WordPress rules the web but do the web allows WordPress sites to rule at top? Not until you do the basics. And today, we are going to review top 3 WordPress Cache Plugins which can help you to speedup your site.
Google crawler does not like sites that are slow and not responsive. Similarly, users won’t stay at a site whose response time is more than 4 sec. Generally a site should load in less than 2 seconds.
A fast site lures more visitors and decreases the dropout rate. This not only improves user experience but also search engine rankings and visitor retention.
Caching is an old-age technique in computer science to make things faster. It can be thought as a pace maker for a very slow heart but in this case, we will make the site to become faster for the users.
Caching follows a simple formula, load the most frequent resources, so that less processing is needed for the server to complete user requests. This is very intuitive, if the site is a static content or has very low dynamic content to serve to users.
Whenever, new request is made to the server , the server responds to the users with the correct response and stores a copy of the response into the cache.
So from next time, similar request can be served without being processed by the server, saving substantial amount of time both for the server and the users.
Another common term, CDN (Content Delivery Network) must be explained before proceeding. CDN’s are servers scattered across the globe by different providers.
CDN’s can be used by your site to store critical resources geographically around the globe. Thus, from next time critical resources are served from the nearest CDN and not the server itself reducing the round-trip time of the packets.
[symple_box style=”boxinfo”] Top 3 WordPress Cache Plugins [/symple_box]
Few tools can be used for check whether the site is optimized or not.
- Google page Speed: – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
- Yslow :- https://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/
- GTmetrix :- http://gtmetrix.com/
Using the above site, one can know how slow or fast their site is.
Web caching can also be done on browser side but we are bothered with server caching in this article. Let’s discuss the top 3 WordPress Cache plugins.
WP Super Cache
The number one plugin when it comes to caching the critical resources in your site. WP Super Cache is highly recommended in WordPress codex.
WP Super Cache uses the simple working logic of serving static files instead of processing the request every time,the user ask for a webpage. This way the scripting part is completely removed from the processing, making everything look faster and smoother.
The plugin uses mod_rewrite which completely bypasses PHP or using PHP itself. It also supports legacy caching for logged in users but is not recommended.
The learning curve can be steep as the plugin interface is not newbie-friendly. Once you fiddle with the documentation and other online resources, you will feel at home with the plugin but that requires patience and hard work.
The tool provides cache expiry time for individual pages to be cached. The tool also works great with CDN Sync Tool.
It also features lockdown mode i.e. this means that if the page is changed, it moves to lockdown mode. The current users are not affected and until the new cache is built, the old cached site is server to the user making everything look smoother.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache offers more features and is recommended for non-technological people. The front page of the plugin provides shortcuts to enable all the features.
W3 Total Cache also works fine with CDN to enhance the website overall performance.
Hyper Cache Extended
Hyper Cache Extended is the next edition of original Hyper Cache plugin. This plugin qualifies for the shared hosting plans with limited bandwidth as it uses both plain and gzip compressed pages.
It can redirect caching, perform 404 caching and comes with compatibility settings for Global translator.
There are less options to fiddle with and makes it easy to use compared to WP Super Cache. This plugin is recommended for users who have shared hosting and provides greater flexibility. For users with dedicated hosting, WP SuperCache or W3 Total Cache is recommended.
There are many other WordPress Cache plugin on the WordPress Market place but these 3 plugins stands at the top of our rankings. My personal favorite being W3 Total Cache followed by WP Super Cache