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Best caching plugins for WordPress 2021

Last updated on October 13, 2021 | By

Speed and Core Web Vitals are now a ranking algorithm and caching is an essential piece of website speed optimization.

To help improve your website speed, we choose the best available caching plugins for WordPress 2021.

Understanding caching: What is it

In computing, caching refers to the act of storing a subset of data, generally in fast access hardware, so that future requests for that data are served up faster than is possible by accessing the data’s primary storage location. Caching allows you to efficiently reuse previously retrieved or computed data.

Font: https://aws.amazon.com/caching

When using caching on WordPress, your visitor will have a better user experience after first navigating your website and subsequently having a cached version that will load faster. Depending on the cache solution you’re using the loading will be faster.

How to check if your page website is cached?

You can use Pagespeed; run a test. If your website results come with the warning “Leverage Browser Caching” for files from your domain(local files), you need to check if the cache is set up correctly or set up the cache.

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You can also test using seositecheckup Page Cache test tool.

Top 5 best WordPress caching plugins

Before choosing a cache solution, consider checking if the plugin is compatible with your hosting provider and/or fully compatible with all your currently installed plugins.

Wp Rocket

Wp Rocket is an open-source developed plugin and possibly the most popular cache plugin of WordPress.

Wp Rocket is a plugin with strong technical documentation, detailing each of its features with a page including examples, and in some features, it adds issues debugging, with a guide of how to solve the issues. Alongside its strong and immense development community, covering the most edge cases from regular WordPress users.

Leader in the cache performance, it has lots of new features released to help improving Core Web Vitals, including remove unused CSS and delaying all Javascript but not essential ones by default.

If you haven’t bought Wp Rocket yet, consider using my reflink for a +10% discount.

FunctionalityWp Rocket
Caching✔️
Delay JS until user-interaction✔️
CDN(Rocket CDN $8/month)
Critical CSS✔️
Cloudflare integration✔️
Database Optimization✔️
Lazyload + Image Optimization + WebP(Imagify $10/mo)
HTML/CSS/JS minification & compression✔️
DNS prefetching, preloading✔️
Remove unused CSS✔️(beta)

Nitropack

Nitropack is a plugin offering freemium services and a paid version, that aims to improve the Pagespeed of your WordPress website.

Nitropack WordPress solution offers integrated CDN and an all-in-one plugin for increasing or improving Pagespeed and speed score. We take a depth look at Nitropack features and summarize some of its initial setup, including all 5 Nitropack optimization levels.️‍

Nitropack optimization levels settings

NItropack offers 5 optimization levels, one of them which is manual, allowing to set up manually all of the Nitropack options. For testing Nitropack, enable the “Safe Mode” and test the pages optimized adding ?testnitro=1 to your URLs.

Remove any plugins with overlapping features, such as lazy load or cache, to avoid issues. Also, check for incompatible plugins.

FunctionalityNitropack
Caching✔️
Delay JS until user-interaction✔️
CDN✔️
Critical CSS✔️
Cloudflare integration✔️
Database Optimization
Lazyload + Image Optimization + WebP✔️
HTML/CSS/JS minification & compression✔️
DNS prefetching, preloading✔️
Remove unused CSS ✔️ (Reduce Unused CSS)

Wp Optimize

Wp Optimize is a plugin alternative to free cache plugins, and also a strong competitor for paid WordPress performance and cache plugins.

On the free version, Wp Optimize offers unique features that directly improve the Pagespeed such as loading css asynchronously and better Google fonts/Font Awesome loading, alongside so popular as CSS/JS minification, combination and others.

It also offers Mobile-specific cache, Database Optimization, Image Optimization which are features most seen on paid cache/performance plugins, on the free version.

Wp Optimize Premium features

One of the main features of Wp Optimize premium is lazy loading and image compressing, which are very low appealing since there’s a lot of free plugins that offer such features.

Another feature labeled as premium of Wp Optimize that can be done with free plugins is “Preload key requests”, but that could be hard for a newbie, or a non-developer person.

The remaining features of Wp optimize premium are as follow:

  • Multisite support
  • Advanced optimization options
  • Optimize individual tables
  • Scheduling
  • Enhanced logging and reporting
  • Multilingual and multi-currency compatible caching
  • Geolocation and tax country for WooCommerce stores
  • Compatible with tracking queries (utm_*)
  • Automatically purge Cloudflare cache
  • Power Tweaks
  • Premium support
  • Wp Optimize can be used alongside other plugins such as Flying Scripts and Jetpack Boost to complement the features missing, and improve Core Web Vitals/Pagespeed.

Cloudflare APO

Cloudflare currently offers Automatic Platform Optimizations (APO) for 5$ USD/mo, and it caches the HTML of your WordPress website. This is possible due to Cloudflare Workers that cache dynamic content. Cloudflare APO can also improve First Contentful Paint(FCP) and Speed Index.

Cloudflare APO is compatible with WP Rocket and many other plugins, check the compatibility here.

Read more about Cloudflare APO here or here.

Autoptimize

A free plugin offering a range of optimization features including basic and advanced features:

  • Minify Javascript and CSS.
  • Compress and combine Javascript and CSS.
  • Cache.
  • Preload and preconnect.
FunctionalityAutoptimize
Caching✔️
Lazyload✔️
HTML/CSS/JS minification & compression✔️
DNS prefetching, preloading✔️

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