The slow loading of web pages of your WordPress-developed websites can hamper their rankings in major Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Also, it leads to inferior User Experience (UX) and disappointed website visitors. What can be the permanent fix to this problem? The installation of a WordPress cache plug-in is the sole requisite. This article will help you to assess the performance of a few of the ruling WordPress cache plug-ins on how they can enhance the page loading speed of a typical website.
What is a cache?
A cache is recognized as an assemblage of provisionally stored data that can be quickly accessed when requested. We all know that information is generally stored inside the hard disk of computers. Upon request of any data, the computer needs to execute several processes before presenting the sought information.
This issue of running multiple processes is solved through caching by which frequently requested information is processed and preserved in a temporary memory or storage place. This results in quick access to data by computers.
A similar concept can also be put into effect as far as WordPress-built websites are concerned. The main objective is to load websites more quickly and enhance their overall performance.
It is a well-known fact that WordPress is essentially a content management system (CMS). It is highly dynamic and flexible. Whenever a user pays a visit to a certain website, WordPress gathers all information from its database. Following this, it runs many more steps before the web page is directed to the browser used by the visitor.
This can cause a website to load sluggishly, especially when multiple users are accessing it simultaneously.
By attaching a cache plug-in to a WordPress site, it is possible to omit several steps. Rather than displaying web pages by following the sequence of all the steps every time, the cache plug-in keeps a copy of the web page in its storage or memory immediately after the initial load. It then offers the cached version to all users who visit the website subsequently.
How can slow page loading affect website performance?
As far as website loading time or web page speed are concerned, an increase in time by even a second can hugely impact the bottom line – more visitors and heightened conversions.
For instance, in the year 2012, Amazon predicted that a slower loading time of their website by just a single second could incur a substantial loss in sales by approximately $1.6 billion. The poorer the loading time of a website, the lesser are its odds to rank higher in major SERPs, thereby leading to an inferior conversion rate.
1. Diminution in conversion rates
Even though it is inconceivable to operate on a scale as gigantic as Amazon’s, still sluggish web page loading can cost you dearly. As per reports from Kissmetrics around 40% of websites, visitors lose patience and abandon it if its pages take more than 3 seconds to load and come into proper view. A delay in web page loading time by a mere 1 second can result in a reduction in conversions by about 7%.
Even if a particular website does not sell anything, still the company must have specific business goals to adhere to for presenting the website. These goals can be anything like increasing the number of email subscribers, social media shares, or simply boosting page views and user engagement via discussions. A slow-loading website will definitely and adversely impact the corresponding business’s conversion rates.
2. Subpar rankings on search engines
Google takes the loading speed of a web page into account while trying to determine where precisely to rank it in its SERPs. Therefore, if any business wants its website to rank on the front SERPs, it needs to considerably improve its website page loading time. In that way, the website secures increased visibility in Google’s SERPs, leading to the influx of more organic traffic and possibilities of conversions.
Regardless of a website’s actual purpose – whether for endorsing products and/or services or targeting an audience base – its ranking is very much affected because of increased bounce rates and decreased conversions.
How to improve the speed of a website?
The speed of a WordPress-built site can be increased in several ways. But, the simplest way to accomplish high speed is through the use of a cache plug-in. By just getting a cache plug-in activated, it is possible to stave off slower website loading times.
What is the function of a typical cache plug-in?
To put it briefly, cache plug-ins lend a helping hand to WordPress to make it work with added efficiency. By definition every time a visitor accesses a web page on a WordPress-designed site, an automatic and dynamic generation of content takes place. This involves the occurrence of many events at the backend which include lots of code executions and database queries.
The primary function of a cache plug-in is the creation of your content’s static version. It helps get rid of many intermediate, redundant steps that come into the scene during the dynamic generation of a page. This results in speedier web page loading times and more satisfied visitors.
Best WordPress Cache Plug-Ins
1. WP Rocket
Currently, it is the most powerful WordPress cache plug-in available in the market. It hosts a pack of really convenient features. It is extremely easy to use, especially for beginners as many users are not fully aware of the technical jargon used for various caching options. Thus, it is a big help.
It empowers users to cache their websites instantly with just one click. It has a built-in crawler that automatically collects WordPress-developed web pages for building up the cache. Next, the plug-in activates the cache settings recommended by WordPress. These settings include:
- Cache pre-loading
- GZIP compression
- Database optimization
- Browser caching
- Page cache
WP Rocket likewise comes up with extra optional features to further improve website performance. These optional features include:
- CDN support
- DNS pre-fetching
- Lazy loading images
- Minification and concatenation
2. W3 Total Cache
It is also looked at as a popular WordPress cache plug-in. The predominance of W3 Total Cache spreads on more than 1 million websites. When it comes to profound functionality, W3 Total Cache boasts of maximum options that any other plug-in could offer. It is so comprehensive that it may intimidate beginners. The tons of options served by W3 Total Plug-in include:
- Web page caching
- Opcode cache
- Database cache
- Object cache
- Browser cache
- GZIP compression
- CDN integration (for example, it fetches static files stored in CDN instead of the WordPress server and serves them)
- Fragment cache
The plug-in may appear to be a double-edged sword because of its innate complexities. Apart from offering the greatest number of functionalities, its configuration involves lots of complications. All the menu options have their own exhaustive settings area. Understanding all of them with thoroughness can be a bit overwhelming.
