WordPress Cache Plugin - Benchmarking Cache Enabler

By Brian Jackson
Updated on September 21, 2016
WordPress Cache Plugin - Benchmarking Cache Enabler

KeyCDN released its free WordPress cache plugin, Cache Enabler, because we weren't happy with the current free caching plugins on the marketplace. We have been getting great feedback so far and a lot of you have been asking how Cache Enabler compares to third party caching plugins. Check out our performance benchmarks below that we ran against WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. Our goal was to create a free caching plugin that is super easy to use and is blazing fast!

Test configurations

These tests were run with KeyCDN over HTTPS to take advantage of HTTP/2 performance on the CDN. The Cache Enabler plugin focuses around new HTTP/2 practices such as no domain sharding and no concatenation, taking full advantage of parallelism.

  • Website Speed Test tool: GTmetrix
  • 4 locations tested per scenario
  • Used Google Chrome over unthrottled connection

We used a KeyCDN customer's WordPress website when running these tests.

1. Cache Enabler with WebP enabled

In this scenario we are testing both the speed of the Cache Enabler plugin but also with WebP images. We used three KeyCDN plugins in this test: CDN Enabler [Free], Cache Enabler [Free], and Optimus [Premium]. Optimus is used to convert the images to WebP.

Cache Enabler settings

We had the following enabled in the Cache Enabler settings:

  1. Create an additional cached version for WebP image support. Convert your images to WebP with Optimus.
  2. Cache Minification: HTML & Inline JS

You will only benefit from WebP over Chrome right now, but according to W3Counter, Chrome holds over 44% of the browser market share.

PageSpeedYSlowPage loadPage sizePage requests
Dallas96%95%1.2 s280 KB21
Hong Kong, China96%92%1.6 s280 KB21
London, UK96%92%1.4 s280 KB21
Vancouver, Canada96%92%0.9 s280 KB21

Our best time was from Vancouver, Canada at 0.9 s.

WordPress Cache Plugin - GTmetrix scores

2. Cache Enabler without WebP enabled

We then ran the same tests but without WebP enabled. We realize some people might not want to purchase Optimus and are simply looking for a free lightweight caching plugin.

PageSpeedYSlowPage loadPage sizePage requests
Dallas86%95%1.2 s0.98 MB21
Hong Kong, China86%95%1.8 s0.98 MB21
London, UK86%95%1.4 s0.98 MB21
Vancouver, Canada86%95%1.1 s0.98 MB21

Our best time was from Vancouver, Canada at 1.1 seconds. It was slightly slower than with WebP enabled, as expected. If you have larger images on your site you will notice quite a big difference between WebP and without.

WordPress Cache Plugin - GTmetrix scores

3. WP Super Cache

We then disabled the CDN Enabler and Cache Enabler plugins and configured WP Super Cache for caching and deploying the CDN.

PageSpeedYSlowPage loadPage sizePage requests
Dallas86%95%1.2 s0.98 MB21
Hong Kong, China86%95%1.7 s0.98 MB21
London, UK86%95%1.5 s0.98 MB21
Vancouver, Canada86%95%1.7 s0.98 MB21

Our best time was from Dallas, Texas at 1.2 s.

WordPress Cache Plugin - GTmetrix scores

4. W3 Total Cache

We then disabled the CDN Enabler and Cache Enabler plugins and configured W3 Total Cache for caching and deploying the CDN. We had minification enabled, disk caching, and object caching.

PageSpeedYSlowPage loadPage sizePage requests
Dallas85%99%1.2 s0.97 MB14
Hong Kong, China85%99%1.5 s0.97 MB14
London, UK85%99%1.6 s0.97 MB14
Vancouver, Canada85%99%1.4 s0.97 MB14

Our best time was from Dallas, Texas at 1.2 s.

WordPress Cache Plugin - GTmetrix scores

WordPress cache plugin comparison

And finally we compared all of the speed tests. Cache Enabler won 2/4 tests and tied on the third. Also, this is with the version without WebP enabled. The WebP version saw even faster load times.

Cache Enabler + WebPCache EnablerWP Super CacheW3TCWinner
Dallas1.2 s1.2 s1.2 s1.2 sTie
Hong Kong1.6 s1.8 s1.7 s1.5 sW3TC
London1.4 s1.4 s1.5 s1.6 sCache Enabler
Vancouver0.9 s1.1 s1.7 s1.4 sCache Enabler

Summary

So the next time you are looking for a new caching plugin, we recommend giving Cache Enabler a try. It is lightweight, free, and can be setup within minutes. And if you take advantage of Google's WebP format you will be a step ahead of the competition.

KeyCDN's plugins have all been developed and fully tested to work together. You can still use them individually but together you will benefit from the most speed. Deploy your CDN in minutes with CDN Enabler, optimize your images with Optimus, and cache your WordPress site with Cache Enabler, while also deploying WebP images.

Have you used Cache Enabler yet? Or perhaps you have your own favorite WordPress cache plugin. If so, we would love to hear your thoughts below.

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