Best WordPress Caching Plugins Compared
October 31. 2019
In this day and age, everything moves fast. Speed is a staple of our lives now. And there is nothing we expect speed from more than technology and the Internet. It’s no wonder then that websites which load faster attract more viewers and rate better on Google’s algorithm. So how do you ensure your website loads as fast as possible? Using some of the best WordPress caching plugins is one easy and effective way! To explain how and help you decide on which one to go with, WP Full Care has put together this handy guide on caching plugins and compared the current favorites to make your choice easier!
The best WordPress caching plugins explained
If you’re new to the world of WordPress or if you’re just a casual user, you probably don’t know all the nitty-gritty details of how it works. And why should you? After all, WordPress experts are here to answer all your questions! And today we’re telling you everything you need to know about the best WordPress caching plugins.
What do they do?
Simply put, caching plugins make WordPress more efficient. You don’t want to spend all that time creating the perfect WordPress homepage and then have people clicking away from it in boredom because it takes forever to load, do you? Well, caching plugins ensure that doesn’t happen by significantly reducing the time it takes for pages on your WordPress website to load.
How do they work?
They achieve this by creating a static HTML version of the page on your server. Without this, a page will load dynamically with all its bells and whistles every time a user visits it. This can include loading images, menus, links, even engaging multiple databases all at once, which slows down the process. You can avoid this with a caching plugin that loads a lighter, HTML version from the cache. This makes the page appear for the user much faster!
Do you really need one?
While you can certainly operate a WordPress website without a caching plugin, some form of caching is highly recommended. Why? Well, the benefits speak for themselves:
- faster loading times
- improved user experience
- better search engine ranking
- lower server resources usage
Just about any WordPress website can benefit from caching. But with multi-page websites that run many scripts at once, it is pretty much necessary if you want your visitors to be happy.
Are there any downsides to them?
It may seem that WP caching plugins have no drawbacks. Well, that’s not entirely true. Changing certain plugin options (especially if you’re not very experienced with it) can negatively affect your website appearance. Of course, deactivating the plugin or disabling some options will usually fix the issue. But that’s a risk you don’t want to take (not to mention, extra work you don’t need to do). Creating a backup before any changes is, therefore, always a good choice.
It should also be noted that there are other caching options out there. In fact, caching is often done on the server itself. In such cases, a plugin is redundant. Of course, that all depends on the server and domain that hosts your WordPress website. Some discourage plugins because caching is done on the server itself. Others do not offer such options and a plugin may then be necessary.
What are the best WordPress caching plugins?
You’ve probably already done some Googling about caching plugins for your website. And you’ve probably also found that there are countless different plugins, all claiming to be just what you’re looking for. So how do you find the absolute best WordPress caching plugins? We’ve tested them for you to make it easier and here are the results!
WP Rocket – one of the overall best WordPress plugins
WP Super Cache – the best free caching plugin for WordPress
With millions of downloads, WP Super Cache is definitely one of the most popular caching plugins for WP. And it’s easy to see why! Created and run by Automatic (the team behind WordPress.com), it is opensource and entirely free. Not to mention, it’s one of the fastest options, improving loading times by more than 28%. It comes with three different modes: simple, super caching and expert. This makes it ideal for users of all levels of knowledge and experience.
Comet Cache – a caching plugin with a history
Another fast but free option, Comet Cache can improve your loading time by as much as 32%. And it’s no wonder it works as well as it does: it is essentially a second-generation plugin, a successor to ZenCache which was itself quite popular too. Comet Cache is perfect for membership, eCommerce, and other registration-based websites because it gives you the ability to cache even logged-in users. Plus, it is incredibly easy to set up and use. A premium version with some extra features is also available.
WP Fastest Cache – an easy-to-use WordPress caching plugin
With fewer customization options than most other plugins, WP Fastest Cache is also one of the easiest to use. It performs solidly, in that it minifies HTML and CSS files, uses browser caching, combines multiple CSS files into one, and allows you to disable emojis, all of which will speed up your website.
A premium version with some interesting extra features (such as mobile caching, database cleanup and image optimization) can also be purchased through the WP dashboard. However, for all the promises in its name, it is by far not the fastest plugin on this list, only improving loading time by about 15%.
W3 Total Cache – a versatile WordPress plugin with multiple recommendations
It’s not uncommon to see W3 Total Cache on the lists of the best caching plugins for WP. There’s good reason for that: it caches every aspect of the website, comes with CDN integrations, works well with mobile pages, gets updated every month, improves your loading speed by 20-30% and is opensource and completely free. But we would not recommend it to a beginner. The backend settings can be quite confusing.
Always adopt a multi-pronged approach to improving your website
The best WordPress caching plugins can certainly improve your website’s rankings by speeding it up. But none of them are perfect. Besides, you should never put all your eggs in one basket. All websites are different. Caching plugins will, therefore, work differently on different websites and results may vary because of that. The best way to ensure that your website attracts as much traffic as possible is to work on improving it in multiple ways instead. So if your goal is to have the best-optimized WordPress website out there, hiring professionals is the way to go. With their help, you can build and run an amazing website that consistently ranks well on search engines. So don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it!