The Best Caching Plugins for WordPress in 2022 – Compared

You’ve heard that adding a caching plugin to your WordPress site is one of the easiest ways to improve your site loading speeds. But how do caching plugins work? What features should you look at in a caching plugin? This guide to the best caching plugins for WordPress will answer these questions + analyze six great caching plugins to help you find the right one for your site.

What does a caching plugin do?

When someone visits a WordPress site that isn’t using caching, the server must send a request to the WordPress database and go through several processes to load each page. This can result in a less-than-optimal loading speed (remember, up to 87% of users will leave your site if it takes more than two seconds to load).

A caching plugin instructs your web server to memorize the pages of your site. When someone visits your site, the server loads these memorized copies into your browser. This allows it to skip the database and other related processes, loading your site in a fraction of the time.

What to look for in a caching plugin

The main thing to consider when you’re looking for a caching plugin is how quickly your site will load using this plugin. There are two main measurements you’ll want to know for this:

Some caching plugins might also offer other optimization features, like image optimization, code minification and other code optimization options, GZIP compression for optimal rendering, and heartbeat control to reduce server resources used by people working on the back end of your site.

Best caching plugins for WordPress

TTFB: 0.040s
Fully loaded: 0.307s

WP Rocket is a premium WordPress optimization plugin that offers top-notch browser and page caching, lazy loading for images and videos, a variety of code optimization tools, and heartbeat control.

Best of all, it’s flexible enough for people with all levels of coding experience to use. If you’re not super comfortable with the technology, all you need to do is activate it and 80% of web optimization best practices will be applied. If you’re more comfortable with advanced settings, you can create a custom configuration to further improve optimization.

👉 You can check out our WP Rocket review for more details.

WP Rocket offers the following features:

👍👎 Pros and cons

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WP Rocket starts at $49/year for one site license. You can also get three site licenses for $99/year or pay $249/year for access to unlimited site licenses.

2. W3 Total Cache

TTFB: 0.040s
Fully loaded: 0.421s

W3 Total Cache is the most complex plugin on this list of the best caching plugins for WordPress, with its settings area divided into a whopping 16 pages. These include dedicated settings areas for every type of caching: browser caching, page caching, object caching, et cetera. This allows you to fully customize how caching is approached on your site.

Feeling overwhelmed at the idea of so many settings? I’ve got good news: you can stick with the default caching settings and still enjoy a significant increase in loading times. How much you customize it, if you do so at all, is entirely up to you and the unique needs of your site.

There’s also a Pro version of W3 Total Cache with advanced data tracking, lazy load for Google Maps, and more.

The free version of W3 Total Cache includes the following features:

W3 Total Cache Pro also includes the following features:

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3. WP-Optimize

TTFB: 0.041s
Fully loaded: 0.396s

WP-Optimize is a multi-use plugin that can clean your WordPress databases, compress and optimize your images, and cache your pages. You can choose to manually optimize your site, automate these functions, or do some of both.

If you want to take the optimization a step further you can invest in WP-Optimize Premium for access to lazy loading, individual table caching, multilingual and multi-currency caching, advanced scheduling and automation options, and multisite support.

The following features are available through the free version of WP-Optimize:

You can upgrade to WP-Optimize Premium to gain access to the following:

👍👎 Pros and cons

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4. FlyingPress

TTFB: 0.041s
Fully loaded: 0.418s

FlyingPress is an advanced caching plugin that offers page caching, lazy loading for images, and a variety of code optimization tools. FlyingPress also includes database cleaning and optimization tools that can be used manually or set to run on an automated schedule.

You can also get the FlyingCDN add-on for improved image compression and optimization, global file replication, and other features to improve website loading speeds.

Features

👍👎 Pros and cons

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A single site license FlyingPress costs $60 for the first year and renews at $42/year. You can also get five site licenses for $150 in the first year (renews at $105.year), 50 licenses for $250 in the first year (renews at $175/year), or 500 site licenses for $500 in the first year (renews at $350/year).

The FlyingCDN add-on charges based on bandwidth, starting at $3/month for up to 100GB of bandwidth. You can see how this scales by looking at the FlyingCDN pricing chart.

5. Hummingbird

TTFB: 0.042s
Fully loaded: 0.449s

Created by WPMU Dev, Hummingbird is a caching plugin with tools for page caching, lazy loading, code optimization, and some performance tracking. You can also use Hummingbird to scan your site for issues at any time and the plugin will provide one-click solutions for any problems it finds.

You can upgrade to the premium Hummingbird Page Optimizer for advanced performance tracking, more ability to control caching settings for different types of content, CDN integration, and more.

The following features are available with the free version of Hummingbird:

You can also access the following additional features if you buy the Hummingbird Page Optimizer:

👍👎 Pros and cons

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You can get the premium Hummingbird Page Optimizer for $7.50/month for one site license, $12.50/month for 3 site licenses, $32.50/month for 10 site licenses, or $82.50 for unlimited site licenses.

TTFB: 0.041s
Fully loaded: 0.471

WP Super Cache is a 100% free caching plugin from Automattic, the creators of WooCommerce. The plugin is incredibly lightweight and easy to use. If your main concern is simplicity, this is the plugin for you.

Unfortunately, there are several things you won’t get with this plugin. There are no code or image optimization tools and the caching settings are fairly limited. If you’re looking for more complete control of your optimization, check out one of the other options on this list.

Features

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How to choose the right caching plugin for your site

Now that you’ve got an understanding of the best caching plugins for WordPress, it’s time to choose one for your site.

Here’s a quick comparison table to refresh your memory on the options:

WP Rocket W3 Total Cache WP-Optimize FlyingPress Hummingbird WP Super Cache
Free version
Page caching
Lazy load
Code optimization
GZIP compression
Cost of paid version Starts at $49/year Starts at $99/year Starts at $49/year Starts at $60 for the first year (renews at $42) Starts at $7.50/month N/A

Still not sure what caching plugin is best for your site? Consider what you want to get out of the plugin:

So, what caching plugin are you going to try? Let us know in the comments below!

This content was originally published here.