W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache Review: Best Caching Plugin for 2024?

W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache
W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache

If you are confused between W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache plugin, I would suggest you give a try to the W3 Total cache plugin as its performance is much better than the WP Super Cache plugin.

Are you curious about the latest performance-oriented W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache Comparison? Well, you are in the right place.

Did you know that installing a caching plugin helps you increase your site speed? Yes, it’s so true.

That’s why we came up with this comparison post between WP Super Cache vs W3 Total Cache. Both are legendary caching plugins designed to improve the speed of any WordPress website.

In this comparison, first, we will look at how W3 Total Cache & WP Super Cache performed on our conducted tests. Then we will differentiate all the essential factors including features, support, setup, configuration, and whatnot.

Quick note: We recently moved to WP Rocket. We had been using WP Super Cache on our blogs for years. Then we switched to W3 Total Cache. Both plugins hardly disappointed us. But as our blog traffic grew, we felt the limitation of power that we achieved only with the help of a premium plugin. So we tried WP Rocket, and with the support of WPX (free CDN Hosting), we gained a 100% performance result
the current performance score of our website: Reason - wp rocket & wpx hosting
The current performance score of our website: Reason – WP Rocket & WPX Hosting

You can learn more about WP Rocket’s performance from these 2 blog posts: WP Rocket Review & W3 Total Cache Review.

Are you ready to know the best caching plugin for 2024 between W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache? Let’s get started!

W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache Comparison [2024 Edition]

W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache

Quick Difference:

W3 Total Cache plugin is ahead of WP Super Cache in terms of features, caching types, compatibility, better controls, CDN direct integrations, and developer friendliness. Whereas the biggest plus point of WP Super Cache over W3TC is its working and less complex setup. WP Super Cache serves the static HTML version, which takes comparatively less time to process than the W3TC plugin, which processes bulky PHP scripts.

The Performance Test: WP Super Cache vs W3 Total Cache

The Testing process:

Before jumping to the test results, please go through the testing process.

Basically, we will test W3 Total Cache & WP Super Cache on our friend’s website, which runs on low-powered shared web hosting. Well, this test is unique. It will reveal the true potential of W3 Total Cache & WP Super Cache.

You may be wondering why we didn’t perform a test on our own website: Bloggerspassion.com.

Well, these are the reasons:

First of all, our website bloggerspassion.com is already optimized because of the WPX hosting. Yes, WPX servers are high-powered and offer up to 75-80% performance without any caching plugin. Because of this, we cannot find the true capability of both plugins.

Secondly, WP Super Cache is known for its unique static HTML files concept. It has been recommended first for low-powered hosting sites.

Quick note: We have turned on all essential optimization settings in both plugins except CDN settings for these tests.

Before installing any caching plugin, this is the current situation of the shared hosting-powered web page.

situation before w3 total cache & wp super cache
Situation Before W3 Total Cache & WP Super Cache

Let’s see who is the real performance player.

Test Result: W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache

Winner: W3 Total Cache

Metrics PerformanceSituation W/O Caching PluginsW3TCWP Super CacheWinner
Score59 (Mobile), 82 (Desktop)72 (Mobile), 90 (Desktop)60 (Mobile), 88 (Desktop)W3TC
FCP1.8 seconds (Good)3.1 seconds (Increased)2.8 seconds (Increased)_
Speed Index5.7 seconds (Average)3.1 seconds (Huge Improvement)2.9 seconds (Huge improvement)WP Super Cache
LCP2.9 seconds (Average)3.1 seconds (Increased)3.7 seconds (Increased)_
Time to Interactive8.5 seconds (Poor)6.2 seconds (Improvement)8.2 seconds (Poor)W3TC
Total Blocking Time1,140 ms (Poor)460 ms (Huge Improvement)780 ms (Improvement)W3TC
Cumulative Layout Shift0.074 (Good)0.007 (Improvement)0.067 (Improvement)W3TC
ErrorReduced unused JavaScript (High Impact)No ChangeNo Change_
ErrorReduce initial server response time (High Impact)ResolvedResolvedTie
ErrorServe images in next-gen formatsResolvedNo Change W3TC
ErrorAvoid serving legacy JavaScript to modern browsersNo ChangeNo Change_
ErrorImage elements do not have explicit width and height (High Impact)No ChangeNo Change_
ErrorAvoid an excessive DOM size (High Impact)No ChangeNo Change_
ErrorMinimize main thread work (High Impact)Impact ReducedImpact Reduced_
ErrorFirst contentful paint (3G)No ChangeNo Change_
ErrorServe static assets with an efficient cache policyResolvedNo Change_
ErrorReduce JavaScript execution timeNo ChangeNo Change_
ErrorNot FoundEliminate render-blocking resources (New Error)Eliminate render-blocking resources (New Error)_
ErrorNot FoundNot FoundReduce unused CSS (New Error)W3TC
ErrorNot FoundNot FoundDefer Offscreen Images (Lazy Load – New Error) W3TC
test result - situation after w3 total cache plugin (shared hosting)
Test Result – Situation after W3 Total Cache Plugin (Shared Hosting)
test result - situation after wp super cache plugin (shared hosting)
Test Result – Situation after WP Super Cache Plugin (Shared Hosting)

