My TOP 3 WordPress cache plugins in 2020:
Just a short straight-to-the-point review of my main 3 choices, why I like them, and where I would use them.
1. Swift Performance (FREE & PRO)
Swift Performance cache is best for BLOAT MITIGATION
- Cheap client?
- Cheap server?
- Bloated site?
Swift is my go-to for sites with few pages, low-budget clients, or crappy server environments. The more bloated your site, the more Swift truly shines. Get the PRO version and this little swiss army knife unpacks like 20 more features. There are so many clever tiny little site-optimization methods you can do with this plugin.
Drawbacks to Swift?
- Yes, Swift can be buggy on some sites. It has been mostly drama-free for me. But I do not recommend this as a plugin where you can install blindly on 100 sites and think you’ll never have to go through them again.
- Swift can be too technical for inexperienced users. (Also because people are stupid and mess with things they don’t understand.)
- Swift’s UI can be improved IMO. It doesn’t look as pretty or clean as other options.
When to use Swift FREE vs PRO?
- Start with FREE. If it does what you need and you like the results, don’t upgrade.
- Get PRO if you have over 300 pages, the compute API really speeds up the cache prebuild. PRO also comes with many other useful advanced features…but some do need skills to take full advantage.
My Swift guides:
- Swift Performance WordPress Cache Plugin – UNOFFICIAL GUIDE
- Swift Performance Lite – WordPress Cache Speed Plugin REVIEW
Try Swift Performance:
LiteSpeed cache plugin (FREE but you need LiteSpeed server)
LiteSpeed is best for ENTERPRISE CACHING
- Many pages?
- Tons of traffic?
- Critical site?
If you’ve got a massive site with tons of traffic, LiteSpeed is absolutely the best choice. It’s super solid, will never give you any bugs or problems and chock full of granular caching and site optimization features. While Swift shines at optimizing common problem areas for poorly-built sites, LiteSpeed shines at optimizing advanced areas for big sites. Big sites with high traffic and many different kinds of users and content will appreciate LiteSpeed’s caching options. LiteSpeed is wonderful for professionally-built sites that are more focused on speeding content delivery rather than focused on correcting poor code.
Drawbacks to LiteSpeed?
- You need to be on LiteSpeed server. While you can use the plugin on non-LiteSpeed servers, its caching functions won’t work (but its page optimization functions still can). They do have plans to full caching function even on non-LS servers, but it’s not ready yet.
- While it’s beautifully designed and documented with easy-to-understand descriptions, it can still feel too technical for newbies. It also has many features and you might not be sure what you do and don’t need.
When to use LiteSpeed?
- Because it doesn’t enable cache prebuild out of the box unless you have server-crawler on, I don’t recommend it for low traffic sites. You should have at least a couple hundred hits a day (or even a couple thousand) to really feel how magical this plugin is.
- Also great for huge sites with thousands of pages. Its efficiency really shines for enterprise-level sites.
- You have logged-in users or and need to cache many bits of content differently depending on user type.
- You want object caching.
- You want to make use of LiteSpeed’s many other optimization features, especially the ones integrated from their free QUIC.cloud service.
- You’re a developer or admin and love the advanced features.
My LiteSpeed guides:
- LiteSpeed Cache WordPress Plugin – UNOFFICIAL GUIDE
- Why LiteSpeed Cache version 3.0 is the #1 cache plugin for me
Try LiteSpeed Cache:
- WP repository (free)
WP Rocket cache plugin (PRO only)
WP Rocket is best for SIMPLISTIC CACHING
- Don’t like overly-technical cache plugins?
- Scared of cache plugins breaking your site?
- Prefer reliability over features?
If you just want a cache plugin that doesn’t feel technical and works well, Rocket is your answer. It’s a great little plugin that’s well-designed and feels super friendly to use. Other cache plugins may feel like 50 settings, Rocket feels like only 5. It does work well and has just enough essential features to make it helpful for 95% of the websites out there. It usually works without any issue no matter what server environment.
Drawbacks to WP Rocket?
- It costs money. There’s no free version.
- Low on features and settings. Great for newbies, but non-exciting for advanced guys like myself.
When to use WP Rocket?
- You just want a simple cache plugin that works and has a few extra features.
- You like the simple UI, which makes you feel like you can’t make any mistakes.
My WP Rocket guides:
Try WP Rocket:
- Website (pro)
- WP Fastest Cache (free and pro) – works well. Been around a long time.
- FlyingPress (pro) – new premium one that’s designed and built well. Just needs time to mature.
- WP Performance (free) – a nice free one that works.
Yes, I’m aware of many others that work well enough too. I don’t list them because they’re either too simple (not much features) or don’t work well on a wide enough range of servers (e.g. some don’t work on Apache or NGINX, etc).