Best WordPress Cache Plugins – From Our Experience
Today’s fastest growing world demands everything to be faster, hence how can the internet not demand a faster website? Internet is all about speed now, the faster is yours site the better it stands on Google and better for users. There are many ways by which a website is made faster like good web hosting, better platform, proper optimization, use of content delivery network, use of caching mechanism etc. So today our topic of discussion is all about making your website faster using caching mechanism. As mostly we deal with WordPress hence we are going to talk about the use of caching plugins for WordPress. So, from our experience we are going to list out some of the best WordPress cache plugins that can dramatically improve the performance of your WordPress based website.
Before going into details of the best cache plugins for WordPress lets discuss how the caching plugin speedup your WordPress powered website.
How Caching Plugin Speed up Your Website – Mechanism Behind WordPress Caching Plugin
Most of newbies do not understand why do we need a cache plugin for WordPress and how this cache plugin will speed up their WordPress powered site. So, let me try to explain here how caching plugin will improve the WordPress performance.
To understand the whole concept, we need to understand how does WordPress display the posts. When you publish any post the content and all other meta data of the page is stored in the database and when someone access your post, WordPress pulls the data from the database using SQL queries and then form the display page in form of html and displays it on web browser. This whole process takes lot of time. Now think if 100 users are accessing the same post at the same time then WordPress must query the database 100 times for fetching the post and form the display page per your theme. This process will consume lot of your hosting resources, memory etc. there by making your website slower.
Now think, instead of forming the pages dynamically for each requests, why not create a static html page and save it on the server, so that, there will be less load on the server and pages will be served faster as they are static. Yes, that is what a WordPress cache plugin actually does, these plugins save a static page of your posts and serves these static pages to the users. By doing so you reduce load on the hosting server and save memory as well as hosting resources. That’s how caching plugin for WordPress improves the performance of your website by almost 30% to 40% even more than that depending on your caching plugin.
So, to summarize, caching plugin converts your posts and pages into static pages and saves them on your server, when a request comes, WordPress does not query the database but directly serves the static page which is faster.
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Top and Best WordPress Cache Plugins From our Experience
Before you proceed for any of these best WordPress cache plugins let me clarify that there is no hard and fast rule to pick one of them, it all depends on the type of hosting you are using and type of resources you have. For example, if You are using VPS then W3Total Cache plugin may work best for you and if you are on a shared hosting Hyper Cache may work best for you. So, do your homework and grab the one that works best for you. Let’s start with our best WordPress cache plugin.
1. WP Fastest Cache
In our list of best WordPress cache plugins come first the WP Fastest Cache,I know this is a quite new one but has a promising future. I know some you may have different opinion than be putting this plugin on top of list but believe me among all the cache plugins I have used this is the simplest and perhaps the best per my experience so far.
This is the simplest WordPress cache plugin to configure and use, hardly it takes 5 minutes to install and configure. The performance of this cache plugin is best across all type of hosting may it be shared hosting, VPS hosting or the dedicated hosting.
- Easy to install, configure and use.
- Can be used on all type of hosting.
- Offline Caching Mechanism.
- Minify Html – You can decrease the size of page
- Minify Css – You can decrease the size of css files
- Enable Gzip Compression – Reduce the size of files sent from your server to increase the speed to which they are transferred to the browser.
- Leverage browser caching – Reduce page load times for repeat visitors
- Combine CSS – Reduce number of HTTP round-trips by combining multiple CSS resources into one
- Does not support WordPress multi-site yet.
2. W3 Total Cache
The next comes in the list of WordPress cache plugins is the W3 Total Cache plugin. This is a very old and very popular cache plugin widely used across the industry. This is a very advanced cache plugin and has lot of advanced features and personally speaking I would not recommend this plugin for the newbies who are on shared hosting. This plugin is highly recommended for the very advanced users. Many popular sites are using this plugin for example Mashable uses this plugin.
I will recommend this plugin if you are on a dedicated server or on a VPS, if you are on a shared hosting then do not even think of using this plugin as this may not give you much improvement.
- Page cache
- Database Object Caching
- Minify CSS, JS
- Inbuilt CDN Support
- Works best with VPS and Dedicated hosting
- Caching of search results page
- Not very suitable for shared hosting
3. WP Super Cache
Depending on your server configuration, you can configure WP Super cache to cache files using any of the below 3 ways:
- PHP Caching
- Legacy caching
I personally recommend to use Apache mod_rewrite to cache your files, again it may differ for some users as well.
- Databse Caching
- Page Caching
- CDN Support
- Subdomain can be used as CDN to serve static files
- You may face some issues with the type of configuration you use, in most of shared hosting you may have to use the PHP Caching option which may not give you best result.
Most of you may ask why did not I list Hyper Cache here, so there are several reasons to it. First of all this plugin has not been updated since a long time perhaps more than 9 months and secondly the support for this plugin is not very high, So I personally would not recommend this plugin for use.
Summary: To summarize, I would say use these above listed plugins on your test site and find the results and use the one that best suits your server on production.
Recommendation for Shared Hosting:
If you are a newbie and you are on a shared host, I would highly recommend you to use WP Fastest cache plugin, believe me this is very easy to use and boost the performance like a dream.
Recommendation for VPS/Dedicated Hosting:
If you are on a VPS hosting or on a dedicated server and you are an advanced user, then I would highly recommend you to use W3 Total Cache plugin as this gives you more advanced features and you get more control over your caching mechanism.