12 Best Free WordPress Cache Plugins In 2023 (All Have A Free Version)
Here are the best free WordPress cache plugins based on my experience, user reviews, speed, ease of use, and extra features. However, cache plugins can act differently based on various factors. Test each one and choose the best one for you.
I put every WordPress cache plugin I could find into the experiment. Consider features, usability, flexibility, and differences along with speed. Experiment with various plugins/settings to reach maximum performance. Some cache plugins may perform differently based on your server, design, theme, and conditions.
But first, you must optimize your hosting because the speed of your Webhosting figures how quickly it can perform requests and traffic can manage. If you currently using low-cost web hosting will help by upgrading to a Cloud/VPS.
A tiny website does not need a lot of server resources, but it is still noticeable and valued when you move to a better host with sufficient resources.
CDNs are efficient ways to improve TTFB, especially for global users. Use Cloudflare’s free services with free DNS, CDN, and security. The free Cloudflare plan is perfectly fine. You can pay extra for the PRO plan, but you won’t see much difference.
However, Cloudflare Enterprise’s extensive network, speed, and high security are highly rated. But we can only afford to pay a little, so some hosts, such as RocketNet, offer it. You can also use third-party services like Flyingproxy to access Enterprise.
I use FlyingPress and LiteSpeed plugins for my websites because both deliver better performance, features, quality, reliability, and ease of use.
FlyingPress is perfect for small/medium/bigger sites, even high traffic. Read my comparison FlyingPress Vs. WP Rocket. Free SWIFT performance is suitable for small websites. There are a lot of factors that affect which cache plugin you should use.
Best free cache plugins for WordPress
1. LiteSpeed Cache
The best free cache plugin out there, with a plethora of features, high performance, quality, and reliability. But, this required a LiteSpeed server or QUIC.cloud for use full of features. LSC provides outstanding performance, rich customization, and fast server-level caching. For many users (new or grown), the LS cache is the middle.
Obviously, this is the most excellent free cache plugin for WordPress. No need to use other cache plugins. Some advanced features and a few are unique and cannot be found elsewhere. LSC also provides image optimizations with WebP Replacement.
Some pics from Litespeed cache settings:
LiteSpeed Cache Features
- Server cache: all cache plugin use file-based PHP to create caches, but LPC use servers to generate cached pages.
- Image optimization: many cache plugins don’t offer Image optimization features, even the Pro plugin WP Rocket but this one gives full function on image and media optimizations.
- Object Cache: if your host provides Object Cache, such as Redis or Memcached, you can optimize it with LSC.
- CSS Optimization: there are many exciting options, such as minifications, critical CSS, merged, separate ccs, etc.
- HTML Optimization: Remove query strings, google fonts, WordPress emoji, DNS prefetch, HTML lazy load selectors, and many others.
- Media Optimization: Dimensions, lazy load iframes, missing widths, image /adaptive placeholder, lazy load, and multiple image/iframe optimizations.
- Database Optimization: unlike other plugins, LSC has advanced database enhancements such as tables engine converter, revisions limit, age, etc.
LSC is a highly aggressive cache and optimization plugin that I found alongside SWIFT Performance, but SWIFT has a pro version, whereas LSC is entirely free. Also, cache crawling is built into LiteSpeed servers. However, only some web hosts enable it on shared hosting. If you have a VPS, you can access it.
This is the plugin you should use in any LiteSpeed environment.
It performs out of the box with minimum effort and built-in security features. Using another caching plugin is unnecessary when LiteSpeed cache provides multiple options and uses rapid server-level features. Unquestionably, the best free cache plugin.
2. SWIFT Performance Lite
SWIFT Performance Lite was what I was very thrilled about, as it did perform very aggressively on my test. You can see a lot of negative feedback from users. However, I don’t mind that the main reason missing was official guidelines. Many users don’t know how to work features or troubleshoot problems better.
SWIFT has a shitload of features and, with LiteSpeed Cache, is perhaps the most feature-rich free cache plugin in the WP plugins directory.
Many functionalities may be stressful for beginners and unsafe because users allow unnecessary things to slow down their websites. The premium edition offers even more advanced features. It has more elements than any other free plugin.
SWIFT is good if you have top-heavy web pages and need to tweak every element. But advanced features require more understanding, which many users need help with.
Here are some images from UI.
- Caching: the primary role of swift. It works aggressively and has many caching features, such as proxy cache, lazy load blocks, etc.
- Enable Server Push: improves site performance by preloading Stylesheet resources for your pages, allowing them to load faster when users are in.
