In today’s fast-paced online realm, a sluggish website is a turnoff for visitors. Users are likely to bounce from your website if it takes much time to load. And that’s exactly where the role of caching comes into play.
Caching is used to store a version of your website that is quicker to load up, improving your site’s speed and performance. This turbocharges performance, enriching user experiences by eliminating frustrating wait times. Moreover, faster websites win favor with search engines, getting better online visibility.
In this article, we will explore caching’s pivotal role in website optimization. Moreover, I’ve listed the best WordPress caching plugins that you can use to make your website faster and more user-friendly.
So let’s begin!
What Is Caching in WordPress?
Caching in WordPress refers to storing frequently accessed data in temporary storage (called cache) to be accessed more quickly and use fewer server resources the next time users visit your website.
Thus, every time the user enters the website, the queries to the database run back and forth, not just consuming the resources but also affecting the load time. But caching comes as a savior by letting you save a copy of web pages after the first load and display them as soon as the user demands it without diving into the database.
Why Do You Need Caching for Your WordPress Sites?
Caching is a life-saver for WordPress websites because it improves the site’s speed and performance. Here are a few reasons why you need caching for your WordPress sites:
- Caching improves your site’s load time.
- It helps you reduce the server load.
- Your site delivers a better user experience by taking less time to load.
- It helps you rank higher on the SERPs due to improved site speed.
- Caching helps you boost the conversion rate by serving the user needs.
Hence, you should regularly clear your WordPress cache on the application and server levels to maintain a high-performing and up-to-date website.
Don’t Let Slow Load Times Hold You Back!
Cloudways boosts your site’s performance with Nginx for static content, Varnish Cache for dynamic content, and Apache for speed.
Best Caching Plugins for WordPress Sites (Free)
Breeze is a free, powerful, user-friendly WordPress caching plugin developed by Cloudways. It offers various features designed to optimize your website’s performance and speed.
This WordPress free caching plugin’s primary function is to cache pages, reducing the server’s workload and thus speeding up page delivery. It improves the SEO of your WordPress site. Currently, it has 200,000+ active installations.
- Creates and stores static HTML versions of your dynamic WordPress pages.
- Offers a built-in file-level cache system that boosts performance and reduces server load.
- It helps optimize your WordPress database by cleaning up old revisions, expired transients, and database bloat.
- Uses GZIP compression to reduce the size of the data.
- Integrates seamlessly with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).
- It supports browser caching.
- It provides varnish cache support.
Breeze has a rating of 3.6 stars out of 5 based on 95 reviews.
2) SiteGround Optimizer
The SiteGround Optimizer plugin is developed by SiteGround. Initially, it was designed to improve the speed and performance of SiteGround servers. However, after the launch of SiteGround Optimizer 7.0.0, this plugin will support all hosting providers. This plugin has over 1 million active installations and offers unmatched speed-boosting features.
- Offers three types of caching; dynamic caching, page caching and memcached.
- Lets you optimize images without compromising on the image quality.
- Offers GZIP Compression and browser caching.
- This plugin lets you perform web performance tests.
- It offers CSS and HTML minification.
The SiteGround Optimizer plugin has a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 based on 533 reviews.
3) LiteSpeed Cache
LiteSpeed Cache plugin for WordPress provides an all-in-one site acceleration solution featuring an exclusive server-level cache and a collection of optimization features.
This plugin has over 4 million active installations and is compatible with popular plugins, including WooCommerce, bb Press, Yoast SEO, etc. It also supports WordPress multisite.
- Offers page caching and browser caching.
- It has a free QUIC.cloud CDN Cache.
- This plugin performs lazy loading on images and iframes.
- It performs PageSpeed score optimization on the sites.
- Defers JS loading
The LiteSpeed Cache plugin has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars based on 2249 reviews.
4) Cache Enabler
Developed by KeyCDN, Cache Enabler is a lightweight yet powerful caching plugin that boosts your site performance and requires minimal configuration. This plugin creates static HTML files and stores them on the servers’ disk, which allows the webserver to avoid the resource-intensive backend processes that go along with the WordPress CMS. This plugin has 100,000+ active installations.
- It has a fast and efficient cache engine.
- Offers options for both automatic and manual cache clearing.
- Offers Brotli and Gzip pre-compression support.
- This plugin supports WordPress multisite installations.
Cache Enabler has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 124 reviews.
5) Comet Cache
Comet Cache is a powerful caching plugin for WordPress websites. It takes a real-time snapshot of every page, post, category, link, etc, so they can be referenced later, thereby speeding up your site and reducing server load. This plugin has 40,000+ active installations.
- Simple to set up and easy to use.
- Automatically clears the cache when you update your site.
- Includes options to control the behavior of client-side browser caching.
