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10 Best WordPress Cache Plugins Compared (2018)

Updated on  11th June

12 Min Read
Reading Time: 12 minutes

Today, the Internet is all about speed! In order to rank well on search engines, one of the few attributes of the website is that it should be fast. Nobody wants to use a website which is slow. It drives away potential customers and maybe some of the users would simply click the back button before even viewing it.

best wordpress cache plugins

Before discovering the best cache plugins for WordPress, one of the first things to know is the current situation of your website using a free service like Pingdom Tools. The website allows you to get information on the loading time of your pages and the improvements you can make. One of the improvements you will be recommended by Pingdom Tools is precisely to install a WordPress cache plugin.

Table of Contents

What Is Caching?

To put it simply, when a user visits a page of your website, he loads all the elements. So there are a number of requests that are sent to the server. Each of them increases the loading time of the page. This is the principle of a dynamic website, every time the page is displayed by a new visitor, all elements are requested from the web server through queries.

This is useful if your content is changed at each visit, but in the case of articles or pages, this is not the case. This content is modified only when you make a change in the editor to update it. The rest of the time is always the same article. It is therefore useless to leave it in dynamics.

To give you an example of a query, the very content of your article (text, addresses of images, categories) will be loaded from your database. It will take several requests to do that. All of this is transparent to you and the visitor, but this has an impact on the server and the loading time of the page.

The larger your database (the more articles, comments, elements, etc.) it contains, the longer it takes to load requests. You can also limit the revisions of WordPress articles to preserve your database a little.

How a Cache Plugin Improves Website Speed?

We have just seen how a dynamic page works. When you install a cache plugin, it will turn your pages into static. This means that the first visitor to pass on your page will load all the elements as for a dynamic page.

The difference is that the elements loaded by this first visit will be loaded into an HTML page and saved as a copy on the server as a static file (in a cache folder). The second (and subsequent) visitor will no longer access the dynamic page, but the one that has been saved in the cache folder.

This will contain the elements that do not need to be reloaded each time the page is displayed. To resume the previous example, the text of your article will already be contained in the cached HTML file so no query will be used to retrieve it from the database. The example is for the text, but many other elements will be directly contained in the HTML file without needing to be generated again.

This will dramatically decrease the loading speed of your pages. The user experience will be improved and you will get better positioning in the search engines.

A WordPress cache plugin can make a large difference to your website. It is a process which creates static HTML pages of every other page on your website. It takes away the hassle of retrieving data from your database or executing a PHP code to display your page every time a visitor comes to visit your website.

Best WordPress Cache Plugins

Now everyone knows how important a fast website is. The quickest and most effective way to speed up your page with caching tools. However, there are many so I tested and compared 10 best WordPress cache plugins, i.e.:

  1. Breeze — Free WordPress Cache Plugin
  2. Cache Enabler
  3. Comet Cache
  4. Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization
  5. Hyper Cache
  6. W3 Total Cache
  7. WP Fastest Cache
  8. WP Rocket
  9. WP Speed of Light
  10. WP Super Cache

Note: The above list has been sorted in alphabetical order.

Testing Environment for the Performance Test

To test the cache plugins, I have set up a one-page staging website on a managed server at Cloudways. I have tested staging website with Pingdom Tools (location: New York, USA). Each plugin was tested multiple times with default settings and the best value was noted. Although these say nothing about the actual speed of the website, but provide very good evidence for the optimization measures.

Test Result Without Cache Plugin

In the first step, I looked at the load time of staging website without any caching plugin installed:

test result without cache plugin

Click here to verify the test result.

1. Breeze — Free WordPress Cache Plugin

breeze free wordpress cache plugin

Breeze — free WordPress cache plugin, at the moment, becoming the most popular caching plugin with thousands of active installs. The reason for the popularity of the Breeze is: it is simple and does its job very well. It promises to deliver static files to 99% of your visitors while excel in three different areas: performance, convenience, and simplicity.

