Do you want to increase the speed of your WordPress website? Using a caching plugin on your website is one of the best ways to ensure your website loads faster.
Statistically speaking, nearly half of your website’s audience expects your site to load in less than 3 seconds. So it comes as no surprise that Google continues to emphasize site speed in its search algorithm. The higher the page speed, the better your search rankings, and the more organic traffic you can attract.
In this article, we will share the best WordPress caching plugins for your website.
Why Do You Need a WordPress Caching Plugin?
A caching plugin generates static HTML pages of your website and saves it on your server.
Each time a user tries to access your website, your caching plugin serves up the lighter HTML page instead of processing the comparatively heavier WordPress PHP scripts. This allows the caching plugin to tremendously improve your page loading time.
Let’s take a look at the best WordPress caching plugins available in the market.
WP Rocket is the most popular premium caching plugin for WordPress. The ease of configuration is what sets WP Rocket apart from its competition. Once you activate the plugin, page caching will immediately be activated.
A few more benefits of using WP Rocket are:
- Indexing your website on search engines will be improved.
- Lazy loading is applied to your images, meaning your images are loaded only when they’re visible to your visitors on their browser.
- It comes with loads of hooks that help developers easily extend its features.
Price: Starts at $49 for a single site license.
WP Super Cache is another popular caching plugin for WordPress, with over a million active installs. The plugin is run by Automattic, the same team behind WordPress.com.
WP Super Cache helps you generate static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After processing comparatively heavier WordPress PHP scripts on your site, WP Super Cache serves the static HTML file to the vast majority of your website visitors.
WP Super Cache serves cached files in 3 ways:
- Simple: This is the most recommended method of file caching because you don’t have to edit PHP files, plus the .htaccess file does not need to be configured.
- Expert: This is the fastest caching method to serve super cached HTML files to users, but requires a modification of your .htaccess files.
- WP Super Caching: This method is used to cache pages for known users (the ones who log into your site, leave comments, etc.). Though it’s the most flexible caching method, it’s slightly slower compared to other methods.
With over a million active installs, W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins for WordPress. It improves your server performance by caching every aspect of your site and also offers content delivery network integrations.
It’s been used and recommended by countless companies and publications like AT&T, MattCutts.com, Mashable.com, and many others. Whether your site is hosted on a shared hosting network or a dedicated server, you’ll find the plugin helpful to improve your web server performance and reduce page load time. Currently, it’s the only plugin designed to optimize all practical hosting environments.
It offers support for Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL).
WP Fastest Cache comes with fewer configuration settings for WordPress caching, which makes it one of the easiest WordPress caching plugins available in the official WordPress plugins repository.
Just like any other caching plugin, it creates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress site.
To reduce the size of files, the plugin minifies HTML and CSS files. It also allows you to disable emojis on your site. It effectively implements browser caching to reduce page load time for repeat visitors and combines many CSS files into one to reduce the number of HTTP round-trips.
The premium version of the plugin comes with a lot of unique features to increase your page speed, like image optimization, database cleanup, mobile caching, and a lot more.
After you installed the free WP Fastest Cache plugin, you can purchase the premium version directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Price: Both free and premium versions are available. The price is hidden from the website and can be seen after you click the buy button embedded inside your free plugin.
Comet Cache is another popular caching plugin with 60,000 active installs. Unlike other caching plugins, Comet Cache comes with the ability to cache logged-in users too. That means if you’re running a membership site, eCommerce site, or any other sites that require users to register, then Comet Cache is a must-use plugin for you.
The plugin uses browser caching with the Apache server, meaning you can increase the page speed by avoiding multiple roundtrips between the server and browser.
You can also serve all cached files on your site from the content delivery network (CDN) of your choice. It supports popular CDN networks like CloudFront, MaxCDN, and more.
To avoid generating a new version of the cache while your server is busy, the plugin monitors the server load and temporarily disables cache expiration.
The plugin also shows you cache statistics to help you gain insight into the status of your site cache.
Price: Both free and premium versions are available. A single site license can be purchased for a one-time fee of $39.
Cache Enabler is a lightweight caching plugin that creates a static HTML file of your site and serves them to the vast majority of your website visitors upon request. It needs minimal configuration and comes with all the important features you’ll ever need from a caching plugin.
Unlike most free WordPress caching plugins, Cache Enabler provides extensive documentation that helps you explore the different plugin features. With beautiful screenshots and videos, the documentation will walk you through the different aspects of WordPress caching.
It’s in your best interest to not use any mobile-specific themes or plugins that show different layouts for mobile and desktop users along with Cache Enabler because then the cache will be bypassed, rendering it useless.
Activating Hyper Cache is easy because it works with a set of default values.
The plugin comes with a mobile theme switch option that allows you to enable caching even if you’re using different layouts for mobile users and desktops. This comes in handy if you use a responsive theme on your site or need different ad formats for different devices.
Another unique benefit of Hyper Cache is its ability to serve cached pages to comment authors. However, you can also disable serving cached pages to comment authors if you want to.
It is also a bbPress ready plugin, so you can enable cache for your bbPress forum pages.
Choosing the Best WordPress Caching Plugin for Your Needs
When it comes to choosing a WordPress caching plugin for your site, there is no “one size fits all” solution.
If you’d like to choose the best free WordPress caching plugin that does the job, then choose either W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache. Both of them are constantly being updated and are used by over a million websites.
If you need a premium WordPress caching solution that offers tremendous support and requires minimal configuration on your end, choose WP Rocket. It is also part of our best WordPress plugins for 2019.
We hope this guide helped you choose the best caching plugin for your website. Good luck speeding up your site!
If you also want to grow your organic traffic, take a look at the best WordPress SEO tools.