Before jumping into a list of the best caching plugin for WordPress, at first it is important to know what a cache is?
A simple answer to that question would be: A cache is a temporary storage location often known as cache memory that stores data for quick access upon request.
It makes your website run faster by providing saved pages in the browsers instead of reloading the entire page each time a user visits the page, also it reduces the load on your WordPress hosting servers. A proper caching plugin is essential to improve the speed and enhance the performance of your WordPress site.
A faster website is vital to improve the user experience of your website. About 47% of Internet users expect web pages to load within two seconds or less and almost 40% of the people abandons a site that doesn’t load within three seconds.
Not sure what your websites current speed is? Use one of the following tools listed below to test it out your websites speed –
Have you tested your websites speed? If the test scores are above 90 then your website is already flying high, otherwise you might have to think about using a WordPress Caching plugin to give your website a boost.
There are lots of caching plugins out there in the market, so nothing to get confused about, we got your back. Check out the best Caching plugins listed below.
Top 7 Caching plugins:
- WP Rocket (Premium)
- SG Optimizer (Free)
- W3 Total Cache (Free)
- WP Super Cache (Free)
- WP Fastest Cache (Free + Premium)
- LiteSpeed Cache (Free)
- Cache Enabler (Free)
Instead of just relying on our words you should try out at least two to three plugins and see which plugin suits your needs, different plugins come with a different interface and features, so different users prefer different plugins.
There might be some plugins that have really good features but in terms of usability, it might not be the best. Also, most of the plugins discussed here are available for free so you can test those out quite easily.
1. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is currently the most popular caching plugin and one of the best plugins available in the market. It is the only plugin that doesn’t have a free version but the easy-to-use interface and tons of features set it apart from its competitors making it the best caching plugin in the world right now.
Some of you might be thinking: Why should I pay for a plugin when there are so many free WordPress caching plugins available in the market?
Simply put, you get what you pay. For $50 per year, I’d rather have a plugin with an easy setup option and smooth interface that will save me a lot of time and headaches which I would have spent in configuring the free plugins. Even if you go through the complex steps of setting up the free plugins, you will surely miss out on many notable features that will provide you an upper hand in the long run.
Some of the most notable features of WP Rocket are –
- Indexing your website on search engines to help improve your SEO ranking.
- Another notable feature is the “image on request” feature that loads the images only when they’re visible to your visitors on their browser, this feature can increase your website’s user experience by many folds.
- It also helps optimize your Google Fonts, which is something that’s not offered by most caching plugins.
- It provides various custom functions and hooks that allow developers to easily extend its features and use various functionality of WP Rocket outside of the plugin by directly embedding the functions into your code.
Price: Starts at $49 for a single site license. It also has a developer’s plan that’s $249 annually for unlimited sites.
2. SG Optimizer
SG Optimizer is a free caching plugin developed by the popular hosting company SiteGround. It is available for free in the WordPress plugins directory but It is worth noting that this plugin will work only if you’ve hosted your website with SiteGround and will not work with any other hosts.
Some of the features offered by SG Optimizer plugin are:
- It lets you configure your dynamic caching and Memcached. You can enable/disable the automatic cache purge and exclude any URLs from the cache. You can also test whether your pages are properly cached.
- It allows you to force HTTPS for your site and switch between different PHP versions. You can even enable/disable Gzip Compression and browser caching rules for your site.
- It lets you remove the Emoji support and the query strings from your static resources making your site lightweight. You also have the option to enable/disable the minification of your HTML, JS, and CSS resources.
- Optimize the website images individually or in bulk, is another important feature of this plugin.
With over more than one million active installations and 4.5 stars rating the W3 Total Cache is one of the most widely used caching plugins. The plugin being available fully free of cost makes it even more accessible for most users.
In addition to page caching the plugin also supports –
- Opcode cache
- Database cache
- Browser cache
- CDN integration
- Fragment cache
Irrespective of having all those features free of cost, one of the major drawbacks of W3 Total cache is that it is one of the most complicated plugins to configure compared to other caching plugins.
WP Super Cache is another popular caching plugin with more than two million active installations and an overall rating of 4.5 stars. It comes from Automattic, the same team behind WordPress.com and Jetpack. This is another free option for people who are hesitant about spending money on a WordPress plugin.
WP Super Cache creates static HTML files and displays them instead of heavier PHP scripts. The plugin offers three different modes of caching:
- Simple: This method of file caching is the most recommended method because you don’t have to edit any PHP files, you can set up the caching directly from the interface of the plugin. Also, the .htaccess file does not need to be configured in this case.
- Expert: This is the fastest caching method to serve super cached HTML files to users, but this process requires a modification of your .htaccess files. Without proper knowledge about the .htaccess file structure, it might be quite difficult to configure.
- WP Super Caching: This method is used to cache pages for known users like 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.
However, you also have the option to configure a few more advanced settings, though the functionality is not as deep as any of the previous plugins.
WP Fastest Cache has both free and premium options and it 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.
Having fewer configuration settings means, the functionalities of the plugin are also limited so you have to compromise the functionality a bit if you prefer the ease of use more.
Similar to other caching plugins, it also creates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress site and minifies the HTML and CSS files to reduce the size which will increase the loading time of your site. It also allows you to disable emojis on your site.
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 but the plugin isn’t highly maintained, so you won’t get the most out of it in terms of a premium plugin.
Price: Free + Premium (starting at 49.99$, check here)
The LiteSpeed Cache plugin is one of the fastest-growing caching plugins with more than 1 million active installations and an overall rating of 5 stars, also it is fully free and open source.
Developed by LiteSpeed Technologies, this WordPress plugin adds a ton of features to your website allowing you to have greater control over it. LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress (LSCWP) is an all-in-one site acceleration plugin, featuring an exclusive server-level cache and various optimization features.
The LSCWP supports WordPress Multisite and is compatible with the most popular plugins, including WooCommerce, bbPress, and Yoast SEO.
Some of the notable features are:
- Lazy Loading images
- Database optimization
- Browser cache support
- Server-level full page cache
- PageSpeed score optimization
- Content delivery network support
- Hassle-free images optimization
Cache Enabler is a super simple page caching plugin from the folks at KeyCDN, a popular CDN service. It’s a lightweight caching plugin that you can set up in minutes.
Like WP Super Cache, the great thing about this plugin is just how simple it is. You literally just:
- Set the expiration date for the cache
- Choose when to automatically clear the cache. For example, you can automatically clear the cache when you update a post.
- Choose what content to exclude from being cached
This plugin is mainly focused on the basic caching feature and less on other speed optimizing features like image optimizations and modifications. So, to get the best results, pair Cache Enabler with the Autoptimize plugin.
The two play nice together and Autoptimize can handle minification and image optimization for you while the Cache Enabler will handle the caching, which is another helpful performance optimization tip.
When it comes to choosing the best WordPress caching plugin for your site, there is no “one size fits all” solution. You would have to go through the features and see what plugins will suit you needs.
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 have over a million active users.
If you need the best WordPress cache plugin that offers tremendous support and requires minimal configuration on your end, choose WP Rocket. In fact, It is the only all in one solution that you can get at a certain price.
We hope this guide helped you choose the best caching plugin for your website. Good luck with speeding up your site!
If you have any questions about WordPress caching plugins, or if you’d like to talk about your own experiences with these plugins, drop a line in the comments section below.