The Speed Study Goal
My goal with conducting these Speed Studies is to find out which strategies are the best at improving our site speed.
I’ll implement each strategy using the following approach:
- Setup the strategy on all 8 of our live test sites
- Then for the following 3 weeks, use hourly monitoring via GT Metrix to independently gather the load times. To eliminate the possibility of location bias, I change the test servers each week, starting in Dallas, then London and finishing off in Sydney.
- Next measure the impact of each strategy by comparing the average speed before and after
- Ultimately decide whether the strategy works?
2018 Cache Enabler Speed Study
In our most recent Speed Study, WP Rocket was able to outperform Simple Cache. Now let’s throw another caching plugin into the ring and see which performs better.
So this Speed Study will look into how effective Cache Enabler is at speeding up our sites?
How to Setup Cache Enabler
To kick off this 2018 Cache Enabler Speed Study, we first need to install Cache Enabler using consistent settings across each site. I used the settings included within our step by step tutorial on How to Setup Cache Enabler.
I have now followed this process on all 8 of our Live Test Sites.
Next up is 3 weeks of testing – I am curious to whether Cache Enabler can spring a surprise against the more fancied caching plugins like W3 Total Cache & WP Rocket.
The Results – 05 May 2018
After 3 weeks of testing, lets take a look at how our 8 hosts performed with Cache Enabler installed.
Let’s first see how Cache Enabler performed compared to Simple Cache? The average load time across our 3 different testing locations is 1.93s for Cache Enabler, which is 1% slower than with Simple Cache setup.
When we dig into the 3 locations we test from, Dallas & London were exactly the same, while Sydney was 2% slower for Cache Enabler.
Interestingly when we look into the other GT metrix stats, Cache Enabler was more effective at reducing the Page Size, plus also achieved much higher scores for Google PageSpeed & Yahoo YSlow.
So when it comes to making a call on which caching plugin is preferred, the decision is marginally in favor of Simple Cache.
Individual Host Performance
Let’s now take a look at how our individual hosts performed:
- When it comes to our individual hosts, the comparison between Simple Cache & Cache Enabler slightly favored Simple Cache:
- The exceptions were Bluehost, InMotion Hosting & Web Hosting Hub, which were 2%, 17% & 18% faster with Cache Enabler setup.
- The remaining 5 hosts experienced slower speeds with Caching Enabler, ranging from 3% with Lightning Base up to a whopping 27% with HostGator.
- The overall observation from where I sit is that Simple Cache just takes the cake as the preferred caching plugin.
With Simple Cache proving to be faster than Cache Enabler, let’s find out if another caching plugin can outperform both of them?
So Speed Study #30 will focus on what speed improvement is possible when we use Hyper Cache?