The best plugins to speed up your WordPress website in 2023
Published: January 19, 2023
Last updated: January 19, 2023
Table of Contents
Your website should load in under two seconds. This is the best way to deliver your content to customers and visitors with speed. If you find your website is loading in over two seconds, you may find that people run out of patience and click off your page. There are several ways you can lower your load speed. One of the most effective ways to do so is through something called caching.
In this article, we will explore the importance of caching and the best plugins you can use for caching your WordPress website in 2023.
What is website caching?
Caching is a way of delivering your website pages to your visitors more quickly. It helps to reduce the long-winded loading times caused by large websites that need time to fully load.
However, when you cache parts of your website, you are essentially asking for them to be saved to a separate location to help them load more quickly. This means that after a website is loaded for the first time, the browser will store the cached version for future reference. When a user returns to the website, the cached version will load more quickly.
Think of it like racing on a new race course. The first time you race on this course, you will probably be slow whilst you learn the course. You will start to learn the different elements of the course; including the turns, pit stops, and other key features. The next time you go to race on this course, you should have a much better understanding of where everything is and how to maneuver it. This will therefore increase your speed when racing.
This is what caching is. The process of saving website content for future use, so that when websites are loaded the next time it is quicker. The concept may sound tricky, and the details can be quite complex. However, when simplified, caching is an easy process to understand.
Ways to cache your website
There are many ways to cache a website. Whilst they may all seem similar, it’s useful to know the difference between the main three. The main ones are:
A site cache is when data (such as files and images) is stored temporarily upon a website’s first load. This means when the page is opened again, the data is readily available and will open more quicker.
When you have site caching active, it is fully dependent on the user’s end. Your only control is to set how long the cache remains in the user’s browser. Because of this, site caching is an ideal choice for websites with primarily static content. It is not as ideal for dynamic websites, where aspects such as shopping carts are in use. In terms of site caching, the best tool to use is a plugin. We will get onto the best plugins for website caching in a minute.
The web browser will use cached data to re-assemble your website upon a future load. The browser will store all this data, along with data from other websites, for a designated time – or until the browser cache is full. At this point, it will clear the cache in order to allow other, more recent caches to take its place. The browser user also has the option to manually clear the caches themselves.
Finally, we have server caching. One of the key differences between server caching and site caching is that is that the content is stored on your end, as the website owner. Furthermore, since this is done on the owner’s end, it is fully automatic from the user’s end.
To give an example, your server will store files of your website’s content and then displays them when a browser requests it. This will save the website from needing to generate new HTTP files for each new visit.
Now that you understand the various types of caching, let us take a look at how caching works within WordPress.
Caching in WordPress
As you should know by now, a cached page is generated for every page on your website, meaning that your visitors will be shown the cached version of your website on their browser.
Then, your installed WordPress caching plugins will work to quickly minimize how much data gets transferred through the user’s browser, WordPress database, and the website’s server. This helps to keep visitors for longer with quicker loading times.
Now, let’s look into the best WordPress caching plugins for your website.
1 – WP Rocket
When discussing the best caching plugins, it’s impossible not to mention WP Rocket. It combines some of the most advanced and powerful features with a simple and user-friendly database. This allows anyone to take advantage of the great attributes of WP Rocket, no matter their level of expertise. WP rocket will provide you with both page and browser caching. As well as providing lazyload (making elements of a site wait to load until they are needed to improve site speed). It also has an incredibly quick and easy setup process, allowing you to take advantage of its services as soon as possible. It is not only compatible with WordPress sites but also will support eCommerce stores just as well.
The only catch with WP Rocket is the price tag that comes with it. Whilst there are other caching plugins available, none of them are as extensive and featured-packed as WP Rocket. They currently offer 3 different priced plans, all of which come with included support. The prices and details of these plans can be seen below:
2 – Cache Enabler
Whilst it is a fairly simple plugin, it will do the job perfectly for those who may find a big dashboard and many different settings overwhelming. There shouldn’t be a single WordPress user who doesn’t understand it’s settings.
3 – WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is another free caching plugin that comes highly recommended by WordPress Hosting companies for those on a budget. It includes all the expected features that a caching plugin should have, including gzip compression and cache pre-load. However, it only provides page caching, whereas other plugins out there will include other forms of caching. Nevertheless, It is a great option with the expansive and easy-to-navigate settings tabs.
4 – WP Fastest Cache
5 – Sucuri Firewall
Sucuri comes in as a left-field option, as technically it is a security and firewall plugin. One of Sucuri’s many built-in features is the ability to use their cache, and also to enable gzip compression. The best part is that all of this can be done with the click of one button. You may be wondering if Sucuri works as a decent security plugin as well as a caching one – and the answer is an easy yes. Sucuri is a DNS-level firewall, and this means that your cache content can be delivered to your users before the request is received from their browser. This is a fantastic way to get your website’s speed up and give your website a great performance boost.
If you choose to go with one of the other plugins on this list, but are still in need for security for your website, take a look at The Elite Web Co’s., Security packages. From just
- Protects one website.
- Firewall prevents hackers.
- SSL certificate included in firewall.
- Malware scanning.
- Annual site cleanup and remediation.
6 – LiteSpeed Cache
LiteSpeed Cache is a top-rated plugin, with a 5-star score on the WordPress directory. It had a host of brilliant features, including lazyload. However, there is a slight catch with the pricing of the plugin. This is because the plugin itself is free, you need to use a LiteSpeed web server to utilize the caching features. However, once you have purchased it then you will be rewarded with lightning-fast loading times courtesy of the caching. Although, if you already own hosting, this one may not be the best option for you.
Your website is a powerful tool, and you should now know the importance of keeping it healthy and quick, and how caching can contribute to this. I also hope you have found a caching plugin to suit your needs, whether you wish to pay for a premium extension, or if you’re on a budget, then have found the best way to use great caching without having to shell out for it.
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