The loading speed of a website is even more important today than it was only a few years ago, and this article will introduce you to the various WordPress cache plugins that you can use to speed up your website.
Over the years, I’ve mostly used the W3 Total Cache add-on, because it was the most popular option, but I’ve tried several more recently. Although W3 Total Cache is great, there may be better cache plugins that are much easier to configure, and may even offer better performance.
We decided to try and compare the following six caching plugins:
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
- WP Cache Faster
- Enabler Cache
- WP Rocket
Total Cache W3
The first thing you will notice with the W3 Total Cache plugin is that it is very complex and complete. It has a lot of options and, therefore, can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. If you just want to install, activate and run something, this add-on is not for you.
It has more than 15 different tabs and settings pages for you to fine tune. Experts at Discount Domains believe that, even though this is perfect for those who want more control, it is not an add-on that I would recommend to the average website owner who just wants to enable caching on their website and continue their day.
WP Super Cache
4.5 stars and over 1 million active installations, FREE OF CHARGE!
WP Super Cache is a much more manageable cache plugin for the average user. Although it has seven option tabs (it seems that the advanced tab has 10 pages), there is an “Easy” tab that allows you to simply enable or disable caching.
If you try to change your settings, you can look into the advanced menu and choose precise options. This cache is ideal for the average user, due to its ease of use and simplicity of configuration, but for the advanced user, W3 Total Cache is undoubtedly the best.
WP Cache Faster
The WP Fastest Cache plugin is much easier to configure and use than the two previous plugins. However, there are not really many options, and it was difficult for me to configure the modification. Despite having activated the configuration, it has not minimized the HTML code. That could simply be a mistake, or it could be a neglected scenario at my end. Despite this, the complement was made at the top of the list.
If the errors and faults are fixed, I could see this becoming a far more popular WordPress plugin.
4.5 stars and over 40,000 FREE active installations!
Cache Enabler is a really simple plugin. There are only four options on the configuration page, including cache expiration, cache behavior, cache exclusions, and cache minimization. So, it is a very easy addition to use for almost everyone.
The only negative part of Cache Enabler is that it simply caches. Do not try other techniques, such as removing queries from static resources, exploiting browser caching, etc. So, this can’t really provide for you the way the other listed plugins can. However, it has ended up being quite competitive with other add-ons.
4.5 stars and over 500,000 FREE active installations!
Autoptimize is a great little plugin that is easy to use and does everything at once. It’s a very simple add-on, but that also means that you cannot really adapt much. However, it does seem to do a nice job equally to other similar add-ons or the manual options of W3 Total Cache.
It also has an interesting feature that I have not seen in other caching add-ons: it gives you the ability to choose how to deal with Google Fonts if they are used on the website. You can leave them as they are, you can remove Google Fonts (which could speed up your website a little, but use standard system fonts) or you can combine those files with other font files so you do not have to always load them from Google servers.
Although this plugin seems to load the least amount of resources, it has been shown that this does not necessarily mean it will be the fastest. Sometimes it’s a good idea to load multiple smaller files at the same time to merge them all and upload them as a larger file.
WP Rocket is the only add-on in this list that is not free and, so, you really need to remove all the other add-ons to make it a valid competitor. Although the supplement worked well in my tests (in many categories, even in # 1), the difference is not as good.
The plugin itself can be configured quite easily and is similar to Cache Enabler, Autoptimize and WP Fastest Cache. There are not many options to choose from, and the ones you have are easy enough to understand. It’s a good addition, but if you have no money, then its disadvantage is obvious. Choose one of the free add-ons with similar features and performance, and you will be much more satisfied with your choice.