5 Best WordPress Caching Plugins (2020)

A lot of website users constantly stumble upon the term caching but oftentimes it seems like it’s not very clear to them as to what it actually means. And yet, if you own a WordPress site, caching is definitely something very useful to have implemented on your site. Why is that, you might wonder? Well, it will probably take us a whole new article to explain what caching is and why it’s good to have it on your site, but for now let’s stick to a simple explanation.

What is Caching Exactly?

Caching is a type of memorization that lets the servers have your site prepared in advance so it can be served up to the next visitor. This saves them from having to process it over and over again every time it gets called up. 

Say, your website gets viewed x times a month – it may be dozens of times, it may be hundreds of times, it may be thousands or millions of times. Regardless of how much your site is being visited, the server where it’s being hosted still ends up serving up similar or identical content regularly. And why would you want to torture your server every time a visitor clicks on your site? Why burden your site unnecessarily and lower its performance in the process, when you can save it time and energy and make the server remember your site’s files for every future use.

Every page from your site that gets hit by a visitor sends a request to the hosting server. Then it gets processed by that server (here you also have to include the database queries) and then ends up with the information sent to the visitor’s browser. What you get as a final product is the whole website with all the elements and files that are characteristic of it. Whatever you have on the page, the server will have to process as part of the request. Regardless of the complexity of your site, it will also require some time for the whole website to be brought in its entirety to the visitor.

Now you might start to realize what is the role of a caching plugin here and why it can be so important for your WordPress site. What the caching plugin does in these cases is to give instructions to the server to store files to the RAM or a disk (this depends on the configuration itself). Once this is done and remembered, a duplicate is made of the content that has been served up so far. This results in much faster loading times because your site comes directly from the cache. Caching saves a lot of work and effort when it comes to generating a particular website to a user. 

Why Do You Need a WordPress Caching Plugin?

Besides better site loading times, caching is a good idea for a bunch of other site optimization processes, such as:

  • An improvement in the overall user experience of your site. If you have a better-optimized website, going with superb speed, then visitors and clients are more likely to stick around and browse what you have to offer. Faster sites have proven to lower bounce rates for the simple reason that people don’t have to wait too long for a page to load when they can get it instantaneously.
  • The server where your site’s being hosted doesn’t use as many resources. This will also contribute to a faster site, since the fewer resources your site uses the faster your site gets. This reduction of resource use also saves up the strength of your servers. This becomes particularly important for sites that are highly dynamic, like membership sites, for example, where you can determine what you can and what you can’t serve up from the cache.
  • The TTFB of your site will lower. By getting a caching plugin you’ll notice a massive reduction in TTBF (Time to First Byte element), the metric used to measure how fast the web server responds to a request by a visitor.
  • The SEO part of your site will most likely receive a boost. Again, this is also connected to the speed and the user experience, because when you improve these aspects of your site, Google and similar search engines will be able to note that your site is worthy of a higher ranking and better indexing.

Best WordPress Caching Plugins

In this list, we selected the best WordPress caching plugins currently on the market. Before we begin with the actual list of the best caching plugins, we’d like to mention a couple of things to have in mind.

First of all, you have to remember that no matter how fast they are, different caching plugins will work differently for different websites, because their performance depends on several factors, among them the server where your site’s being hosted, the configuration and resources, and sometimes even the physical location as well.

The numerous settings of the caching plugins make them hard to determine which one of them would be best for all sites. That’s why before purchasing a caching plugin, it’s always a good idea to test them first and see which one of them suits your site and its configuration best.

We also advise you to do a speed test once you start testing your plugin of choice (you can check out our own speed testing tool here). Just keep in mind to do the speed tests more than once, so you can be sure that your site is being served from cache.

Okay, so now that we have the basic stuff cleared up, let’s begin with the long-anticipated actual list of the best WordPress caching plugins and see what they can actually do for your site.

Read on!

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is one of the most well-known WordPress caching plugins out there and our list would certainly not be complete without it!

WP Rocket is a premium plugin that’s really easy to use – it has a quick setup and a very simple user interface. It’s one of those WordPress caching plugins that’s going to make your site a lot faster, and yet you won’t have to be a tech genius to make it happen. This plugin doesn’t require a developer’s knowledge and tons of WordPress experience to work. It’s actually great both for beginners and developers since it also gives space to developers to tinker around with the various functions this plugin contains.

WP Rocket works perfectly with eCommerce sites. This is very thoughtful on the side of the designers since oftentimes online businesses are precisely the kinds of sites that need the benefits of caching the most.

Among WP Rocket’s alluring features are: page caching, GZIP compression, sitemap preloading, browser caching, database optimization, lazy loading, cache preloading, DNS prefetching, very fast speeds and a lot, lot more!

