Cache Enabler vs W3 Total Cache – Unbiased Comparison

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There are several ways to boost your website speed, website caching comes at the top of the list.

Website caching is a method to reduce the bandwidth usage and server load by temporary storing web documents on the user’s computers. Read more about Caching (Browser cache and Server cache).

Why Cache Enabler vs W3 Total Cache?

Looking into the free options, W3TC is having the highest number of reviews on WordPress repository among the other caching plugins. Where Cache Enabler plugin is growing rapidly with +6000 active install for its 1.1 version.

Starting Note

The results in this post don’t include images optimization, CDN usage or any other optimization methods. We just ran the tests on a testing environment with the caching plugins, Cache Enabler vs W3 Total Cache.

Testing Environment

The latest version of WordPress: no plugins installed.

The GoGeek hosting plan from SiteGround: We disabled SiteGround SuperCacher. As we need to test our caching plugins.

A Fast theme from MyThemeShop: As you may know, MyThemeShop provides really fast themes (well coded and lightweight ).
Imported the demo data and ran the test on a sample post because the homepage demo content contains multiple videos from Youtube and Vimeo which are resulting many unwanted requests.

Testing Tools

Pingdom Tools
Google PageSpeed Insights

Before Caching

We ran the tests without installing any caching plugins, the most important numbers to us are Page Size and Number of Requests because the loading time seems to be different in every time we run the test. As long as the page size and the number of requests stay low, the performance and load time should be fine.

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Pingdom Tools

No Caching Enabled
No Caching Enabled

Google PageSpeed Insights

Mobile: 68/100
Desktop: 80/100

Cache Enabler vs W3 Total Cache

We are gonna start with Cache Enabler. You can get it from WordPress plugins repository.

Installing Cache Enabler Plugin

Cache Enabler plugin does not have an option for JS/CSS minification. So I installed Autoptimize plugin for HTML, CSS and JS minification, both plugins work perfectly with each other. You can install Cache Enabler plugin like any other plugin.

Configuring Cache Enabler Plugin

As you can see, Cache Enabler plugin contains only one configuration page.

Cache Enabler Settings
Cache Enabler Settings

Cache Enabler Results

Pingdom Tools

Cache Enabler Test Result
Cache Enabler Test Result

Google PageSpeed Insights

Mobile: 66/100
Desktop: 78/100

Installing W3 Total Cahce Plugin

You can download W3TC for free from WordPress plugins repository

Configuring W3 Total Cache Plugin

I configured W3TC as you can see below:

Page Cache: No modifications.

Minify:

W3TC Magnification Settings
W3TC Magnification Settings

Database Cache: No modifications.

Browser Cache:

W3TC Browser Cache Settings
W3TC Browser Cache Settings

W3TC Results

Pingdom Tools

W3TC Pingdom Tools Test Result
W3TC Pingdom Tools Test Result

Google PageSpeed Insights

Mobile: 69/100
Desktop: 82/100

Conclusion

W3 Total Cache Cache Enabler
Price Free Free
Configuration Difficult Easy
WebP Support No Yes
HTML Minification Yes Yes
CSS Minification Yes No. Another plugin needed
JS Minification Yes No. Another plugin needed
CDN Support Yes Yes
Technical Support Rarely Responding Responsive
Pingdom Tools Results Load Time: -1.8%
Page Size: -12%
Requests: -19.3%
Load Time: -13%
Page Size: -6%
Requests: -25.8%
PageSpeed Insights Results Desktop: +2%
Mobile: +1%
Desktop: -2%
Mobile: -2%

As shown above, results are not very judging. It’s your call. However, caching of your website depends on your setup, traffic volumes, themes, plugins, etc. You can always test different plugins and measure its effect on your website performance using the tools shown in this post.

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Other Free Caching Plugins

WP Super Cache
WP Fastest Cache
Comet Cache
Cachify

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Nagdy

I write about Multilingual WordPress, SEO, Website Performance. Also, I like answering WordPress question on Quora. When I have the time, I run online sessions to teach WordPress for my personal FB page fans!

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