The 5 Best WordPress Caching Plugins for Elementor Users in 2019

How do WordPress caching plugins work, and which are the best caching plugins to speed up sites built with Elementor? In this post, we've collected the five best WordPress caching plugins for Elementor sites.

If you want to speed up the WordPress sites that you build with Elementor, a good cache plugin is a great way to improve your site’s performance and lessen the load on your server.

However, there are a ton of different caching plugins out there, and it’s hard to know where to start. To help, we’ve collected the five best WordPress caching plugins for Elementor sites.

In addition to showing you how each plugin works, we’ll also share some basic speed tests to give you an idea of how each plugin performs.

What Do WordPress Caching Plugins Do, Anyway?

If you’ve ever read a post about how to speed up WordPress, you know that caching plugins are a mainstay technique for cutting your site’s page load times.

However, what you might not know, is what caching plugins actually do.

At a basic level, “caching” is just the idea of storing important data in an accessible spot so that it can be more easily and quickly served up to visitors when needed.

There are lots of different kinds of caching (even for WordPress sites), but usually when you see the term “caching plugin”, it’s referring to page caching.

Normally, when someone visits your WordPress site, your server executes WordPress’ PHP to “build” the content (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) to deliver to your visitors’ browsers.

Page caching lets you bypass this by storing the output of that process – the already-generated HTML/CSS/JavaScript – and serving that up to visitors instead of having your server “build” the page for every single visit.

Note – if you’re using managed WordPress hosting, you might not need a separate WordPress cache plugin because most managed WordPress hosts implement caching at the server level.

Are There Any Problems With Page Caching?

For static content (i.e. content that doesn’t change and is the same for all users), caching is a great way to speed up your site and lessen the load on your server.

However, caching can be a little trickier for dynamic content, because storing a page in the cache will break any server-side dynamic functionality.

For example, the WooCommerce cart and checkout pages are two common troublemakers. Because the contents of both of those pages will vary for each visitor based on what each person is purchasing, trying to use static page caching on those pages will break those pages’ functionality.

As a result, you need to make sure that you exclude any dynamic content from being cached. This is a common issue, and many caching plugins can automatically do this for you in common situations. For example, WP Rocket automatically excludes the WooCommerce cart pages.

However, you still might need to manually go through and exclude any dynamic content at your site (unless that content uses JavaScript for the dynamic content because that happens client-side instead of server-side).

The 5 Best WordPress Caching Plugins for Elementor Users

Now that you know what these plugins are doing, let’s dig into the best caching plugins to speed up the sites that you build with Elementor.

Beyond sharing each plugin’s features, I’ll also run a quick speed test for each plugin using WebPageTest and share the results at the end.

Active on over one million sites, W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins at WordPress.org.

In terms of depth of functionality, W3 Total Cache has the most options of any caching plugin on this list (by far).

In addition to page caching, it also supports:

  • Minification
  • Opcode cache
  • Database cache
  • Object cache
  • Browser cache
  • CDN integration (e.g. serve static files from your CDN instead of your WordPress server)
  • Fragment cache

That’s a double-edged sword, though, because in addition to having the most functionality, W3 Total Cache is also the most complicated to configure…by far.

See all those options on the left? Each menu option has its own detailed settings area, and going through everything can definitely feel a little overwhelming:

So if you want all that flexibility, W3 Total Cache is a great option. You’ll have a ton of control over exactly how caching works on your WordPress site.

But if you’re not sure what object cache and database cache even mean, you might be happier choosing a different plugin on this list, as other options offer a much simpler setup process and can still get your site loading fast.

Here’s how W3 Total Cache performed using only page caching:

WP Fastest Cache is another popular option with a much simpler interface than W3 Total Cache.

While it also lacks W3 Total Cache’s advanced settings, it still gives you options that go beyond page caching, with support for:

  • Minification and concatenation
  • GZIP compression
  • Browser caching
  • Cache preload – normally, your site only “builds” the cached version of a page after a person visits the page for the first time. Preloading lets you create the cache without waiting for a visit.

To get started, all you do is check the boxes for the features that you want to use. The Delete Cache and Exclude tabs also let you clear your cache or exclude content from being cached:

Here’s how WP Fastest Cache performed with just the page caching active:

WP Rocket is the only caching plugin on this list that doesn’t have a free version at WordPress.org, but it makes up for that with a really user-friendly interface and a convenient pack of features.

As soon as you install and activate the plugin, WP Rocket automatically activates the page caching functionality:

Then, you can also go through and configure the other functionality, including:

  • Cache preloading (two different methods)
  • Browser caching
  • GZIP compression
  • Database optimization
  • Minification and concatenation
  • Defer JavaScript loading
  • DNS prefetching
  • Lazy loading

Do you need to pay to get a good caching plugin? No, definitely not.

But is WP Rocket more convenient than trying to do everything yourself? Yeah, most people would agree with that.

So if you’re willing to pay for convenience/ease of use, it’s a great option.

WP Rocket starts at $49 for use on a single site.

