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
- 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.
- Every 3 weeks, I progressively install each of the 8 Caching Plugins to all test sites.
- Then by using hourly monitoring via GT Metrix, I’m able to independently gather the load times for all sites.
- 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 is a premium caching plugin that costs $39/year for 1 site.
Simple Cache is a free caching plugin with 7,000+ active installs.
Cache Enabler is a free caching plugin with 40,000+ active installs.
Hyper Cache is a free caching plugin with 40,000+ active installs.
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:
- When we look into which caching plugins produced the fastest load times for each host, we find that:
- W3 Total Cache was fastest for 6 of our 8 hosts with an average load time of 1.66s
- WP Rocket was fastest for 1 of our 8 hosts and recorded a slightly slower average load time of 1.78s
- 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…
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