And while some people might wonder why they should pay for this particular WordPress caching plugin, when there are so many of them free, the reality is actually not that black and white. The reason why we’ve included WP Rocket on this list is because it really deserves to be here – it offers plenty of useful features that other plugins don’t have and it’s also super easy to use.

So, as we said, WP Rocket is a premium WordPress caching plugin which offers three premium plans that you can purchase:

  • Single – $49, you get 1 year of support and updates for 1 website.
  • Plus – $99, you get 1 year of support and updates for 3 websites.
  • Infinite – $249, you get 1 year of support and updates for an unlimited number of websites.

If you keep paying every year, you’ll also keep the support for that year. Otherwise, if you pay once you get to keep the plugin forever.

WP Rocket doesn’t offer a free version or a free trial, but you do have the option to get your money back if you’re not content with the plugin in the first 14 days of purchase.

Why You Should Get the WP Rocket Caching Plugin?

This caching plugin saves you the trouble of becoming a tech genius in order to operate it, while also retaining enough features and more complex options for experienced developers that would like to tinker with it. It also provides you with a very simple user interface and a setup that everybody can do.

WP Rocket allows for database optimization which you can use to clean up the database of your WordPress site and also remove the number of resources that are in use.

WP Rocket also allows you to do lazy loading. With lazy loading, the users won’t have to download the whole content of your site up until the time they get to it with scrolling. This saves up the server’s strength and optimizes your site better.

You’ll also find that this plugin is compatible with Cloudflare, which will benefit your site’s speed even further.

Some other features you might like about the WP Rocket plugin:

  • It integrates with the best multilingual plugins currently on the internet.
  • It has multisite compatibility.
  • You’ll be able to do cache preloading.
  • You’ll get tools for concatenation and minification.
  • Offers optimization of Google Fonts.
  •  Offers support for object caching.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is another top WordPress caching plugin, certainly one of the best and fastest ones you can find on the 2020 online market.

One of the most alluring features of this caching plugin is that it’s free! Yes, you read it right – the W3 Total Cache is an open-source, free caching plugin for WordPress that has more than one million active installations. W3 Total Cache integrates perfectly with a CDN, and it has a great reputation for desktop sites and sites that want to develop their mobile versions in parallel as well. This plugin won’t let you down even if you have an online business since it works great in sites with SSL certificates.

Being an open-source plugin, W3 Total Cache won’t require any money for the plugin that you download, and all of the features included in it. So, various stuff like feed optimization, HTTP compression and bandwidth saving through minification comes completely for free with the base plugin! W3 Total Cache is sure to better optimize your site and improve the site’s performance, which will also, consequently, result in a conversion rate boost.

There’s one thing we have to mention about this plugin, however, that might not suit some WordPress site owners. While this is a really high-quality WordPress caching plugin, unlike the WP Rocket one, it’s also rather demanding when it comes to configuration. For some people, its backend settings can seem complicated and confusing. That’s why if you opt for this plugin it’s highly advised that you do it with a more thorough technical knowledge behind you since this is a plugin more suited for developers than laymen. You simply have to know what you’re doing with the settings; otherwise, you may just end up doing more harm than good to your site.

NOTE: If you do decide to use this plugin, a word of advice is to enable only the Browser and Page Caching. If you’re a developer using it, then we also advise you to install Memcached or to enable your server and enable Database and Object caching in W3 Total Cache. Once you do this, you’ll notice how operations that are database heavy will get a massive performance boost, particularly when it comes to the backend section. This is also very important and simply a must-do for WooCommerce speed optimization.

Why You Should Get W3 Total Cache?

W3 Total Cache is one of the fastest WordPress caching plugins out there and it’s totally free! Also, it does a great job when it comes to speed and overall site optimization. It’s a highly popular plugin, which definitely shouldn’t be taken for granted – with superb reviews and over a million active installations, this is one of the most downloaded and used caching plugins with a great satisfaction rate!

Other features that you might like about the W3 Total Cache:

  • It’s compatible with different types of hosting options like shared hosting, dedicated servers, and clusters.
  • Integrates great with WordPress mobile responsive sites, so you don’t lose the plugin’s benefits when somebody checks out your site from their mobile device.
  • SSL support for a faster user-experience of your online store.
  • Great CDN collaboration with the media library – this way you can see the high level of image optimization this plugin allows.
  • Provides minification and compression, combined with database, objects on your disk as well posts caching. 
  • Supports object caching.

WP Super Cache

This is another free, open-source WordPress caching plugin with over two million active installations. This super-popular caching plugin is made by developers from Automattic, aka the ones that stand behind the actual WordPress platform. You might’ve guessed by now that this also says a lot about the quality of the plugin itself.

