The Internet in today’s terms is about access to speed. We have faced frustration when due to unexpected delays in page loading prompting us to hit the back key. Slow loading pages on any website can sure affect the SEO score as well as could decrease traffic substantially.
While many factors come into play in affecting the loading time of your webpage, faster pageload times can be arrived at by making informed decisions on the best platform for your site, the fastest hosting for your website, and by integrating the tools that would get you there.
What is Caching?
A part of the Computer keep tracks of your activity and stores it in the Memory. This process is called the Caching. It stores recently used information in the computer’s memory.
Caching plugins for wordpress sites work by creating a static copy of your dynamic site to reduce server rendering times. The same goes for your database and compiled PHP code. This is all saved in a type of easily accessible image, which is served every time the site is visited thus saving load time from the server. Google insists on better site speed and is one of the most important ranking factors on Search.
Find what works for you
The first step is to identify what you expect from your caching plugin. This should include Cost, Complexity and intuitiveness, Power and functionality & Support. While there are paid options too, we’d like to simplify life for you.
Here we take a look at 7 best WordPress Cache Plugins that we have tested for you to use on your WordPress powered site and blogs to speed up page loading.
WP Hyper Cache
Hyper Cache is called the pure PHP caching plugin. It is programmed to works on any blog, and even resource-starved shared servers. It is an easy to use and efficient plugin that can be easily integrated into your blog with just a few clicks. Hyper Cache can be installed in sites that run a separate mobile site, is designed to work well with commenting systems, and works with bbPress.
As it starts working on preset default values on activation there is no need to set it up manually. Hyper cache offers compression support to optimize bandwidth usage which is vital on mobile devices. Hyper Cache is active on more than 50,000 WordPress sites.
Hyper Cache main features
- Hyper Cache works with a set of default values on installation
- For those non-technical blogger the configuration panel can just be ignored (even if enabling the compression is a good idea!)
- It offers a separated cache for mobile devices (when you use mobile oriented themes or plugins)
- Option to switch themes for mobile devices
- Offers compression support to optimize your bandwidth usage and the overall page load speed (important with mobile devices)
- configurable bypass (when the cache should not… cache): by page address, user agent, cookies, feeds and so on
- 404 caching
- can cache and refresh bbPress pages
- special refresh options
- configurable caching only of the newest posts
WP Fastest Cache
WP Fastest Cache is the most full-featured plugin available in the market today, offering a wide range of support that includes CDN integration, HTML and CSS minifications, CSS and JS combination, Gzip compression, and browser caching.
Unfortunately, the current version of WP Fastest Cache is not Multisite compatible. Setting up WP Fastest Cache is a little more complex than many of the other options on this list, but that’s because it offers more features.
WP Fastest Cache uses mod rewrite to cache your pages and deliver a fast browsing experience to visitors. The main settings page only offers ten options.
Options include whether cached files are delivered to logged in users and mobile visitors, and whether CSS and HTML minification is applied. Several settings have an information button that explains more about what the setting does.
WP Fastest Cache Main Features
- Mod_Rewrite which is the fastest method is used in this plugin
- All cache files are deleted when a post or page is published
- Admin can delete all cached files from the options page
- Admin can delete minified css and js files from the options page
- Block cache for specific page or post with Short Code
- Cache Timeout – All cached files are deleted at the determinated time
- Cache Timeout for specific pages
- Enable/Disable cache option for mobile devices
- Enable/Disable cache option for logged-in users
- SSL support
- CDN support
- Preload Cache – Create the cache of all the site automatically
- Exclude pages and user-agents
WP Comet Cache
Comet Cache, which once went by the name Zen Cache, is active on more than 30,000 WordPress websites and is well-loved enjoying a stunning rating of 5 out of 5 stars.
The primary advantage of Comet Cache is that it has some of the most user-friendly and well-written documentation of any plugin. It takes a real-time snapshot of every post, page, category and link and caches them intuitively. This simple yet effective method saves you processing time that was initially causing the page load time of your site to rise.
Comet Cache employs many protocols to determine when it should send a cached version and when it shouldn’t. In the default mode, the plugin does not serve cached pages to users who are logged into the system and visitors who have commented on the website recently. You can edit these configuration settings from the Settings page.
In addition, the developer responds to every support thread posted in the WP.org support forums.