Here’s how WP Rocket performed in WebPageTest:

WP Super Cache is the most popular cache plugin at WordPress.org. It also comes from Automattic, the same team behind WordPress.com and Jetpack.

The big benefit of WP Super Cache is simplicity. If you want, you can just turn the caching functionality on and call it a day:

However, you also have the option to configure a few more advanced settings, though the functionality is not as deep as any of the three previous plugins.

You can:

  • Exclude specific content from being cached
  • Integrate with a CDN
  • Enable cache preloading functionality
  • Add browser caching
  • Configure other smaller settings:

Here’s how WP Super Cache performed in WebPageTest with the default settings:

Cache Enabler is a super simple page caching plugin from the folks at KeyCDN, a popular CDN service.

Like WP Super Cache, the great thing about this plugin is just how simple it is. You literally just:

  • Set the cache expiration
  • Choose when to automatically clear the cache (for example, you can automatically clear the cache when you update a post)
  • Choose what content to exclude from being cached

While Cache Enabler is simple, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work well. In running lots of tests over the years, I’ve always found Cache Enabler to perform near the top of the pack.

For best results, pair Cache Enabler with the Autoptimize plugin. The two play nice together and Autoptimize can handle minification and concatenation for you, which is another helpful performance optimization tip.

Here’s how Cache Enabler performed in WebPageTest:

Recap: Best WordPress Caching Plugins for Elementor Users

To recap these plugins, let’s take a look at all that WebPageTest data:

No Caching Plugin

2.742 s

W3 Total Cache

2.413 s

WP Fastest Cache

2.310 s

WP Rocket

2.355 s

WP Super Cache

2.439 s

Cache Enabler

2.359 s

WP Fastest Cache was indeed the fastest, and WP Rocket and Cache Enabler were neck-and-neck for second place (though the differences are by no means huge).

Beyond the page load times, you also have the usability factor. In terms of simplicity and ease of use, they go roughly in this order, with the simplest option first:

  1. WP Rocket
  2. Cache Enabler
  3. WP Super Cache
  4. WP Fastest Cache
  5. W3 Total Cache

The gap between WP Rocket and WP Fastest Cache is much smaller than the gap between WP Fastest Cache and W3 Total Cache.

Finally, remember that a good caching plugin is not a bandaid for other performance issues. While intelligent caching plays an important role in speeding up your WordPress site, it’s not a hall pass to ignore all the other parts of speeding up a WordPress site.

Do you have any questions about the best way to use a caching plugin or how caching works with Elementor content? Ask away in the comments!

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About the Author

Colin Newcomer
Colin Newcomer
Colin is a freelance writer for hire specializing in WordPress and digital marketing. Grow your business with in-depth, conversational blog posts.

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Comments

53 Responses

      1. p.s. I use SG Optimizer alongside WP-Rocket on one site and with Autoptimise on another site. Also, image compression plugin is not necessary with the SG optimizer because there are image optimization options in the plugin itself. Use only Lazy Video Loading plugin to speed up loading pages with embedded videos.

    1. Hi, I too am curious to know whether SG Optimizer is good enough or not. I use it now, but I am neither experienced nor learned enough to tell if it is the right choice or not.

      Someone, please share some knowledge about it…

    2. SiteGround is a highly overrated hosting, surely they have make an awesome marketing job making people think that they’re really good.
      They are good but not excellent. My recommendation based in personal experience testing several hosting companies searching for the Best Price-Performace ratio, is “Rochen” in first place and “HostWithLove” in second place. Both of this companies are currently offering TOP Quality services.

      Rochen for example only cost 7.95 monthly an one of my favorite features is the Built-In Staging that is included for Free in all their plans, including the 7.95 plan.
      Their Performance(Page Loading Speed) is Top-Notch, notably faster than the SiteGround performance, partly due that they are using the fastest webserver available that is “LiteSpeed Webserver” with their free “LiteSpeed Cache plugin that is also notably faster than “WP Rocket”. Trust Me, I have personally tested all of this.
      It’s funny to know that the $ 7.95 monthly Rochen Plan has better Performance that the overpriced $34.95/monthly GoGeek “SiteGround” Plan, i’ts really insane.
      The Customer service and Reliability are also TOP in Rochen. Do yourself a favor and test by yourself the Rochen hosting, You will be amazed.

      HostWithLove is also TOP Quality ALL Around but don’t have the buil-in Staging. Their price is insanely low, only $3.90 monthly, and You have Faster Page Loading Speed that SiteGround “GrowBig” $19.95/mo plan. This is also Insane.

      Remember, both Rochen and HostWithLove, only spend little money in Marketing, for for this reason they can offer these amazing prices.

      Go and test one of them and you will be surprised.

  1. Thank you for the summary. We could also recommend you trying SpeedKit by Baqend – it is more like a service worker based cache but the loading time increased very significantly. We use it for client projects with high traffic.

  2. While this caching topic has been thrashed to bits, it’s still worth a revisit to see of any new or up-coming caching plugins that ‘promise’ to do better than the ones already established.