- Allows you to specify URIs where caching should not be applied.
- Allows you to exclude specific HTTP referrers from caching.
- This plugin allows developers to manipulate the behavior of Comet Cache using hooks/filters provided by the WordPress Plugin API.
Comet Cache has a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 based on 108 reviews.
6) WP Super Cache
With over 1 million installations, WP super cache plugin for WordPress generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog and serves those static files to the vast majority of your website visitors, which can significantly reduce the server’s processing burden and improve the overall speed of your site.
- Creates static HTML files of your dynamic WordPress content.
- Allows you to compress pages to reduce web page load time.
- This plugin regularly cleans up old cached files that are outdated and no longer needed.
- Has built-in support for content delivery networks (CDNs).
- Allows you to create cached files for your site’s posts, categories, and tags.
- Provides the developers with the REST API endpoints.
- It serves static files instead of heavier PHP scripts, reducing the load on the server and improving page load speed.
WP Super Cache has a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 based on 1313 reviews.
How to Enable Caching on Your WordPress Site Using a Plugin
Now that you have the list of the best cache plugins for WordPress, I’ll show you how to enable caching on your WordPress site using the WP-Optimize plugin. You can choose any plugin of your choice.
To do that,
- First, install and activate the plugin.
- Once you activate the plugin, you will see the WP-Optimize section on your WordPress Dashboard.
- Now you need to open up each section and select your desired optimization settings.
- I’ll demonstrate database optimization. For that, select the database, and you will be redirected to the following screen.
- Now select the options and click on Run Optimization. And you are good to go.
Best Caching Plugins for WordPress Sites (Paid)
Now that you know the importance of caching in your WordPress sites, let’s learn how you can enable it on your website. The easiest way is to do it via plugins. I have listed the 5 best WordPress caching plugins (premium) to enable caching on your WordPress site. You can use these plugins with our managed WordPress hosting.
1) WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin that makes your site blazing fast and enhances your core web vital rates. It is easy to install and effectively caches your website. You can set this plugin up in less than 3 minutes and enjoy improved performance on your sites.
Currently, WP Rocket is activated on over 3,403,000 websites, which speaks a lot about the plugin’s popularity.
- It offers page & browser caching.
- Enable cache preloading to improve your site’s indexing by search engines.
- The code is developer friendly.
- It frequently cleans up the database by removing bloat and reducing its size.
- Use this plugin to enable lazy loading on your sites.
WP Rocket has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on G2.com.
WP Rocket offers its users three plans:
- Single at $59/year
- Plus at $119/year
- Infinite at $299/year
Refer to the image below for WP Rocket’s detailed pricing:
NitroPack is a premium optimization service designed to significantly boost your site’s speed and Core Web Vitals, no matter your technical knowledge level. Thanks to 35+ advanced features working in complete sync over the cloud, 200K+ online businesses offer lightning-fast loading times and an exceptional browsing experience. Within a few simple steps, you can have Nitropack up and running, ensuring your site runs smoothly without compromising quality.
- Best-on-the-market Core Web Vitals optimization with end-to-end performance improvement across code, images, and fonts;
- Complete image optimization stack: Lazy Loading, Adaptive Image Sizing, Preemptive Sizing, and more;
- Proprietary caching mechanism, including page, browser, and mobile caching;
- Built-in CDN by Cloudflare, ensuring fast content delivery irrespective of visitor location;
- Innovative Font Subsetting for significant reduction of font file size
- Woo-specific features like Ecommerce Cart Cache allow users to browse seamlessly with items in their cart.
NitroPack has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with 9/10 people recommending its 24/7 expert support team and ease of use.
NitroPack offers its clients five distinct subscriptions:
Free (best for testing purposes)
Scale: $176/monthCustom (best for agencies and multi-site businesses)
*Yearly subscriptions come with a 17% discount.
For a comprehensive breakdown of what each plan offers, please see the accompanying image detailing NitroPack’s pricing.
3) WP Fastest Cache
With over 1 million active installations, WP Fastest Cache is another popular caching plugin for WordPress. This plugin is available in both free and premium versions. Like other caching plugins, it also creates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress content, reducing the server load and improving the page load speed.
WP Fastest Cache is easy to set up, as it doesn’t require diving into the .htaccess file. All you need to do is activate the plugin and configure the settings, which will be modified automatically. WP Fastest Cache is available in both free and paid options.
- It offers a simple setup.
- The plugin uses the Mod-Rewrite method to cache the files.
- It lets users activate the cache timeout, which means the cached files are automatically deleted after a certain time.
- It minifies HTML and CSS files
- Enables browser caching.
- Offers image optimization.
- Lets you convert WebP conversion.
- It offers you mobile and widget cache.
- Lets you delete the cache log.
