W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache – which one to use? Is one better than the other? If so, how and why? These are some frequent questions of debate encountered by almost every WordPress site owner when it comes to installing cache plugins to improve their site load speed to an optimal level. WordPress offers two world famous caching plugins- W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Both of the plugins are versatile in their own way and have their own roles to play to give you a website that responds fast.
Both of them have bespoke features that give you immense power to add a performance edge to your website. Also, both of the plugins have their own pros and cons and selecting the right top dog of the market means undermining the quality of the other. But, for those who are new to WordPress, it’s crucial to know about the significant benefits both of the plugins has to offer because then only they can decide about which one is just right for them.
However, many of our readers ask about which one is better among the two. Therefore, in this post we will explain you about the pros and cons of each plugin and how they are difference from each other.
Note: both W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are great plugins. We recommend you to use any of them after investigating your site’s special needs.
But before we directly take you to the subject, let’s discuss why we need caching plugins.
Why You Need Caching Plugins?
Now, let’s see how the two leading plugins- W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache can help you accelerate the performance of your website.
Let’s start with W3 total Cache, one of the most popular and versatile WordPress plugins for caching websites. It’s a plugin that has everything related to speed optimization and performance improvement. Among other highlighted attributes, it comes with HTML caching, minification of JS and CSS files, content delivery network, Object Cache, database and more.
The plugin works on both Apache and Nginx and is compatible to work with shared hosting, virtual private or dedicated servers. In short, W3 Total Cache can be installed on any server on earth. Also there is a ton of detailed settings for configuration. For example there are total seven types of cache methods and minifiers to choose from.
With W3 Total Cache, you are getting an intuitive checkbox to turn on all the caching methods on a single go. The settings like this will definitely help you in reducing the load time on your site straightaway.
Why W3 Total Cache is Better Than Other Caching Plugins?
W3 Total Cache delivers results and that’s what all one needs. Depending on the configuration, installing the plugin like W3 Total Cache can raise the capabilities of your website to a great level. However, WP Super Cache is also an excellent plugin but it’s an option you can opt if you don’t have the required RAM that W3TC requires to perform. The plugin makes use of inner memory cache i.e., Apache or Nginx. As compared to disk caching, memory caching is far better and fast. So even if you dedicate 128m for memory caching, you can still be satisfied with the working of your website.
A downloading leader, WP Super Cache is a page caching plugin which offers rich features including page caching and CDN. It’s easy to install and doesn’t demand much technical knowledge to work on it. The plugin utilizes three caching methods with the default settings. Unline W3 Total Cache, the plugin does not create compressed cache files by default, but this function is something which you can activate when the need arises.
However, if we are asked to compare between the two plugins, W3 Total Cache seems to be fast as compared to WP Super Cache. Also, using WP Super Cache, you’ll observe an increase in the number of requests, along with the total page size. Also, minification is not supported by the plugin.
WPSC comes with an ‘Easy’ tab which allows you to tweak some basic functions. However, in order to make the most out of it, you can make use of an ‘Advanced’ tab and check for all the recommended settings.
When To Use WP Super Cache?
If you prefer easy to follow configuration and you are not technically efficient then WP Super Cache is a plugin you can happily opt for. It’s a good plugin but somehow lacks speed factor, which is a major issue.
Well, with just little tweaks and twists, we can say that both of the plugins are equally capable and proficient enough for building a dynamic WordPress site. Moreover, it boils down to your level of skills and website needs when choosing the right caching plugin that will dictate which way to go.
Author Bio: Sarah Parker is an experienced PSD to WordPress service provider, and a web designer. With this article, she is making people aware about the difference between W3 Total Cache and WP Super cache.