WordPress caching is one of the most important ways in which you can significantly improve your website’s performance and speeds. Caching plugins simply store data that’s frequently accessed in temporary storage for more rapid retrieval.
This improves loading times whenever a person visits your site, as these elements can load up quicker straight from the cache. This works because in most cases, the posts or pages on your site aren’t going to change much after they’re published.
WordPress caching significantly reduces data transmissions from the user’s browser to the WordPress database and the server, which ultimately results in faster page load times.
If you aren’t already using a WordPress caching plugin, installing one could significantly improve your website’s performance, and result in a slew of other benefits.
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Why Use a WordPress Caching Plugin?
Keep in mind that most browsers store a cache of your website’s page, so some form of caching is still active, even if you don’t use a plugin. However, with a caching plugin, you can significantly improve the process.
A WordPress caching plugin offers the following advantages:
- Greater control over types of server-side caching, including an object or page caching
- Improved SEO performance
- Greater visitor engagement, which can result in a significantly reduced bounce rate
- Improvement in your site’s Core Web Vitals and PageSpeed scores
The 8 Best WordPress Caching Plugins
Now, here are the eight best WordPress caching plugins that you can use to speed up your website’s performance.
1. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is widely regarded as one of the best plugins for improving your website’s performance, and for good reason.
WP Rocket offers control over both page caching and browser-side caching, and you can even set up Gzip compression so that web pages can be compressed on the server, and decompressed in the user’s browser.
What makes WP Rocket the top pick is simply the fact that, right after installation, many of the settings are preconfigured. This means that you will notice a significant uptick in performance without even tinkering with any key settings.
- WP Rocket supports a range of add-ons, such as Cloudflare, Varnish Cache, and Sucuri
- Compatible with all the popular themes and plugins
- Automatic eCommerce customization that removes sensitive pages from being cached
- Extensive range of settings and options that offer granular control over how your website performs
Autoptimize isn’t really a caching plugin, per se, but it does the job exceptionally well. Most caching plugins even recommend that you use Autoptimize along with them!
At its core, Autoptimize is a plugin that’s designed for minifying and aggregating scripts to improve your website’s performance. You can determine which scripts to load or completely ban, which results in a significant performance boost.
Another reason why Autoptimize is so popular is that it’s incredibly easy to use; the interface is very simple and presents you with all the options you need with brief descriptions.
The plugin itself is free to use, though the team charges an amount for setting it up and customizing it for your site, which is definitely worth it.
- Helps you fully optimize all scripts on your site
- Has a free version
- Quite simple for beginners, but also has advanced features that make it a suitable choice for technical professionals
3. W3 Total Cache
Third on the list is W3 Total Cache, a lightweight plugin that offers plenty of caching options. It offers optimized progressive rendering, which improves page load times and allows visitors to interact with them much faster.
W3 Total Cache offers support for the Secure Socket Layer and also lets you minify your HTML, CSS, and JS files, reducing bandwidth consumption significantly. More importantly, it also lets you cache feeds, on CDN, or on the disk.
Apart from that, you can choose to cache database objects, fragments in memory, search result pages, and a lot more. With this plugin, you can easily defer non-critical JS or CSS scripts to render pages faster.
It also offers comprehensive stats to help users better understand the impact of each setting they change.
- Offers reverse proxy integration using Varnish or Nginx
- Offers WP-CLI support for purging the cache
4. WP Super Cache
Automattic, the company behind WordPress itself, offers WP Super Cache as a fairly simple caching plugin. It generates static HTML files to reduce load times significantly, serving these instead of loading data dynamically.
It uses the Apache mod_rewrite module to bypass PHP, improving speeds dramatically. There are three options available:
- WP-Cache caching
Each of these differs in terms of speed, with Expert being the fastest. If you need a reliable caching plugin that’s designed for optimizing website performance, you can’t go wrong with WP Super Cache.
- Has a Preload Mode that lets you preload as many posts as you want
- Automatically deletes old files from the cache directory
- Comes pre-configured with recommended settings
5. WP Fastest Cache
Popular amongst developers, WP Fastest Cache offers all the features that you need to quickly set up caching on your site. When you install it, the plugin automatically modifies your .htaccess file, so you don’t have to do much.
It deletes cache files when posts or pages are published, which keeps things running smoothly. Like WP Total Cache, it also lets you purge your cache using the command line interface.
You can easily enable or disable the cache option for users that have already logged in, or those on mobile devices. It also lets you disable emoji inline CSS, and lets you combine your CSS and JS scripts.
- Has both a free and a paid version
- Lets you optimize all images on your site to reduce data consumption, while also offering an in-built WebP image converter
- Lets you select elements to lazy load to further boost page load times
6. Swift Performance
Swift Performance has both a free and a pro version (with the former known as Swift Performance Lite). It’s a fairly comprehensive WordPress caching plugin that automatically optimizes page caching once you activate the plugin.
It works seamlessly with WooCommerce, bbPress, Varnish Cache, Cloudflare, and several others. Furthermore, it lets you minify JS and CSS scripts, combining them to load simultaneously.
It also offers Gzip compression and has a built-in optimizer for cleaning databases. It automatically detects duplicate metadata and removes it. The Pro version also lets you schedule a time for optimizing your database.
- Supports WP Multisite for optimizing several sites
- Offers browser caching right out of the box
- Can automatically generate critical CSS to prioritize content in specific folds
WP-Optimize was originally developed as a database optimizer, but since then the team behind the tool has added lots of new features to turn it into a plugin that offers full-scale caching.
It lets you cache, optimize, and significantly compress elements such as images on your site to improve loading times. There’s a free version, but to fully unlock all of its features, you’ll probably want to invest in the Pro plan.
That unlocks additional features such as Multisite support and more caching options. But, if you run a simple site and need a plugin to minify JS and CSS files and improve page load times, WP-Optimize is a good choice.
- Includes database optimization, image compression, and caching options
- Improves website performance once you activate it automatically by optimizing common settings
- Very responsive team of developers
8. LiteSpeed Cache
If you need a reliable caching solution, LiteSpeed Cache is a great choice. LiteSpeed Cache works well with web servers like (unsurprisingly) LiteSpeed, Nginx, Apache, and others.
If your website’s hosting stack features LiteSpeed, this is a good plugin to use. It offers object caching support, HTTP/2 push for both CSS and JS files, Cloudflare API, and multisite support.
The interface is intuitive, letting you choose whether to lazy load images, optimize PageSpeed scores, support for WP-CLI, schedule cache purges, and more.
Support for LiteSpeed Cache is excellent, with a dedicated Slack community, detailed documentation, and a huge support community. There’s an API for the themes and plugins that aren’t directly compatible with LSCache, making it a great choice all around.
- Has a built-in database optimizer
- Supports both basic and advanced setting views
- Multisite support is available
Using a WordPress Caching Plugin is Essential to Boost Performance
WordPress caching plugins aren’t just an “added bonus”. If your website has a lot of content and you intend to scale it in the future, you should use a caching plugin.
Without a caching plugin, you’d have to tweak every setting manually, which is obviously quite complicated. While there are quite a few caching plugins out there, these are some of the best choices, and most others usually offer similar features.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or any recommendations for plugins that aren’t on the list, or the ones you prefer using!