The Clash of the caching plugins! Cache Enabler -vs- WP Super Cache -vs- WP Rocket -vs- W3 Total Cache USING PINGDOM

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The Clash of the caching plugins! Cache Enabler -vs- WP Super Cache -vs- WP Rocket -vs- W3 Total Cache USING PINGDOM

Having a caching plugin for most WordPress sites is a must have for a number of reasons but mostly SPEED. Everyone wants the fastest site they can possibly get ( or afford ) and the main plugins everyone turns to use is a caching plugin.

Today, we decided to put 4 major caching plugins to the test. Cache Enabler – WP Super Cache – WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache3 of the 4 are free. WP Rocket is the only 1 you have to pay for.

THE DIFFERENT TESTS CONDUCTED IN THIS SERIES:

  • Dry run with no caching plugins, image optimization or CDN enabled
  • Caching plugins enabled and configured for best possible results on all test sites
  • Caching plugins enabled and configured for best possible results on all test sites with full image optimization
  • Caching plugins enabled and configured for best possible results on all test sites with KeyCDN enabled and full image optimization
  • Caching plugins enabled and configured for best possible results on all test sites with Cloudflare enabled and full image optimization
  • Caching plugins enabled and configured for best possible results on all test sites with cloudflare + railgun enabled and full image optimization

THE ENVIRONMENT
For this test, we’re using the following environment and tools

  • CentOS 7 x64 Bit
  • nGinx v1.9.7
  • PHP-FPM
  • PHP v7.0.0 RC7
  • Zend OpCache v7.0.5
  • Memcached Server v1.4.24 + Memcache v3.0.8 PHP Extension
  • Latest WordPress version
  • MariaDB v10.0.22
  • CloudFlare DNS

Each site is hosted on a separate Virtual Private Server ( VPS ) in Chicago IL. utilizing VULTR VPS machines.
VPS Specs:

  • 1 vCPU Core @ 3392 MHz
  • 768MB RAM
  • 15GB SSD STORAGE
  • 1000GB TRANSFER

The Domain Names / Caching plugins installed Click the link to go to the site.

Theme used on each site
Each site had the exact theme with all stock everything. Nothing extra was added to any site. Whatever the theme came with ( Demo content ), that’s what was installed.

Required Plugins installed for the theme

  • Fusion Core
  • Contact Form 7
  • LayerSlider WP
  • Revolution Slider
  • The Events Calendar
  • WooCommerce
  • bbPress

Images were optimized with Optimus HQ for Cache Enabler (wphstest1) and ShortPixel for WP Rocket (wphstest2), WP Super Cache (wphstest3) and W3 Total Cache (wphstest4)

Speed test results with no caching plugin installed and no image optimizations

Screenshot_1-nocaching-site1-pingdom-texas

 

NO CDN / NO IMAGE OPTIMIZATION

The first page speed test ( with no image optimization ) was conducted on all 4 sites with Pingdom. Each site was submitted 5 times in the same location.
pingdom-test-results2

 

NO CDN WITH FULL IMAGE OPTIMIZATION

Second test with optimized images from Optimus ( wphstest1 ) + “Create an additional cached version for WebP image support” is checked in the Cache Enabler plugins settings. ShortPixel optimizer plugin was used for sites ( wphstest 2,3,4 ) All cache was cleared prior to beginning the test.

scaled-images-with-plugins-test

 

WITH KEYCDN AND FULL IMAGE OPTIMIZATION

Next, I wanted to test each site with the KeyCDN ( Content Delivery Network ) setup on each site enabled with the CDN Enabler plugin. The WP Super Cache and WP Rocket have a section in the plugin settings to enable the cdn so I used that instead of CDN Enabler plugin. All cache was cleared prior to beginning the test.

caching-plugins-with-keycdn

 

WITH CLOUDFLARE WITH NO RAILGUN AND FULL IMAGE OPTIMIZATION / KEYCDN IS OFF

 

next, I wanted to test each site with CloudFlare enabled without the railgun network optimizer. All cache was clear prior to beginning the test. Each site was given the exact cloudflare minification settings:
Screenshot_1-cloudflare-settings

cloudflare-on-caching-plugins-test

 

WITH CLOUDFLARE WITH RAILGUN ON AND FULL IMAGE OPTIMIZATION / KEYCDN IS OFF

Railgun ensures that the connection between your origin server and the CloudFlare network is as fast as possible.
Railgun achieves a 99.6% compression ratio for previously uncacheable web objects by using techniques similar to those used in the compression of high-quality video. This results in an average 200% additional performance increase. READ MORE

cf-railgun-on-caching-plugins2

 

TEST RESULTS OF ALL 5 TESTS CONDUCTED IN ONE COMPARISON IMAGE IN THE ORDER IT WAS TESTED.

 

  • 1st Row: Just the caching plugin enabled and configured.
  • 2nd row: Caching plugins enabled and configured w/ full image optimization
  • 3rd row: Caching plugins enabled w/ full image optimization + KeyCDN added
  • 4th row: Caching plugins enabled w/ full image optimization + Cloudflare added
  • 5th row: Caching plugins enabled w/ full image optimization + Cloudflare + Railgun active

Click the image below to view full size
pingdom-test-results-FULL

The next test I will conduct is using webpagetest.org More to come soon! Please, feel free to comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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