The Best Caching Plugins for WordPress in 2021

A WordPress cache plugin is essential for any site (running on WordPress) because it can significantly speed up your website. The faster a web page loads, the better the user experience is. Though the dynamic nature of WordPress helps to keep your website up to date and live, it also slows down your site. So, in order to tackle this problem, developers created caching plugins. They enable you to produce a static version of your website which makes your website much faster. 

It is important to understand the importance of loading time and how it can impact an online business, so you should take care to ensure that your site loads quickly, or else the traffic will move to the competing site. In this article, we’ll mention a few plugins that can help speed up your WordPress site. If you aren’t currently using a caching plugin, you will certainly find it as an engaging and rather important read. If you are already using a caching plugin then you’ll have a few more options to check out and find out which plugin works best for you.

How does WordPress caching work?

Simply put, caching plugins help WordPress work more efficiently. By default, each time a page on your WordPress website is opened by a visitor, the content is generated dynamically with lots going on in the background, including multiple database queries and code executions. If you have a cache plugin on your website, it generates a copy of your web pages and stores them in your server as static files (i.e. as HTML documents) and/or cached database queries. 

Afterwards, when a site visitor arrives at a particular page, the server gives them the cached page rather than re-querying your database and dynamically generating it. Thus removing many of the steps that take place when a page is generated dynamically. The result of this is faster loading times and delighted visitors. So do try any of the following caching plugins and see how they work for your website.

1. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is the most popularly known caching plugin for WordPress. It improves the performance of your site and also has some settings to fine-tune that performance. The default setting of the plugin is a reasonable one for a beginner, but there are also some advanced settings that you can use as you learn more about the plugin. It includes all the features you require to properly set up the WordPress cache such as page cache, object cache, limited minification support, gzip compression, CDN support, etc.

That said, W3 Total Cache is a free, open-source WordPress caching plugin with millions of installations. It works well for mobile-friendly sites as well as regular desktop ones. The plugin is also a useful companion for websites with SSL certificates, making it a perfect speed solution for eCommerce stores. 

2. WP Rocket

WP Rocket is yet another great WordPress caching plugin available in the market. It is the most uncomplicated and beginner-friendly caching plugin, which is very useful if you don’t know the technical terms used for different caching options. It offers some impressive features such as the Cache Preloading option that will get your posts arranged instantly. It also offers you the GZIP compression option, CDN, Google font optimization, DNS prefetching, Multisite compatibility and a lot more. You can lazy load your media with WP Rocket. i.e the images don’t load on your website until the user scrolls over them. So the server doesn’t have to put the work in if it’s not necessary.

WP Rocket is a premium WordPress caching plugin with three payment plans offered. You technically only have to pay for a one-time fee, but the support and updates are included only if you keep the payments going for every year. 

3. WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is a caching plugin for WordPress developed and maintained by Automattic. It’s effective at keeping your server from slowing down or overloading during the large traffic that can occur if your blog hits the homepage on Reddit or is featured on other popular sites. It is easier to configure than W3 Total Cache and comes with recommended settings that you just need to select. The plugin is free and open-source, with no upgrades needed after the installation. 

It works efficiently by creating static HTML files and serving those files instead of the heavy WordPress PHP scripts. An advantage of choosing WP Super Cache is that it offers three caching modes. One of them is called Simple Mode, which is what the average WordPress user would go with since it’s the least risky. Whereas the advanced mode is called the Expert mode where you’re able to super cache your files with some modifications to the .htaccess file. 

4. WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache is similar to many other caching plugins but it comes with fewer configuration settings for WordPress caching. This makes it one of the easiest WordPress caching plugins available in the WordPress plugins repository. It also offers you options to speed up your site by shrinking the Javascript and CSS files of your site. Luckily, you don’t have to edit the .htacces file on your site because the system will do that automatically. Majority of the users download the free version of the plugin to start the process, but a premium plugin is available that can only be purchased in the WP Fastest Cache settings module.

It also enables you to use GZIP Compression to reduce the file sizes that will help you to extensively speed up your site. You also have the benefit of browser caching to save additional time while rendering your site. 

5. Cache Enabler

Cache Enabler is a free and open-source plugin that generates a static HTML file of your site and serves them to your website visitors upon request. It offers you a manual as well as an automated option to clear the cache and also supports the custom post types which will improve the performance of your site. The disk caching engine is quite fast and reliable, while the WordPress multisite support is a benefit for those with networks of websites. Though it needs only minimum configuration, Cache Enabler provides extensive documentation that helps you explore the different plugin features.

This is also the first WordPress plugin that helps you serve WebP images without the need for JavaScript. This is great for any eCommerce site owner since the majority of websites have many images, especially blogs and eCommerce stores.

6. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize started off initially as a tool to clean and optimize your WordPress database, since then it’s gone onto becoming an all-encompassing WordPress performance plugin. It is a freemium plugin and is created by the team behind the popular backup plugin, UpdraftPlus. WP-Optimize speeds up your WordPress site by cleaning your database, compressing your large images, and caching your site.

WP-Optimize offers everything you need in a WordPress performance plugin, including the ability to cache your website, optimize your site, and compress your images. While there are other plugins such as WP Rocket that offer this usually, but they require the installation of an additional plugin. With WP-Optimize, you just need one plugin.

7. Fresh Performance Cache

This is a premium cache plugin for WordPress that you can use on your site. Fresh Performance Cache has a white-label admin interface. Also, there are no disturbing ads on the admin page, unlike many other cache plugins. This plugin will make sure that your site loads quickly by combining all possible files. It will also analyze all complex files and leave them aside to make sure that they won’t create any issues for your site.

Fresh Performance Cache will shrink CSS as well as JS files to make sure your site performance improves. It also takes advantage of GZIP compression. 

8. Litespeed Cache

LiteSpeed Cache is a bit different from all the other plugins on this list, as while it works in the standard way across all different web hosts, it also offers LiteSpeed exclusive features to supercharge your website. LiteSpeed is a server-side technology, and unless you are an expert or happen to be on hosting that makes use of LiteSpeed, you probably won’t use the LiteSpeed features. With LiteSpeed Cache, you can avoid the inconvenience and cache your content once and for all. 

Some of the core features of LiteSpeed Cache are lazyload, browser cache, WordPress Multisite support, PageSpeed score optimization and simple to use interface. The plugin also supports WordPress Multisite and is compatible with most popular plugins, including WooCommerce, bbPress, and Yoast SEO.

9. Breeze

Breeze is a WordPress caching plugin developed by the Cloudways hosting company. It works across all hosting providers, you don’t need to be necessarily using Cloudways hosting to use Breeze. It offers various options to optimize WordPress performance at various levels and works equally well with WordPress, WordPress with WooCommerce and WordPress Multisite, file-level cache system, database cleanup, minification, support for Varnish cache, simplified CDN integration options, etc are some of the basic features of this plugin. Breeze is also convenient and super beginner-friendly, making sure all levels of users get a chance to benefit from Breeze.

10. Simple Cache

This is one of the simplest free caching plugins available, Simple Cache has two settings: on and off. It provides you with an extremely simple one-click install. If you Want to get advanced with object caching (Memached or Redis) An advanced mode is also available that will automatically set up Batcache and Memcached/Redis for you.

11. SG Optimizer

The last on our list is SG Optimizer which is a free caching plugin by SiteGround that’s available to download from WordPress.org. It’s created to connect your WordPress site with the SiteGround performance services. This plugin will work only if you have hosted your website with SiteGround and will not work with any other hosts. It lets you configure your dynamic caching and Memcached. You can enable/disable the automatic cache purge and exclude URLs from the cache. You also have the option to examine your pages if they are properly cached.

12. FlyingPress

FlyingPress is an all in one solution to WordPress sites that take care of everything. From page caching, CDN to image optimization. Once you activate FlyingPress on your website, you don’t need to change anything because all the settings are preconfigured. If you want to optimize further then you can start changing the settings and see what works the best for you. FlyingPress helps you with caching to cleaning the database of your website which means you don’t need to install another plugin on your website. It generates static HTML pages, preload cache, varnish integration and much more. The pricing starts from $60 / year for one website.

Final Words

A cache plugin is a fundamental WordPress plugin that you need to install in your WordPress site, especially if you are using a shared server or VPS server. If you want you can test how these plugins affect the speed of your site using a combination of GTmetrix, Pingdom, and Google PageSpeed Insights. Simply install the plugins you want, then activate them one at a time, configure them if needed, and run your website through the various testing tools. We bet you would be astonished to see the results!!! 

We hope you have enjoyed the list of the best caching plugins for WordPress. So, what’s your favourite caching plugin? Let us know in the comments below.

Some Frequently Asked Questions About Caching Plugins

What is caching?

Caching is storing copies of files in a cache, or temporary storage location so that they can be accessed more quickly. It allows you to efficiently reuse previously retrieved or computed data.

What is a Caching Plugin?

A Caching plugin helps to decrease the load time of your website by generating static HTML pages of your website and saving it on your server. Thus every time a user tries to access your website, the caching plugin serves up the lighter HTML page instead of processing the comparatively heavier WordPress PHP scripts.

Do I need a cache plugin?

There are definitely advantages to installing a cache plugin. Without any caching at all, visitors to your website would have to download the web pages every time they visit your site. Of course in modern browsers, browser caching ensures that the users returning to visit your web pages will be able to access your content faster. But a caching plugin allows you to take all of this a step further by removing many of the steps that take place when WordPress generates a page dynamically.

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