Test Conclusion:

The conclusion is that the WP Super Cache performance results showed a lack of features. Considering the shared hosting fact, W3 Total Cache performed well. But WP Super Cache hardly made a difference in performance.

These are the few errors WP Super Cache had failed to resolve because of the lack of features:

  • Serve images in next-gen formats – W3TC eliminated it because of the lazy loading feature
  • Serve static assets with an effective cache policy – W3TC eliminated it because of supporting browser caching
Quick note: In case this test is performed with WP Rocket, we are sure that the score in Google PageSpeed would be reached 90+ easily. And the errors would be gone too. Don’t you believe in our words? Well, check these WP Rocket review & W3 Total Cache review posts where we have given the proof of WP Rocket efficiency.

What is W3 Total Cache: Why Use It?

w3 total cache plugin

W3 Total Cache is one of the widely used caching plugins across the WordPress blogging world. With over 1 million active downloads, this is the top-rated (4.3 out of 5 stars) plugin.

This plugin improves your speed by increasing server performance, reducing the download times, and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

Pros of W3 Total Cache Plugin:

  • Browser caching is done.
  • Page and object caching is done.
  • You can easily minify your databases.
  • Supports CDN
  • More control
  • Up to 80% bandwidth savings via minify and HTTP compression of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and feeds
  • It dramatically improves your overall page speed.
  • Claims to be web host agnostic: No matter what type of hosting you use on your website, W3TC always works and hardly shows compatibility issues.

Cons of W3 Total Cache Plugin:

  • Making perfect settings using this plugin usually takes time. Read this first if you are wondering how to get the most out of this plugin.
  • Unless and until you use a CDN, you can’t see much difference in your website speed.

What is Super Cache: Why Use It?

wp super cache plugin

WP Super Cache caching plugin has over 1 million active installations on WordPress. Many users use this plugin to speed up their sites. This plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog and serves them to users.

One Big Reason to Pick WP Super Cache Over W3 Total Cache:

Here, we are talking about the working of the WP Super Cache plugin.

Unlike W3TC, which processes and serves WordPress PHP scripts directly, WP Super Cache converts dynamic pages from your WordPress blogs into static HTML files and serves most of your users. In simple words, WP Super Cache created a single static copy of your webpage and served it to thousands of users. Because of this approach, the server fetching time will be reduced drastically.

Suppose your site is hosted on a really less bandwidth or underpowered server. In that case, We highly recommend you to use this plugin as this plugin creates a static HTML version of a webpage that can be processed much faster.

Pros of WP Super Cache Plugin:

  • This plugin offers legacy caching. Mean, loads your web pages faster even for those visitors who are not logged into your sites.
  • PHP serves all the cached static files, which improves your loading times.
  • Automatically compress pages.
  • Also supports a CDN network.

Cons of WP Super Cache Plugin:

  • Again, there are a lot of settings you need to go through if you want to use the functionalities of this plugin fully.
  • You cannot enhance the capabilities of this plugin because there is no pro version available.

