Site performance is one of the most important aspects of every website, and there are several steps you need to take to ensure your website runs fast. One of the most common ways to improve speed in WordPress is by using caching plugins.
Caching allows you to store data that is frequently accessed to deliver it to visitors when they visit your website. For example, most users access a website through the homepage, thus it is a great page to cache.
Since caching is an integral part of maintaining the performance of your website, WordPress has a lot of caching plugins you can choose from. Today, we are going to see the best options you can use in WordPress.
What is Caching?
Caching is a high-speed data storage technique that stores commonly accessed data so it can be delivered faster when accessed. This technique is used for static content like text and images. If content is updated regularly, it is possible to deliver an out-of-date cached version.
For this reason, it is imperative to always keep the cached version updated when changes are made.
For example, imagine the homepage of your website. It is typically the page with the most traffic, as such, it is accessed more regularly than all of the other content on your site. By caching it, you are storing a copy of it that users can load faster.
Caching is what allows for websites to be accessed in less than a second and can make or break your site’s performance.
As such, it is imperative that every website have a caching plugin. Here are some of the best options in WordPress.
Our Picks for the Best Caching Plugins
LiteSpeed Cache is the most popular caching plugin in WordPress with over 4 million active installs. It has achieved this popularity by being one of the best caching plugins for WordPress and providing most of its features for free.
Combine this with the fact that it is easy to use, you really do have the best caching plugin for WordPress.
When I say this plugin is easy to use, I really mean it. You can enable it by just toggling on a switch. Of course, there are more advanced options for experienced web developers, and it even offers server-side caching for free.
LiteSpeed Cache goes beyond just caching, as it is an all-in-one solution for improving site performance in WordPress. For example, this plugin implements lazy loading on your site. This causes images to only load when they are visible to reduce initial load times.
Benefits of Using LiteSpeed Cache
- Supports WebP Image Format
- Supports Memcached, LSMCD, and Redis Object Cache
- Database Optimizations
- Separate Desktop And Mobile Caching
Drawbacks of LiteSpeed Cache
- The Plugin Is Free, But The LightSpeed Servers Are Not
- The Sheer Number Of Features Can Be Overwhelming
2. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is another massively popular caching plugin for WordPress. And that is because it was designed for beginners. You’ll only need to press a single button and caching is enabled on your site.
Also, it will choose the best settings for your site to help boost performance. This means you don’t need any technical knowledge whatsoever to set up caching with WP Rocket.
One of the best aspects of WP Rocket is that it is geared towards eCommerce sites. It knows to never cache the Checkout, Cart, or related pages, as this can interfere with the entire process if an older version is loaded.
In terms of site performance, WP Rocket is easily among the top caching plugins for WordPress. It can dramatically speed up your website and even handles image optimization, enables lazy loading, and much more.
Benefits of Using WP Rocket
- No Setup, It Works After Activation
- Excellent Customer Support
- Cache Preloading
- Gzip Compression
- Integrates With CDNs
Drawbacks of WP Rocket
- There Is No Free Version
- Does Not Offer A Trial
WP-Optimize is a free caching and optimization plugin for WordPress. Its main focus is speeding up your website, and it certainly gets results, which is why over one million WordPress sites use it.
Since it is free to use, you lose nothing by giving it a shot.
When it comes to compression, this plugin is powerful. It detects when pages are loaded and creates static HTML files that are delivered to the next visitor that accesses the page.
This reduces the strain on your server and improves load times.
The other half of this plugin is all about optimization. This starts with cleaning the database where unused and temporary files are removed, defrags the MySQL tables, compresses images, and much more. It really is an all-in-one solution.
Benefits of Using WP-Optimize
- Auto Compresses Images
- Restore Original Images Before Compression
- Combine And Minify CSS and JS
- Implements Lazy Loading
- Premium Support Available
Drawbacks of WP-Optimize
- Lacks Advanced Cache Options
- Disables Some Features If InnoDB tables Are Detected
WP Fastest Cache is one of the best caching plugins for WordPress with over one million active installs. As the name implies, it strives to deliver the fastest caching experience, and while that may or may not be true, it is still pretty fast.
Most importantly, this plugin starts off as free to use, which makes it great for new websites looking to save some money.
As your website grows, you can purchase the premium version to get more features. Speaking of features, this plugin has a lot to offer.
For example, whenever you publish a new post or page, the plugin will automatically clear the cache.
This ensures that the newest version of those posts and pages are delivered to visitors. It’s worth pointing out that the settings of this plugin just boil down to checking or unchecking boxes. This makes it extremely easy to use for beginners.
