A couple of weeks back, a WPMU reader sent us a question: Which is the best caching plugin to use on my WordPress site?
The Q & A article that we published got a pretty interesting conversation started, which we felt warranted a follow up post, and hopefully some more quality discussion on caching solutions for WordPress.
By the way, if you haven’t fully wrapped your head around the concept of caching and why it’s important to your WordPress site, a little background reading might be in order. We’ve got a great article here on the basics of caching.
On with the show
These are some of the highlights from the WordPress Q & A Session. If you’re pondering a caching solution for your WordPress site, check out the wisdom shared by our readers:
Shawn Borelli says:
We choose WP Super Cache because it’s very easy to use. When properly configured, this plugin can exponentially increase website load speeds and decrease the drain on server resources. W3 Total Cache is a great alternative, but not so user-friendly, especially for the average WordPress user. It can do all the same things as WP Super Cache, and maybe more, but it takes more knowledge and server expertise to setup and configure properly. If your WordPress site is getting 100,000+ visitors per month, W3 Total Cache will maybe outperform WP Super Cache, otherwise there’s not much difference.
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I have used WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache and Quick Cache, but I tend to settle on Super Cache for the best balance of complexity and features. Super Cache works well on multisite, and is so far working well on nginx too.
Julian Fernandes says:
W3 Total Cache for sure. Instead of having one plugin for minify, one for sync with CDN, one for cache etc., W3 Total Cache puts all that functionality in a single plugin, which decreases the server load a lot.
Some people say W3 Total Cache is resource hungry. Well, choose a better hosting provider. Today, you can get relatively cheap hosting that includes LiteSpeed (better than Apache), CloudLinux, OnApp and eAccelerator.
If you use W3 Total Cache on a low powered server, of course you’ll have problems. With decent hosting, WC Total Cache is definitely the best option.
David Decker says:
Quick Cache and Hyper Cache are great options for not-so-techie users, as they work straight out of the box and really do their job. Both plugins also work on shared hosting and managed servers and will speed up smaller and middle-range sites.
If localization and different languages are important to your WordPress site, you should consider using the Mo Cache Plugin, which will speed up your language file loading. I use this on my own site and it’s awesome!
Kevin Shoffner says:
I have found that Quick Cache does the trick pretty painlessly and actually seems to have the smallest thumbprint on my server resources. While using other cache plugins during peak times (heavy visitor traffic), I would get lots of lag and even timeout issues.
I switched over to Quick Cache, with the same amount of site traffic, and now have none of the same problems.
I have tried WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache, both with limited success. I have now invested in cloud hosting with a new web host, and the speed is very good without using any cache plugin. Of course, it comes at a price.
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My recommendation for a site with medium to low traffic is not a plugin at all, but Cloudflare. It offers caching and a degree of security with a setup that is amazingly painless. Pointing your DNS to Cloudflare is the hardest part. The basic version is free and there’s no lock in. And if you’re loathe to give up your caching plugin (I still use W3 Total Cache), W3TC includes built-in integration with Cloudflare. For non-techies it’s a no brainer.
What do YOU say?
Got something to contribute to the discussion? Do you agree/disagree with any of the statements above? Please leave a comment below this article and share your thoughts on WordPress caching.