WP Super Cache is a super-efficient caching plugin that works in a way that creates static HTML files and then serves them up instead of the heavy WordPress PHP scripts.

This plugin gives you three caching modes:

  • Simple – this is the least risky of them all, and it’s meant for an average, less tech-savvy WordPress user.
  • Expert – the expert mode allows you to super-cache your WordPress files while also giving you the opportunity to do certain modifications to the .htaccess file. This is a great mode for more experienced developers that want to have more control when it comes to caching.
  • WP-Cache caching – this mode is usually used to cache pages for known users, URLs with parameters and also feeds. Known users are called the users that are logged in, but also visitors who comment on your site or those who should be shown custom per-user data. This is the most flexible caching method from the three, but it’s also a tad slower than the other two.

What’s usually suggested is that you simply go with the Simple Caching Mode and save yourself the headache of too many technicalities. This mode will make this plugin very easy to configure and set up. You’ll be able to do page compression, cache rebuilding, simple caching, and also have CDN support. You’ll also be able to identify known users and opt not to cache the pages for them if it’s necessary.

Another great thing about the WP Super Cache is its so-called ‘garbage collecting.’ So, once you have the caching plugin, you’ll also have a cache directory which will eventually fill up and make your site go slower than usual. What WP Super Cache does in these instances is that it enforces a completely automated process of garbage collecting, cleaning up old and forgotten files on regular intervals and thus keeping your site well-groomed and neatly optimized.

Why You Should Get WP Super Cache?

As we saw above, this is a caching plugin done by the fellows over at WordPress, aka from Automattic. It has great reviews and a superb reputation, as well as over two million active installations. It’s definitely one of the best caching plugins you can find for your WordPress site.

This is an open-source caching plugin, which means it’s completely free and all the features that you get with the base plugin will require no additional bucks. It’s also a regularly updated plugin, so you won’t have to worry that it will become obsolete or its performances outdated any time soon.

This plugin has three modes: Simple, Expert and WP-Cache caching. The Simple mode will allow you to set it up and configure it easily and quickly without any fuss, while the Expert mode will give you all the space and variety of settings details that you need if you are a more experienced developer. So, it has the best of both worlds, you might say!

Other features included in this plugin:

  • WP Super Cache employs a process called ‘garbage collecting’ which helps you out in cleaning up old files from the cache directory. This means that your site will always be optimized and that the loading speed will never have to suffer because of old, neglected and forgotten files.
  • It integrates smoothly with a CDN setup that helps you to better distribute your files.
  • Includes a unique feature called Cache Rebuilding. This feature allows for the cache on your site to stay, aka doesn’t clear it up every time somebody posts a comment. What it actually does is it rebuilds the cache and thus serves up the old page to future visitors and users instead.

Comet Cache

Comet Cache is one of those plugins that deserve to make it to the list of top WordPress caching plugins but are also somehow often overlooked. This plugin has more than 60 000 active installations only for the free version; overall it has more than 1 million of them with a constant and steady fan base growing by the minute.  

Comet Cache is a plugin that’s very easy to use – both the installation process and the navigation around the dashboard will be a breeze once you download it.

One of the best things about the Comet Cache and something that truly sets it apart from the other ones on our list is its documentation capacities and also its automatic mode options. Comet Cache has a bunch of FAQs and links on the WordPress depository page which will help you with everything you need to know about caching and the managing of the plugin itself.

The other thing is its automation feature. This feature allows you to set the plugin on automatic mode and then you can totally forget about it, let it do all the work for you. You can find this in the premium version of the plugin, although the free version also gives you the options for it to some extent. However, the free version will ask you to do a bit of manual work, so keep that in mind.

The option for client-side browser caching will allow you to do double caching to your site, the server being on one end of the side (your end) and the browser being on the other side, which is the user’s one.

The Comet Cache plugin is a high-quality plugin that has both free and premium versions. You can find the free version at the WordPress depository. Compared to other plugins, when it comes to the premium versions, this plugin is somewhat better-priced and has a good value to price ratio. The first plan from the premium versions costs $39 and gives you the option to use it for one site. The second plan costs $99 and gives you a 3 site license. The third plan is one that gives you the option to use it for an unlimited number of sites and it costs $139. All of them mean that you only pay them once and you get lifetime updates, as well as 3 years of support. If you like customer support after the 3-year period, you will need to pay some extra fees.

Why You Should Get the Comet Cache Plugin?

The Comet Cache plugin is made to be very user-friendly, with an easy installation process, as well as easy navigation menu once it has been installed. This means that you will be able to save a lot of configuration time with this plugin and will be able to have your cache in place in a matter of minutes.

You will be able to do caching with this plugin on whatever you want – tags, categories, posts, and pages. You can also cache RSS feeds and make sure that the syndication of your content will not be delayed under any circumstances.