WP Comet Cache main Features
- Options to control the automatic cache clearing behavior for Home and Posts Page, Author Page, Category, Tag, and Custom Term Archives, Custom Post Type Archives, RSS/RDF/ATOM Feeds, and XML Sitemaps.
- The ability to cache or ignore URLs that contain query strings (GET Requests).
- User agent and HTTP referrer exclusion patterns.
- Set automatic expiration times for cache files.
WP W3 Total Cache
If you are a proficient webmaster, you would sure notice that the Settings area in W3 Total Cache is divided into 16 pages. It could be be quite overwhelming even for some developers. W3 Total Cache offers a dedicated Settings page for every type of caching – page caching, object caching, database caching, browser caching etc.
W3 Total Cache (W3TC) offers a ton of very detailed settings to configure and there are seven different page cache methods, and three different CSS minifiers to choose from.
For those with no technical know how, it works just as fine as you don’t have to manually configure the settings to make the plugin work. Its default settings work pretty great too. All you need to do is click on one easy checkbox to turn on all of the different caching methods in one convenient swoop, on default settings.
WP W3 Total Cache (W3TC) main Features
- GZIP compression to optimize web browser rendering.
- Support for Content Delivery Networks (CDN).
- Compatible with CloudFlare.
WP Super Cache
Super Cache for WordPress has been installed over a million times not only because it is free but it also easy to use and requires little to no configuration. WP Super Cache employs mod_rewrite which is faster than the usual PHP generated HTML caching to generate static pages. It can also be set to PHP, depending on your preference, meaning that each visitor doesn’t need to load all of the WordPress PHP files – they simply receive a static HTML page.
WP Super Cache offers the possibility to change the order in which plugins load, so if you need certain plugins to load with lighting speed, you can get it done.It also has a ‘legacy caching mode’ in which if you’re logged in, you won’t experience the supercached HTML files.
Maintenance is easy with the WP Super Cache as it comes with a scheduler that clears cached pages at a time that you can designate in advance. Moreover Super Cache supports Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to export your customized settings so that you can import them into your future sites.
The three options employable to decrease pageload times are
- Use mod_rewrite to deliver static pages
- Serve static pages using PHP
- Use a legacy caching mode that caches pages for users who are logged in
WP Super Cache main Features
- Page compression and dynamic caching.
- Support for Content Delivery Networks (CDN).
- Caching for visitors using a mobile device.
- Scheduler to manage deletion and re-caching at given intervals.
WP Simple Cache
Simple Cache was said to have been designed after getting frustrated with the major caching plugins available and building sites with developer-only complex caching solutions that get millions of page views per day.
For non-technical bloggers & users looking for a caching solution that simply works and has nothing to configure should check out Simple Cache, a new plugin on WordPress.org that offers a one-click install.
It also has a few optional settings for expiring the cache and enabling compression. The simple mode offers file-based page caching (similar to WP Super Cache), which is sufficient to speed up the vast majority of simple sites.Once installed, Simple Cache can be turned on with the click of a button.
WP Simple Cache main Features
- Extremely simple one-click install. There is an on-off switch. That’s it. No need to wade through 50 complicated settings.
- Simple Cache makes your site run very fast so you can handle lots of traffic.
- Extremely easy to delete. Don’t like the plugin? You can remove it, and your website won’t break.
- Easily clear the cache if you need to.
- Enable gzip compression
- Advanced mode is available that will automatically setup Batcache and Memcached/Redis
WP Cache Enabler
WP Cache Enabler plugin work on the basis of creating static HTML files and storing them on the servers disk. This would enable the web server to deliver the static HTML file and help avoid the resource intensive backend processes (core, plugins and database).
WP Cache Enabler main Features
- Efficient and fast disk cache engine
- Automated and/or manual clearing of the cache
- Manually purge the cache of specific pages
- Display of the actual cache size in your dashboard
- WordPress multisite support
- Custom Post Type support
- Expiry Directive
- Support of 304 Not Modified if the page has not modified since last cached
- WebP Support (when combined with Optimus)
- Supports responsive images via srcset since WP 4.4
- Works perfectly with Autoptimize
- HTTP/2 Focused
Though it is not possible to single out any of the reviewed plugins as the best one out there, there are only a few marginal benefits that separate each of the plugins and this list is the best we could find. First it would serve your purpose well to narrow down on what you want rather than trying them one after the other. So if you are using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) then Comet Cache is not of much use as it does not support CDN. But there are others available that do. Now it is up to you.