Is your WordPress website being bogged down day by day There is a solution you can implement to your site today? In this article, we’ll be testing and comparing the best WordPress caching plugins so that you can have a faster-loading website.
Are you looking for the best caching plugins for WordPress sites?
A caching plugin is beneficial to improving various aspects of your WordPress website. They include improved security and user experience, traffic flow, conversion revenue generation, and more.
With today’s article titled “Best caching plugins for WordPress websites”, we will Learn what a caching plugin does and how it can benefit you, and almost every tiny detail you need to learn about caching mechanism and plugin.
ACTION ITEM: Every website needs to load quickly, with our recommended guide on “WordPress Optimization Speed“. If it doesn’t, it’s bad for the user experience. Google even ranks websites based on how fast they load. If your website doesn’t load quickly, it’s likely to be one of the main reasons for a slow ranking.
To optimize WordPress sites, you need to make sure that they load quickly and you can do it using the great WordPress caching plugins.
In this post, I’ll present plugins that can help you optimize your page load times by implementing WordPress performance best practices, such as caching pages and optimizing images. These are the best plugins for speeding up WordPress out there right now!
Why Trust ThemeSutra.com?: We’re pretty proud of our research department because they look into the background and capabilities of each best WordPress caching plugin available in the WordPress directory.
So you want to know why we’ve compiled this list of the most popular caching plugins according to our readers? We have conducted a thorough investigation into each of the following areas:
- Ease of use
- Testing on real websites
- Used various speed testing tools
- Customer Support
This allows us to evaluate and compare the free and premium caching plugins on even terms so that we’re focused on factors that users have said were important. We average each caching WordPress plugin’s scores in a given category, which we then use to come up with an overall rating.
Before we start, however, let’s take a look at what caching plugins actually do, or if you’re in hurry and want to find out the best caching plugins then you can simply hover to our Table of contents section.
What is Browser Caching Explained?
When we mention the idea of a warehouse or storage facility, you would probably think of a place where merchandise is stored. And when it comes to computers, information is most commonly stored on hard drives but when something is needed – it has to go through several processes before being displayed.
DEFINITION: The cache is a collection of data stored temporarily during peak demand to free up valuable space on hard drives for that information to then be accessed at a faster rate than it would take for the computer to read from the hard drive.
This is where the wonders of a WordPress caching clear plugin come in! A caching plugin can work to create duplicate files and store them on your server computer which will load directly onto your website. The next time that someone visits, they will be served the cached copy instead of going through the process of creating the file all over again.
WordPress is a dynamic content management system. Each time a user visits your site, WordPress retrieves information from the database and then runs several other steps before the web page is served to the visitor’s browser.
How Do WordPress Caching Plugins Work?
For your website to load its contents, there is a process that informs the web browser how web pages should be structured for it to load properly. When a user visits a page, behind the scenes the information needs in this page needs to be requested from and sent to a database before the final page can be presented to the end-user.
More specifically, there is a lot of processing going on with PHP queries that are sent to the database and then templated data is retrieved and filtered into an HTML page which can then be sent back to the website for display.
At a basic level, caching is just the idea of storing important web data in an accessible spot so that it can be more easily and quickly served up to visitors who need access to it.
The process of creating a static version of your content and delivering it to customers on every visit improves overall performance as you’re not forced to retrieve all that content as per usual when someone requests a fresh page load.
Why Do You Need WordPress Caching plugins?
As your WordPress site grows and you continue to publish new content and install must have WordPress plugins, it will start to slow down. A fresh installation of WordPress on a low-quality web host can even have a negative impact on performance.
Caching is like opening a soda bottle and pouring it into another empty one. It saves a lot of time, effort, and energy. Caching improves your WordPress speed and performance.
BONUS TIP: Site owners need to ensure that these caches are set up properly in order to improve the user experience of their website or blog and help in reduces WordPress hosting servers.
Fortunately, at Kinsta the hosting provider has taken care of that for you. Their managed hosting service comes with built-in caching (Change the URL TOA AF), so there’s no plugin needed! They handle all the cache management on the server-side, for a faster and easier web experience for your visitors.