- This plugin provides you lazy load script.
This plugin has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars based on 3926 reviews.
WP Fastest Cache provides 4 pricing plans:
- Bronze: $49/lifetime
- Silver: $125/lifetime
- Gold: $175/lifetime
- Platinium: $300/lifetime
The pricing of this plugin is shown in the image below:
With 1 million+ active installations, WP-Optimize is an all-in-one caching plugin that caches your WordPress site, optimizes and cleans up your database, and compresses your images. Its ultimate aim is to enhance your website’s speed and efficiency.
WP-Optimize’s caching feature is built around the world’s fasting caching engine, which implies that it might be more effective in keeping your websites fast and high-performing. WP-Optimize offers both free and premium versions to its users.
- Regularly cleans the database.
- Compresses the images without compromising their quality.
- This plugin generates static cache pages for your WordPress site that significantly improve your site’s speed and performance.
- Supports lazy loading.
- It has the option to preload key resources.
- Offers you multisite support.
- It has a comprehensive scheduling system.
- Lets you perform logging and reporting
- It removes unwanted images.
WP-Optimize has a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 based on 2121 reviews.
WP-Optimize offers 3 pricing plans:
- Starter: $49/year for 1-2 sites
- Business: $99/year for 5 sites
- Unlimited: $199/year for unlimited sites
The pricing of this plugin is shown in the image below:
5) W3 Total Cache
W3C Total Cache (W3TC) improves your site’s core web vitals, SEO, and overall user experience. This caching plugin aims to increase website performance and reduce load times by using content delivery networks (CDN). With over 1 million+ active installations, W3TC is a favorable choice for users optimizing WordPress sites.
W3TC is offered in both free and premium versions.
- Supports various types of caching, including browser caching, page caching, database caching, and object caching.
- It is compatible with shared hosting, dedicated clusters, and virtual private servers.
- This plugin has transparent CDN management.
- It provides secure socket layer (SSL) support.
- It increases the speed 10x.
- This plugin includes mobile device support.
- Offers full-site delivery via CDN.
- Offers lazy loading for google maps.
- It performs WordPress Rest API Caching.
W3TC has a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 based on 5236 reviews.
W3 Total Cache Pro offers you an annual subscription for $99.
You can get Hummingbird for free (limited features) or get its premium version starting at $7.5/month.
- Enables text compression.
- It offers full-page, browser, and Gravatar caching to speed up page load times.
- This plugin scans your site and provides performance reports.
- It offers uptime monitoring.
- Offers lazy loading.
- Lets you transfer data at blazing-fast speed.
- Offers built-in Cloudflare integration.
- Delays the loading of JS files and third-party scripts.
- This plugin saves time with Hummingbird Configs.
The Hummingbird WordPress caching plugin has a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 based on 1414 reviews.
The Hummingbird plugin offers you 3 pricing plans:
- Starter: free
- Pro: $7.50/month
- Agency: $82.50/month
The pricing of this plugin is shown in the image below:
Cloudways’ Built-in Caching Solution
If your site is hosted on Cloudways, you don’t need to install caching plugins. Guess what? You can benefit from Built-in Caching from Cloudways. It has built-in caching plugins (Breeze and Object Cache Pro), which provides layers of caching to all your site.
Note: you can also install Redis cache on your site to boost your website’s performance.
Looking to Speed Up Your WordPress Website?
Cloudways’ WordPress hosting uses an advanced caching mechanism to give your visitors a fast, smooth website experience they deserve!
All you need to do is,
- Login to cloudways Platform
- Go to Server Management
- Click on Manage Services.
- Restart Memcached, Redis, and Varnish. And this shall perform caching.
This blog has listed the best WordPress caching plugins (both free and paid) that you can use to speed up your website. These plugins are super easy to configure and offer you one-click caching.
If you want to save yourself from the hassle of downloading and configuring the caching plugin, host your website on Cloudways, as it has a built-in caching mechanism that promises you super-fast websites.
Q. Do I need a cache plugin for WordPress?
Yes, if you want your WordPress website to be fast-performing and user-friendly, you would need a caching plugin for that.
Q. Does WordPress have a built-in cache?
WordPress, by default, doesn’t include a built-in caching system that creates and serves static HTML pages. However, it does have some object caching capabilities that help to optimize database queries.
Q. Are caching plugins free of cost?
Most of the caching plugins are free of cost, offering some additional features with their premium version. Some of these are
- WP Super Cache
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Rocket
- WP Fastest Cache
Liza Rajput is a Technical Content Producer at Cloudways. Being a software engineer, she loves to play with data and its processes and wishes to grow and excel in Data Science and Big Data Engineering. She has also been an avid reader and exceptional writer, with sufficient experience in technical, research-based, and creative writing.