Are you curious to find out which caching plugin works best among WP Rocket vs W3 Total Cache? You’re in the right place.
Before talking about these two ultimate WordPress caching plugins in detail, Let’s first talk about the basics.
What is caching?
A cache is a temporary storage area. For example, the files you automatically request by looking at a Web page are stored on your hard disk in a cache subdirectory under the directory for your browser.
In simple words, caching is essentially just saving data and storing it for later use.
Fortunately, the WordPress plugin directory gives you access to a wide range of caching plugins you can use to increase your site performance. That being said, here are few quick benefits of using caching plugins for WordPress.
- Increases the speed and performance of your websites
- Reduces the unwanted “caching load” on your hosting servers
- Above all, provides ultimate experience to both users and search engines
As said above, there are a ton of WordPress caching plugins available. Out of them, we find that WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache are widely preferred. So which is the best caching plugin for WordPress sites? Let’s find it out now.
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WP Rocket vs W3 Total Cache: Which Caching Plugin is Better?
WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin offers lazy image loading, cache preloading, browser caching, GZIP compression etc which costs you $49 per year whereas W3 Total Cache is a FREE caching plugin for WordPress which offers you features like page caching, object caching, database caching, browser caching etc.
1. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is the #1 premium caching plugin for WordPress sites. It’s one of the widely used caching plugins which is used by over 1,954,000 websites throughout the world. Although we’re a fan of W3 total cache which we used for a long time but once we realized the capabilities of WP Rocket, we couldn’t resist ourself from buying and installing.
Our site BloggersPassion is now running on WP Rocket and we can say that the performance has improved when compared to W3 total cache. If you’re looking for accelerated website speed, WP Rocket is the best investment you can make.
Features list of WP Rocket:
Here’s the full features list of the premium WordPress caching plugin WP Rocket.
- Browser caching
- Database optimization
- Google fonts optimization
- Remove query strings from static resources
- Lazyload of images
- Minification and concatenation
- Defer JS loading
- Cloudflare compatibility
- CDN integration
- DNS prefetching
- Mobile detection
- Multisite compatibility
- E-commerce friendly
- Multilingual compatibility
- Page caching
- Cache preloading
- Sitemap preloading
- GZip compression
So what are you waiting for?
3 Reasons to Pick WP Rocket Over W3 Total Cache
Are you wondering about why should you prefer WP Rocket over W3 total cache plugin? Are you curious to find out why should you be spending money on a premium caching plugin like WP Rocket when you there are free caching plugins available?
Here are 3 major reasons to consider WP Rocket which makes it worth every single penny you pay for.
1. Access to expert support team: The #1 reason to go for a premium caching plugin like WP Rocket is that you get exclusive access to customer support. Fortunately, WP Rocket offers you expert support team where they will help you fix any WordPress performance issues slowing down your website.
Besides that, WP Rocket also has a preload and sitemap preload feature, so that when someone visits your site, they immediately get the fast, cached version of the page.
3. Exclusive features to speed up your site performance: WP Rocket also offers you a few exclusive features that increase your website performance which include;
- Images on Request: Images are loaded only as your visitor scrolls down the page, improving the load time of the page.
- Developer friendly: WP Rocket offers clean, commented and has loads of hooks so developers can easily make advanced customizations.
- Gzip compression: It’s the most effective way to save bandwidth and speed up your site where you can easily reduce the size of files sent from your server to increase the speed to which they are transferred to the browser. Fortunately WP Rocket offers Gzip compression to increase your site loading times.
Here are some of the benefits of using WP Rocket;
- Simple, fast, and intuitive setup (even if you’re a beginner with no coding skills, you’re good to go!)
- Page caching is immediately activated
- Google Fonts optimization helps you minimize HTTP requests
- Lazy image loading (all the images on your page are loaded only when the website visitors scroll down the page)
- We don’t find any major cons with WP Rocket except the fact that it’s a premium caching plugin (and yes there are great free caching plugin alternatives like W3 total cache if you’re on a limited budget)
WP Rocket is currently offering the following 3 pricing plans.