If you decide to go with a managed WordPress host like Kinsta, they take care of the server caching for you. Caching is done by default at the server, and in most cases, in a much faster manner.
Compared to installing and setting up an advanced plugin which often involves tweaking dozens of settings to try and achieve optimal speeds that sometimes require expert knowledge; it’s simply fast all the time!.
There are a lot of available websites that vary and niches, but some are better suited to specific kinds of content. For example, blog and magazine websites will often have a heavier emphasis on text, images, or videos that you can access easily. This does not mean though that image-heavy website take a long time to load!
Caching improves the user experience by reducing page load times and according to Google, “no matter what, faster is better and less is more”.
EXPERT OPINION: Note: There are many ways to use caching to increase the speed of your webpage, but using a caching plugin is often helpful as well. An optimized website helps drive even more traffic to your website from search engines. With an optimized website, you can rank higher in search results and get new customers for your business faster.
How We Tested the Best WordPress Caching Plugins?
To find out which WordPress caching plugin performs the best, we compared the speed of WordPress websites using multiple different caching plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache, Hyper Cache, and many more. The same tools mentioned below were used to measure the results.
A brand new testing website was created using the popular multi-purpose Astra WordPress theme and a content-rich homepage hosted on an entry-level, shared web hosting package from Bluehost.
As the initial tests showed that the site’s loading speed was slow, there was tremendous potential for improvement by using a caching service like WP Rocket and Breeze.
TEST RESULT: If you are in a rush! ~ here is a complete list of which plugins performed best in the performance caching tests 1). WP Rocket was the top performer, with 2). Breeze also doing quite well.
|Cache Plugin||Page Caching||Browser Caching||Database Optimization||Load Times||Pricing|
|WP Rocket||Yes||Yes||Yes||2.01 seconds||$49|
|W3 Total Cache||Yes||No||No||1.9 Seconds||$99|
|WP Super Cache||Yes||Yes||No||2.5 seconds||Free|
|Cache Enabler||Yes||Yes||No||2.9 seconds||Free|
The baseline scores of the testing website were as follows, we have used the tool called “GT Metrix and Pingdom.
- Test Server- Singapore
- WordPress Theme – Astra
- Web Hosting – BlueHost (Shared Plan)
- Device – Desktop Chrome
- Tool – Gt Metrix alternatively Pingdom
As we established earlier in this article, a caching plugin can improve website loading speeds and thus the performance, SEO, user experience, and conversion rates of your site. Now let’s take a look at the best cache plugin for wordpress free and paid.
The Best WordPress Caching Plugins for 2023
Looking for the best WordPress caching plugins to speed up your website in 2023? Check out our list of the top plugins to use, including WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, and more.
- WP Rocket: Overall best recommenced caching plugin
- W3 Total Cache: Free popular caching plugin
- WP Super Cache: Best free WP caching plugin for WooCommerce stores
- Breeze: Best customization cache tool for CloudWays users
- Cache Enabler: Best access to a wide range of tools
Above, we have listed a shortlist of the top WordPress caching plugins, which are listed according to their ranking in terms of popularity. If you want to learn more about how they work or how they can help your website increase speed, keep reading below.
Now that you know what these plugins are doing in order to speed up your sites, let’s dig deep into each one. We’ll go into detail about each plugin to share with you what it’s focused on and how it can help you achieve the best results for your projects:
1. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a very popular WordPress caching plugin used by more than 500,000 companies. It uses an advanced set of unique techniques to reduce the number of requests that are made to your site’s server and decrease loading times as well.
It’s important to note that it doesn’t use any complicated coding or take much time in setting up so it’s perfect for beginners.
We know costs are a concern, which is why we recommend only the very best products. WP Rocket doesn’t have a free version listed in the wordpress.org directory, but it does have a simple interface and includes all of the basic features needed for on-demand image and content delivery.
