Update 20 Jan 2019: hyper cash Now again being actively developed. Thus, it is back as my #1 go-to WP Cache plugin. change marked green,
This blog post was originally posted only 4 years ago. WordPress cache plugin options have changed a lot since then. As such, I am updating this list of the 5 best WordPress plugins.
Are you already using the WordPress Cache plugin? I have tried several WordPress caching plugins over the years and after much testing, I have been able to narrow down the options which I believe are the best WordPress caching plugins currently available.
The problem with most WordPress cache plugins is that they store cache on disk In college and/or use .htaccess mod_rewrite. Even if you move .htaccess rules in Apache, you must also disable AllowOverride (AllowOverride none). according to apache docs,
“When AllowOverride is set to allow the use of .htaccess files, httpd [Apache] Will look in each directory for .htaccess files. Thus, allowing .htaccess files affects performance, whether you even actually use them or not! Also, the .htaccess file is loaded every time a document is requested.
With that in mind, here’s my . is Updates List of Best WordPress Cache Plugins:
1.87 MB 2.2 MB)
This plugin might be faster. The operative word is “can” as this is not the case with some setups. There are several ways to incorrectly configure this plugin. Please don’t read too much into that statement yet. I’ve had blog owners complain to me that W3 Total Cache has “slowed down their blogs”. To troubleshoot, I used curl to test and several times confirmed W3 Total Cache as the problem. But, this only happens if the plugin is configured incorrectly. For example blog owners who go crazy to enable all the features on disk. Just go to Google and start typing: w3 total cache sl … you’ll see what pops up first. 🙂 Also, once you start loading all those features notice how fast the .htaccess file grows. You really should move all .htaccess rules into Apache’s config. Due to this, I would say that W3 Total Cache is not for the average user, but it is clear that with almost 4 million downloads it is used by almost everyone.
– Allows storage for Memcached and Redis.
– Multiple performance options beyond caching. (carefully)
– Depends on .htaccess for most of the features to work.
— sounds bloated, especially if you have server root access and only need WordPress caching.
(Download Size: 0.37 MB)
A cross between WP Super Cache and the increasingly W3 Total Cache-like. Older versions of 2014/2015 offered more freebies without the premium bloat (see screenshot here) However, unlike the other plugins listed you cannot download previous versions viaDevelopers(Update: It’s been added, so you can go back to version 8.6.) Nevertheless, it’s listed here because it’s not a paid-only plugin and the core core is basically still intact.
– easy to setup
– Very actively supported and developed.
– also depends on .htaccess
– at a low price customer support,
#3 WP Rocket (Would be #1 if there was a free cash-only version)
0.90MB 2.0 MB)
This is a paid plugin with no free option, I have used WP Rocket since May 2016 until about a week ago. Its very powerful all-in-one plugin. Similar to W3 Total Cache but easier to configure and it won’t slow down your site if you check or select a few options. Also uses .htaccess. There is no substitute for Memcache or Redis.
Note: This blog is using WP Rocket + Nginx,
– easy to setup
– great support!
– Offers wide compatibility with third party themes and plugins.
– All-in-one with options for Cloudflare, CDN, Varnish, Opcache, minify, preloading, and more.
— with Apache Server, depends on .htaccess
– No free version! (The plugin could have been free only for a cache-related feature and then charged for support or a pro version with more features.)
0.88 MB 0.93 MB)
Update: Since this list was originally posted, WP Super Cache has changed PHP caching to a “recommended” option for caching. Glad to see that the PHP caching method is now recommended over mod_rewrite/.htaccess!
Allows the use of PHP for caching instead of .htaccess, although like others it
Offers to store cache only on disk, It’s interesting that WP Super Cache has been downloaded a million more times than W3 Total Cache, but has half the number of WordPress support forum threads. Yes, this plugin is very hard to misconfigure and is faster than the default WordPress one, no matter what setup you choose. If you’re going to use mod_rewrite make sure all .htaccess lines are moved to Apache’s config and AllowOveride is disabled. Otherwise, I recommend sticking to the PHP method instead. It is important to remember that WP Super Cache was first released 11 years ago When PHP 5.2 and PHP 5.1 were the most popular versions of PHP… oh!! Since then, with each new version, PHP has significantly improved in performance (Much more now with PHP 7!) and opcode caching is being used by default.
If the shortcomings below are addressed, WP Super Cache will probably become my #1 plugin. Get rid of all the bloat and redesign/simplify the GUI.
– easy to setup
– Very fast when configured correctly.
– Can be used without .htaccess by selecting Cache using PHP. (recommended)
– they have also added a disk cache location option (or tmpfs eg /dev/shm)
– No option to save cache to memory. – The glossary of options and some of the suggestions are a bit out of date.
— Too many plugins/addons that are not useful.
(download size 0.05 MB)
This is a fast, simple WordPress cache plugin. It’s been around for many years and still doesn’t fall into the trap of being too bloated unlike many others.
— very light at <50kB!
– Very fast by default!
– Kissing principle. (Easy)
– Not the best user interface.
Best WordPress Cache Plugin 2019: Conclusion
If you are looking for a WordPress cache plugin that mainly focuses on caching WordPress, then go with this hyper cash, If you are looking for a WordPress cache plugin that offers additional performance features, go with the time-tested king WP Super Cache or pay WP Rocket, Never mind, avoid using .htaccess can’t stress this enough (not a problem for those using Nginx instead of Apache).
At the end of the day almost all plugins get monetized in some way or the other. However, most have free versions forever. I’m a little disappointed that’s not the case with WP Rocket. I believe if there was a free lite version they would eventually sell more copies of the full plugin. Not a free trial, but a caching-focused free version listed in the official wordpress plugin directory, As mentioned this blog is already powered by WP Rocket + Nginx.
I believe the next plugin to be ranked #1 will be a paid plugin with a free version, as well as customized versions. By this I mean, a paid plugin that allows you to download only the features you need. So in my case there would be settings for Varnish, DB Clean, Lazy Load, Sucuri, or any other bloat I don’t use. A plugin compiled with only the features you choose! Will update this post in the next 2 years.
How to Force Your WordPress Cache Plugin to Cache in RAM Remember that you can save the WordPress cache (the folder called tmpfs. carefully!!! Don’t try it until you understand what’s going on! It’s probably best to disable your cache plugin first. Also, check the contents of /wp-content/cache/ to make sure you know what you’re moving. First we mount the WordPress cache directory from disk to tmpfs (server memory). The command requires root privileges:
mount -t tmpfs -o size=1G tmpfs /full/path/to/wp-content/cache Next, clear your WordPress plugin’s cache, if still enabled. then edit it to be consistent on reboot /etc/fstab and add this at the end:
tmpfs /full/path/to/wp-content/cache tmpfs defaults, size=1G 0 0
,This is not necessary as the Linux kernel will cache the memory anyway.
If you find this post helpful, comments and questions are welcome. If you’re looking for more WordPress and web server performance and scalability, or want to optimize the performance of other web applications such as Magento, Drupal, Joomla, etc… send me a note.