- Single (costs you $49 where you’ll get 1 year of support and updates for 1 website)
- Plus (costs you $99 where you’ll get 1 year of support and updates for 3 websites)
- Infinite (costs you $249 where you’ll get 1 year of support and updates for unlimited websites)
You will also get a 14-day money back guarantee which means, you can ask for a refund if you’re not happy within 14 days after purchasing.
All the plugin licenses are valid for one year and you will receive support and updates as long as your license is valid.
After 1 year, WP Rocket will continue to run without any problems. So you can use the plugin without paying anything but you will not be able to use the support or update the plugin.
Licenses can be renewed at a discounted rate (usually WP Rocket offers 50% discounts for existing customers which makes it a steal).
So what are you still waiting for?
2. W3 Total Cache
W3 total cache is the most downloaded cache plugin which is literally used by millions of WordPress users worldwide. If you’re someone who’s looking for a basic, useful and free caching plugin, W3 total cache is definitely for you.
W3 Total Cache is an optimized WordPress plugin focusing on user experience and page speed. It is also one of the most feature-rich WordPress plugins which include features like optimized progressive page views, high web server performance, transparent content delivery network, minify, page caching and so on.
Features list of W3 Total Cache:
Here’s the list of all the features that you get with free WordPress caching plugin W3 Total Cache;
- Browser caching
- Optimized progressive render (where the pages start rendering quickly)
- Reduced page load time
- Improved web server performance
- Caching of database objects in memory or on disk
- Caching of objects in memory or on disk
- Caching of fragments in memory or on disk
- Allows you to perform caching of the database, objects, fragments and so on
- Increases the visitor time on site by reducing the time of page load
- Supports SSL and AMP
- Minification of posts and pages and feeds
3 Reasons to Prefer W3 Total Cache Over WP Rocket
Here are 3 strong reasons to install W3 total cache plugin over any other caching plugin like WP Rocket.
1. Completely FREE: The #1 reason to consider W3 total cache plugin over WP Rocket is it’s completely free. WP Rocket basic plan starts at $49 per year whereas W3 total cache plugin doesn’t cost you anything.
If you’re just getting started with WordPress or don’t have any budget for getting premium caching plugins, W3 total cache plugin is a great choice.
2. Ultimate Minification: Minification compresses your content by removing all unnecessary information from the source code without changing its functionality.
3. The only WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework: W3 Total Cache is the one and only WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework which is used and trusted by brands like AT&T, Matt Cutts, Mashable, Smashing Magazine, Make Use Of, Pearsonified.com, John Chow and so on.
Here are some of the pros of W3 total cache plugin;
- Support for Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
- Compatible with CloudFlare
- GZIP compression to optimize web browser rendering (for optimized website performance)
- The best part is, this plugin doesn’t require any theme modifications, modifications to your .htaccess (mod_rewrite rules) or programming compromises
- Above all, it’s completely free to use
- No support provided (as you can get support only from WordPress.org forum support)
Here’s the performance comparison of WP Rocket and W3 total cache. We particularly tested an internal page of our site BloggersPassion to find out the REAL page performance.
Using W3 total cache
Here’s the result of a performance report for one of the pages of BloggersPassion.
As you can see, the page is already loading really fast since we’re taking all the precautions to speed up our site including using a faster hosting platform like WPX hosting.
If you can see the above performance report, you’ll notice the following scores.
- PageSpeed score: 95%
- YSlow Score: 89%
- Fully loaded time: 1.8 seconds
- Total page size: 610 KB
- Requests: 51
Using WP Rocket
Here’s the performance report after installing WP Rocket on the same site (we disabled W3 total cache and installed WP Rocket).
As you can see above, here are the performance metrics after installing WP Rocket.
