You’ve heard that adding a caching plugin to your WordPress site is one of the easiest ways to improve your site loading speeds. But how do caching plugins work? What features should you look at in a caching plugin? This guide to the best caching plugins for WordPress will answer these questions + analyze six great caching plugins to help you find the right one for your site.
Table of contents
What does a caching plugin do?
When someone visits a WordPress site that isn’t using caching, the server must send a request to the WordPress database and go through several processes to load each page. This can result in a less-than-optimal loading speed (remember, up to 87% of users will leave your site if it takes more than two seconds to load).
A caching plugin instructs your web server to memorize the pages of your site. When someone visits your site, the server loads these memorized copies into your browser. This allows it to skip the database and other related processes, loading your site in a fraction of the time.
What to look for in a caching plugin
The main thing to consider when you’re looking for a caching plugin is how quickly your site will load using this plugin. There are two main measurements you’ll want to know for this:
- Time To First Byte (TTFB). This is the amount of time it takes for the first piece of site data to load, usually a fraction of a second.
- Fully loaded. This is the amount of time it takes for your full site to load. The best caching plugins for WordPress can reduce this to a fraction of a second.
Some caching plugins might also offer other optimization features, like image optimization, code minification and other code optimization options, GZIP compression for optimal rendering, and heartbeat control to reduce server resources used by people working on the back end of your site.
Best caching plugins for WordPress
1. WP Rocket
Fully loaded: 0.307s
WP Rocket is a premium WordPress optimization plugin that offers top-notch browser and page caching, lazy loading for images and videos, a variety of code optimization tools, and heartbeat control.
Best of all, it’s flexible enough for people with all levels of coding experience to use. If you’re not super comfortable with the technology, all you need to do is activate it and 80% of web optimization best practices will be applied. If you’re more comfortable with advanced settings, you can create a custom configuration to further improve optimization.
👉 You can check out our WP Rocket review for more details.
WP Rocket offers the following features:
- Browser and page caching
- Lazy loading for videos and images
- GZIP compression
This article was written by diannalgunn and originally published on WPKube.