Features Comparison

Winner: W3 Total Cache

FeaturesW3 Total CacheWP Super Cache
Minification (Text, JS, CSS)✔️
Caching Types SupportedMoreLess
Cloudflare CDN Supported✔️✔️
Dedicated CDN services integrations✔️
AMP Support✔️
SSL Support✔️
Browser Caching✔️
Database Caching✔️
Page Caching✔️
Fragment Caching✔️
Object Caching✔️
Caching of Feeds✔️
Deferring (CSS & JS)✔️
Lazy Load✔️
Legacy Caching✔️
Automatic Page Compression✔️✔️
Caching Statistics✔️
Control on Pre CachingMore FlexibleLess Flexible
WorkingProcess WordPress PHP scriptsProcess HTML static file version
Jetpack Plugin Integration✔️✔️

The Setup & Configuration Part: Which is Less Complex?

w3tc vs super cache

Winner: WP Super Cache

The moment you see the number of tabs in both plugins, you will automatically understand which plugin is less complex.

W3TC has divided its configuration settings into 16 tabs, whereas only 5 simple configuration tabs are there inside the WP Super Cache.

After activating the W3TC plugin, navigate to performance > general settings. Here you get options to quickly switch on and off the available modules. Later you can configure the settings of these modules from their own dedicated tabs.

w3tc setup

Things are different in the case of WP Super Cache. Here you just have to navigate Settings > WP Super Cache > Easy Tab. and switch on the caching button. For beginners, this is enough.

wp super cache setup

In a nutshell, the W3TC setup & configuration part is going to be difficult. You might have to watch a few tutorials to configure it for the best performance. WP Super Cache situation is simple. Just toggle the one switch, and your website is all set for the performance boost.

Quick note: WP Rocket setup is the simplest of all. Upon activation, It applies 80% optimization automatically.

Read: How to Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin for Maximum Performance

CDN & Cloudflare Overview

Winner: W3 Total Cache

Installing a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is another simple way of making your site super fast. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on using a CDN for your WP websites; you can use a free version of the Cloudflare CDN plugin.

Gladly both of the plugins have the option to integrate the website with the CDN networks. Although both plugins can be integrated with Cloudflare free version, but still why W3 Total Cache is ahead? W3TC has inbuilt direct integrations for the most popular CDN services (excluding Cloudflare). In comparison, you have to configure a CDN service in WP Super Cache manually.

w3 total cache cdn options
Quick note: Want to avoid manual CDN configuration? Then why don’t you upgrade to those hosting services which enable the CDN service by default free of cost? The best example is WPX hosting.

As you know, we moved to WPX Hosting from Hostgator a few years back. You can learn more in detail about why we moved from Hostgator to WPX here. With WPX Hosting, we got lots of quality add-ons like MAXCDN, etc. This is how we were also able to avoid the separate CDN expense.

You can now install Cloudflare CDN on Bluehost web hosting for free. BlueHost recently partnered with Cloudflare for free integration and support of Cloudflare CDN for its customers.

Read: How to integrate Cloudflare & W3TC plugin

Overview of Support System

Winner: Tie

Both plugins are free, so you should not keep the hope high for premium support. W3TC and WP Super cache have similar support options.

W3 Total Cache Support Options (Free Version):

WP Super Cache Support Options

wp super cache support options
Quick note: The option of premium support is mandatory to have in performance optimization plugins because you cannot be certain about possible future issues related to compatibility, website crashes, etc. This is one of the main reasons we have moved to WP Rocket.

Pricing & Premium Version Comparison

Only W3TC has a premium version. WP Super Cache is a forever-free plugin.

The single website license of the W3TC premium version would cost you $99/year. Yes, there is no such unlimited sites plan available here compared to WP Rocket. This is why the W3TC premium version should be avoided for multi-sites. One W3TC license could only be installed on a single website.

Only a feature of CDN delivery is worth it in W3TC premium, but as we stated earlier, almost all web hosting companies are providing integrated CDN services (for example, WPX Hosting), so investing in W3TC for the sake of CDN might sound strange.

Quick note: Apart from the 100% performance score, cost-saving is another reason for which we have moved to WP Rocket ($49/year).

