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:

  1. Setup the strategy on all 8 of our live test sites
  2. 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.
  3. Next measure the impact of each strategy by comparing the average speed before and after
  4. Ultimately decide whether the strategy works?

2018 Comet Cache Speed Study

In our most recent Speed Study, Cache Enabler was able to comfortably outperform Hyper 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 Comet Cache is at speeding up our sites?

2018 Comet Cache

How to Setup Comet Cache

To kick off this 2018 Comet Cache Speed Study, we first need to install Comet Cache using consistent settings across each site. I used the settings included within our step by step tutorial on How to Setup Comet Cache.

All Setup

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 see whether Comet Cache can spring a surprise against the more fancied caching plugins like W3 Total Cache & WP Rocket.

The Results – 17 Jun 2018

After 3 weeks of testing, lets take a look at how our 8 hosts performed with Comet Cache installed.

Speed Study 31 - 2018 Comet Cache Results Table


Let’s first see how Comet Cache performed compared to Hyper Cache? The average load time across our 3 different testing locations is 1.86s for Comet Cache, which is 23% faster than with Hyper Cache setup.

When we dig into the 3 locations we test from, all were faster with Comet Cache, most notably Dallas which was 35% faster.

Interestingly when we look into the other GT metrix stats, there was very little difference between Comet Cache & Hyper Cache across Page Size, Google PageSpeed & Yahoo YSlow.

So when it comes to making a call on which caching plugin is preferred, the decision is strongly in favor of Comet Cache.

Individual Host Performance

Let’s now take a look at how our individual hosts performed:

Speed Study 31 - 2018 Comet Cache - Individual Host Performance

Major Observations

  • When it comes to our individual hosts, the comparison between Comet Cache & Hyper Cache also favored Comet Cache:
    1. The exceptions were InMotion Hosting & HostGator, which were 6% & 15% slower with Comet Cache setup.
    2. The remaining 6 hosts experienced faster speeds with Comet Cache, ranging from 3% with GoDaddy up to 44% with Web Hosting Hub.
  • The overall observation from where I sit is that Comet Cache should generally be considered the preferred caching plugin. The only clear exception would be if your current host is HostGator, then Hyper Cache would be preferred.

What’s Next?

With Comet Cache proving to be faster than Hyper Cache, let’s find out if another caching plugin can outperform both of them?

So Speed Study #32 will focus on what speed improvement is possible when we use WP Fastest Cache?

2018 WP Fastest Cache WordPress Plugin