    After a bit of testing on a Staging Sandbox environment, the best results I came up with is WP Fastest Cache and Autoptimize working together.

    https://snag.gy/01lXBu.jpg

    W3 Total Cache is great but I find it a mind blow just to setup correctly.

    1. Doesn’t work for us. We always have problems with Elementor when using Swit performance. Other than that, it might be a nice plugin for really small and simple sites.

  3. Too bad they didn’t mention Viper Cache. Use it on 5 websites and it has been consistently good with decreasing my load times. Highly recommended.

  4. I also vote for Swift Performance. I tried 4 already from the list you mention above, worst was W3 total cache. Fastest Cache is fine, but with Swift performance the speed of the sites I build changed rapidly. Even the free version is amazing, better than many paid ones… WP rocket – i pay for it and use it on my own website and I’m really not satisfied with it, so won’t extend my subscription.

  5. I would add one more which is missing from this list, Swift Performance. I use it for my sites and it has the overall best performance and ease of use. The article is incomplete without it. 🙂

  6. Thanks for the list! Colin.

    But, “WP Rocket” does not load the widgets well. It blocks the widgets sometime.

  7. Given the uncached speed, that test was on a fairly simple page on fairly fast hosting, right? The gain was measurable but not dramatic. It’d be interesting to see the same test on a much more complex page and typical shared hosting.

    It would also be even more valuable to see Elementor’s recommended settings for minification, concatenation, query strings on js and css files, etc. to keep Elementor working at its best with any caching or optimization plugin.

    I don’t think you’ve recommended settings in any article on this topic but I only checked a handful so maybe I missed it. You showed all the Autooptimize boxes checked in one article then followed with “If you experience any issues with your site, a good troubleshooting step is to try turning off JavaScript optimization and see if that fixes the issue.” but didn’t say whether or not Elementor is likely to have issues (in my experience, yes, so why tell us to try it in the first place?).

  8. Unfair comparison for WP Super Cache. It’s super cautious and don’t enable mod_rewrite based caching by default (what they call Expert caching) while all the others tested do. Enabling it, surely the results would be the best. All the other settings can be selected as recommended, no mind blow.

  9. Rocket is definitely the best plugin, i am using it on all websites and the price become irrelevant after you compare the user experience – Rocket with outhers – definitely worth paying

  10. Hello,
    Good job
    But a point not studied is work with Apache or/and NGINX, the last one who didn’t work with htaccess files, is the orphelan of lot of this cache plugins

  11. Would it be possible to show a comparison when accessing the site through a CDN like Cloudflare? Just to see if going free is almost comparable to using a paid service with global coverage.

  12. The absolute and indisputable King of cache plugins is “LiteSpeed Cache” and it’s free. The only requirement that the plugin need to work at peek speed is to have a hosting with “LiteSpeed Webserver”. There are many of this hostings available so there is no excuses to get the benefits of this amazing plugin.

    I personally have tested the following hostings and both are really TOP Quality, trust me, go and test one of them and you will be surprised for their Prices and Performance:

    1. Rochen (Built-In Staging, Free in all plans. Also is cheap)
    2. HostWithLove (Really Cheap)

  13. Another vote here for seeing you evaluate LiteSpeed Cache! There is a free LiteSpeed Web Server license available, as well as OpenLiteSpeed, so you can include LSCache in your testing without it costing you anything.

  14. I would love to see to be able to disable certain Elements/Options in Elementor. The new – superb – Motion Effects add a lot of additional CSS/JS Files not every website needs…

    The Elementor Extras Plugin has a nice Setting Screen in the Backend to disable certain Widgets and Features/Settings and when disabled are not loading additional CSS & JS files. Would like to see something similar in Elementor Pro in the future or at least have functions infor functions.php to disable stuff like this.

    I have got quite other experiences with Elementor and Caching Plugins. When i have such a slow loading page (2 seconds and above without a Caching Plugin), i generally get a loading time with a Caching Plugin around 1 Second sometimes more sometimes less… Also depending on how many images are loading… Would be interesting what the Website looked that was tested…

    I love Elementor, but Elementor slows down your Website loading time. Without a Caching Plugin it is probably not so much fun.

  15. Good to have plugins, but I try to minimize their usage and set everything manually if possible. I still need to fine tune gzip compression and start using CDN. But even without plugins overall I’m happy with my site speed. Which CDN service would you recommend by the way?

  16. I tried both WP Super Cache and Cache Enabler + Autoptimize. I run the woocommerce site and so far WP Super Cache gives the best result, and support Woocommerce out of the box. The Cache Enabler + Autoptimize pair sometimes causes page display problems. In addition, many times, it even causes delayed server response (probably because of Autoptimize doing magnification / aggregation stuff on the fly). Also, Load Impact testing gives higher response per second and total response for WP Super Cache compared to the other pair (more than double responses per second!).

    My server set up is Nginx + Apache with Redis Object cache.

  17. I have to saybthatvive tried all of these. I still have 1 site running wp rocket but all my other sites now run swift performance and it has given me the best performance increase than anybody these and other cache plugins I have tried.

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