One the main thing that distinct Breeze is that it comes with built-in Varnish support. Although the plugin has different options including CDN integration, it’s quite simple to use for beginners. Just enable minification of HTML, CSS, and JS in the Basic Options, and the plugin will start working.

Features

  • CDN Integration
  • Minification of HTML, (including inline) CSS, and JS
  • Grouping of CSS and JS
  • Gzip Compression
  • Browser Cache

Advantages

  • It’s free, lightweight, and easy-to-use
  • Compatible with WooCommerce
  • Compatible with latest versions of PHP
  • Compatible with Visual Builder

Disadvantages

  • Not many configuration options for advanced users

Test Results

test result with bree free wordpress cache plugin

Click here to verify the test result.

2. Cache Enabler

cache enabler plugin

Cache Enabler plugin, developed by the KeyCDN, is an ideal solution for those who do not have much idea of the configuration of a WordPress cache plugin since its configuration is really simple — it just has a few checkboxes and two text fields that do not need to be filled out.

The configuration of Cache Enabler is so simple that if we exactly copy the previous configuration settings, we will have configured Cache Enabler for any blog or website in WordPress that does not require too much optimization.

Features

  • Cache expiry time
  • Cache exclusion
  • Cache minification of HTML, CSS, and JS files
  • Cache behavior

Advantages

  • Leverages Google’s WebP format
  • Support HTTP/2 protocol

Disadvantages

  • No Gzip compression for some files
  • Cache expiry sometimes do not work
  • Problem with WordPress Multisite

Test Results

test result with cache enabler plugin

Click here to verify the test result.

3. Comet Cache

comet cache plugin

Comet Cache comes from a previously popular plugin called QuickCache. It is a great plugin that is very simple to setup and use. The plugin uses snapshots to deliver a faster reading experience to almost all the visitors. It does not serve cached pages to users that are logged in or those who have recently left a comment.

Comet Cache offers a detailed explanation for each setting so that novice users can easily configure the plugin for their website. This is a feature which is missing in some of the other, more technical iterations.

However, a lot of features are behind a paywall. This means you will only have basic features available if you choose to install the free plugin. The current version of Comet Cache works with the latest version of WordPress.

Features

  • Automatic and intelligent cache clearing
  • Client-side browser caching
  • Automatic cache expiration time
  • Leverage browser caching
  • JS/CSS concatenation and minification

Advantages

  • 2-minute setup
  • Compatible with WordPress Multisite

Disadvantages

  • It’s a freemium plugin
  • Too much configuration settings may confuse users

Test Results

test result with comet cache plugin

Click here to verify the test result.

4. Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization

hummingbird page speed optimization

Hummingbird is the performance optimization plugin proposed by WPMUDev. Once activated, it scans your site for potential speed improvements and provides accurate settings for file compression, minification, and browser caching.

Not only does Hummingbird make your site faster, but it also helps you improve your score on Google PageSpeed Insights! Again, additional features are available in a paid version. It is easy to use as W3 Total Cache and offers the following features:

Features

  • Minimizes CSS and JS
  • Combines CSS and JS files
  • Loads JS files in the footer
  • Gzip compression
  • Browser Caching
  • CDN Support

Advantages

  • Compatible with other WordPress caching solutions
  • Includes advanced minification features
  • Provides detailed performance report

Disadvantages

  • It’s a freemium plugin

Test Results

test result with hummingbird page speed optimization

Click here to verify the test result.

5. Hyper Cache

hyper cache plugin

Hyper Cache is an optimization plugin that aims to make loading your pages faster. If the pages of your site have a lot of images the loading time will probably be very high. As a result, many users will leave your site even before your pages are fully loaded. This leads to higher bounce rates.

In fact, this plugin will take care of loading only the content that the user’s browser displays. It loads images only when the user scrolls the page. As a result, the desired web page loads faster. This plugin works with embedded images and videos like YouTube.

