2018 Fastest WordPress Caching Plugin

Across the first half of 2018, I have been testing the speed of 8 WordPress Caching Plugins to determine once and for all, which caching plugin consistently improves site speed the most over a sustained period of time.

How the testing is performed

  1. First off, all tests will be conducted on our 8 live WordPress test sites, each with different hosts. By using live sites, we’re eliminating any time bias.
  2. Every 3 weeks, I progressively install each of the 8 Caching Plugins to all test sites.
  3. Then by using hourly monitoring via GT Metrix, I’m able to independently gather the load times for all sites.
  4. And to eliminate the possibility of any location bias, I change the test servers each week, starting in Dallas, then London and finishing off in Sydney.

The 2018 Contenders

Let’s quickly run through the 8 WordPress Caching Plugins that were tested between the 21 Jan 2018 and 07 Jul 2018:

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is a free caching plugin, with 2+ million active installs.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is also a free caching plugin with 1+ million active installs.

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin that costs $39/year for 1 site.

Simple Cache

Simple Cache is a free caching plugin with 7,000+ active installs.

Cache Enabler

Cache Enabler is a free caching plugin with 40,000+ active installs.

Hyper Cache

Hyper Cache is a free caching plugin with 40,000+ active installs.

Comet Cache

Comet Cache is a free caching plugin with 60,000+ active installs.

WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache is a free caching plugin with 600,000+ active installs.

The Results – 07 Jul 2018

After 24 weeks of testing, let’s take a look at how our individual hosts performed with each Caching plugin:

2018 Fastest WordPress Caching Plugins - Individual Host Performance

Major Observations

  • When we look into which caching plugins produced the fastest load times for each host, we find that:
    1. W3 Total Cache was fastest for 6 of our 8 hosts with an average load time of 1.66s
    2. WP Rocket was fastest for 1 of our 8 hosts and recorded a slightly slower average load time of 1.78s
    3. Simple Cache was also fastest for 1 of our 8 hosts and recorded a slower again average load time of 1.90s
  • When you look into how W3 Total Cache performed compared to No Optimizations for all sites, it has speed up our sites by a whopping 48%!! It’s amazing that the addition of just 1 plugin can be so beneficial.
  • SiteGround was the fastest host, with a load time of 1.53s recorded during the time that W3 Total Cache was installed.
  • Therefore the overall observation from where I sit is that if your looking for a Caching plugin to help speed up your site, I would recommend going for W3 Total Cache as it is not only the fastest, it is also free!!
  • If your site or host has conflicts with W3 Total Cache (ie. it’s on your host’s banned plugin list), then I would suggest giving WP Rocket a go and see if it helps speed up your site.

So the 2018 Fastest WordPress Caching Plugins are…

Fastest WordPress Caching Plugin
Fastest WordPress Caching Plugin


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