Best WordPress Caching Plugins Of 2022

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The best WordPress caching plugins of 2022 are going to do one important thing for your website. They will cache your data so that it keeps your website running as fast as it can. But, with so many caching plugin options available, which one should you choose?

In this guide, we’ll explore what exactly WordPress caching is, while helping you find the best WordPress caching plugin to make your website fly. 

The speed of your website is essential, not only to the retention of your visitors but also to the ranking of search engines – the SEO checklist will help you here as well. The faster your website loads, the better. While the theme you choose or the way your website loads images can affect the speed of your website, caching can be a simple way to make up some time.

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What is WordPress Caching?

WordPress caching helps your website load more quickly by reducing the amount of data transfer between your site visitor’s browser, your site’s WordPress database, and your website’s web server.

In short, WordPress caching is a critical part of WordPress optimization (getting your WordPress website to run as efficiently as possible). WordPress caching can dramatically improve performance by reducing page load times. Instead of serving up dynamic content with each page load, WordPress can instead generate static HTML files to your visitors. 

Best WordPress Caching Plugins of 2022

When someone visits your website once, the next time they visit the plugin will deliver a cached version of your site so it can be served faster. This means faster page loading and less load on your server. It also means a better user experience.

In short, website caching works to store complex information, making it faster for users who come back and visit it more than once.

WordPress Caching Made Simple

Most people explain caching in some convoluted way that never makes sense but instead picture it like this. 

You find a hip new restaurant downtown and go once, then you go back a second time, and the chef remembers you and cooks your favorite dish. 

That right there is caching. Storing information in a memory, the chef remembers you and can save you both time by just cooking your favorite. 

Caching works the same way someone visits your website once, and then the next time someone visits your website, the plugin has cached your site and can serve it faster as all the previous steps, such as loading assets, have already been handled. 

Types of WordPress Caching

There are two types of WordPress caching: Browser and server-side. Some WordPress caching plugins concentrate on one area of caching or the other, while a few plugins use a combination of the two.

  • Browser side caching allows for content like static files and scripts to be stored on the client’s hard drive
  • Server-side caching is more complex, with page and mobile caching, along with user and database query caching. Object-based caching is part of the WordPress caching system

The best WordPress caching plugins of 2022 are the best of both worlds. These plugins minimize the amount of data transmitted from the visitor’s browser, WordPress database, and webserver.

Finding the best WordPress caching plugin for your website is more than just downloading and activating. All caching programs are going to perform differently under hosting and content conditions. 

If your website is loaded with dynamic content, a simple caching plugin must work harder and will take longer to load a page. If the plugin is built to handle a lot of this type of content, your site will improve.

Test your site with tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix and establish a benchmark. Install a popular WordPress caching plugin and test against the benchmark. After several passes, results usually become apparent as to which plugin is best for your site.

Why Do You Need a WordPress Caching Plugin?

Page load times are critical to a website’s success. After all, how many times have you gone to use a website and given up when it didn’t load fast enough?

And it’s not just important for your users; it’s also important for Google. In fact, Google recommends websites load under 3 seconds for new industry benchmarks for mobile page speed. Anything less than this and your search engine rankings could be impacted. 

If your search engine rankings are impacted, your organic search traffic will go down by default. When your organic search traffic goes down, your revenue will follow.

As you can see, proper WordPress caching is essential. 

With this obvious requirement for website speed, one might think that website admins would work to reduce the size of website pages so they would load faster. Unfortunately, this idea is not the trend. 

Today’s average size for a single downloaded web page is about 2.2 mb. In 2010, the average size was 702 kb. That’s a 317% increase in size. And the growth in the size of a single web page can be attributed to the visual elements of content, such as images, videos, and fonts.

A WordPress caching plugin generates static HTML pages of your website to help increase the speed of your website. Every time a visitor makes it back to your website, the plugin’s algorithm recognizes what has changed and serves up the newest content, not the entire page

best WordPress caching plugins

What Does a WordPress Caching Plugin Do?

