Internet in today’s date is all about speed. Faster your site and webpages loads, better it is for User and for search engine. There are many ways by which you can speed up your website that including selecting the best Webhosting, selecting a better platform for your Website (WordPress, Drupal, custom CMS ) and so on. Here we will talk about some of the best WordPress cache plugin that you can use it on your WordPress powered site and blogs to speed up.
Even Google made it clear, that they take page load time as one of the signal for search engine ranking, & knowing the fact, we can’t ignore the importance of faster loading time of your WordPress powered or any other platform based Websites.
How WordPress caching plugin speed up our site?
Alright, lets take the hard part first and explain why you need one of these WordPress caching plugins. Let me explain it in simple newbie term: When a reader opens a page on your WordPress site, WordPress queries database and it loads everything (sidebar, related post, custom hook) and everything related to that page from your database. Which make numerous calls to your database. What happen when lots of visitors visit any blog in single time. Your hosting provider may ban for overloading CPU uses. When you have a high traffic Website, the number of queries increases to a great extent and despite of using a powerful Web hosting you will see issues like “Error connecting database” “Website down” and so on. Caching plugin convert your pages into static pages, and when WordPress request a page, it doesn’t query database but directly server the pages for cache folder. This reduces the server load by a great extent and your Website will load faster.
Specially, as a starter you might be using shared hosting, which offers good resource but again using a caching plugin helps a lot to lower down server load and you might not get unexpected warning like exceeded CPU limit and so on. There are many top caching plugins for WordPress are available in the WordPress repo and few of them which are well-known: Wp super cache, W3 total cache, Hyper cache and many more.
Here in this article, I will be explaining about some of the best WordPress cache plugin, which you can consider installing. Do remember, pick only one of them as almost all of them does the same job and using more than 1 cache plugin, might lead to conflict and your server might act unexpectedly.
Best of Best WordPress cache plugins :
Before you pick any of these best WordPress cache plugin, make sure you take account of your hosting and server configuration. For example, W3 total cache plugin works best with VPS or dedicated servers, where as Super cache or hyper cache is idle for shared hosting. Though, it’s no thumb of rule and it varies from server configuration. I can’t get into more technicality here, but in brief, I would be explaining some of the main advantage of these WordPress cache plugins, and you can pick one which you believe is compatible with your server environment.
Before, you start using any one of these cache plugins, make sure you run a speed test on your site using PingDom or GtMetrix and note the loading time. After installing cache plugin, run a test again and notice the difference.
WP Super Cache
This is one of the most active and updated plugin and managed by Donncha, you can find him on WordPress help forum, answering most of the queries related to Wp Super-cache plugin. Depending upon your server config, you can configure Super cache plugin to cache files using any of the 3 ways: Mod_rewrite, PHP & legacy caching. For a faster loading of WordPress site, I recommend you to configure Apache mod_rewrite way to cache your files. Super cache have a Preload mode, which is very useful for site which is not updated very often and you can preload content and set an expiry. A feature that you might not be using.
Once you have configure Super cache plugin, make sure you use the feature Test cache under easy mode, which confirms if this plugin is working fine or not. Wp Super cache plugin>
W3 Total Cache
One of the advanced WordPress caching plugin which works out of the box and offer advance caching mechanism. Many popular Websites like Mashable, Smashing magazine are using the same plugin. Though a perfect W3 total cache configuration, might require little technical skills. The latest version of W3 total cache offers integration with CloudFlare. You can quickly configure CDN easily using this plugin. Object caching is one more feature, that you should be using in this plugin.
Some more notable feature of this top WordPress cache plugin are:
- Page cache
- Database Caching
- Minify CSS, JS
- Works best with VPS and Dedicated hosting but works with Shared hosting too
- Caching of search results page
Here is a nice intoductory video of W3 total cache:
Despite of being one of the best Caching plugin, we are using Super cache on ShoutMeLoud server for now, though as soon as we move to VPS, we will be migrating to W3TC plugin. W3TC plugin>
DB Cache Reloaded
One of the major reason your WordPress site is getting slower is because of too many database queries. As name suggest, this plugin cache the SQL query for certain time (Config) and it will speed up loading of your pages. DB Cache Reloaded Fix is a modified version of DB Cache Reloaded plugin and is compatible with WordPress 3.1. This plugin caches every database query with given lifetime. According to author Words “your site will work faster and will use less disk space for cached files. Db Cache reloaded>
Hyper Cache is another Caching Plugin for WordPress users, their blogs hosted on low resources hosting provider for example (CPU and mysql). The one advantage of Hyper Cache is, its work even with windows hosting. Some of the features which Hyper Cache has listed below:-
- Compatible with the plugin WP-PDA which enables a blog to be accessible from mobile devices
- Manages (both) plain and gzip compressed pages
- An auto clean system to reduce the disk usage
- 404 caching
- Redirects caching
- Global Translator compatibility
- Last Modified http header compatibility with 304 responses
- Compressed storage to reduce the disk space usage
- Agents, url’s and cookies based rejection configurable
- Easy to integrated with other plugins
Conclusion : – These all WordPress Caching Plugins have their own reasons and features to use, But if you are new blogger I recommend to use WP Super Cache WordPress Plugin. If you wanted a more advance Caching system on your blog then I advise to use W3 Total Cache. If your website is hosted on windows hosting then use Hyper Cache.
Though, my best advice for faster loading would be work on all the aspect of your WordPress site. That includes, using CDN, use Image Sprites, Compress images using Smush.it plugin, use a Powerful hosting server. You can also consider installing P3 profiler plugin and scan your site to find out which existing plugin is taking maximum time to execute.
There are many more plugins, which can be added into this list of WordPress cache plugins, but I would like to keep the list short and pick the best free one in the market. I would love to know, which Wp cache plugin are you using to speed up your WordPress blog?