- PageSpeed score: 100% (increased by 5% when compared to W3 total cache)
- Structure: 94%
- LCP (Largest Contentful Paint): 221 milliseconds
- TBT (Total Blocking Time): 23 milliseconds
Here’s the page experience report after using WP Rocket (on mobile);
As you can see, we got a score of 99.8% of good URLs (with superior page speeds).
Here’s the Core Web Vitals report after installing WP Rocket;
As you can see above, there are no issues with Core Web Vitals as well.
All in all, WP Rocket is the winner when it comes to improving your loading times, page experience, and Core Web Vitals.
So what’s the bottom line?
Installing WP Rocket certainly helps (if you’re already using W3 total cache, just disable it and install WP Rocket to see accelerated page performance and better page experience).
Breakdown of Caching Types
If you’re a beginner and looking for a FREE caching plugin, you should definitely go for W3 Total cache plugin. But if you can spend few bucks to get access the ultimate WordPress caching plugin, WP Rocket is definitely for you which is worth every single penny you pay for.
Did you know that WP Rocket is the only WordPress cache plugin which integrates more than 80% of web performance best practices? Which means, even without any options activated, you can accelerate your site speed. All you need to do is to install and activate the plugin. You’re done!
With WP Rocket, you’ll also get support access so you can get in touch with their customer staff if you ever need any assistance related to their plugin.
That being said, why do you need a cache plugin?
Whether you know it or not, WordPress does not have an automated system for speed optimization by default. That’s the reason why you need a caching plugin that speeds up WordPress with technical and advanced features.
A caching plugin generally improves your website speed and it works like a charm in the back-end and surely boosts up the performance of your website.
Types of caching
Whether you know it or not, there are several types of caching which are included below.
Browser caching: It helps you in reducing server load by reducing the number of requests per page. The browser cache is a temporary storage location on your computer which holds the most recently visited Web pages.
Which means, if you visit the same page the browser won’t send a request to the server hence it will retrieve the page from the local storage, so it will speeds up browsing and increase user experience.
Database caching: Your database usually includes some level of caching in a default configuration and database caching helps you optimize your databases load for a generic use case.
Web server caching: A web cache is a hardware or software applications for temporarily storing frequently accessed static pages including images, HTML, CSS and so on
Here are a few important questions you should know about if you’re looking for the best caching plugin for WordPress in 2022 and beyond.
WP Rocket is way better in terms of performance and increasing your page load times when compared to W3 total cache. But if you’re a beginner who doesn’t want to spend money on a caching plugin, W3 total cache is a great option.
Yes, if you’re already using any caching plugin (we were previously using W3 total cache just for your information), you can easily switch to WP Rocket without any glitches. Just make sure to deactivate and delete your existing caching plugin before install WP Rocket.
Yes there are so many caching plugins available in WordPress plugin directory including;
→ W3 Total Cache
→ Comet Cache
→ WP Super Cache
→ WP Fastest Cache
→ Zen Cache
→ Cache Enabler
→ Fresh Performance Cache
→ WordPress Booster-Caching Plugin and so on
No. There’s a difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, where WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform where you can install plugins whereas WordPress.com is a free platform which doesn’t allow you to install any plugins.
No, WP Rocket doesn’t offer any free trial as it’s a premium plugin. However, it offers you a 14-day refund policy which means, after grabbing their premium plugin, if you are not happy with their features or plugin performance, you can ask for a refund within 14 days of purchase.
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As discussed in the article, if you’re using WordPress, installing a cache plugin definitely helps you in increasing your site performance and loading times. That being said, choosing the right caching plugin among WP Rocket Vs W3 total cache is a no brainer.
If you’re a beginner, we recommend you go for W3 total cache and if you’re someone who’s looking for top web hosting performance and accelerate your website page load times, WP Rocket is a perfect choice.
So which one are you going to use? Do you’ve any more questions around these caching plugins? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.