A WordPress caching plugin generates static HTML pages of your website to help increase the speed of your website. Every time a visitor makes it back to your website, the plugin’s algorithm recognizes what has changed and serves up the newest content, not the entire page.

To understand this a bit better, let’s dive into the specifics of what happens when someone visits your website. 

First, their browser requests files such as HTML and PHP, along with images and scripts. WordPress is designed to serve up posts and pages from the database dynamically. This content delivery procedure slows down the process, meaning your customer must wait (remember the 3-second rule). 

Once a website is published, not much changes other than posts and a few pages designed to deliver updated content. Without a caching plugin, your visitors would need to download every page, every single time they visit. Modern browsers and caching plugins allow guests to access your web page content much faster, creating more conversions, and customer visits. And will also lead to a lower bounce rate. 

Note: Choose only one caching plugin. Two caching plugins will not double the benefits; more than likely, it will confuse the database and crash it.

It’s essential to be as specific as possible when you are looking for an advanced plugin for caching. Do not choose a plugin that will be overwhelming and add to the complexity of your site. 

Stay as simple as possible.

What to Look for in the Best WordPress Caching Plugins 

There are a lot of WordPress caching plugins. In fact, there are so many that if you type “caching” into WordPress.org, it’ll return hundreds of results.

How do you narrow them down into the ones you need to use? Finding out what you want from a caching plugin is a good start. 

Here are our top 5 things to consider when looking for a WordPress caching plugin. 

1. Ease of Use

Caching plugins can be notoriously complex beasts to use, coming with pages upon pages of options and settings. 

Choose a caching plugin that offers user-friendly features, such as a setup wizard, to help you get started quickly and easily. 

2. Asset and Page Exclusion

Dynamic content doesn’t play well with browser caching and page caching. This is why it’s important to find a caching plugin where you can exclude specific pages and assets from being cached. 

While some WordPress websites are populated with static content, most have dynamic content in the form of membership websites, courses, eCommerce, and more.

3. Concatenation of Assets 

Concatenation is the method by which files are combined. For example, if you have ten CSS files from the theme and plugins on your website, you can serve just one file instead. This is done by combining the ten CSS files into one.

This allows the user’s browser to not have to deal with, and serve, so many individual requests.. 

With the advent of HTTP2, this is of less importance than it used to be. But it’s still a good feature to have. 

4. Support

Caching can be daunting, and if you’re stuck on a problem it would be nice to know there’s a friendly professional willing to help you. 

That’s why you may prefer to use a premium caching plugin over a free caching plugin. You’re more likely to get real-life support with whatever issues you run into. 

5. Pricing 

As there are so many different caching plugins, there’s also an array of pricing strategies. In fact caching, plugins can be free or cost $100 and more. 

It’s important to evaluate each plugin carefully. Paying more doesn’t necessarily equate to getting a better plugin, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee a faster website. 

The more you understand caching, the better prepared you will be to find the best plugin for your website. The WordPress Caching Essential Guide will provide you with more details on what will work for you.

The Best WordPress Caching Plugins of 2022

For each of these recommended plugins, you’ll learn important pros and cons, as well as pricing info and a summary of how the plugin performs.

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is one of the most popular caching plugins in the world, now powering in excess of 1.2 million websites. 

Created by the team at WP Media, the plugin gained a legion of loyal fans thanks to its clean interface and easy-to-use setup wizard. 

Pros of WP Rocket

Apart from the beautiful interface, there’s also a lot else to like about WP Rocket, including: 

  • Cache preloading: Pre-load your cache and make your website fly
  • WooCommerce support: Support for the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress
  • Built-in lazy loading: Rather than load all the images at once, only load the images that are in the current viewport of the user
  • Easy to use setup wizard: Configure WP Rocket in just a few clicks

Cons of WP Rocket

There aren’t many cons to using WP Rocket. The main con is that it’s available as a premium plugin only. There’s no free version to get a feel of how it works and if it’s the WordPress caching plugin for you. 

There is, however, a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

WP Rocket Pricing

The premium pricing is based on the number of websites, rather than restricting features across the plans. 

