WP rocket is a kick-ass premium plugin that just does the job well and without hassle. A lot of cheap Charlies will not give WP Rocket a second look in after they realise that there is no free flavor. But people who have been developing with WordPress long enough know that paying extra for the support, comprehensive documentation, constant updates and patches (2-3 updates per month) and something that was built with a bit more professionalism behind it is sometimes just worth it.
WP Rocket definitely falls unders into the “worth it” bracket if paying $49 per year (single site price as of publishing. see others) for something that will pay for itself a thousand times over in increased sales, is a breeze to set up, and on the unlikely occasion it does cause you bother then you have a team of technical support ready to jump in and fix it.
It’s fantastically feature rich with an array of lovely extras to top the regular toppings, such as image and database optimisation and a lazyload feature.
Though there may be no free trial, there is a 14-day money back guarantee that you can take advantage of if you don’t mind dropping the money upfront to sample it.
W3 Total Cache Pro lines up pretty well with WP Rocket in performance and reliability. But the price for a single site license is $99 per year and if you plan on purchasing a premium caching plugin for multiple sites then you definitely want to look elsewhere as a multi-site license for W3 Total Cache Pro does not exist.
With that in mind, we’ll stick with looking at the free version of W3 Total Cache which is a properly solid option when it comes to free plugins to get your site caching away.
With over 1 million users, it’s got a reputation for doing what it does well.
Obviously, the free version doesn’t come with the complete suite of features. But for the majority of people, the free version will be comprehensive enough, possibly overwhelming thanks to it’s infamously advanced backend.
You can expect features like server side and browser caching, object caching, CDN integration and the added advantage of being optimised to work extremely well with SSL helps massively with eCommerce sites.
Another free and open source solution for your caching needs provided by KeyCDN. Again, don’t expect what you would from a premium plugin but know that you are definitely getting more than your money’s worth.
The interface is super simple, making it ideal for people who just want a 5 minute set and forget setup process that bumps their page performance.
If you have to pick the king of free WordPress caching plugins then it would definitely be a battle between WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. In any search or list of top competitors, you will always find these guys. Just do a search of the WordPress plugin page for caching plugins and you will see (as of writing) that WP Super Cache actually has the most installs.
This plugin comes with three different modes. The first, and probably applicable to most members, is the simply named ‘Simple Mode’. This mode is set up to get most people up and running off the line with it’s default settings. If you do need to twiddle with something then everything is kept super simple with an easy to navigate, minimalist interface.
There also is an Expert Mode where you can make some more advanced changes including editing your .htaccess file and other things that most people should just leave alone!
Expect this plugin to compress and cache your pages for quick delivery while also providing CDN support to deliver top performance all over the planet.
This plugin also does an exceptional job of automatically keeping on top of it’s mess, regular going through the cache files and deleting the ones that are no longer of use, saving server resources and stopping the eventual chugging along that filling up your memory with redundant files can cause. Nearly all plugins have a way to manually do this, but it’s much better when the plugin maintains itself!
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