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 SydneyVancouver, then São Paulo and finishing off in Mumbai.
- 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 #2
For the 2nd half of 2018, we have set our hosts a new challenge, and that is how will they perform in new locations around the world. We have performed speed tests exclusively from Dallas, London & Sydney across the last 2 years. So the change up is that we’re now going to test from 3 new locations: Vancouver, São Paulo & Mumbai.
We have just completed testing of WP Fastest Cache & Simple Cache and discovered that Simple Cache improved our site speed the most. It’s now time to give another caching plugin a go.
So this Speed Study will look into how effective Cache Enabler is at speeding up our sites from their new locations?
How to Setup Cache Enabler
To kick off this 2018 Cache Enabler Speed Study, we 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 see how much of a speed boost Cache Enabler can deliver, and is it more effective than Simple Cache?
The Results – 29 Sep 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 2.18s for Cache Enabler, which is 3% faster than with Simple Cache setup.
When we dig into the 3 locations we test from, Vancouver & Mumbai were 2% & 6% respectively faster with Cache Enabler. For São Paulo, we experienced a rare result, where both were exactly the same.
Interestingly when we look into the other GT Metrix stats, Cache Enabler comfortably outperformed Simple Cache across Google PageSpeed, Yahoo YSlow & Page Size. While these results are useful, they only paint part of the picture. Your actual load time is always the key stat to measure.
So when it comes to making a call on which caching plugin is preferred, the decision is slightly in favor of Cache Enabler.
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 also just favored Cache Enabler:
- 4 hosts experienced faster speeds with Cache Enabler, ranging from 2% with Namecheap up to 18% with Web Hosting Hub.
- 3 hosts were slower with Cache Enabler, ranging from 5% with InMotion up to 11% with Lightning Base.
- While SiteGround recorded the same time with both Cache Enabler & Simple Cache.
- And once again, SiteGround has come out on top, as the fastest host using both Simple Cache & Cache Enabler.
- The overall observation from where I sit is that there isn’t much of a difference between Simple Cache and Cache Enabler. Therefore, I would slightly lean towards Cache Enabler, but could totally understand choosing Simple Cache if your host is Inmotion, GoDaddy or Lightning Base.
With Cache Enabler proving to even further improve our site speed, let’s put another Caching Plugin to the test.
So next up, let’s load up Comet Cache and see whether it proves to be quicker than Cache Enabler?