The Comet Cache has a very solid free version that gives you a lot of its important features in its core plugin. This means that unless you’ve got a pretty serious business with a lot of clients and several sites going on, the free version should be enough.

The paid version, however, offers you full automation of the plugin, as well as intelligent cache clearing. The Comet Cache will give you peace of mind when it comes to constant high-level performance since you’ll be able to set it up right from the start and then let it run on itself, without having to keep returning to it and do things manually.

WP Fastest Cache

If you ever think of the Latin saying ‘nomen ist omen’ aka ‘the name is a sign’, then you should definitely think of it in connection to this plugin. WP Fastest Cache is by far one of the fastest caching plugins currently present on the market, something you can see for yourself if you opt to install it. The name is not there without a reason.

WP Fastest Caching is available in both a free version and a premium one. This is also one of the most popular WordPress caching plugins out there, with over 1 million active installations and counting! You can find the free plugin at the WordPress depository.

The free version offers you а nice collection of tools which will be enough for most businesses that are either starting out or want to make budget cuts. If you need a more nuanced selection of tools, however, you can purchase the premium version of the plugin.

The free version offers you features such as HTML minification and desktop caching; it will also give you the option to combine CSS, which means that you’ll be able to reduce the number of HTTP round-trips by combining multiple CSS resources into one. The same goes for combining JavaScript. Additionally, the free version gives you the chance to do browser caching, while also including GZIP tools.

Like most plugins on our list, this one is also pretty easy to use, with a very user-friendly dashboard and installation process. The settings page will give you info about whichever option you want to use, and you’ll also be able to use the different tabs and jump around doing your item management with the CDN options, image optimization, cache timeouts and a lot more. The WP Fastest Caching will speed up your site, giving you faster loading times and overall site optimization in no time!

Why Should You Get the WP Fastest Caching Plugin?

As we mentioned earlier, this plugin comes in both free and paid versions. The free version offers a solid pack of features and caching items. What’s more, this is one of the fastest WordPress caching plugins you can find right now, as its name rightly says as well.

With its user-friendly installation process, and its settings and navigation page, this plugin will allow you to install it and set it up in a matter of minutes. The WP Fastest Caching will not allow you to waste any time in complicated procedures or intricate dashboard settings.

What’s more, this plugin makes it super easy if you want to upgrade it into a premium version. If you feel you need a more complex or more nuanced selection of settings, you can do the upgrade right from the WordPress dashboard.

Other options offered by this plugin you might find attractive are:

  • The ability to combine CSS and JavaScript.
  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript minification.
  • Possibility of CDN integrations that don’t require much configuration.
  • Image optimization is not done together with the caching. This will allow you a better overview of space saved and more control over the optimization processes.
  • Offers a feature that allows you to create cache that will be meant only for the mobile theme of your site.
  • An option which gives you the chance to choose where you want the cache version to be served – to both desktop and mobile site users, or only to one of them.

Conclusion

We want to say just a couple more things before we conclude with this article. As we saw in the introduction, caching is pretty important for WordPress website users. It makes significant improvements to your site because it prepares a ready package of it every time it gets called up by a visitor or client.

Oftentimes caching plugins can be a tad complicated for WordPress users, which is why we were extra careful and considerate and made sure that one of the top selection criteria for this list, besides speed, will be user-friendliness as well. That being said, we also made sure not to disappoint any developers looking at this list. We included plugins that will satisfy their thirst for tinkering with more complex caching settings – the WP Total Cache is especially suited towards more experienced WordPress users and more tech-savvy ones as well, so make sure you check that one out particularly if you’re one of them. 

Another thing we mustn’t forget to mention is that if you have a managed WordPress hosting, then getting a caching plugin might not be necessary. This is because the host itself takes care of it since it has caching included in the server package. That, however, depends on the type of hosting as well. If you have shared hosting, or hosting that you yourself manage, then it’s definitely important to download a high-quality WordPress caching plugin.

If you don’t want to deal with too much by yourself with the whole caching thing, then we’d recommend to sign up for a high-quality web hosting which will do the whole thing for you and will make sure your site is fully optimized at all times. Here is a list of the best and fastest hosting platforms where we talk about them in more detail.

If you’re still in want of a caching plugin, then we’d definitely recommend trying out some of the ones included here. We advise you to try out a couple of them and see which one works best for your WordPress site since not all of them are equally suited for each particular business and WordPress site. We also advise you to do speed tests once you try them out and see how much of an improvement there is in your site’s performances. For this, you can use our own speed testing tool at the app.wpspeedfix.com.

And that’s about it folks! In the meantime, we’re going to keep on working committedly to bringing you the best WordPress caching plugins out there!

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