  • $49/year for 1 site
  • $99/year for 3 sites
  • $249/year for unlimited sites

Pretty simple.

Our Opinion on WP Rocket

WP Rocket is one of our favorite caching plugins. While being available as a premium-only plugin may put some people off, it’s well worth the asking price. And it’s an easy-to-use plugin for developers and beginners alike. 

Swift Performance/Swift Performance Lite

About Swift Performance 

Swift Performance was recently voted as the Best Free Plugin and has continued to draw attention since it first made a splash on nearly every WordPress Facebook group you could think of when it was first released, quickly becoming used by thousands of users worldwide. 

Pros of Swift Performance 

It really is the swiss army knife of WordPress caching plugins coming with more features than you ever need. Which is perfect for the person who likes to tinker and squeeze the most performance from their WordPress website. 

Also, there’s a rather nifty feature called “Swift Organizer” which allows you to disable plugins on specific pages and only use them where they are needed. 

Perfect for those plugins that seem to load all their assets on every page like Contact Form 7. 

Cons of Swift Performance 

If you take a gander at the WordPress.org reviews you’ll see some users have a negative support experience and while that can be the case with any WordPress it seems more of a trend with Swift Performance. 

Oftentimes users are left hanging and just told to buy Pro which of course every plugin developer has to eat but overall if you offer a free version of a plugin it’s a good idea to offer even limited support. 

Swift Performance Pricing 

There’s a free version of Swift Performance called “Swift Performance Lite,” which is available on WordPress.org. 

Then there’s the pro version of Switch Performance which is priced as so:

  • $49.99 for 1 site/year
  • $99.99 for 4 sites/year.
  • $239.99 for unlimited sites/year.

Notice that all licenses renew annually.

Our Opinion on Swift Performance? 

Swift Performance is a good WordPress caching plugin. However, we prefer WP Rocket and Hummingbird over Swift Performance. 

About Swift Performance 

Swift Performance made a splash on nearly every WordPress Facebook group you could think of when it was first released, quickly becoming used by thousands of users worldwide. 

For a short period of time, it was removed from the WordPress.org repository although it made a swift return (ok we’ll stop with the jokes). 

Pros of Swift Performance 

It really is the swiss army knife of WordPress caching plugins coming with more features than you ever need. Which is perfect for the person who likes to tinker and squeeze the most performance from their WordPress website. 

Also, there’s a rather nifty feature called “Swift Organizer” which allows you to disable plugins on specific pages and only use them where they are needed. 

Perfect for those plugins that seem to load all their assets on every page like Contact Form 7. 

Cons of Swift Performance 

If you take a gander at the WordPress.org reviews you’ll see some users have a negative support experience and while that can be the case with any WordPress it seems more of a trend with Swift Performance. 

Oftentimes users are left hanging and just told to buy Pro which of course every plugin developer has to eat but overall if you offer a free version of a plugin it’s a good idea to offer even limited support. 

Swift Performance Pricing 

There’s a free version of Swift Performance called “Swift Performance Lite,” which is available on WordPress.org. 

Then there’s the pro version of Switch Performance which is priced as so:

  • $39.99 for 1 site.
  • $99.99 for 4 sites.
  • $199.99 for unlimited sites.

All licenses renew annually.

Our Opinion on Swift Performance? 

Swift Performance is a good WordPress caching plugin. However, we prefer WP Rocket and Hummingbird over Swift Performance. 

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache was once one of the most (if not THE most) popular caching plugins for WordPress. However, it had a rough time a couple of years ago when support requests went unanswered.

At that time, even paying customers couldn’t get any help. 

In turn, they racked up over 400 1-star reviews on WordPress.org.

Subsequently, BoldGrid (a specialist WordPress company) acquired W3 Total Cache in 2019. Since that time, it’s been back on the top of the list with more timely support. 

