W3 Total Cache Average: 1.50 s W3 Total Cache is the most feature-rich (and complicated) caching plugin on our list. Cache plugins should be reliable! This is just the first part (“General Settings”)…. But so does WP Rocket :). W3 Total Cache does not have options for lazy loading or database cleanup – 2 things that can significantly improve load times. See My Full WP Rocket Configuration Tutorial, Both WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache support Cloudflare AND additional CDNs. For many websites you will see even better results, but still… 100ms x (2,000 visitors/day) x (30 days in a month) = 1.7 hours my visitors don’t have to wait for my site to load each month! Flywheel - WordPress Hosting For Designers. WP Rocket is one of the best caching plugins for WordPress there is, although it’s premium only, if you ask just one support ticket it’ll still be far cheaper than the “free” W3 Total Cache if you need support. In addition to page caching, you get lots of other helpful tweaks, such as: To make this a fair comparison, I’m going to only run the tests with minification enabled (as I did with W3 Total Cache). And good luck trying to configure the W3 Total Cache settings (luckily I have a tutorial for that) but it’s still pretty complicated. Overall while WP Rocket is targeted at these main groups, in our opinion, it’s suitable for all, from beginners to experts, entrepreneurs to large multinational companies, and everyone in between. WP Rocket is light years ahead in the support and documentation game when compared to W3 Total Cache, there really is no competition here. As we’ve covered in our other caching articles that are a range of caching methods available, including: As you’d expect from one of the best caching plugins for WordPress, WP Rocket comes with two of the most essential caching options, page caching and browser caching. WP Rocket includes a range of database optimization options including: These options allow you to quickly and easily clean up your database in just a click! There was also a time the plugin wasn’t updated for almost 3 years and everyone thought it was abandoned. One thing WP Rocket doesn’t include is Database caching, this is both a positive and a negative, we know an oxymoron right? Using multiple CDNs is great for high-traffic websites as it makes it more reliable, and faster as you are able to leverage each CDN’s data centers. I understand network latency can vary the results, but it’s the best I could do. Today W3 Total Cache powers over a million websites, improving their website speed for free. WP Rocket has both of these built-in, otherwise you would have to use a whopping 3 extra plugins to have these features (Lazy Load For Videos, BJ Lazy load for lazy loading images/iframes, and WP-Optimize for cleaning your database). WP Rocket on the other hand is easy to use. As soon as you activate the plugin, it automatically starts using page caching! This allows almost anyone to set up the plugin in a matter of minutes. After all, that’s why we built Astra. It doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a small business owner, in fact, you’re more likely to! Our editorial team at Astra is a group of experts led by the co-founder of Brainstorm Force, Sujay Pawar. We'll only publish comments that are on topic and adhere to our Commenting Policy. All that’s in the past now, though. We can confirm page caching does indeed work! Your email address and website URL will not be published. Just make sure you are minifying and combining files, setting up CDNs, and testing your settings for optimal load times and to avoid breaking your site. In my testing I find WP-Rocket performance to be better than W3 Total cache and what I liked most about WP-Rocket is it’s easy to setup. Beyond raw page load times, caching plugins can also help to scale your site, so it will be interesting to see if the caching plugins can smooth out the Load Impact chart for Bluehost. Caching still won’t make your $3.50-per-month hosting look like $35-per-month hosting. W3 Total Cache isn’t as easy to use as WP Rocket, the interface isn’t as straightforward, and there’s a myriad of options, settings, buttons and interface elements that may not be that clear to all. Here are our speed results for WP Rocket: And here are our speed results for W3 Total Cache: As you can see, WP Rocket produces fewer requests and smaller page size, but W3 Total Cache makes our website significantly quicker than WP Rocket does. What’s more, the payoff might not even be worth it for you when you consider how other, simpler plugins can also make big improvements. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about Tom and the story of Online Media Masters. 