FAQs of WP Super Cache vs W3 Total Cache

Why do I need a caching plugin?

A caching plugin will help your website load faster while reducing the load on the server.

What are some free caching plugins?

W3 total cache, WP super cache, WP Fastest Cache, and Auto optimize are some of the most widely used WordPress free plugins for caching.

Which is the best free caching plugin for a WordPress site?

For us, it’s a W3 total cache. We used the same plugin in the past, and it works very well.

What is the best alternative to the W3 total cache?

If you want some extraordinary performance, we recommend you go with the WP Rocket plugin. This is a premium plugin with lots of advanced features, and recently we switched to the WP Rocket plugin. We are pretty much happy with the performance.

Can I get WP Rocket for free?

No, WP Rocket is a premium plugin, and its plan starts from $49 for a year.

What is Nulled WP Rocket?

This is a free version of WP Rocket available online and developed freely by some people. It contains some malware that may put your website at threat.

Which is the best cache plugin for shared hosting?

WP Rocket (Premium) & WP Super Cache (Free)

More Posts Worth Reading:

Final thoughts about W3 Total Cache Vs WP Super Cache plugin review

So what’s the bottom line?

As far as we are concerned, we found W3 Total Cache is better in the W3 Total Cache Vs WP Super Cache comparison (as we’ve personally used and tested both these plugins).

But remember, we mentioned in the introduction about our update to WP Rocket. WP Rocket looks to be the best if someone is looking for a premium caching plugin. If the free caching plugins don’t work well with your website, don’t go for W3TC premium. Instead, go for WP Rocket and achieve a 100% performance score in just half of the amount. 

What do you think about the best caching plugin for 2024? Is it W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache? Please share your experiences with both in the comments.

About Author
Anil Agarwal is the Founder of Bloggerspassion. He is a full-time blogger and SEO expert who has been helping people build profitable blogs for over a decade Now. He has been featured in Over 100 Publications including Forbes, The HuffPost, HubSpot, Shopify, Semrush, Kinsta, Bluehost, Hostinger and G2.com etc. Know more about Anil Agarwal from here.

Reader Comments (46)

  1. I use cloudflare with standard cache. Should i use cache plugin on my site? If i change cache plugin, it affect my website ranking?

  2. I suggest using W3 Total Cache, in addition, you need to evaluate WP Rocket to see which ones are more powerful and optimal.
    I am from Vietnam

    • Hi Aman, great question. I personally feel, it doesn’t matter which hosting you’re using (be it shared or dedicated), you can use either of the above tools to minify your site speed and performance. Just make sure to use a CDN as well!

  3. Hi Anil,

    W3 Total Cache is one of the must-have WordPress plugin and it stands out from the rest of the cache plugins. I haven’t used it with MaxCDN, but CloudFlare does speed your site.

    Thanks for sharing the comparison.

    • Hi Shafi, yes, W3 Total Cache is one of the must-have WordPress plugin and if you’re ALSO using another caching plugin (I didn’t see this in a quick scan of your site), the two might be interfering with one another, so make sure to focus on that. Either way, while I can’t diagnose your issue specifically with the information at my disposal, I can help you.

    • Yes actually both Maxcdn and cloudflare work like a charm. It just depends on what hosting you’re currently using. For shared hosting sites, cloudflare works great and for others maxcdn is a great choice to increase your overall site speed.

  4. Thanks for the article.

    But I use wp fastest cache and its speed is great. I also use Cloudflare, But some told me to bypass orange to grey for cname to avoid IP Adress penalty (the Same IP is used for many websites in Cloudflare), Please guide if it’s good or bad?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Gaurav, glad to know that you are using cloudflare as it’s the best CDN to increase your page loading times. Just also make sure to use the proper hosting along with the above mentioned cache plugins to increase your site speed.

    • Hi Gaurav, have you also tested and tried w3tc and super cache? There are no issues with Cloudflare, you just need to mix it up with the right hosting (as Bluehost offers cloudflare as CDN by default) and also as I mentioned in other comment, reduce the number of components on each page so you can reduce the number of HTTP requests needed to make the page render to improve your overall site performance.