- Optimize in Background: this can be effective for large web pages and servers.
- Separate Scripts: effective if you have a wide selection of content.
- Lazy Load Scripts: DELAY third-party scripts and ad networks; it runs perfectly and helps improve your CWV without breaking the front end.
- Media Optimization: there is a lot of media optimization stuff like serving Webp, preloading images, load images on user interaction, fixing missing sizes, lazy load iframes, load iframes on user interaction, etc.
- Critical CSS: paces up load time with critical content on the site upfront.
- Fonts Optimizations: preloads, local host, force swap, and other functions.
- Plugin Organizer: this a fantastic feature that many plugins, even pro plugins, miss. Plugins always slow down the speed of a website. With this feature, you can choose where some plugins, such as frontend/backend, are required.
Those are only a few. There are many other things, some of which I need to learn about. SWIFT’s user interface should be simpler. However, it is still a good one.
3. Super Page Cache for Cloudflare
Super Page Cache is not actually a cache plugin, but this plugin makes your website lightning-fast by getting website caching to the next grade. It will support you in caching static content and cached HTML webpages. However, do so carefully. If you have a lot of dynamic content, this won’t work and can deliver a poor user experience.
All you need to do is provide the API for your Cloudflare account, and the plugin will do the rest. Personally, I tested it with the free Cloudflare plan, which allowed a page cache by accessing the Cache Everything page rule, which significantly improved speed.
You can dramatically boost the response times of your website by using the high-speed Cloudflare cache, which is also accessible for Html files, to save you time.
I found a few things that could be improved, such as caching critical web pages, logout sessions, etc. But without a doubt, the best free Cloudflare plugin for your website.
4. Powered Cache
Although this is not widely known, but can be useful. I was notably attracted to the options and UI design. Several more valuable features for power users while keeping the rest clean and straightforward for beginners. The powered cache-free version includes everything you need to enhance the speed of your site.
There is also a PRO version with more additional features.
Powered Cache Features
- Mobile Cache: the mobile cache is typically not used, but if you use AMP or another alternative to separate pages for mobile, this can be useful.
- Media Optimization: similar to other stuff, such as Lazy Load.
- Preload: here’s some cool stuff, Preload cache, prefetch DNS, and pre-connect.
- Object Cache: If your host supports Memcache or Redis, you can use this plugin to optimize.
This is not a fully refined plugin like Litespeed, SF, or Pro plugin like Flyingpress, but it is helpful if you have tiny/low-traffic sites. Try and then see how it works on your website.
5. Borlabs Cache
Borlabs Cache is a premium cache plugin offering a free version with limited functionality. You can increase the speed with a simple setup, effective prefetching of the webpage, HTML cutbacks, and more. Borlabs Cache, unlike the others, provides more than just caching, including Fragment and Security Header.
Free version features
- Caching and preloading: pages will be cached and preloaded to ensure that your content is often up to speed, but the free version is limited to 25 preloads p/d.
- Fragment caching: this is an unusual feature that allows dynamic code in cached static content. Useful in Woocommerce.
- Js & CSS optimization: Reduces data whitespace and Web pages and optimizes Google Fonts.
- Security header: can’t expect from cache plugin even not speed features but useful for Security Policy, HSTS, XSS, etc.
Try with a free license to see if Borlabs Cache performs your conditions. The free version is enough for most sites with low traffic. But if you have a high-traffic website with many pages. You should move to a paid version with more cache preloading.
6. WP Speed of Light
WP Speed of Light is another free plugin that isn’t widely used, but it has many features, state resources, and a user-friendly UI. Even the free version is suitable for smaller sites. I like the graphical interface because it’s clean and straightforward to understand.
This is simple and has no enhanced features. Include minification CSS, JS, the removal of query strings, Gzip, CDN integration, and a few more in the free version. This can be the ideal plugin if you are a newbie. But the free version lacks some key features.
The paid version provides images, WooCommerce optimization, preload, and DNS. Also, the dashboard is quite informative and contains some basic data about speed optimization things like Core web Vital and other recommendations.
IMO, this is not perfect, but I can tell that this plugin will most likely speed up your website significantly. Try Speed of Light to see how it can drive up your site.
The free version will be enough if you only have a simple/lean website.
Breeze cache plugin from Cloudways still has some bugs and poor reviews, but it delivers exciting results when used in the Varnish setup with Cloudways or even other NGINX hosts. Breeze was speedy when I tried it on a Cloudways or Nginx environment.