Features

  • Gzip compression
  • CDN support
  • Minification and concatenation of HTML, CSS, and JS files
  • Cookies based rejection configurable

Advantages

  • 404 caching
  • Compatible with Cloudflare

Disadvantages

  • Compatibility issues with mobile caching

Test Results

test result with hyper cache plugin

Click here to verify the test result.

6. W3 Total Cache

w3 total cache plugin

W3 Total Cache is one of the most advanced WordPress caching plugins that starts working right out of the box. It offers advanced caching mechanisms that are trusted by popular websites like Mashable, AT&T, Yoast and many others.

After installation, the plugin starts working within minutes. You don’t have to go through the different setting options. To make sure it works smoothly from the scratch, you have to go to the General page and switch the “Toggle all caching types” option to “On”.

Do you want to tweak the functioning a bit? Well, the plugin comes with a dedicated Settings page for each type of caching, namely, page caching, database caching, and browser caching. It gives you the option to change the default life of cached objects from the main Settings area. It can be a cumbersome task to go through the 16 pages of plugin settings, but once you know what’s where it all works out well.

Features

  • Unlimited customization options
  • Supports CDN, minification and GZIP compression
  • Import the attachments directly into the media library
  • Several security features
  • AMP and SSL support

Advantages

  • Wide range of customization options
  • Allows you to export the settings for later use
  • Excellent customer support available

Disadvantages

  • Huge customization options can be overwhelming

Test Results

test result with w3 total cache plugin

Click here to verify the test result.

7. WP Fastest Cache

wp fastest cache plugin

The self-promoted “simplest and fastest WP-Cache system”, is indeed a simple and fast cache plugin to use for WordPress. WP Fastest Cache creates static files on your website by using mod_rewrite. It also offers other features like minification, compression, and browser caching. Along with these, it contains such features that provide options to combine Javascript and CSS files together. This can help you reduce the number of requests from your server.

There is only a single page of settings that has three tabs altogether:

  • The first tab displays settings
  • The second tab allows you to delete cache and minified files
  • The third tab allows you to define the rate of cache files deletion

WP Fastest Cache lives up to its fame of being simple. All the features can be enabled by clicking the checkboxes in the settings tab.

Features

  • Using mod_rewrite – the fastest method
  • Deleting cache files when a message or page is published
  • Supports CDN and SSL

Advantages

  • Enable/Disable the cache option for mobile devices and connected users
  • Cache Timeout for specific pages

Disadvantages

  • Do not support WordPress Multisite

Test Results

test result with wp fastest cache plugin

Click here to verify the test result.

8. WP Rocket

wp rocket plugin

WP Rocket is the only caching plugin included in this article which cannot be downloaded for free. It comes with lazy image loading that ensures that images are only downloaded when visitors scroll to them, this also helps in speeding up long web pages. Along with that, it also offers page caching, cache preloading, Gzip compression, and HTML and JavaScript minification as well.

For WP Rocket to function correctly, you need to activate it, which takes away the hassle of spending time on it for configuration purposes. The Settings tab of WP Rocket is divided into seven sections, but unlike W3 Total Cache, there are no advanced settings that you need to be concerned about. Although, there is an Advanced Options tab, which is only used for selecting pages and files you want to exclude from caching and minification.

WP Rocket is the most user-friendly option that is available for a license fee of $39 for one website, $99 for 3 three websites (business license), and for unlimited websites, the fee is $199. All these options come with a 30-day money back guarantee and 1 one year of support and updates.

Features

  • Static file compression
  • Enabling caching of the immediate page
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Caching of the page is immediately activated
  • Lazy image load (prevents unloaded images from being stored)

Advantages

  • Simple, fast and intuitive configuration
  • One of the fastest cache plugins on the market
  • CloudFlare integration
  • Fast technical support

Disadvantages

  • It’s not free

Test Results

test result with wp rocket plugin

Click here to verify the test result.

9. WP Speed of Light

wp speed of light plugin

WP Speed of Light by Joomunited is a complete plugin that allows multiple actions from the WordPress dashboard. All with the aim of improving the loading speed of the WordPress website using automated WPO techniques.

