Internet today is all about speed.
The faster your site and webpage loads, the better it is from the point of a user AND the search engine.
There are ways using which you can speed up your website, including selecting fastest WordPress web hosting, compressing your images, using CDN, using caching techniques and so on.
Here, we will talk about some of the best WordPress cache plugins that you can use on your WordPress powered site and blogs to speed up the loading time.
Even Google made it clear that they take page load time as one of the signals for search engine ranking, and knowing the fact, we can’t ignore the importance of faster loading time of your WordPress-powered or any other platform based websites.
How does WordPress caching plugin speed up our site?
Alright, let’s take the hard part first and explain why you need one of these WordPress caching plugins.
Let me explain it in simple terms:
When a reader opens a page on your WordPress site, WordPress queries the database, and it loads everything (sidebar, related post, custom hook) related to that page from your database, which makes numerous calls to your database. This is a lot of computation which is repeated everytime a user opens a webpage on your WordPress site.
What happens when lots of visitors visit at a single time? Your web-hosting has to do a lot of computation in a single second, due to which your server crashes sometimes. You must have seen errors like 500 internal server error or error connecting database.
These are severe problems, and a lot of users using WordPress are not aware of why that happens. The solution to this problem is using a caching plugin.
Caching WordPress plugin converts your pages into static pages (cache) when a user requests a page for the first time. Now, when a second user requests the same page, instead of querying the database, cache plugin serves the pages from the cache which reduces the server load, and your website will load faster.
Especially as a starter, you might be using shared hosting, which offers good resources but again using a caching plugin helps a lot to lower down server load and you might not get an unexpected warning like exceeded CPU limit and so on.
There are many top caching plugins for WordPress available in the WordPress repo some of which are well-known: WP super cache, W3 total cache, WP Rocket and many more.
Here in this article, I will talk about some of the best WordPress cache plugins, which you can consider installing.
Do remember, pick only one as almost all of them do the same job. Using more than one cache plugin might lead to conflict, and your server might act funny. Also, do note that a few shared web-hosting services like Bluehost, SiteGround offer inbuilt caching system so you don’t need any 3rd party cache plugin. And, the majority of managed WordPress hosting companies like Kinsta, WPEngine also offer inbuilt cache.
If you use any of these web-hosting services, then is no need for an extra cache plugin. Also, it’s a good idea to contact your web-hosting provider and ask them which WordPress cache plugins works best with your configuration. At times, this helps in picking the right cache plugin for your platform.
The best of WordPress cache plugins :
Before you pick one plugin from this list of best WordPress cache plugins, make sure you take account of your hosting and server configuration.
For example, the W3 total cache plugin works best with VPS or dedicated servers, whereas Super cache is ideal for shared hosting. 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 the one which you believe is compatible with your server’s 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 the cache plugin, run a test again and notice the difference.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a very popular plugin and also one of most recommended WordPress caching plugin.
WP Super Cache is easy to install, easy to use and also give you a good performance boost. It generates static HTML files from your dynamic blog this plugin will also provide gzip compression.
If you’re a new user with average needs, this would be the best choice for you. Here is the guide for configuring Super Cache plugin:
This is one of the most active and updated plugin and managed by Automattic.
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 a WordPress site, I recommend you to configure Apache mod_rewrite way to cache your files.
Super Cache has a Preload mode, which is very useful for a 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 configured the Super Cache plugin, make sure you use the feature Test cache under easy mode, which will confirm whether or not this plugin works fine.
W3 Total Cache
W3 is one of the most advanced WordPress caching plugins which works out of the box and offers an advanced caching mechanism.
However, a perfect W3 total cache configuration might require some 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 use 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:
WP Fastest Cache:
WP Fastest cache was a new entrant in 2016, and it’s listed here because it’s awesome and very easy to configure. This is a plug and play WordPress cache plugin which you can download and configure in just a few minutes.
Hyper Cache is another brilliant caching plugin for WordPress users who host their blogs on low resources hosting providers, for example (CPU and mysql). The one advantage of Hyper Cache is, it works even with the Windows hosting. Some of the features which Hyper Cache boasts of are 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
- 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
All these WordPress caching plugins have their own reasons and features to use, but if you are new to the blogging world, I’d recommend you to use the WP Super Cache WordPress Plugin. If you want a more advanced caching system on your blog, go for the W3 Total Cache. If your website is hosted on Windows hosting, use Hyper Cache.
Though, my best advice for faster loading would work on all the aspects of your WordPress site. That includes, Use CDN from KeyCDN, use Image Sprites, Compress images using Shortpixels plugin, use a Powerful hosting server.
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 in the market. I would love to know which WP cache plugin you use to speed up your WordPress blog. Write back in the comment section below.