EXPERT OPINION: The best way to determine if this particular caching plugin is ideal for you is to inspect its features such as how it enables you to decide who can cache each page of your website, whether or not it supports the use of a CDN, and how much of an impact it makes on your site’s loading time so you know that this investment is worth it!
FEATURE TO BE NOTED: An automatic crawler bot automatically fetches your WordPress pages to build up the cache, before turning on recommended settings like gzip compression. Compress images using drag and drop bulk editor, automatically compress new images added via WP Media Library or File API, and supports all reverse proxy configurations.
The interface is effortlessly user-friendly and the feature set is so appealing, that you’ll forget there’s a free alternative. WP Rocket automatically activates the page caching functionality. You can start speeding up your website just by activating the plugin!
WP Rocket was built to work smoothly with eCommerce websites. In fact, one of the main purposes right now is to make sure that your caching plugin works well with WordPress.com and includes the WooCommerce platform.
Pricing: While they do not offer a free trial, you can request a refund within 14 days of your purchase if you aren’t satisfied with their product. It’s $49 for a single website, $99 for 3 sites, or $249 for unlimited sites with no free trial or free version.
However, there are other free plugins listed below that are available but they’re not as reliable or feature-rich as this one – and its quality is worth its price!
2. W3 Total Cache
Active on over 1 million WordPress websites, W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins at WordPress.org with grand numerous different settings and features. As far as bang for your buck goes, it’s hard to beat this feature-heavy powerhouse of a plugin that works for caching both frontend and backend content.
One advantage of W3 Total Cache is that it has a lot of very helpful settings. However, there are too many at times and they might overwhelm newcomers who are casual users.
Although we like it for a free solution, it’s not the best option. The main downside is that the backend settings are often quite plentiful and difficult to understand. The developers do the right thing at first by putting in some initial choices but beginners will still find it confusing.
With that being said, W3 Total Cache is a free, open-source, and hugely popular WordPress caching plugin with over 1+ million downloads.
The plugin also boasts that it’s an excellent choice for websites sporting SSL certificates and eCommerce sites of all sizes, making it a top option for speeding up your digital store’s load times this holiday season.
Pricing: As mentioned above, W3 Total Cache is available for free and is open-source, with all of its features included in the base plugin with no upgrades suggested along the way. The good news is that this plugin covers you on multiple fronts, like by offering bandwidth savings through minifications, HTTP compression, and feed optimizations.
W3 Total Cache has gotten more streamlined and easier to use thanks to its new setup wizard, which in this update for the software tests all 3T settings to suggest a basic configuration for your website. It does all of that so you can pinpoint the installation using several caching options and choose the ideal software settings.
3. WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a plugin created by WordPress.com, the same group that powers WordPress.com and WooCommerce. This plugin helps automatically cache your pages to reduce server load and speed up delivery of your content, making it a fantastically simple yet effective tool for boosting page load times.
Another great perk of WP Super Cache is that it’s free.
We usually hear about two kinds of WordPress caching plugins when we search for the – WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache! They even have similar names, which can be a bit confusing.
The best thing to do is to install both plugins at once, check them out, and let the one you like more stay on your server. Some people prefer installing WP Super Cache, simply because it’s made by the folks who created WordPress itself.
WP Super Cache is free and open-source, with no upgrades needed after the installation. This caching plugin works efficiently by creating static HTML files and serving those files instead of the heavy WordPress PHP scripts.
A benefit of going with WP Super Cache is that it offers three caching modes. One of them is called Simple Mode, which is what your average WordPress user would go with since it’s the least risky.
However, one of the modes is Expert Mode, where you’re able to super cache your files with some modification to the .htaccess file. It’s great for advanced developers who would like more control over the caching process.
The WP Super Cache plugin includes the most effective techniques for caching a website. The features include Gzip compression, page cache, cache preloading, CDN support, advanced-cache preloading, and more.
Pricing: Starts free; paid version from $49.99.
WP Super Cache has the reputation and tracks record to ensure that it’ll provide excellent caching services for your website, regardless of size. It’s the best caching plugin available.