Benefits of Using WP Fastest Cache
- Minify CSS, JS, and HTML
- Implements Lazy Loading
- Combine CSS to Reduce Requests
- Block Caching Certain Pages With Shortcode
- Leverage Browser Caching
Drawbacks of WP Fastest Cache
- The UI Isn’t Great
- Uses A Credit System For Image Optimization
W3 Total Cache is another popular option in WordPress with over one million active installs. It focuses on improving your site performance through a myriad of features and optimization techniques.
As such, the experience can be a bit overwhelming due to the sheer number of options, but when done right, it is unmatched.
Unlike some of the other plugins on this list, this one isn’t for beginners. You will need to configure how caching works on your site, but this can have better results when done right compared to the automated setup that other plugins offer.
In fact, W3 Total Cache boasts that websites could see a 10x increase in performance depending on the configuration. It is worth noting that W3 Total Cache can integrate with CDNs to boost performance and save bandwidth.
Benefits of Using W3 Total Cache
- Support For AMP
- Minify CSS, JS, And HTML Files
- Supports Redis, Memcached, And More
- Instantly Deliver Repeat Pages Through Browser Caching
- Implements Lazy Loading
Drawbacks of W3 Total Cache
- Pricing Isn’t Great For Multiple Sites
- Setup And Configuration Are Not Simple
WP Super Cache is yet another excellent caching plugin for WordPress with over one million active installs. It delivers static HTML pages that are easier to load, which can significantly speed up your WordPress site.
This plugin was built with all skill levels in mind. It offers several setup methods that are ideal for virtually everyone from beginners to advanced users.
For example, if you are a beginner and don’t really know much about caching, the Simple option will take care of most things for you. Whereas if you are more experienced, you can dial settings up manually to get the best results.
When it comes to performance, this plugin is one of the best and it can preload as many posts as you enable the feature on. This can help you rapidly deliver your most popular posts to ensure users have the best experience possible.
Benefits of Using WP Super Cache
- CDN Support
- Regularly Deletes Old Files to Save Space
- Includes Three Web Hooks
- Comments Are Updated Immediately On Cached Content
- Does Not Cache Content Accessed By Bots
Drawbacks of WP Super Cache
- Complex Setup
- Utilizes Complex Technical Language
While Memcached has continued to be the most popular caching method in WordPress for a long time, it is losing ground to Redis. It specializes in object caching and the Redis Object Cache plugin is the best way to implement it in WordPress.
When it comes to setup, it doesn’t get any easier than this. All you need to do is install the plugin, activate it, and enable caching.
However, if something does go wrong, you will find the plugin is a bit more complicated to use. It provides a ton of information in the Diagnostics section, but if you are not knowledgeable about caching and WordPress, it can be a headache.
Oddly enough, while many caching plugins focus on boosting performance, few actually show you how much faster your site is, that’s not the case here. This plugin shows you the average time it takes for pages to load in the Metrics section.
Benefits of Using Redis Object Cache
- View Several Stats In The Metrics Section
- Fully Compliant With WordPress API
- Optimized for WooCommerce
- Secure Connection With TLS
- Easy Setup
Drawbacks of Redis Object Cache
- Redis Requires More Server Memory to Use
- Not All Web Hosts Support Redis
Autoptimize is another great caching solution for WordPress. It focuses on simplifying the process to ensure that developers at any skill level can keep their website running fast. It also includes a suite of optimization tools that your website can take advantage of.
For these reasons and more, Autoptimize is one of the best caching plugins for WordPress.
The main advantage of this plugin would be the automation behind it. After installing and activating the plugin, it really will take care of the rest with minimal input from the developer.
That said, customization options do exist for those seeking them.
The rest of the tools Autoptimize brings to the table are numerous and focus on speeding up your site. For example, it can help you set up lazy loading for your images, which are the number one culprit behind slow load times.
That’s just one example of the many elements that drive Autoptimize.
Benefits of Using Autoptimize
- Minifies CSS, HTML, and JS scripts
- Control the order that scripts run
- Removes WordPress core emojis
- Optimizes WebP images
- Improves Google Fonts
Drawbacks of Autoptimize
- Does not automatically purge the cache
The 10Web Booster plugin focuses on optimizing websites for speed, thus it is not solely a caching plugin. Instead, it provides a suite of tools that are aimed at speeding up WordPress, which include caching tools.
While it is not as robust as a dedicated caching plugin, it will help you achieve the same results.
10Web Booster utilizes a variety of caching techniques to improve site performance. They include page cache for HTML, file cache, smart cache invalidation, session-aware and browser-aware caching, and device and cookie-aware caching.
Of course, this is only part of what this plugin brings to the table. It also has several tools that focus on image optimization, optimizing font usage, video and image lazy loading, and much more.
If you are looking to give your website a speed boost, 10Web Booster is for you.
