The next stop in our journey of exploring some of the best and most helpful WordPress plugins, we are going to learn more about how to speed our websites up and allow our users to view the desired pages much more quickly. This is very important, as we are living in a world where speed means everything. As people are impatient and eager to look at the pages and websites that they are visiting, it is very important that you present the content to them at a fast pace.
Not only that your audience is going to appreciate the speed increase, but your websites also going to get a higher rating in search engines, as Google rates the websites which are being shown by their response time as well as how much time it would take to load the whole page.
The available cache plugins will affect your website in different way and speed it up differently. For example, some might turn your PHP based website into a faster loading format, while others allow users to store some data on their local hard drives, in order to cut down on loading times, each instance that they visit the page. Depending on how you would like to improve the performance of your website, you can choose from the available plugins and allow your users to have a pleasant experience when they are browsing the content that you share with them.
WP Super Cache
The first entry on our list is WP Super Cache, one of the most popular choices when it comes to website optimization. This cache plugin is going to transform your pages into an html version, which is a lot easier to load, thus allowing people who visit your website to load at a faster pace. This can be extremely beneficial, even if you only cut down the load speed by a few seconds.
Once you install, activate and enable the caching process, you are instantly going to see the difference. Even if you do not feel that the website is faster, you can choose to use one of the many websites which test the page and show you the time it took to load it. If your website is filled with pictures and data, you are will be able to feel the difference without these speed checking tools as well.
Not only that desktop users are going to load your WordPress based website faster, but this plugin is also going to optimize your website for mobile users as well. This means that people who usually browse the internet through their smartphones will have a better experience as well and they are more likely to spend more time on your website, generating traffic for you.
There are a variety of advanced options that you are able to tweak in order to increase the speed at which your pages load even further. Playing around with these settings can yield great results, but be wary that there are also some which might not be helpful for the type of website that you are currently running.
Pros: As one of the most popular cache plugins for WordPress sites, this is a solid choice when it comes to gaining those few seconds of load time. There are many things that you are able to set up and if you are not familiar with this process, there are various tutorials on the internet which will help you set it up.
Cons: Because of the fact that almost every website is different, you need to learn which settings are going to benefit you. If you enable something that you shouldn’t, you can slow your website down even further and make it worse for yourself. There have also been reports of compatibility problems with certain themes and plugins.
W3 Total Cache
For those developers who wish to have extreme control over their cache plugin, this is the right choice; W3 Total Cache offers a whopping 16 pages of customization! You are able to modify database cache, browser cache, page cache and you can also install a variety of extensions as well to further increase the performance.
One of the other great things about this plugin is that the free version is going to be more than enough for anybody, regardless of the type of website that they are running. Even if you operate an ecommerce site, where you are trying to sell your products or certain services, you are able to get a huge boost of speed with W3 Total Cache.
Pros: You really cannot find a more advanced cache plugin, as you are truly able to optimize the website to your liking. Once you set everything up, you are going to be amazed at how much faster the pages on your site will load.
Cons: For users and developers who are not experienced when it comes to setting plugins such as this one up, the amount of setting which are available might be a little overly complicated. Even though the default settings should work pretty well for most websites, there are simpler solutions that you are able to choose and save yourself many hours of work.
As one of the only plugins on the list which require you to pay a certain amount of money, depending on how many website you wish to use WP Rocket on, some might think that paying for a cache plugin is not necessary, however, extensive research and testing has shown that WP Rocket offers the best results when it comes to making pages load faster.
You only need to pay the fee one time and this allows you to use the plugin for an unlimited amount of time. You are also going to be eligible for one years’ worth of updates as well as professional support. The great thing about this is that if you ever get stuck or you have problems with the plugin, you can contact the customer support team and they are going to resolve these problems for you.
WP Rocket offers a limited amount of customization options and settings that you are able to play with, but the great thing about it is that you do not have to do anything to speed your site up; simply install the plugin and enable it.
Pros: As the fastest cache plugin out there, this is an amazing tool for any website owners who wish to improve the load time as well as performance of their pages. With the simple installation guide, you are not going to have any trouble setting WP Rocket up and utilizing all of its features.
Cons: The only real problem with WP Rocket is that it is not free and that you need to pay a one-time fee if you would like to use it. This is especially problematic and costly if you have more than one website on which you would like to use this plugin on.
WP Fastest Cache
The last entry on the list, WP Fastest Cache is one of the best solutions for people who would not like to pay for a cache plugin, as well as for those who would simply like to speed their website’s load time up without having to spend hours setting the plugin up.
WP Fastest Cache offers very few customization options that you can choose from, but if you are running a basic site, this is going to be more than enough to give you that boost of speed. The setup process is virtually non-existent and you can finish the whole process in only a few minutes.
Pros: This is a very simple solution for those who wish to allow their users to load the site at a faster pace, without having to learn how to use the plugin. Settings such as the ability to cache logged in users and mobile users will be super helpful as well.
Cons: The limited amount of customization options might not be enough for many websites and if you would like to make in-depth cache changes to your site, you can find better plugins on the list.
Thankfully, we can carefully choose which cache plugin we wish to use on our site and depending on your experience as well as needs, you can decide if you would like a simpler plugin or one which offers a variety of options and settings.
A very important thing to keep in mind is that you need to go through all of the available settings, as there might be some which are enabled, but not necessary for the type of website that you are currently running.
Cache plugins can be very beneficial and almost every website needs to have it installed. This is not only going to improve the user experience that your visitors are going to have, but you can also increase the amount of money that you make from these WordPress based websites if you make them load faster.
Using a cache plugin is essential, however you need a good hosting provider, and eventually a CDN, if you have a global audience. If you are looking for an affordable and professional WordPress host, we highly recommend BlueHost. For content delivery network providers we recommend MaxCDN.