There are too many shares and errors, but I only refer to caching.
Breeze has asset optimization features. But they are less effective than other plugins. In conditions like Nginx, caching will work better. It is now grown step by step, with extra features like font preload, heartbeat control, minifications, JS to the footer, etc.
Gzip compression, Lazy load image/iFrame, delay JS, database options, CDN rewrite, inbuilt Varnish, and other features are available. Still, it needs unused CSS, preload, media optimizations, etc. But Breeze is a free cache plugin. We can only expect a little.
Here is the official setup and installation guide.
8. WP Fastest Cache
Before Litespeed, WPFC was a popular free cache plugin. And it is very friendly to beginners. But now, WP Fastest Cache UI feels outdated but clear, which I like because there aren’t many options or guidelines, and it’s a very thin plugin with few features.
This is ideal compared to Total Cache, but performance-wise, nothing incredible.
Look at that UI; it’s uncomplicated.
That simple interface is excellent but needs to be more effective. It feels like yet another caching plugin that improves nothing. Many improved plugins perform better. However, if you are a beginner with a lean website, you can start with WPFC, which is very easy to use and not wrong with little traffic. But if you have some traffic, use LSC or FP.
The plugin has basic features like a cache, preload, minifications, browser caching, and others. The CDN setting is cool and allows you to connect easily with any providers.
9. Cache Enabler
Cache Enabler is a brief cache plugin from KeyCDN, but my experience with it could have been better. However, NGINX or a specific setup can provide some good results. It allows static files to generate pages while ignoring resource backend processes from the core. Include useful features like auto cache clear, Brotli/Gzip, and minification.
It hasn’t notable features/UI that set it apart from other plugins.
The interface is similar to WP Super Cache, with only one page to do stuff and no super duper features, but it is enough for simple websites with low to medium traffic.
Read their official guidelines for further information.
Hummingbird is another freemium WPMU cache plugin. But I’m not a fan of any of their products, but this plugin has some results with caching and optimizations with a beautiful UI/beginner friendly. You can see many positive reviews from users. However, the plugin fails to express significant impacts like LiteSpeed, WP Rocket, or FlyingPress.
Hummingbird is good for ease of use, but it’s too bloated for me, and the scroll features don’t address speed optimizations. However, it does have some useful features, such as Gravatar Caching (which stores cached versions of avatars).
RSS caching (caches your RSS feeds) removes cart fragments, prefetch DNS requests, and preconnect (If your site load many resources from other servers, preconnect can help faster page load time). Gzip compression (Brotli produces better results).
The pro version fuss because it includes unnecessary features like the white label and uptime monitoring, which are not speed features and only make the price worthwhile.
Here is a full screenshot of the Hummingbird dashboard.
I like the UI, but there is too much unnecessary stuff, and while it may be user-friendly for beginners. You will hate it if you are a techie, as many useful features cap to the paid version. But I’m not saying this is a bad plugin. Give it a try; it might be effective.
11. SG Optimizer
SG Optimizer is an entirely free cache plugin for SiteGround users (i never recommend it). It needs to do a better job of addressing speed. You can’t preload, and it doesn’t support critical CSS or unused Stylesheet. You can’t defer third-party scripts like ads, banners, etc. And you can’t optimize font. However, it can be used for caching.
But Caching is the significant edge of SiG Optimizer because the dynamic cache can full page caching with SiteGround servers. And includes Memcached, which is useful and speeds up the database. Heartbeat optimization handles things, and you can limit it.
This is not a plugin I would use for my websites. However, SG users can benefit from server-level caching along with other cache plugins (Rocket, Flyingpress).
I know people like or debate. But you need to test it and see if it actually works. If SG developers can progress this plugin, it will be one of the finest free cache plugins.
Here are some SG Optimizer screenshots.
Look at this instruction to configure SiteGround Optimizer.
12. Redis Object Cache
Redis Object Cache is the free version of Redis OC. There is also a Pro version. Add a Redis cache if your site is large or has a lot of traffic. Cloudways, RunCloud, and other hosts use Redis. However, object cache has little effect on lean/low traffic websites.
Redis plugin has proper setup and Rewritten, serialization/compression, prefetching, and links with TLS. If your host allows Redis, you can simply on this plugin’s functions.
Object caching is effective for dynamic web pages with frequently new records. OC caches database requests in RAM, so they don’t have to be checked up each time a request is created. However, your server has to support object caching.