  5. Great tutorial. W3 Total Cache is my favorite plugin for optimization. Recently, I am facing slow speed issue on one of my blogs. I will follow your guidance to optimize and improve the page speed.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Manoj, W3 total cache is definitely great as it improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing download times. Also the free version is enough for most WordPress sites.

    • Hi Manoj, yes, definitely also make sure to reduce the number of components on each page. By doing this, you reduce the number of HTTP requests needed to make the page render—and you’ll significantly improve site performance.

  6. Excellent write-up. Every newbie developer get confused between W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache because both the resources initially works fine and comparing these plugins help them to choose the right one. I have been using W3 Total Cache plugin for quite long time until I have read an article comparing few cache plugin performance on Default WordPress website and I was amaze to see that Breeze Cache Plugin loads site under 500ms. As a developer you always survive for resources which provide better User Experiences so I decide to give a try. Indeed the experiment was successful and I moved from W3 Total to Breeze. I would personally recommend you to give a try as well. Anyways thanks for investing your time. Cheers.

    • Excellent points Baldwin, make sure that your target is a server response time of less than 200ms (milliseconds). And if you follow the tips in this article, you’re well on your way to achieving this. Google recommends using a web application monitoring solution (anything like GTMetrix, or even tools like SEMrush) and checking for bottlenecks in performance so you can optimize your site performance whenever it’s down.

  7. Using load balancing and testing frameworks throwing 15K users, 25K users, and 50K users per minute at my site, I tried both plugins. WP Super Cache outperformed W3TC by at least 25%. This was without a CDN, but both plugins allow for CDN support.

    • Glad to know your findings David, interesting to know that using load balancing and testing frameworks throwing 15K users, 25K users, and 50K users per minute at my site, WP Super Cache outperformed W3TC by at least 25%. So you’re going to say that super cache is performing better that too without a CDN, but both plugins allow for CDN support, which is a great finding I would say.

  8. I feel that both of these plugins have strengths but are a little complex if one has to achieve their best configuration. I’d used WTC in the past but found it tough to manage its settings. However, you’ve tried to decipher it at a great extent. Thanks for putting the real-time facts of these plugins in such a precise manner.

    • Yes, as you said both of them are of great help. You just need to find the RIGHT one that matches with your site and hosting. I’d recommend you to give a try to both these plugins and find out which one among them is giving you the best performance.

  9. Hi

    I am using Total cache on my wordpress blog and i want to shift to super cache plugin.
    Is it safe to do this? Safe for Rankings?


    • Yes, it doesn’t matter what cache plugin you’re using, you can simply deactivate it and install any other better cache plugin and you won’t see any affect in your rankings except better site performance.

  10. I have been using WP Super Cache. My site speed is at around 7 seconds which is rather slow. Let me try W3 Total cache and compare the results under the same conditions. If it improves the speed, then I shall be using it. Many thanks for the recommendation.

    • If your site speed is over 7 seconds, you’re seriously suffering with bad user experience as no one likes to visit a site that takes forever to load. It also affects your overall rankings, just make sure to move your site to a faster hosting like WPX hosting, get a CDN and improve your site speed asap so you can get better results.

  11. Hi Everyone,
    I am using CloudFlare cdn and I don’t see it the option in
    w3 set-up (Under general setting – CDN). Can anyone help out in this case?

    Thanks and really appreciate your help.

    • A perfect configuration for caching plugin which is specially designed for WordPress will significantly increase speed for repeated visitors. These plugins have a very low memory usage, so here’s where CDN comes into play just make sure that multiple caching plugins aren’t enabled as this may cause some trouble.

  12. Hi Anil

    Thanks for this amazing compression post of w3tc and wp super cache.

    I am using w3tc and I am satisfied with this great plugin because this plugin gives more option besides another plugin.

    I recommend all of you try w3tc once.

    Thanks Again

  13. I use W3 Total Cache and it really works good and made my job easy with good speed, Still there are so many plugins in market which brings JET Speed to your website but they are not affordable like the mentioned plugin. Likewise when compared to Cloudflare CDN Plugin I will recommend MAXcdN. Anyway Nail your brain too much of plugin installations are like a slow poison. All fruits are not fresh in the market.

