Saturday, August 22, 2009

20 Essential Wordpress Caching And Performance Plugins


Wordpress is the first choice blogging platform for many bloggers around the globe.  Wordpress's popularity has grown over the years and Wordpress seems to have taken the blogging world by the storm.  This platform has attracted many users and powers many big blogs around the web.  When we talk of big blogs, we talk massive traffic.  Therefore, for your Wordpress setup to run optimally even during traffic spikes, you need to use caching plugins and other performance add-ons.  Out of the box, Wordpress does not have an efficient caching system enabled.  You need to get one of the many caching plugins available on the web.


To help you identify what components you need to setup on your Wordpress-powered blog, I've decided to come up with an article about Wordpress caching and performance plugins.


WP-Cache

WP-Cache is a Wordpress Caching plugin which is designed to make your Wordpress blog much faster than it actually is by caching Wordpress pages and storing them on a static file.  This helps relieve stress from the server since it does not have to recompile all the PHP code and execute MySQL queries again for the page each time a visitor loads up the website.

  

Wordpress Super Cache

Wordpress Super Cache is an improvement over the existing WP-Cache plugin.  WP-Cache caches pages and delivers them without accessing the database but still needs the PHP engine to be loaded so as to work.  WP Super Cache goes one step further and allows delivery of the same pages, but without the need to load the PHP engine.  The principle behind the working of Wordpress Super Cache is that it saves a snapshot of the page and stores it as an HTML page onto the disk.  This allows the server to serve this static HTML file directly, which is a faster process compared to generating PHP pages, querying the database and then serving the page.


Hyper Cache

Hyper Cache caches the whole HTML output of the page to files.  If the requests made during a user's visit are still valid, it makes Wordpress call the cached file instead of generating the page all over again.  However, the PHP engine is still loaded.  Hyper Cache also seems to cache 404 errors and redirections.


 

DB Cache

The DB Cache plugin has a different principle of operation than the other regular caching plugins reviewed here. DB Cache does not cache the HTML output of Wordpress but instead caches Wordpress's MySQL queries to a file. This results in less space being used for caching and faster performance from the Wordpress blog.

1 Blog Cacher

1 Blog Cacher is yet another Wordpress caching plugin.  It is similar to WP-Cache in terms of features.  It stores your page requests as HTML files, insides directories which emulate the link structure of your website.

WP Widget Cache

WP Widget Cache is an add-on for WP-Cache or WP Super Cache which caters for the caching of Wordpress Widgets' output. 

Throttle

Throttle is another excellent Wordpress plugin which allows you to implement bandwidth and scripting limiting on your blog.  This is especially useful when you are receiving huge amounts of traffic, to an extent your server cannot handle.  Throttle will try to prevent the non critical elements of your blog from loading, thus improving overall performance.


WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is a great Wordpress plugin which allows blog administrators to work safely with their MySQL database.  It allows them to perform cleanup, optimization and other useful tasks on the database.

 

Optimize DB

Optimize DB is another plugin in the line of database optimization.  Optimize DB allows you to defragment your Wordpress tables in the MySQL database quickly and effectively.  This is a one button plugin.  Just hit "Optimize Now" and you're done!

 

Wordpress Database Table Optimizer

Wordpress Database Table Optimizer allows you optimize you Wordpress's blog database automatically.  It has a control panel in the plugin administration page which allows you to see for yourself if your MySQL database is indeed optimized.


 

WP DBManager

WP DBManager is a multipurpose Wordpress plugin.  It allows you to optimize, repair, backup and restore your Wordpress database.  It also allows you to run custom MySQL queries through your database.  It has built-in support for scheduled backup and optimization of your Wordpress database.

 

Wordpress Clean Options Plugin

WP Clean Options allows you to detect redundant options in your Wordpress database and safely delete them.  It has an inbuilt protection system, which prevents you from accidentally deleting wrong MySQL entries.  This cleans up your database and allows you to have a better working Wordpress blog. 

 

Other Miscellaneous Tools

AskApache Crazy Cache is a Wordpress plugin which works in tandem with WP-Cache, WP Super Cache or Hyper Cache to cache you whole Wordpress blog at once.  AskApache Crazy Cache works in such a way that it makes your server cache the files, without overwhelming it. 

Cache Images & Hot Linked Image Cacher are two plugins which have the ability of caching hot linked images locally.  Say you have a post with 10 hot linked images in it, the plugin will cache them on your own server, creating all necessary directory structures and updating all links within your posts automatically.

Speed Cache allows Wordpress bloggers to cache remote javascript and CSS files and store them on their own server.  For example, you can mirror your Google Analytics javascript code on your own server instead of downloading it from Google each time a new visitor opens up the website.

WP Cache Users is really useful if you run a multiple author blog.  It allows you to cache individual author's data so that Wordpress does not have to load the data for each of them each time a post or comments are viewed.

CSS Cache Buster is one good plugin for developers.  If you like to tinker with your CSS files, testing out new things, then you might interested in letting your blog visitors know about the changes to the design of the blog.  CSS Cache Buster does exactly that.  It makes sure that your visitors' browser has the latest, updated version of your CSS file.

Cache Time is an add-on for WP-Cache, which display the amount of time the currently viewed page has been in the cache.

WP Cache Inspect allows Wordpress administrators to monitor the behavior of the cache of their blog and allows cache to be manually removed.  The plugin shows a small semi-transparent box at the top right corner of your administration panel and allows you to quickly and easily manage your cache.

Conclusion

If you decide to use any of the above reviewed plugins for Wordpress, be aware that many of them are not compatible with each other.  If you want to use a caching plugin for Wordpress, choose one and stick to it.  Do not try to setup two or more cache plugins on your blog as it may have the opposite effect of what a cache plugin is supposed to do.

Plugins which are compatible with other plugins has been clearly stated above.  So start tuning your wonderful Wordpress blog now!  If you need a recommendation from me about which caching plugin to use, I suggest you using a combo of WP Super Cache and AskApache Crazy Cache.  These two will cater for all your caching needs efficiently!

Further Reading

If you want to read on Wordpress performance and optimization related things, I suggest you take a look at these articles which are very interesting:

2 comments:

  1. I know some of the above plugins. Now I had got more wordpress plugins. Thanks for sharing.
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  2. This is great blog about Word Press..nice plugins are presented here.. Thanks for this useful post sharing.
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