11. Your email address will not be published. In the plugin admin settings there’s a support tab menu item, clicking that shows you the support form like this: You can ask a billing question, a sales question, submit a bug report and finally suggest a new feature for free, but everything else is a paid option. W3 Total Cache was acquired by BoldGrid, who has dedicated the time and resources needed to get the plugin back on track. A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a series of servers that are located all around the world. There’s been drama in recent years with at one point the project looking like it was abandoned by its one and only developer, with support requests going unanswered and paid for work not done. WP Rocket is a premium plugin, whereas W3 Total Cache is free, so you are quite literally getting what you pay for. All righty, with all that explanation out of the way, let’s get into the data! Yet they were different, different how? Your support would help and I genuinely appreciate it. The biggest traffic spikes start around the time when there are 40 active visitors, and continue until the end. When it comes to speeding up your WordPress site, using a good WordPress caching plugin is one of the most popular tips you’ll see. Where many other caching plugins seemed to like to play a game called “who can build the most confusing plugin,” WP Rocket took a step back, simplified the process, and helped users of all abilities build stunningly fast websites. And with more tinkering of the settings and other speed-up methods, we’re confident WP Rocket would provide similar results. Your results seem a little odd. We then installed the caching plugin, run multiple speed tests, and took the median value. It has been top tuned and is my preferred cache plugin every time! The settings for each option are kept straightforward overall, except for the CDN settings, as we’ve covered above. Your email address will not be published. The ten-plus second spike happened a little later this time, at around 43 active visitors. To help you to see how everything compares, here’s the average GTmetrix load time for each test situation (remember, this is the average from eight separate tests on two separate days): First, there are two obvious conclusions: Then there are the caching plugins themselves…. However, WP Super Cache was right on its tail at 1.86 seconds. However, in comparison with other free plugins, this one comes out on top. Both WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache support multilingual WordPress plugins. iThemes - Themes, Plugins and Heaps More... ThemeTrust - Beautiful, Easy-to-Use Themes. And in our recent tests where we compared 15 WordPress caching plugins, it performed the best out of them all and still made our site faster than any other caching plugin, including WP Rocket! Overall there’s not much difference between the two plugins when it comes to this apart from which plugin you already use to translate. Winner? Available for free and with a comprehensive feature set, however, the lack of support options, expensive support and minimal/no documentation means that it may not be for everyone. Both plugins are worthy of your website, but ultimately any contest can only have one winner. And when I ran it through Load Impact, I got the same ten-plus second load times around the 40-visitor mark (for some reason, Load Impact changed the colors on this graph. SiteGround was rated #1 in multiple Facebook polls. WP Rocket has more speed optimization features than W3 Total Cache (database cleanup, hosting Google Analytics locally, heartbeat control, prefetching fonts, etc). WP Rocket, we’re not fans of requiring a customer to email to cancel their license in W3 Total Cache. That's why it usually yields better results in GTmetrix. If you want, you can simply install and activate the plugin, select a radio box and call it a day: In fact, that’s pretty much how I configured my test site. However, I’m not sure if that’s meaningful enough to draw any conclusions about WP Rocket: Again, Load Impact changed the colors of the graph for some reason — green is active visitors. Winner? As a whole W3 Total Cache has always been a marmite plugin, you either love it or hate it. WP Rocket is a premium-only caching plugin, launched in 2013 it quickly established itself as the go-to solution for people who are serious about their website speed. Initially launched in 2010 it quickly established itself as one of the best caching plugins for WordPress, although drama was to prevail. Testing the speed of 17 WordPress hosts. Basically, it’s similar to a real site when it comes to the amount of ‘stuff’ going on. Can you get close to WP Engine’s performance just by using the best WordPress caching plugin on your site? W3 Total Cache made no difference to the performance scores or load time of the site: even with page caching and browser caching enabled. WP Rocket has a Coupons page on their website where you can get 10% off by signing up for their email list. My results have been mixed, in that sometimes WP Rocket runs faster, then W3 Total Cache does. Winner? A lot of sites were actually faster without W3TC than with it. Have you tested it on other sites as part of this review. If you’re an average user, it can be tough to know which W3 Total Cache features you need, and which you don’t. In fact, it’s better than the WP super cache and Auto-Optimize plugin. Remember, though, just because a caching plugin is easy to set up, it doesn’t mean that it won’t come without problems, not in the form of bugs.

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