Best and fastest caching plugins to speed up your WordPress website

Understanding caching to enhance your site performance & speed

You don't really have to be a web designer to know that a site doesn't only have to look good. The usability part is extremely important and should not be neglected as well. When it comes to usability and performance, you should try to optimize everything – caching is one thing you should consider.

Caching WordPress Plugins
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Page load time is one important aspect for performance optimization, which means that you need to keep an eye on how fast your page loads, no matter how simple or complex your site is or what kind of CMS you are using. In this article we will explain what caching can do for you and why it is good to use WordPress caching plugins to improve the performance of your website.

What does caching mean?

Caching is the process of storing elements of your website in the cache of the browser or static HTML files on the server to ensure easier and faster access when it comes to future visits. When a visitor navigates on your website, the PHP code will process the request, call the database for every query that's needed and then puts out an HTML file which will be displayed by your browser.

Website Speed
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Enabling caching means that only the first visitor to a certain page will have to wait until he gets the final HTML page. The next visitors will be served directly the static HTML file that was loaded before, without going through a lengthy process again with separate database and file requests.

Popular and reliable caching plugins for WordPress

Caching can provide a better user experience, faster page load, less database requests and reduced network traffic. Not only large, extensive and popular websites with many users benefit from caching, but also small websites will. Next you will find some great WordPress caching plugins:

WP Rocket (Premium)

WP Rocket
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WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin which is worth the investment. This caching plugin is not only simple to setup and user-friendly when it comes to configuration, but also offers a better all-in-one package compared to its popular, free competitors. WP Rocket provides page and browser caching, cache and sitemap preloading, Lazy Load of images and iframes, minification and Gzip compression, multisite and multilingual compatibility and many more. The plugin currently powers more than 160,000 websites with some popular WordPress websites amongst them.

WP Fastest Cache (Free & Premium)

WP Fastest Cache
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The WP Fastest Cache plugin offers a simple and fast caching system which generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress site. When website visitors navigate through your site these static HTML files will be delivered quickly for faster page load. WP Fastest Cache is also user-friendly and automatically modifies your .htaccess file, so you don't need to take care of this. Although not WordPress multisite compatible yet, this plugin offers great features, like Mod_Rewrite, Cache Timeout, SSL & CDN support, HTML & CSS minification, Gzip compression and many more.

W3 Total Cache (Free)

W3 Total Cache
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The W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin enhances your server performance and thus gives your users a great experience surfing on your website. This plugin caches every aspect of your site, minimizes the download times and offers transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

WP Super Cache (Free)

WP Super Cache
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The WP Super Cache plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress website or blog. After a HTML file is generated, your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

Comet Cache (Free & Premium)

Comet Cache
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If you care about the performance of your site, Comet Cache (formerly Quick Cache) is also one of those plugins that you could have a closer look at. Comet Cache includes GZIP compression compatibility and takes a real-time snapshot (building a cache) of every page, post, category, link and several others on your website for faster page load and improved website performance.

Always monitor the performance of your website

Pingdom Website Speed Test
Pingdom Free Web Service (Image: Screenshot)

It's highly recommended to always check the performance of your site. Slow page load times may not only ruin what you have worked for by driving your visitors away, but also Google takes website performance into consideration when ranking websites in their search results.

Conclusion: Enable caching to speed up your website!

In this article you've learned why caching is important while running your website – be it professional or just for fun. Feel free to use the WordPress caching plugin that suits your needs and stick with it. Apart from choosing a fast and reliable WordPress hosting company, caching is one of the most effective things you can do to improve the performance of your website.

Next to the mentioned free caching plugins in this article, there are other great free caching plugins for WordPress websites available as well and often it depends on your host or the structure of your website which solution works best in your case. And in case you are a professional blogger, then we've also listed for you some more helpful tools for WordPress webmasters.

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    • Hi Daniel, thanks for mentioning WP Rocket, it’s a great caching solution as well and the plugin is getting good reviews from users. However, you can use any of the popular caching plugins and tools (as long as they are supported by your host) and although each of them has pros and cons, it usually doesn’t make that much of a difference.

      Regarding WP Rocket, it’s worth mentioning that this isn’t a free WordPress plugin, in comparison to the other plugins mentioned in the article. But for users who appreciate the hard work of the developers and don’t mind paying for plugins, WP Rocket definitely is worth a try. We’ve also updated the article and included WP Rocket as well because it’s indeed a very popular choice by thousands of WordPress users with great performance results.

  1. Hello! I do not recommend W3 Total Cache for this purpose because it was not working well on my website. If you could tell us which plugins offer more compatibility, it will be very interesting. Thank you!

    • Hi Glaucia, with over 1 million active installs W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins. However, if the plugin doesn’t work well within your hosting environment, then you could use one of the other mentioned plugins. For example we use the WP Super Cache plugin since several years and the plugin works fine for us without any issues.

  2. We’ve been using the WP Super Cache plugin for many years, but it seems the plugin isn’t fully compatible with WordPress 4.7 and there is no information from the developers if the plugin will be updated or not. That’s why we’ve now switched to WP Rocket and our site is running very smoothly with the new caching plugin.

    • There isn’t really a general better or worse when it comes to caching plugins because this highly depends on several criteria, the structure of your website and also your server environment. It would be recommended to simply try both free plugins and then use the caching plugin that works best for your purpose and the one you feel is easy to work with.

    • Hi, both of the mentioned caching plugins are doing a great job, and while there are some differences, it doesn’t really matter because usually the difference in website performance isn’t really noticeable. So in the end it depends on which caching plugin runs best within your hosting environment and which plugin you are most comfortable with.

  3. Hello, I would like to know what cache plugin uses less CPU and RAM when re-building the cache. Because my website went down when it cleared cache with 100k online user. Thank you.

    • Hi Aye, in case you have high traffic on your site and if you’re using one of the popular caching plugins, but have performance issues on your site related to insufficient server resoures, then it usually would make sense to upgrade to a larger hosting plan. If you’re looking for a reliable hosting company, have a look at our overview: Recommended WordPress Hosting Companies.

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