Therefore, W3 Total Cache can be an excellent option for considerable flexibility. You can seize total control of operating the cache plug-in for a typical WordPress-built site.
3. WP Super Cache
It is one of the strongest contenders of WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache. It is a free cache plug-in. The most striking advantage of WP Super Cache is its inherent simplicity. The caching functionality can be easily turned on, and the website is all set. It has received a great many recommendations from several top-notch WordPress hosting companies.
All recommended features related to caching meant for speeding up a website are supported by the WP Super Cache plug-in. This includes:
- GZIP compression
- Page cache
- Cache pre-loading
- CDN support
- Advanced cache preload
It consists of an elaborate settings section that has tabs separately designed for quick setup and configuration. But, at the same time, it is possible to have options for configuring some more comparatively advanced settings. WP Super Cache does not have functionality as deep as the other two above-mentioned plug-ins. You can execute the following actions.
- Remove specific content from the cache
- Have it integrated with a CDN
- Activate the functionality of the cache preloading
- Include browser caching
- Do configuration of several other minor settings
4. Cache Enabler
This particular cache plug-in is popular for its super simplicity. It comes from KeyCDN, one of the pioneers of CDN service. Akin to WP Super Cache, the remarkable thing about this plug-in is the simple manner in which it is operated. Virtually, anyone can execute the following tasks using it.
- Configure the cache expiration time period
- Fix the time to clear the cached content automatically, for instance, an automatic clearing of cache can be conducted as a designated task after a post is updated
- Choose the type of content to deny access to the cache
Even though the Cache Enabler plug-in is too simple to use, it is equally efficient in running many tests. Its performance is top-of-the-line. To obtain the most effective results it is recommended to use the combination of Cache Enabler and Autoptimize plug-in as the two work hand in hand. Autoptimize is likewise capable of managing minification and concatenation functionality.
5. Use Hosting In-Built Cache
Most of the company websites that are managed with WordPress hosting have built-in cache plug-in solutions. There is no need for them to latch on to any third-party plug-ins. When web hosting servers are cached they are capable of performing optimally by significantly reducing the load. The built-in caching framework is robust enough to allow the speedier loading of WordPress-designed websites.
6. Kinsta cache
It houses a caching mechanism that automatically leads to the purging of the cache when any update on a WordPress site is carried out. Kinsta cache can be integrated with the WP Rocket plug-in to bring about improvement in caching.
7. SiteGround Cache
This is one of the few services that offer sharing of web hosting with WordPress. It also possesses a built-in caching mechanism. SiteGround cache and Bluehost are two web hosting services that eliminate the need to have extra cache plug-ins.
By enabling SiteGround, the dynamic WordPress caching activated in websites will increase their loading speed anywhere between 50% and 500%. For website owners, SiteGround provides an extra option to collaborate and enable Memcache.
Also, the Brotli compression functionality of the SiteGround cache can enhance loading speed by 15% to 20%. In general, the caching process offered by SiteGround has improved considerably. Websites that are hosted on their platform do not need any cache plug-ins such as WP Rocket or others.
8. WP Engine Caching
When it comes to managed WordPress hosting companies WP Engine has an outstanding performance. The hosting plans offered by WP Engine are adjuncts to built-in caching and subsequent performance optimization.
The cache can be cleared from the admin dashboard of WordPress by just managing the settings. To do so simply click on its Main Menu, and go to the General Settings tab.
There is also a plug-in called WP Engine Advanced Cache. To make the most of advanced caching options, the need for installing and activating WP Engine Advanced Cache is imperative. It puts forward a few additional controls for handling any website-related WP Engine cache settings.
9. Bluehost Caching
Bluehost is a foremost managed WordPress hosting company. It is officially recommended by WordPress as one of its hosting providers. Its hosting plan includes a built-in caching process which can be enabled from the hosting admin dashboard.
10. Sucuri Firewall
When it comes to WordPress-supported firewalls there is nothing better than Sucuri. It is also a powerful security plug-in. In the form of a typical website firewall, Sucuri comes equipped with a built-in option for caching website content. It also facilitates GZIP compression with a single click.
Sucuri is the most successful firewall as far as websites are concerned. This is because the Sucuri firewall has an intrinsic DNS level. This means it can provide cached content to website visitors before their requests take them to the website. This ensures an incredible boost in the performance of the website.
It needs to be kept in mind that a decent cache plug-in is not an answer to several other website loading performance issues. Even though intelligent caching does play a pivotal part in accelerating any WordPress-enabled website, it is not an all-access pass to avoid or disregard all the other aspects involved in increasing the speed of the website.
it’s not a hall pass to ignore all the other parts of speeding up a WordPress site.
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