Excessive load times harm your website in many ways. There are ways to improve your site’s speed but caching is the most important and has the greatest impact. We will tell you which is the best and fastest caching plugin.
Having this in mind, in this article we’re going to show you and propose to you the best from the speed’s perspective caching solution for WordPress. We have tried some of the most popular and also available for FREE to help you save time from trying and testing.So later into this article, after having explained how caching affects your website acceleration we I will tell you what is the best and fastest WP Cache Plugin to install and activate on your blog/website.
Let’s put all of this into context before we get started.
What is Caching?
A cache is an area in the computer’s memory that stores recently used info and data. When a site is cached, it means the site’s pages, images, files and Web objects are stored on the user’s local hard drive/RAM. Consequently this means that when a user opens a frequently accessed site or file, the browser will have most (if not all) of its files cached.
When a browser doesn’t have to retrieve new information every time a site is accessed,so it results in faster page load times. Caching plugins work the same way. They save a site’s files in the cache and serve them next time a request is made instead of re-loading all of the PHP scripts from WordPress.
Setting the Stage
We have performed speed tests during last months prior to installing and then after we installed the popular caching plugins.
Use of GT Metrix
GT Metrix is an online speed testing tool based on Yahoo’s performance guidelines and my personal favorite when it comes to page load testing. Without a caching plugin installed, our site loaded a 1.219 KB sized page in 1.9 seconds.
Double-checking your results never hurt anybody. Pingdom – a server monitoring and online testing service – was my next choice. According to Pingdom, the un-cached 1.219 KB sized page loaded in 3.13 seconds.
01. Comet Cache – Best Caching Plugin
Comet cache is one of the best caching solutions for WordPress and the only best rated plugin on our list. It is tremendously user-friendly and “fast websites provider”
It’s lazy image loading feature sets it apart from the other popular caching solutions. Those of you who don’t already know, this feature makes it so that the images you have set on your page are loaded only when the user scrolls down the page. This non-preemptive approach improves significantly the load times.
Here are some other features you’ll find on every license of the caching plugin:
- Simple, fast, and intuitive setup.
- Page caching is immediately activated.
- Google Fonts Optimization minimizes HTTP requests.
- Integrates seamlessly with CloudFlare.
GT Metrix – I went back, installed and activated WP Rocket on Zippy Magazine. This time, it gave a total page size of 1.219 KB which loaded in 1.9 seconds!
Pingdom – According to Pingdom, installing WP Rocket dropped the page load time to 2.11 seconds for a 1.245 KB page size.
Here’s a comparison table of the page load times of all five caching plugins. Page load times are recorded in seconds for both GT Metrix and Pingdom tests.
|Prior to caching||Comet CACHE||W3 Total Cache||WP Super Cache||WP Fastest Cache||ZenCache||Cache Enabler|
The Best Caching Plugins Ranked
Comet Cache performed significantly better than the others. After installing the plugin, the page load time dropped to nearly half the original amount. That’s pretty impressive. Blazing fast page load times paired with excellent customer support and easy one-click installation makes WP Rocket the best caching plugin in my books.
We have W3 Total Cache as the runner-up. In terms of usability and installations, W3 Total Cache is fully customizable with 16 pages of Settings to prove it. It outperformed the free plugins in our lineup and loaded the site in just 2.0 seconds.
WP Super Cache came in at number three in our experiment. It’s much easier to set up than W3 Total Cache but didn’t perform as well on our tests. Both plugins compete in a head-to-head battle as the best free caching plugin for WordPress — W3 Total Cache is faster, but WP Super Cache does better in the usability department.
Wrapping It Up
There you have it. Comet Cache stands tall as the fastest caching solution for WordPress. The thing with caching plugins is that there can’t be one overall winner. At the end of the day what really matters is your site’s needs and what features you’re looking for in a caching solution.