We’ve compiled a guide on the Best Caching Plugins For WordPress.
Your Internet experience is only as fast as the websites you visit. Typically, the best websites are also the ones with the quickest load times. A slow website makes for a terrible user experience, and let’s not forget the impact that it is likely to have on your search engine rankings. Google has confirmed the same in the past.
WordPress is dynamic. While this helps keep your website up to date and live, it also slows down your website too. So, to tackle this problem, developers created caching plugins. They help produce a static version of your website and this makes your website much much faster.
In this article, we’ll take you through the best caching plugins available on the WordPress market. If you aren’t already using a caching plugin, then you’ll find this an interesting and important read. If you are using a caching plugin then read on and you’ll have a few more great options to check out and find out which plugin works best for you.
WP Super Cache
With this plugin there are multiple tabs, the first one titled “Easy” is displayed first. And it is easier when you aren’t bombarded with as many options as other caching plugins.
WP Super Cache creates a static HTML file which is served to users who aren’t logged in, users who haven’t left a comment on your blog and users who haven’t viewed a password protected post on your site. That pretty much means almost every visitor to your website.
This plugin caches files in three ways:
- Supercached Static files – PHP is completely bypassed and it served as such to unknown visitors.
- Supercached Static files ( served by PHP ) – Server more likely to struggle with large increase or bursts of traffic.
- Legacy Caching – the slowest caching method used for known users.
The difference between super cached served by PHP and not served by PHP becomes more apparent only when there is an increase in traffic, so much so that the host’s server struggles to keep up, else the differences are imperceptible.
You can selectively choose which sections of your website get cached. The plugin also handles sudden spikes in traffic using lockdown and directly cached files.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is known as one of the most powerful caching plugins with a plethora of options at the disposal of the user. Its users include Yoast, Mashable, Smashing Magazine, and many other equally influential websites.
A WordPress newbie may find it daunting to negotiate through the plugin’s many options at first, that being said, W3 Total Cache offers tips on how to best use the plugin above the plugin’s settings page on your WP dashboard.
The plugin isn’t complicated, it is merely vast with a number of options. If you can get past the clutter of options and follow suggestions as presented by the plugin below your WordPress dashboard then it can speed up your website ten times over, which is an impressive feat.
WP Fastest Cache
Fastest Cache employs a number of methods to cache your website. Mod Rewrite takes your dynamic WordPress and makes it static. The cached files are then deleted at appropriate intervals or based on events such as publishing a page or a post.
With Fastest Cache you can block cache for specific pages/posts with a shortcode. The plugin permits you to enable and disable caching for mobile devices and logged in users separately. Fastest Cache provides CDN support too.
If you know what each of the caching methods will do for you, this should be a very easy plugin to handle. Just tick your caching methods and submit.
Hyper Cache only has 4 tabs on the settings page of the plugin. While this means there are fewer configuration options compared to others on this list, this works in favour of anyone who’s looking for a plugin to do the job with little or no tinkering.
With HyperCache, you can cache at specified intervals of time, enable on-the-fly compression, clean caches when a new comment is made or a new post is published, and enable browser caching.
You can set up Hyper Cache so as not to cache specific pages or URLs too, and you can cache only the most recent posts by blocking caching for posts older than a specified number of days. It provides support for CDN and mobile caching also.
If you’re selecting a caching plugin, then you should consider your requirements. Is your website prone to high volumes of traffic at certain times and do you use a CDN? Questions like these become pertinent to the selection of the best caching plugin for your website. Because the differences in performance are largely imperceptible to the average user, it is very difficult to figure out which among all the plugins is the best. In our opinion, W3 Total Cache is certainly the most complete package, but all the others aren’t far behind.
Managing Director of FreshSites Limited. I have a passion for cloud computing and have a background in web design & development. I’m a WordPress advocate and a full stack engineer.
Taggedcaching , Load , plugin , Speed , WordPress
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