Best WordPress cache plugins of 2022

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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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(Image credit: WordPress)

It may not be the first thing you think of when you're building your site, but having one of the best WordPress cache plugins will be crucial to how it performs.

After a while you may notice that the more content you add to your site, the longer it seems to take for it to load. What you might need in this scenario is a caching solution. 

Put simply, as someone visits your site, WordPress generates its content dynamically, with references to ever-growing databases and so on, for each and every visitor. Caching aims to create a static version of your pages, removing many potential bottlenecks to a fast-loading site. 

With that in mind, we’ve gathered five popular WordPress plugins that aim to speed up your visitors’ web browsing experience. We've taken a good look at their key features, from intuitiveness to cost and how regular the plugin is updated and optimised for the latest versions of WordPress. Then it's up to you to make a choice on which you feel best suits your needs. 

Also check out our roundup of the best CDN providers.


The best WordPress cache plugins of 2022 in full

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

(Image credit: Comet Cache)

1. Comet Cache

Best for detailed and well-explained features

Reasons to buy

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Free option
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Cheap one-time fee
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Excellent documentation

Reasons to avoid

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Free version lacks functionality
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Alternatives better suited to membership-led sites

Our first such plugin is Comet Cache. You’ll find that these WordPress cache plugins are all pretty similar: they all aim to make the process as easy as possible for the site owner and offer a vast array of features to help speed up the WordPress page loading process.

Comet Cache comes with a free version, which has numerous powerful features. Of course it is designed to cache all WordPress components, and additional features include allowing the visitor’s browser from caching the pages it visits, greatly speeding up revisits. However, the free version lacks functionality, such as supporting logged-in user caching, meaning that if you run a membership section, it would be wise to go for the paid versions. 

For a single site pricing starts at around $40 / £35 / AU$60 for a full license with no recurring fees.

What’s excellent about Comet Cache is its focus on explaining exactly how everything works. Even in their promotional features list, you can access detailed information about each feature, and when it would be advisable or not, to switch such a feature on. If you don’t know much about caching, this is an excellent resource.

Make sure to read our reviews of the best website builders 

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2. Hyper Cache

Great pick for users wanting a free, open-source solution

Reasons to buy

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Open source
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Clear detailed instructions
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Mobile friendly

Reasons to avoid

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Documentation not as exhaustive as others
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Updates are infrequent

Hyper Cache is an open-source project, meaning using it is free of charge and it gets regularly updated (for more on the topic, read our list of best open source software). As you’d expect, its aim is to speed-up loading times, and works to make the experience as fast as possible whichever platform is used to access your site (be it a computer, tablet, or phone). With that in mind, it automatically offers various caches, including one specifically for mobile devices. 

There’s also compression support to optimize your bandwidth and further increase page load speeds (this feature is off by default but the developer strongly recommends you turn it on).

When it comes to documentation, it isn’t as exhaustive as Comet Cache, but what earns its spot on this list of best WordPress cache plugins is that it does explain clearly what each feature does. Which is very useful for anyone new to the weird and wonderful world of WordPress caching.

For the best way to monitor your website visits, read our pick of the best WordPress Analytics plugins of 2022

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(Image credit: WordPress)

3. WP Super Cache

Top pick for advanced WordPress users

Reasons to buy

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Free
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Open source
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Multiple caching settings

Reasons to avoid

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Expert mode involves some risk
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May prove too daunting to inexperienced WP users

WP Super Cache is another free and open-source caching WordPress plugin, which has gathered a very high number of positive reviews on wordpress.org.

The plugin offers three different ways of caching your pages - Expert is billed as the fastest but requires the installation of Apache mod_rewrite (which should be installed by default anyway), but also needs to modify your .htaccess file which the developers themselves say could be “risky”.

If you’d rather not chance it, then opt for the second option: Simple. This is their preferred, safer, option, and also allows you to keep some parts of the page dynamic should you want to. Sort of the best of both worlds. The third option is called WP-Cache caching. This one is ideal for logged-in users for instance (like those who are part of a membership). If you’re new to caching, Simple would be the way to start though. If you’re a more advanced WordPress user, you could have a lot of fun tweaking Expert or WP-Cache to make it work exactly as you want it to.