It’s a free, open-source product from Automattic. This is great because we know that updates will come out regularly, and we don’t have to worry about the plugin falling into disrepair and neglect down the road.
Caching solutions help reduce strain on the web hosting servers. As a result, you can focus on optimizing your server for peak performance levels. Many of today’s managed web hosts offer caching as part of their basic hosting packages.
Breeze is a caching plugin unique to Cloudways, a popular web host for cloud-based hosting solutions. You can select from eleven different cloud providers including DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform.
Although Breeze may be used by non-Cloudways users as well as those who are Cloudways customers, certain integrations require a Cloudways account.
For example, if you’re hosting your WordPress blog at Cloudways, it includes Breeze. Breeze includes already integrated support for Varnish server-level caching which allows the clearing of your Varnish cache from your WordPress dashboard.
Pricing: Breeze is totally free of cost for any users, which means you never have to pay any pricing for using their caching plugin. Breeze, the best free WordPress caching plugin, seamlessly integrates with WordPress Multisite and requires no extra configuration.
If you’re hosting your website on Cloudways and use Varnish server-level caching, Breeze has extended its support to allow you to clear the Varnish cache right from your WordPress dashboard.
5. Cache Enabler
Cache Enabler deliverers content faster. The plugin uses KeyCDN to cache your site in data centers around the world. Cache Enabler comes from KeyCDN, a popular content delivery network (CDN), and is aimed at performance-minded developers looking for a simple and lightweight option.
The Disk caching engine is really fast and reliable, the WordPress multisite function is a big advantage for those who have their own network of websites.
This plugin focuses on providing speed without it costing a fortune as WP-Rocket would cost you. It doesn’t offer everything as WP rocket would do, but it’s quite solid when you’re on a budget.
I’ve been a fan of Cache Enabler for months. It’s simple, and yet incredibly well-designed with some top-notch features, too. In running all sorts of comparisons between different cache installation software over the months and throughout various tests, I’ve found that Cache Enabler almost always performs very well.
For best results, pair Autoptimize with the Cache Enabler plugin. The two plugins work in tandem to optimize your site’s performance, which is another handy way to improve the load time of your blog.
Lastly, the Cache Enabler settings are short and sweet, asking for things like the cache expiry and caching behavior preferences behind the scenes. Support says that users shouldn’t get tripped up by not understanding these things about the Cache Enabler feature, even though there are only a few different settings to check or uncheck themselves.
Pricing: 100% Free
The Cache Enabler plugin enables you to serve up web images and also convert them to the webp format. For example, Optimus, Shortpixel, and EWWW Cloud offer a way for you to convert your existing images into WebP format.
Based on both performance management testing (which is generally a lot more accurate than hands-on) and the experience of using all of these plugins in various projects, here is my recommendations for which WP Rocket plugin to use.
WP Rocket does more than all of its other competitors. While other plugins just offer standard features, WP Rocket has a few unique ones up its sleeve as well to help boost your WordPress site’s performance even more.
The premium cost of WP Rocket is one of its biggest drawbacks, but as I mentioned, it’s possible to create a speedy website without any plugins at all.
The Breeze plugin by Cloudways is close behind WP Rocket when it comes to LCP (Largest Contentful Paint). In fact, it also performs quite well in terms of fully loaded times and other important performance metrics such as TTFB (time to the first byte). Breeze works well with all hosting providers, unlike many other similar plugins.
If you don’t want to bother with caching (and you want a faster website,) consider signing up for a managed WordPress hosting account like Kinsta. The difference between WP Rocket and WP Fastest Cache is less than the difference between WP Fastest Cache and W3 Total Cache.
Finally, remember that when it comes to performance issues there’s no magic bullet. While a good caching plugin can alleviate a lot of problems, you shouldn’t rely on this alone to make your site run smoothly! There are plenty of other things than add up to speed up a WordPress site.
Do you have questions about the best way to use a caching plugin? Do you need help deciding between WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache or any other WordPress caching plugin for your website when it comes to integration, similarities, etc? Ask away in the comments!