We live in a world of instant gratification, so if your webpage doesn’t load quickly, you’ve probably already lost a visitor. No matter if your visitors are checking out your site via mobile or desktop, you’ve got to provide them with an enjoyable user experience.
If you’re looking for ways to speed up your WordPress site, you may have come across the idea of caching. Caching is a great way to minimize the processes of loading a website and get content out to your users, and there are some best WordPress caching plugins that we want you to know about.
According to Google, website viewers whose sites or apps remember their past behavior are favored by 58%. This is made possible due to caching. Not only that, if your load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds, the bounce probability increases 32%. This is a big implication and it shows that only a few simple seconds can make or break your website performance and overall traffic.
Caching can help you to avoid this, and you should absolutely be doing it. In this guide, we’re going to help you understand what cache is and introduce you to five of the best WordPress caching plugins to optimize your site! Let’s do it.
What is Cache?
Cache (pronounced “cash”) is data that is temporarily stored so that it can be easily and quickly accessed when requested. The most common way that computers store information is via hard disk; if that information is requested, the computer must then run a number of processes before that information can be presented to the user.
Caching is the solution to this problem— cache processes information that is frequently requested and stores it in a temporary memory storage. Computers can then access the information quickly without having to go through all of the same processes.
This same idea of caching on computers can be applied to WordPress websites; caching will improve your website’s performance and make your website load times faster. The best WordPress caching plugins make this possible.
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), and every time a user visits your website, WordPress has to get the information from the database and then run multiple processes before the website gets sent to the visitor’s browser.
This process can make your website load times lag, especially when many users are visiting your site simultaneously.
When you use caching, your WordPress can bypass many of these steps and get your content there quicker. Your caching plugin makes a copy of the page after the first load and will serve that cached version to all subsequent visitors, effectively skipping the entire website page generation process. Your WordPress site will be able to do this when you install the best WordPress caching plugins.
Why is Caching Important
As you may have deduced from above, caching is vital for your WordPress site because it minimizes the load on your WordPress hosting servers and allows your WordPress site to run faster. You’ll want to take advantage of the best WordPress caching plugins if you seek an optimized WordPress performance.
When your website and its pages load faster, the user experience is greatly improved and your visitors will be more likely to browse other pages. This boosts your engagement and increases the amount of time users spend on your WordPress site.
If your website loads slowly, they may not be motivated to visit any other pages, and they may leave altogether, which hurts your bounce rate.
In addition, a fast-loading website will get you better SEO results. Google favors websites that load quickly, giving them an SEO advantage and higher search result rankings. This means you can drive more traffic to your website through organic search.
So, it’s clear that WP caching plugins can help your WordPress site performance. Let’s examine 5 of the best WordPress Caching Plugins and some of their standout features.
1. WP Rocket
The first on our list of best WordPress caching plugins is WP Rocket, an industry favorite. Their website describes itself as the “most powerful caching plugin in the world.” Let’s see how they live up to that claim.
For beginners and those with less technical knowledge, WP Rocket is an easy-to-use caching plugin, eliminating confusion for those who aren’t as savvy with the jargon related to caching options.
WP Rocket offers users the capability to cache their website instantly in just one click. It uses a crawler to access your WordPress pages and build up the cache, after which the plugin automatically turns on the recommended WordPress caching settings including gzip compression, page cache, and cache pre-loading.
This is what makes it among the best WordPress caching plugins for beginners— you won’t be required to dive into the settings yourself. It really does everything pretty much on its own.
WP Rocket includes additional features that you can apply to improve your performance ever further, such as lazy image loading, CDN support, DNS prefetching, minification, and more.
It’s used by almost 2 million websites, making it a top contender for the best WordPress caching plugins.
2. W3 Total Cache
Another highly competitive option in the world of best WordPress caching plugins is W3 Total Cache. With so many options, it may appear a bit intimidating for beginners at first, but it’s truly a comprehensive WordPress caching solution for your site.
It includes all of the features and best practices to effectively set up WordPress caching. The principal features include page cache, object cache, gzip compression, lazy loading, CDN support, limited minification, and much more.
W3 Total Cache is a complete framework that doesn’t require any modifications to your themes, .htaccess, or other programming compromises.
It’s true that beginners may feel that it’s a challenge to use W3 Total Cache. If you don’t quite know where to start, you can view the W3 Total Cache support forum for guidance or support.
3. WP Super Cache
All recommended caching features for quicker website speeds come standard on WP Super Cache, including many previously mentioned: gzip compression, page cache, CDN support, cache preloading and advanced cache preload, among others.
The plug serves cached information in three main ways: expert, simple, and WP-Cache caching, from fastest to slowest. It uses static html files to load your page for a majority of your users.
It offers users the option to use the PHP file editor or to use the simple mode, which is very easy and fast to set up. You may also find the WP Super Cache support guide helpful if you want additional guidance or resources.
This plugin was created by Automattic, which is the company founded by Matt Mullenweg and which ultimately created WordPress.com.
4. Sucuri Firewall
Sucuri Firewall comes in at number four on our list of best WordPress caching plugins. It is widely recognized as the best WordPress firewall and security plugin, so in addition to that, you will gain multiple caching opinions and website speed optimization with Sucuri.
While it’s first and foremost a firewall, Sucuri’s caching solution is a built-in option and allows you to enable gzip compression in just one simple click.
It’s powerful among WP caching plugins because it’s a DNS-level firewall, meaning that it can serve cached content to your website visitors even before the request hits your website. This does wonders for your website performance and can get you up to 70% website speed improvement.
