code optimizations.

WP-Optimize, the best-performing plugin in our examine, doesn’t get as quite a bit consideration as just a few of the completely different names on this itemizing. I consider part of that is attributable to its roots as solely a database optimization plugin — some people don’t discover that it’s now a full effectivity plugin. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent place to start out out because of it has a free mannequin, carried out very correctly, and stays to be pretty accessible for non-technical prospects.

Nevertheless, if you happen to occur to’re a casual particular person making an attempt for an all-in-one WordPress effectivity plugin, I consider WP Rocket could be worth considering for quite a lot of causes:

  • The dashboard is well-designed and large easy to utilize. It prompts all the core choices by default and the builders do a perfect job of setting up superior settings nonetheless accessible to casual prospects.
  • It carried out near the very best inside the assessments, score third behind Cache Enabler and WP-Optimize.
  • You access premium help.

For a number of folks, I consider that makes it properly definitely worth the money. Nevertheless, the draw again is clearly that there’s no free mannequin. You positively don’t need to pay to get good effectivity — you’re primarily paying for simplicity, help, and ease of use.

Lastly, whereas it landed merely exterior the podium, I consider that WP Quickest Cache is usually a excellent chance that, no matter what the title says, is unquestionably additional of a full-service effectivity plugin than solely a caching decision.

And to finish this out — don’t forget that caching plugins aren’t the one methodology to utilize net web page caching in your WordPress web page. With the acceptable host, you can also implement net web page caching on the server-level using devices akin to Varnish or Nginx Fast_CGI cache. In the occasion you’re on this technique, you can strive our ideas on the very best managed WordPress internet hosting suppliers.

Used/using any of these plugins? Ideas?

Colin Newcomer is a contract creator and long-time Web marketer. He focuses on digital promoting and WordPress. He lives a lifetime of hazard, utilizing a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi.

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