    • Yes, that’s true and remember that, any slow website is actually spoiling your visitor’s momentum to have repeated visits to your site, even if they know how good the content is. So before getting on to any conclusion to optimize your site to increase the UX, get a test done if your site is really slow and you can use tools like pingdom tools to easily find out your speed. CDN is definitely a great way to increase speed as you said!

  14. I am still on a fight to choose the best one. I am using wp rocket at the moment. But still confused as my choice is better or not. Since I had to do other things manually.

    But I think now I should give a try to w3 total cache.
    Thanks buddy.

    • Hi Umer, you can simply go for either W3 or wp rocket as they both are equally good. But if I had to recommend you only one among them, you can blindly go for w3 as it gives you out of the box options.

  15. Personally I use Both Plugins and Didn’t Any difference between both of them However w3tc gives additional options/Extension for Genesis Framework, Feedburner & Cdn.

    • Yes, exactly w3tc offers you extra features and for that reason, millions of people are preferring it because it also gives additional options and extension for Genesis Framework, Feedburner, CDN and so on as you said.

  16. I use WP Rocket. It perform very well. Now, I am going to using Cloudflare with a caching plugin. Which one will be best with cloudflare.

  17. I would recommend WP Super Cache for those that are doing multisite like the website I am doing now since I tried WP Super Cache and the W3 Total cache feature and I found that the Super Cache is 3 times faster on my site and got a better customer satisfaction than W3. This is from my opinion. I wish there is more information on how both of them are working for various sites. Thanks for the review anyway.

    • Hi Andy, yes agree, if you’ve multiple sites, maybe you should go for a better cache alternative like WP Rocket which helps you speed up the load time of your site with tools like minificiation of CSS and JavaScript, lazy loading images, JavaScript requests and more. Also as you said, the performance of the above two plugins information can be done, we will consider it sooner. Thanks for the suggestion.

  18. I am on Bluehost and I’m getting ready to take advantage of their built-in cPanel option to hook into Cloudflare.

    I was also planning to activate W3 Total Cache, but is it really necessary if I’ve already hooked into Cloudflare via Bluehost? Also, I presume there would be lots off problems if I did both together, activating the Bluehost/Cloudflare option via Bluehost’s cPanel, and also specifying Cloudflare as a CDN through W3 Total Cache.

    I’m not even sure if Bluehost will give me Cloudflare account information when they hook me up. Thus, if I tried using Cloudflare as a CDN through W3 Total Cache, I would probably point to a different Cloudflare account.

    This issue is confusing, for sure. Bluehost thinks I should try their cPanel Cloudflare option and not hook into Clouflare via W3 Total Cache.

    • Hi Lang, yes, you must get access to a CDN as it improves the overall performance and scalability of a set of content by delivering it from one of a number of nodes which can really impact your overall site speed. Yes, both Bluehost and Cloudflare are tied up to provide faster speeds to their customers. If you’re interested in Bluehost, you might want to check out this awesome deal https://bloggerspassion.com/bluehost-black-friday-deal/ to save more.

  19. Yeah Agree with your Verdict Anil. W3 Cache is really superb option to speed up our site.
    I have removed this from my blog due to problem but soon i will install it after changing my theme.
    As Harsh said MaxCdn, I have registered it too, waiting to change the theme then i will install W3TC and MaxCdn.

    • Hi Amit, W3 cache is enough for majority of the WordPress sites as it comes with out of the box cache features that make your site performance better. MaxCDN is great too, just make sure to get a faster hosting so you can improve your site speed to a great extent.

  20. Anil instead of using Cloudflare, I recommend you to use MAXCDn.. They are running a promo for august and giving 1TB for free which is good enough for any average blog for an year,….
    And it’s easy to setup..!!
    Cloudflare is good too but comes with many issues..specially when your security module is installed…many visitors from India will get captcha challenge to access a site running with cloudflare…

    • Thanks Harsh for the suggestion, I personally use an in-built CDN and also a faster hosting like WPX hosting, so no issues from the user experience along with loading times. Cloudflare has gone a long way now and offering some of the best features to make your site super fast.


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