You will know by now the importance of speed on a website and a caching plugin is a very simple yet powerful tool that should be installed on every site. But what is a caching plugin and why do you need it? We look at some of the best WordPress caching plugins for speed and how you can use them on your website.
As Google now factors site speed as part of their algorithms to determine where to rank your site in their results pages, site loading time is more important than ever.
That’s where caching plugins step in.
So what does a cache plugin do?
A cache plugin stores data from visitors. Information such as the layout and CSS of your site means that the next time they visit, the old cached data is at hand to speed up load time. In other words, a visitors computer will remember that it was on your site previously and won’t need to load all the information from scratch.
This is where caching plugins come in. There are a vast array of plugins, in both paid and free versions. Like anything, you usually get what you pay for. However, some of the free versions are perfectly adequate and will do the job just fine. Premium plugins such as WPRocket require a yearly fee but have many extras over a free plugin.
Which is the best caching plugin?
There is no definitive answer to that one as people everywhere vary in opinion! In nearly all cases though you will find the same 5 or 6 plugins are nearly always mentioned. I will list them below, in time I will (hope to anyway) write a little more on each one and how to configure them. If you are in doubt, test one out. Go through the settings, in most cases, the default settings are perfect to begin with. Its a simple matter of installing, activating and make sure the plugin is switched on.
Popular Caching Plugins
(Not in any order of preference)
CometCache is one of the best and fastest free caching plugins. Its very simple to install, more or less plug it in and let it do the work. The premium version offers a few extras and is reasonably priced, especially for developers. You can find more information directly on their official website
With some 400,000+ installs, WPRocket is easily one of the most popular caching plugins. It is a Premium (paid) plugin. A single-site license costs $39, a three-site license $99, and an unlimited license can be yours for $199. (All prices for 1 year)
W3 Total Cache is a free plugin. With over 1 million active installs and 4.5/5 stars on the WordPress repository, it is certainly popular. It is trusted worldwide by the likes of AT&T, Mashable and countless others. Very easy to set up, its no wonder why this one is so popular.
2 million+ active installs tell you all you need to know about this plugin. With a rating of 4.3/5 stars, this is a plugin that always pops up in lists of best caching plugins. It is especially effective at slowing your server down and not crashing the site if you have a sudden spike in visitors.
One of the easiest of all the caching plugins to set up. With no complicated settings and technical jargon, you simply install, activate and there’s an on/off button. It doesn’t get any simpler than that! Oh and its free too!
Newish to the market this is a caching plugin that is attracting a lot of fans. The setup wizard is foolproof and you will see instant results. The free version is very powerful, the premium version is better again. Premium includes image optimization as well as other features such as a plugin organizer and more. Well worth a visit if you are looking to speed up your website.