Pros of W3 Total Cache

There’s a wide range of features in W3 Total Cache. These are some of the best:

  • WP-CLI support: This one is geeky and aimed at developers, but still pretty cool nonetheless
  • AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) support: Support for Google AMP out of the box
  • Works in all server environments: No matter if you’re a die-hard Apache fan or you prefer your Nginx. Whichever platform is your cup of tea, W3 Total Cache will work with it

Cons of W3 Total Cache

Using W3 Total Cache can sometimes seem a bit more like you’re in the early 2000s rather than 2022. It’s also not that easy to navigate and can be confusing for a beginner user, making it easier to incorrectly configure.

Overall, the Pro version is confusing to buy. You can only buy it through the free version of W3 Total Cache, and there are no discounts based on the number of sites you have. 

W3 Total Cache Pricing 

The free version of W3 Total Cache is available on WordPress.org. The premium version of W3 Total Cache will cost $99/year, per site, with no discount on multiple site licenses. 

Our Opinion About W3 Total Cache

While it has a bit of a bumpy past, W3 Total Cache is now back on track and can still compete with any of the other WordPress caching plugins on the market. 

An older style interface may not scream “easy to use,” but it still has everything you’d need in a caching plugin. And that holds true even with the free version. 

Hummingbird 

Compared to the other caching plugins, Hummingbird is a fresh-faced youngster. It’s built by the team at WPMU DEV, who certainly knows a thing or two about plugins and speed. After all, they are behind the popular image compression plugin called Smush.

Pros of Hummingbird

Hummingbird has two main selling points:

  • It’s built and supported by a team of WordPress experts that offer 24/7 support. No matter how complex your site is, they’ll help you get up and running
  • Scan & Fix Functionality: If you’ve ever broken your website when configuring a caching plugin, you understand how frustrating it is. That’s where Scan & Fix comes. It will scan your website for caching configuration conflicts and automatically attempt to resolve them for you

Cons of Hummingbird

Overall there aren’t a lot of downsides to using Hummingbird. The interface is fresh and modern, and there are a variety of features. 

If anything can be said negatively about Hummingbird, it’s that there are too many features that can seem daunting to a WordPress newbie.

Hummingbird Pricing 

There’s the free version of Hummingbird available on WordPress.org. 

Then there’s the premium version of Hummingbird, which is available in a wide array of plans starting at $60/year (one site) and going up to as much as $990/year for their Agency plan with unlimited websites. This is the full WPMU DEV membership, which includes hosting, a variety of pro plugins, and even live chat support. 

Our Opinion on Hummingbird

Hummingbird may be newer to the game, but it’s backed by one of the best development teams in WordPress. And it’s jam-packed with features and functionality. 

WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache

About WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache is another extremely popular caching plugin boosting over a million active installs on WordPress.org. 

It’s one of our favorites thanks to its ease of use and simplicity. It doesn’t come with all the fancy bells and whistles of other caching plugins which for some is exactly what they’re after. 

Pros of WP Fastest Cache

It has to be the no-thrills ease of use. It does exactly what a caching plugin should do and doesn’t come with a ton of extra features like other plugins. Making the experience of using WP Fastest Cache a pleasure and one of the easiest plugins to use for the beginner user. 

Cons of WP Fastest Cache

The user interface could do with improving to be more intuitive to use but that’s about it. 

WP Fastest Cache Pricing 

There’s a free version of WP Fastest Cache available on WordPress.org.

Then there’s also a premium version of WP Fastest Cache which is priced at:

  • $49.99 for 1 site.
  • $125 for 3 websites.
  • $175 for 5 websites.

Unlike most WordPress plugins WP Fastest Cache is a one-time payment with updates for life, so you don’t have a yearly expense as you do with WP Rocket. 

Our Opinion on WP Fastest Cache?

An easy-to-use caching plugin that does it exactly what it needs to and nothing more combined with a friendly-to-the-wallet licensing structure.

Wrapping Up

WordPress caching plugins don’t have to be difficult to use or set up. In fact, quite often, they are simpler to use than their interfaces would lead you to believe. 

The most important thing to remember is to avoid using more than one caching plugin, as it can cause unintended consequences and issues on your website.

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Best WordPress Caching Plugins of 2022

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