WP Speed of Light is not only a cache plugin, but also allows us to optimize, combine and minify the generated HTML, CSS and JS files in addition to allowing us to activate Gzip compression and manage browser cache settings.

Features

  • Gzip data compression
  • Minification of HTML, CSS, and JS files
  • Grouping of CSS and JS files
  • Group fonts and Google Fonts
  • Browser caching

Advantages

  • Cache for mobile
  • Cache for tablet
  • Cache for desktop

Disadvantages

  • It’s a freemium plugin
  • Needs improvement in WordPress Multisite

Test Results

test result with wp speed of light

Click here to verify the test result.

10. WP Super Cache

wp super cache plugin

WP Super Cache is one of the most downloaded cache plugins available on WordPress. Utilizing mod_rewrite and PHP, WP Super Cache promises to deliver static files to almost 99% of your visitors.

It is a simple plugin pre-configured with only seven tabs in the Options page. Just enable caching from the Easy tab and your plugin will start caching your pages. You can then check the number of pages cached by the plugin from the Contents Tab.

For better performance, you can choose the type of caching from the Advanced Settings area. Some of the settings which should have been enabled by default, like compressing files and Don’t Cache Pages for Known Users, are recommended to be enabled by the administrator.

Features

  • Scheduler to clear cached pages at a given interval
  • Support for content delivery networks
  • Page compression and dynamic caching
  • Garbage collection option
  • REST API endpoints to access the settings

Advantages

  • Easy to install
  • Page compression and dynamic caching
  • Caching for visitors using a mobile device
  • Frequently updated

Disadvantages

  • Few compatibility issues with some themes reported
  • No caching if the user is logged on

Test Results

test result with wp super cache plugin

Click here to verify the test result.

Test Results at a Glance

 Plugins Test Results
Breeze — Free WordPress Cache Plugin 108 ms
Cache Enabler 140 ms
Comet Cache 133 ms
Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization 121 ms
Hyper Cache 131 ms
W3 Total Cache 138 ms
WP Fastest Cache 124 ms
WP Rocket 117 ms
WP Speed of Light 137 ms
WP Super Cache 122 ms

 

Top Performing Cache Plugins

Position Plugin Load Time
 number one cache plugin Breeze — Free WordPress Cache Plugin 108 ms
 number two cache plugin WP Rocket 117 ms
 number third cache plugin Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization 121 ms

 

Recommendations

It is definitely worth using a caching plugin! Most tools have similar features, but the free plugins are somehow more efficient than paid ones.

This is mainly due to the additional features such as the lazy load of images, delayed loading of scripts, font optimization and generation of critical CSS. Further advantages of the premium plugins are the support and the continuous development and improvement of the functions.

But is it really worth it to invest money? Yes and no. As the test shows, even the free plugins deliver very good speed values. I, therefore, recommend Breeze or Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization to the cost-conscious normal user. Both are absolutely easy to use, cost nothing and do a good job.

If you would like to have a super fast website and are willing to invest money, WP Rocket is the right choice for you. The plugin makes the page really fast and you do not have to spend too much time on the right settings. Therefore, it is also suitable for inexperienced users. And if there are problems, you can always contact the fast and helpful support. There is also an extensive documentation and help topics on the website.

Final Thoughts

It is quite difficult to single out any of the aforementioned plugins for caching. Besides, there are other cache plugins that are available for use on WordPress plugins directory. However, there are only a few marginal benefits that separate each of the plugins.

So, my advice to you would be to find out what your requirements are and then test the plugins in this list to see which suits you the best. Test each of the features it offers to make an informed decision.

If you use one of these plugins or if you use other cache plugin, feel free to share your results in the comments below!

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

Mansoor Ahmed Khan

Passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing, Mansoor Ahmed Khan is in computing since he knows how to type on a keyboard. His daily life is rocked by his family, projects, and his screen. Probably in this order, he likes to be convinced at least.

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