Want to make sure your WordPress website stays competitive in 2020? Consider enhancing it with a caching plugin.
First things first: why would you need a caching plugin? Simple: this neat tool can generate static HTML pages of your site. By not having to deal with the WordPress PHP script, your pages will load noticeably faster.
This can have big implications on your bottom line. Remember, most mobile users will abandon a site that takes over 3 seconds to load. This is reason enough to use the best WordPress caching plugin you can get your hands on.
Feeling overwhelmed by the wealth of options at your disposal? Here are 7 WordPress cache plugins that are dominating the market right now.
1. WP Rocket
This is the most popular premium option at the moment, and it’s installed on over 100,000 websites.
The main attraction of WP Rocket is how easy it is to use. Once you activate it, the plugin will start caching your pages automatically. Of course, it also comes with plenty of extra features for experienced users.
Another benefit of this plugin is that it applies “lazy loading” to your images. This means your images will show only when they’re visible to a specific visitor. To further improve load time, the plugin minifies CSS and HTML files.
WP Rocket comes in three price categories. A single-site license costs $49, a three-site license is $99, and an unlimited license will set you back $249.
2. Hyper Cache
Hyper Cache is a free WordPress caching plugin written in PHP. It comes with a set of default values and doesn’t require too much configuration.
This plugin is very versatile, as it can handle both cheap hosting environments and high-end servers. The secret lies in the separate caches for desktop and mobile users. It also allows you to show cached pages to comment authors.
Are you using different site layouts for mobile and desktop? If so, you can enable caching at any time with a simple mobile theme switch option. This is useful if you’re using a responsive theme or have different ad formats.
3. W3 Total Cache
With more than a million active installs, W3 Total Cache is another crowd favorite. It’s not hard to see why: it’s free, safe, and efficient.
At the moment, this is the only plugin capable of optimizing all hosting environments. That’s why it’s used by various publications and companies, such as AT&T, Mashable, Web Designer Depot, and so on.
According to the developers, the minification feature can save up to 80% of your bandwidth. It supports Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Content delivery network integrations are another nice bonus.
4. Comet Cache
This is the successor to Zencache, an older plugin with a decent following. It has close to 60,000 active installs.
The main thing that separates this tool from the competition is that it can cache logged-in users. This makes it a great fit for sites that feature user registration, such as membership and e-commerce sites.
Comet Cache relies on browser caching with the Apache server. This cuts down on trips between the browser and server, increasing page load speeds. The plugin supports most big CDN networks, such as MaxCDN and CloudFront.
To top it all off, this plugin gives you access to statistics that show how your site’s cache functions. Comet Cache has a free and premium version, with a single-site license priced at $39.
5. WP Super Cache
If you’re looking for official support, look no further than WP Super Cache. This is the brainchild of Automattic, the team behind WordPress.
Like other caching plugins, WP Super Cache serves static HTML files to your visitors. It can do so in three ways: simple, expert, and super caching.
The simple method is your usual plug-and-play option, which is good enough for most users. The expert method requires you to modify your .htaccess files. When done right, this is the fastest way to generate cached HTML files.
WP Super Caching relies on your site having regular users. We’re talking about the ones who leave comments, log into your site, and so on. This is the most flexible caching method of the bunch, but it’s a bit slower than the others.
6. Cache Enabler
Compared to other plugins on this list, Cache Enabler can seem lightweight. Sometimes, though, that’s all you need.
Other than being easy to configure, this plugin contains all the key features you’d expect to see. It also provides extensive documentation that walks you through those features. If you need a lesson in caching, this is the place to start.
Keep in mind that Cache Enabler isn’t compatible with mobile-specific plugins and themes. If your desktop and mobile users see different layouts, the system will bypass the cache and render it useless.
7. WP Fastest Cache
We’ll round off our list with another easy-to-customize WordPress cache plugin. It’s updated often and has over 100,000 active installs.
This plugin contains many ways to reduce the size of your files. Some of them are standard, such as the ability to combine many CSS files into one. You can also minify CSS and HTML files or even disable emojis.
WP Fastest Cache comes in free and premium formats. Once you install the free plugin, you’ll get the option to buy the premium version from your dashboard. This will set you back $39 per license.
Why bother upgrading to the premium version? The main benefit lies in the extra features, such as mobile caching and database cleanup. You’ll also have access to image optimization, which can compress images losslessly.
Choosing the Best WordPress Caching Plugin
As you can see, the caching plugin market doesn’t have any “one size fits all” solutions.
In other words, you should use the best WordPress caching plugin that meets your needs. The seven options we’ve described above cover all aspects you’ll need to worry about, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Need some help to determine which plugin is the best fit for you? Want to make sure that your WordPress site runs as expected? We can help you out — contact us right here, and we’ll get back to you!