I do not encourage using object caching if you have a SIMPLE website. That’s even slower in some scenarios, allowing it has no overall impact.
Yeah, sure, you can give it a try to see for yourself.
Multiple caching processes
- Full-page Caching – this dramatically reduces TTFB and leads to better performance in serving a fast experience. It can do it at the server level, like LiteSpeed, which is great, and at the PHP stage, as well as at the CDN, like Cloudflare enterprise.
- Browser Cache – a better way to cache is by saving things in the browser, people don’t have to reaccess those. It’s fast because data are filled directly from the user’s browser, but if you update content, usually that can adverse effects.
- Object Cache – was created to ease already improved webpages and sites with massive dynamic content. It allows storing database stuff in memory and on file to reduce regular requests. Redis and Memcached are two examples.
- Cloud Cache – the traditional cache stores the cache on the web server, whereas the cloud cache goes one step, storing cache pages at the edges. Cloud caching reduces latency from the origin servers. CDN/NitroPack/Ezoic use cloud cache.
There are other caching processes that I have yet to mention. Static sites with slightly changing content can use full-page caching. Dynamic websites with a lot of content, such as forums, need to use object cache, and there are many other strategies.
Fix cache errors
The cache also has drawbacks, such as showing old pages after an update. While most plugins work flawlessly, some do have issues. I had problems with some, so here are a few solutions if you are experiencing cache issues.
Clear your browser cache or test in Incognito mode. You can also use GTmetrix/Keycdn tools or screen testers to analyze your caching.
Get a backup of your website; it will be helpful in the future. Also, clear your CDN cache because it still shows old content after clearing the plugin cache.
If this does not work, disable and clear any server-level caching you use, such as cache commander for NGINX. Security plugins can sometimes cause caching issues, so disable them if installed.
Doesn’t work, go into your Filezilla or file manager and change the name of the cache plugin folder. Remove the cache folder and cache files in your wp-contents directory if it does not process. The final method is to delete your Htaccess file, which is usually the primary source with cache, and most of the time, that works.
If anything doesn’t process, contact your hosting provider.
Cache plugins that are not on my lineup
There are plenty of free and paid cache plugins. But I only listed free versions. And these are outside my lineup because they aren’t unique. Don’t just take my word for it. Look at how they work on your website because some paid/free cache plugins work differently from hosts/servers, themes, plugins, content, and other factors.
- W3 Total Cache: UI is old-fashioned, with unlimited browsing. The basic functions are provided in a too technical. Even a developer needs help to grasp advanced stuff. And that’s also one of the reasons I don’t recommend it to anyone. Many people have yet to learn what things require. A jam-packed plugin.
- ezCache – a simple cache plugin that CAN improve your site speed with image optimization with WebP. But nothing out of the ordinary.
- A2 Optimized WP – more negative than good feedback. Story ended.
- WP Super Cache – Many people use this plugin, most likely since Automattic developed it. Looking at the plugin’s configuration sections, I’d like it. Things are set on a clear path. Sad to say, it is not as fast as other plugins.
- Comet Cache – Free cache plugins that were average but are now outperformed. Not updated recently. It looks abandoned.
- Hyper Cache – a cool tiny plugin with suitable options; no longer maintained.
- WP-Optimize – this is an excellent plugin for database optimization, but never use it for the cache.
- Autoptimize – not a cache plugin. It is ideal for optimizing minified and cached scripts and styles. However, this plugin is not required if you use Flyingpress/rocket.
- Clearfy Cache – The free version has almost no features
You can find a lot of free Cache Plugins in the WordPress plugins directory, but most are really bad or last updated a long time ago. WP Performance is a fantastic free cache plugin that hasn’t been updated in nearly three years.
Cache plugins are more complex to set up than before because they do more than just caching. I’ve tried multiple cache plugins. The better ones have valuable functions, are simple to use, and will not blow the website. You can pick aggressive plugins with various optimization techniques if you only maintain a few sites.
If you’re running a LiteSpeed server, you can use the LiteSpeed cache plugin, one of my favorites. Flyingpress is the all-around cache plugin if you can pay.
With the NGINX web server, you can experiment with free plugins such as Swift Performance, W3TC, Breeze, Hummingbird, Cache Enabler, and others.
Some cache plugins perform poorly or cause other issues, and you should sidestep those plugins. I also ignored plugins that weren’t changed within one year and had a lot of negative feedback. There are way too many alternatives to try them all.
I hope one of the free WordPress cache plugins on my list can be helpful.
If you have any other insights, leave a comment.
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