If you're looking for a low-cost website theme, read our rundown of the best free WordPress themes

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(Image credit: BoldGrid)

4. W3 Total Cache

Top pick for analytics

Reasons to buy

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Great features for more advanced users
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Over 1m active installations

Reasons to avoid

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Pro plan required for advanced features
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Advanced features not especially intuitive for beginners

When you do a search for best WordPress cache plugins, and scroll past the ads, you’ll find W3 Total Cache near the top if not at number one. This is one of the most popular such services out there, boasting over a million active installs. As you’d expect, it includes mobile support and possesses many tools that would please those who know their way around the guts of a WordPress installation but could worry more impressionable neophytes.

The service is available for free, but also comes in a paid-for Pro version which offers features such as caching statistics (metrics that measure your site’s performance), and fragment caching (which help you control the caching times of interactive elements such as comments and e-commerce pages).

Still need a hosting solution? Check out our list of the best web hosting services

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(Image credit: WP Rocket)

5. WP Rocket

Top for technical support

Reasons to buy

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Paid support
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Advanced features
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Easy to install

Reasons to avoid

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No free version
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Pricey if wanting to use on multiple sites

In an ocean of free and open-source alternatives, you’d think it would be hard for paid-for options to thrive. Comet Cache offers a free variant, but it keeps the best features for those who purchase it. WP Rocket side-steps the free version, and goes straight for payment plans.

WP Rocket offers a quick and easy setup, focusses its compatibility with all WordPress eCommerce plugins, multilingual support, and showcases a good array of advanced features, such as database optimization, and CDN integration. Perhaps its most interesting feature which would entice people to pay for is quick 24/7 support.

The plans are based on how many websites you need to install this plugin on, for up to three websites. The unlimited plan (for any number of websites) charges a one-off fee which covers you for support and updates for a year. Of course if you want this support and these updates to continue, you’ll have to pay again the following year(s), however, if you choose not to, you won’t lose access to the version you paid for and will still be able to use it.

We've also highlighted the best WordPress plugins.


What is a WordPress cache plugin?

Users building and managing their websites on WordPress are likely to be familiar with the platform's concept of add-ons, known as plugins. There are thousands of these plugins to choose from that allow website owners to tweak and customize their site so that it looks and works just as you intend.

A WordPress cache plugin, once installed, is intended to speed up the performance of your website for your visitors. Without caching, website visitors would be required to download web pages from scratch on every visit. These days, modern browsers like Chrome and Safari automate caching as standard, resulting in a quicker load on any return visit. 

By installing a caching plugin, your site is further optimized to reduce load time and improve the speed of your site. Not only will this provide a better user experience, but search engines will rank your fast-loading site much higher.

How to choose the best WordPress cache plugin for you

The first thing to consider when considering the Best WordPress cache plugins for you, is to acknowledge your level of knowledge and expertise on the subject.

If you're a relative newbie to WordPress or the concept of caching, you'd be wise to avoid any of the plugins that offer high-level features or require an element of advanced knowledge. For the former group, you should also consider what support options there are for each plugin, in case you're likely to need some additional help with installation and use.

The next thing to consider is the size of your site and what service it provides, to ensure that the plugin you choose is compatible with your offering. Finally, always have a budget in mind in terms of what you're prepaid to pay (or not pay), and make sure to note if any fees involved are one-off costs or regular subscriptions. 

The best WordPress cache plugins: How we test

WordPress is a formidable platform and remains one of the most popular options when creating your website, but its open-source nature means that no two plugins are built in the same way. 

We therefore feel that it's always important to review the ease-of-use (and installation) for each plugin, noting that what may be simple for experienced WordPress users may prove way too daunting for new kids on the block. With that in mind, intuitiveness is one of the main factors we've road tested, along with the accompanying customer support. 

We also made a note of other key features per plugin that are intended to optimise page loads and drain on bandwidth, while also stating where plugins are dynamic and compatible with smartphone and tablet devices.

Read more on how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar (opens in new tab).

Steve has been writing about technology since 2003. Starting with Digital Creative Arts, he's since added his tech expertise at titles such as iCreate, MacFormat, MacWorld, MacLife, and TechRadar. His focus is on the creative arts, like website builders, image manipulation, and filmmaking software, but he hasn’t shied away from more business-oriented software either. He uses many of the apps he writes about in his personal and professional life. Steve loves how computers have enabled everyone to delve into creative possibilities, and is always delighted to share his knowledge, expertise, and experience with readers.