5. Built-in Cache Plugins from Hosting
If you aren’t using caching for your WordPress site, your hosting server will have a heavier load placed on them, which could ultimately affect all sites that are being hosted on that server. This could cause a big problem for hosting providers, which is why many managed WordPress hosting companies offer proprietary, built-in WP caching plugins.
Many different WordPress hosting providers provide their clients with caching solutions, so it’s something to keep in mind when choosing a host for your WordPress site. The following list isn’t comprehensive, but here we’ll take a look into three of the top WordPress hosting providers and how they eliminate the need for one of the aforementioned best WordPress caching plugins.
Bluehost Caching Features
Bluehost is one of the premier WordPress web hosting sites on the market today. They help you get started fast, offer total design freedom, provide a free domain name for your first year, as well as 24/7 support.
They offer shared hosting, online stores hosting, as well as managed WordPress hosting.
Not only that, they offer guaranteed reliability with backup data protection and automated security updates. One of the features that helps with this reliability is their best WordPress caching plugin feature.
The Bluehost caching feature helps you to ensure that your site isn’t slowed by many visitors and that the server load is minimized. You can enable the caching feature on Bluehost by visiting your WordPress dashboard. Simply navitgate Bluehost > Settings and you will see the performance and caching options as they appear in the below photo.
If you don’t want to visit your WordPress dashboard to deal with your caching preferences, you can also do so from the My Sites tab in the Bluehost portal.
There you will see your cache settings and you can use the sliding scale based on popular website types and storage. There’s also a button on the bottom-right of the page that will allow you to to clear all cache from the entire site.
Bluehost is one option for WordPress hosting that doesn’t block plugin use; you can use any of the best WordPress caching plugins to take advantage of their speed and performance optimizations in addition to the tools that Bluehost offers you.
WPEngine Caching Features
WP Engine is widely known as the most effective and comprehensive managed WordPress hosting solution, so it’s no surprise that it comes with its own version of the best WordPress caching plugins already built in.
EverCache is the name of WP Engine’s proprietary front-end system that helps to make all website visits fast and completely scalable. This caching system helps to ensure that your site speed is always up to par, no matter how many visitors your website is getting.
Not only that, EverCache has a native security system embedded in the tool to evaluate browser requests; if the system determines it’s not a safe request, it will automatically block it and only serve ones that are secure.
You can also manage your caching on WP Engine through its user portal; you’ll select the Caching option from the left sidebar and will be presented with the following options:
- Clear All Caches
- Clear Page Cache
- Clear Network Caches
- Clear Object Cache
Just as with Bluehost, you can also manage your caching via the WordPress admin page on the general settings tab. There’s an option that reads Purge All Caches which will get rid of all the above listed caches.
Ultimately WP Engine offers one of the best WordPress caching plugins in-house, so you won’t have to go looking for any external plugins. They won’t let you use them even if you would prefer to, however.
WP Engine has a list of disallowed plugins because it may cause conflicts within the systems and negatively impact your site’s loading time. WP Engine claims you don’t need any of these best WordPress caching plugins because they already take care of everything with their solutions.
The three best WordPress caching plugins that are banned by WP Engine are WP Super Cache, WP File Cache, and W3 Total Cache.
Kinsta Caching Features
The final WordPress hosting service we examined in terms of the best WordPress caching plugins is Kinsta, another one of the top solutions in the industry. Kinsta helps take care of all of your needs and is quite comparable to WP Engine, although depending on who you ask, they’ll have a favorite.
Kinsta is a platform that hosts your WordPress offering ultimate speed, free migrations, security by Cloudflare, and daily backups to keep your WordPress site secure no matter what. Kinsta also knows that every site owner is going to have to deal with caching, so they offer a solution for that too.
Kinsta’s caching features include the use of four types of cache that are automatically configured at the software or server level. That includes bytecode cache, object cache, page cache, and CDN cache.
This is an example of some of that technical jargon that our best WordPress caching plugins help you avoid, and so does Kinsta— they do all of that stuff for you behind the scenes. You can also check out a breakdown of what these four types of cache mean.
If you’re interested in clearing your WordPress cache, you can also do that via the Kinsta dashboard with no problem. All you have to do is navigate Sites > Tools > Clear Cache.
One good thing about the best WordPress caching plugins provided by Kinsta is that they also install it as a WordPress plugin for all those using their hosting services, and it will be accessible via your WordPress admin dashboard.
You can check out analytics for your Kinsta cache by viewing the cache component stack as well for those tech folks who are curious about getting more in-depth.
Kinsta has disallowed the use of some of the best WordPress caching plugins because it can interfere with the performance of their site and servers. The only caching plugin Kinsta allows is WP Rocket because there are other optimization features available and the caching function can be disabled by Kinsta.
We hope that after reading our best WordPress caching plugins post, you now have an idea about what caching is, how WP caching plugins can help you speed up your site, and why they benefit your WordPress.
If you’re a beginner and just getting started with your WordPress site, we recommend that you look into your WordPress hosting provider first. Most of the big hosting companies offer some sort of caching solution, so it’s a good starting point.
While you may want to eventually seek the help of our best WordPress caching plugins, you can do so at any time if it's allowed by your WP host. Give yourself the time to get your site up and running and then dive into those plugins. They offer great options for caching and if you start to get a lot of traffic, you’ll need them.
If you’re already established and have been around for a while on your site, it’s really important to optimize your caching so that your visitors don’t have any negative experiences with your load time. Using one of the best WordPress caching plugins will optimize your site and keep you ready for success at every turn.
Still looking for WordPress plugin advice? You may want to check out our list of best WordPress backup plugins to make sure that you always have a created backup of your WordPress website.
If you liked this article, share it with someone who may also benefit from it! Which of the best WordPress caching plugins do you plan to use? Let us know in the comments!