W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache – Which One is Ahead of the Pack?

Filed Under: WordPress

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?

Performance is a key factor for the success of any website and caching plugins are great in providing a performance boost to a website. In order to make sure that the site scales and sustain a significant amount of traffic without crashing, caching plugins are used. These plugins optimize JavaScript and CSS files by minimizing and compressing them. These optimized files can be rendered from the server’s memory or even from a CDN.

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.

W3 Total Cache

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.

W3-Total-Cache

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.

WP Super Cache

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.

WP-Super-Cache

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.

The Verdict

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.

Comments

  1. Manoj says:

    W3TC is my favorite. We can unlock maximum benefits from it if we are able to configure the plugin fully.

  2. Mark Curton says:

    Hi

    Thanks for the post, but i would like to ask you one question.
    I want to change my cache plugin from “Wp Total Cache” to “Wp Super Cache”.
    I have a wordpress blog..can it be done without any kind of lose like SEO,Rankings,etc?

    Thanks

    1. Pankaj says:

      Yes, it won’t affect anything.

  3. yugal says:

    w3 total cache is bad…he shows on my site 500 error..than i never use w3 cache…

  4. Gaurav Verma says:

    Both caching plugins is good. Wp Super cache is easy to configure and W3 total cache is little complete to configure. one you setup caching plugin correctly, cache plugin with great work

  5. Heathcliff says:

    Great tutorial but i disagree with the outcome. I’m years user of W3 Total Cache, last week i gave WP Super cache a try. Final conclusion, my site has become 4.6SEC faster compared with W3 total cache.

  6. deepa says:

    You have shared very Nice post. But I am unable to install W3 Total Cache Error Msg Showing “This Plugin not Available for you ” Please help me I am using Go daddy hosting plan.

  7. سایت پروژه says:

    I prefer w3tc
    but the plugin itself increase the page load time a bit

    1. ( ̄︶ ̄)/ says:

      Well I think WP Super Cache dose the same thing too

  8. Nisha says:

    W3Total Cache is bettern than wp super cache in my experience.
    Setting of w3 total is a little complex. but you can search in google with term of best setting of w3total cache.. You can get best Setting for your site.
    Another, this caching system allow to use cdn.

  9. Asma Shahzadi says:

    I think CDN with wp super cache make’s your site super-quick.

  10. Umer says:

    A simple and good review. I think both plugins perform well in different conditions.

  11. someone says:

    Where are some test results with google page speed test, or any other page speed test for that matter. What did I just learn from this article? Not much at all, both are good, but based on what?

  12. Sandeep says:

    Thanks Pankaj for sharing this i was looking for best cache plugin for my website.

  13. foodinforo says:

    I use supercache. is more friendly.

  14. Buzz says:

    I agree with your article. W3 outperforms WP Super Cache but Super Cache is much more noob friendly.

  15. Davyn OS says:

    Good review. I think w3 total cache is the best 😉

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