W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache comparison
W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache both get a very good rating on Wordpress.org and are installed on millions of sites. Both plugins have also been around for a long time. It must be said of WP Super Cache that it does not have a premium version which is unusual for such a good cache plugin. We check how much faster these plug-ins make your website load and the overall comfort and number of functions they offer.
W3 TOTAL CACHE (W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache)
We start in this W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache comparison with W3 Total Cache which is not automatically means that it is better. In this W3 Total Cache review we will discuss what both the free and PRO version can do for your Wordpress website. With more than a million active installations, W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular and well-known cache plug-ins for Wordpress. Also the average rating on Wordpress.org where the plugin is free for download, is pretty good.
Install W3 Total Cache (Free version)
W3 Total Cache is a free plug-in that can simply be installed via "New plugin" in Wordpress as shown below. W3 Total Cache is one of the fastest and most complete free WordPress performance optimization plugins. W3 Total Cache improves your site's user experience by improving server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing download times and offering a content delivery network (CDN). Immediately after we activate the installation, we can continue with the plug-in settings. Make sure you have removed any other cache plugins beforehand.
Before you start, we strongly recommend that you check your site's performance using Google Pagespeed Insights, GT-Metrix and Pingdom Tools. This will give you a comparison before and after the installation of W3 Total Cache.
W3 Total Cache settings
Okay, let's see what W3 Total Cache has to offer.
The Page Cache must of course be "enabled", and under normal circumstances "Disk Enhanced" as shown below.
Minifying should be used as much as possible, as long as no problems arise on your website (design). This is especially true when combining css or js files. Problems can arise here and in that case you have to restore it. Standard good settings are shown below.
Other cache types
I'm not going to bore you in this W3 Total Cache review with pictures of all different cache types, it more or less goes without saying. Everything can be turned on practically: Opcode cache, Database cache, Object cache, and Browser cache.
In this W3 Total Cache review we are impressed by the large amount of CDN networks that W3 Total Cache works perfectly with. The best choice is for me Stackpath CDN or Cloudflare which is free. As soon as you start paying (PRO) Stackpath is the cheaper choice. Both services are practically equally good when it comes to the premium version.
Lazy Load has a huge positive influence on the loading time of your page and should therefore be on. Images are loaded blurry and become sharper and "beath the fold" images are loaded later.
Import & Export
All versions offer the import and export options with which you can export the settings of W3 Toal Cache to your PC and then upload them to another site of yours. This way you have much less work if you have multiple sites.
What does the Premium Version offer extra?
With the PRO version, you have monitoring in your dashboard, you can connect W3 Total Cache to Google Pagespeed, Disk Optimizing (database). You also have Fragment caching, Lazy Load for Google Maps, Full site caching for CDN, Render Blocking remove CSS (important), suitable for use with WPML, optimized to work with Genesis Framework (60% faster) and of course full ticket support.
W3 Total Cache review conclusion
My personal experience with this plug-in is good, although I find the settings too cumbersome and do not seem optimal for beginners. An easier and also better plug-in to achieve fast loading times is WP-Rocket. Also WP-Optimize is a good alternative. The Premium version of W3 Total Cache costs a whopping $ 99 a year, double WP-Rocket and has no multi-site discounts. So this plugin is outrageously expensive.
WP SUPER CACHE (W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache)
In this W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache comparison, we now discuss the free version of WP Super Cache. The first thing to notice is that this plug-in is active on more than 2 million websites. Moreover, WP Super Cache is very popular with a lot of users who gave it 5 stars. What is also striking is that there are also quite a few with only 1 star rating.
WP SUPER CACHE RATINGS
See the ratings and active installations for WP Super Cache above.
WP SUPER CACHE SPEEDTEST
I tested a clean Wordpress install with and without the plugin on GT-Metrix, one of the best speed tests out there and you can see the results below. In seconds the loading time has improved considerably and the total score is from 76 to 99 points. This is a great result for a cache plugin.
With WP Super Cache
Without WP Super Cache
WP SUPER CACHE SET UP
Install the plug-in and then go to the screen for all plug-ins and click on "settings" at WP Super Cache. The plug-in doesn't seem to have a separate back-end tab in the left column for this. Then click on "caching on" and click "update status".
Also, the plugin does not compress your files by default. You must enable this at the "advanced" tab as shown below.
In this WP Super Cache review we should definitely ask ourselves why this plug-in doesn't work immediately after installing it. There are plugins such as cache-plug-in WP-Rocket where practically nothing has to be set and works immediately. WP Super Cache has a lot of things you can set under the "advanced" tab that beginners just won't understand.
Obviously missing options are Lazy Load and image optimization, but other plugins only offer this in their premium version. WP Super Cache does not have a premium version so we are not going to blame them for this.
WP SUPER CACHE + CDN
WP Super Cache works well with CDN Networks if you prefer. With a CDN your website is stored on multiple servers worldwide to be downloaded from cache by visitors. This makes your website much faster, especially as visitors are further away from your origin server. But here too it is much easier to set up a CDN with WP-Rocket.
WP SUPER CACHE REVIEW: CONCLUSION
This plugin does not have a premium version. It was probably noticeable here and there that I am not completely satisfied with this plug-in. In my speed test above, I first had to set everything up properly to achieve such a good result. That is very cumbersome if we compare it with WP-Rocket or other better cache plugins that immediately score well.
I now also think I understand why the plug-in quite often scores 1 star. People who do not immediately realize that they have to set everything up first, get a worthless score in a test. Just like with bounce rate for websites, people are impatient and remove the plugin and rate it 1 star. But to be fair, WP Super Cache speeds up your website very well once it is properly set up.
W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache conclusion
Thanks for reading this W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache comparison to the end. The free versions of these two plugins are very good and equivalent if set up properly. And there both have the same problem. They need to be properly set up first to make your site faster. Other cache plug-ins are much easier here and therefore better suited for beginners and those who don't have time to waste. The premium version of W3 Total Cache is obviously very good but it costs $ 99 per site and is not worth it considering that WP-Rocket only costs $ 49 and is clearly a bit better.