Benefits of Using 10Web Booster
- Automated processes help sites achieve over a 90 in Pagescore
- HTML, JS, and CSS minification
- Defer JS and CSS execution
- Optimize how fonts load
- Convert images to WebP format
Drawbacks of 10Web Booster
- Not a full caching plugin
- Small learning curve
Hummingbird is yet another all-in-one optimization plugin for WordPress that offers a buffet of options for developers to improve their site performance. Naturally, this means it also has caching tools your site can take advantage of.
As such, it is easily one of the best caching plugins for WordPress that anyone can use.
Hummingbird has one of the most impressive UIs on this list. It helps simplify the process by always helping users find what they need, and explaining what each option actually does. That said, you don’t have to do much, as the plugin does most of the work for you.
When it comes to caching, Hummingbird has a full suite that can help your site load fast. This includes full-page caching, browser caching, and even Gravatar caching to ensure your website is running as fast as possible.
It offers both a free and premium version, so there is something for everyone.
Benefits of Using Hummingbird
- Implements lazy loading for images
- GZIP compression
- Plugin tips help you navigate the settings
- Performs a performance scan
- Minification of scripts
Drawbacks of Hummingbird
- Plugin tips are helpful but can get annoying
- The Pro version is a monthly subscription
11. Speed Optimizer
Closing out this list of the best caching plugins for WordPress would be the Speed Optimizer plugin. It is a completely free plugin that can help boost your site speed by 20% when configured correctly. Luckily, this is easy to do thanks to an excellent UI.
For this reason, the plugin has become very popular in the WordPress community with over 1 million active installs.
When it comes to caching, Speed Optimizer does it perfectly. It has several caching tools and configurations to choose from including dynamic caching, file-based caching, Memcached, and much more. There are also several automatic processes that manage this for you.
That said, manual options exist for those who are interested.
Speed Optimizer also includes several front-end optimizations that help improve the speed and performance of your website. For instance, it has image compression functionality with WebP format support.
Benefits of Using Speed Optimizer
- Supports Lazy Loading for images and videos
- Automatically resize larger images
- Allows you to run Google PageSpeed and see results
- Minify CSS files
- Optimizes fonts
Drawbacks of Speed Optimizer
- While it can be seen as a positive to some, there is no Pro version
FAQs About WordPress Caching Plugins
As often as you make updates to your website. Think of the cached version as a picture of your website. That picture will never change; thus, you need to take a new picture to reflect various changes.
If you do not clear your cache, you could be providing out-of-date information to visitors accessing your website. As such, it is recommended to clear the site cache at least once per week.
Yes. Mobile devices can load cached versions of websites. If a page is refreshed, it should load the latest version of the cached data. It can dramatically speed up load times on mobile devices.
In fact, most plugins support Google AMP and will serve cached AMP copies to mobile devices for even faster results.
WordPress has a ton of free caching plugins to take advantage of, and many of the top choices are actually free. As such, it can be hard to justify buying a premium caching solution. But in many cases, the cost is justified.
When it comes to caching plugins, there are two main reasons why someone would purchase a premium one. The first is to get more support. You see, premium plugins usually come with a way to receive dedicated help from the plugin support team.
This can be an invaluable tool for beginners who need extra help when setting up a caching solution.
The other reason is that free caching plugins work better on smaller websites. As your website grows, the number of resources it uses, including the number of cached pages it delivers, increases dramatically. Premium tools are geared towards larger sites.
A caching plugin in WordPress can speed up websites significantly. Some plugins boast that they make websites twice as fast, while others say they increase speed by ten times. It really depends on the site and tool in question.
Most websites will see a substantial increase from the preset options these plugins provide, as most are made for beginners. However, the best results always come from manual changes, thus the results are dependent on your skill as a developer.
No. Caching plugins are quite complex and can interfere with one another. This can lead to unexpected results including fully disabling caching altogether. As a result, it is advised to only use a single caching plugin in WordPress.
It is also worth pointing out that you may already have a caching solution in place from your web hosting provider. As such, you may need to disable that to avoid interference with a plugin.
Flushing the cache is another way of saying “clearing the cache.” It is necessary to do this to ensure that you are delivering the most up-to-date version of your website’s pages.
Many plugins use this term interchangeably with clear, delete, and so on.
No. Clearing the cache only deletes the cached version of your website and has no impact on the actual content whatsoever. Doing so can save you server resources and ensure the latest content is delivered to visitors.
Speed Up WordPress With Caching Plugins Today
As you can see, WordPress has a huge selection of great caching plugins to choose from. Each one works slightly differently, so some tools may work better than others in some situations. The important part is that you have at least one active.
Most users will leave a website if it takes too long to load and it negatively impacts your website’s search engine rankings. As such, maintaining a fast website is probably the most important aspect of modern web design.
What is your favorite caching plugin for WordPress? Did you notice a site performance increase after installing a caching plugin?