How is your WordPress site doing? How long have you been running it by now? After a time, things may not run as fast as before. The amount of content uploaded after years or traffic’s increase can make your WordPress sluggish. If you want to power your site’s speed, caching plugins are a great choice.

How do caching plugins work?

WordPress is a dynamic content management system. Every time a user/client explores your website, a process must happen to load each page’s content. Once a page is requested, every part of it (posts, menubar, ads, etc.) is queried by WordPress to the database. To fetch a page’s elements means many calls to this database, code executions, and time.

For both, light but especially heavy on resources websites, having lots of visitors could be a double-edged sword. More traffic is great, but thousands of calls to the database requiring your content in a few seconds could mean longer waiting for visitors. The site also could crash. 

Caching provides a shortcut for WordPress sites to load faster. Once you enable the cache plugin, a first user will load your site’s pages. The plugin will turn them into static ones (copies). From the second user and up, static pages (copies) will be ready to serve when requested. Fewer steps, faster loading time.

Fewer queries to the database also mean a lighter load for the server and better speed.

5 great caching plugins for WordPress

WP Super Cache

  • Easy configuration and use.
  • Free to use.
  • Three caching options. Expert for advanced users who know how to modify .htaccess file. Simple, common users don’t need to edit PHP files. Super caching, featured to cache pages only for regular users. 
  • Cache preload setting expiry.
  • CDN support.
  • Gzip compression.
  • Removal of useless, old files.
  • Simple caching and cache rebuilding.

W3 Total Cache

  • Complex configuration for regular users.
  • Free to use.
  • Regularly updated plugin.
  • Page cache, object cache, database cache, search result page cache.
  • Minification (JS, CSS files), gzip, and HTTP compression.
  • Feed optimization.
  • Integrated with CDN.
  • Adequate for mobile sites and regular ones.
  • Compatibility with dedicated servers, shared hosting, clusters, and more hosting solutions.

WP Rocket

  • One-click configuration and caching.
  • Premium plugin. Cache one site for $49, three sites $99, and unlimited sites $249 (yearly payments). 
  • CDN support.
  • DNS pre-fetching.
  • Minification (HTML, CSS, JavaScript files), gzip compression.
  • Preload mode.
  • Page cache, browser cache.
  • Lazy loading for images.
  • Expert customer support.
  • Removal of useless data from the database.
  • Ideal for high demanding websites, like e-shops.
  • 14-day money refund guarantee (no free trial).

Hyper Cache

  • Easy installing and use.
  • Free to use.
  • CDN support.
  • It works with different hosting solutions, Windows hosting included.
  • Cache for mobile and desktop site versions.
  • Mobile theme switch option. It changes the theme when a mobile device is detected.
  • Redirects caching.
  • Minification, on-the-fly compression for non-cached pages.
  • It serves cached pages even for blog’s commentators. Ideal for blogs with high users’ participation.
  • Auto-cleaning for reducing disk usage.

WP Fastest Cache

  • Easy plug-and-play configuration.
  • Paid and free versions. The paid one offers more resources: lazy load, mobile cache, disable emoji, widget cache, minification (CSS, HTML), add expires headers, leverage browser caching, Gzip compression, and more. One site license costs $49.99, three, $125, and five, $175 (one-time payments).
  • CDN, SSL, Cloudflare support.
  • Cache timeout (auto-clean cache).
  • Cache blocking for determining pages or posts.

Conclusion

A higher speed is always welcome. It enhances loading time, user satisfaction, and search engines position for your business. Before choosing a cache plugin, check compatibility with your server and hosting configuration. Pick just one. Adding more plugins for the same task can produce a performance conflict. 

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