What type of caching plugin should I use on my website?
While there are many options, we suggest WP Super Cache
This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
The static html files will be served to the vast majority of your users:
- Users who are not logged in.
- Users who have not left a comment on your blog.
- Or users who have not viewed a password protected post.
99% of your visitors will be served static html files. One cached file can be served thousands of times. Other visitors will be served custom cached files tailored to their visit. If they are logged in, or have left comments those details will be displayed and cached for them.
The plugin serves cached files in 3 ways (ranked by speed):
- Expert. The fastest method is by using Apache mod_rewrite (or whatever similar module your web server supports) to serve “supercached” static html files. This completely bypasses PHP and is extremely quick. If your server is hit by a deluge of traffic it is more likely to cope as the requests are “lighter”. This does require the Apache mod_rewrite module (which is probably installed if you have custom permalinks) and a modification of your .htaccess file which is risky and may take down your site if modified incorrectly.
- Simple. Supercached static files can be served by PHP and this is the recommended way of using the plugin. The plugin will serve a “supercached” file if it exists and it’s almost as fast as the mod_rewrite method. It’s easier to configure as the .htaccess file doesn’t need to be changed. You still need a custom permalink. You can keep portions of your page dynamic in this caching mode.
- WP-Cache caching. This is mainly used to cache pages for known users, URLs with parameters and feeds. Known users are logged in users, visitors who leave comments or those who should be shown custom per-user data. It’s the most flexible caching method and slightly slower. WP-Cache caching will also cache visits by unknown users if supercaching is disabled. You can have dynamic parts to your page in this mode too. This mode is always enabled but you can disable caching for known users, URLs with parameters, or feeds separately. Set the constant “DISABLE_SUPERCACHE” to 1 in your wp-config.php if you want to only use WP-Cache caching.
If you’re not comfortable with editing PHP files then use simple mode. It’s easy to set up and very fast.
- Simple caching.
- Compress pages.
- Don’t cache pages for known users.
- Cache rebuild.
- CDN support.
- Extra homepage checks.
Garbage collection is the act of cleaning up cache files that are out of date and stale. There’s no correct value for the expiry time but a good starting point is 1800 seconds.
Consider deleting the contents of the “Rejected User Agents” text box and allow search engines to cache files for you.
Preload as many posts as you can and enable “Preload Mode”. Garbage collection of old cached files will be disabled. If you don’t care about sidebar widgets updating often set the preload interval to 2880 minutes (2 days) so all your posts aren’t recached very often. When the preload occurs the cache files for the post being refreshed is deleted and then regenerated. Afterwards a garbage collection of all old files is performed to clean out stale cache files.
Even with preload mode enabled cached files will still be deleted when posts are modified or comments made.