Best WordPress Cache Plugin and Image Optimiser in 2021

Best WordPress Cache Plugin and Image Optimiser

In recent years, website speed optimization has become increasingly important not only from a visitor retention perspective but also from an SEO perspective. After our own extensive trials, we believe that Swift Performance is by far one of the best WordPress cache plugin available. In addition to our testing, this plugin has been put through numerous professional tests and has proven its efficiency.

Best Cache Plugin for WordPress

We’ve reached a point in online commerce, where anyone who seriously considers selling their goods or services online requires a website even if the products offered would not otherwise require an online platform. An online presence is indispensable for any business or company that wants to be taken seriously.

The quality of the website representing a company is also important not only in its design and structure but also in respect of its technical background. Besides creating a clear and user-friendly website that’s optimized for different devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.), we also need to pay attention to security (having an SSL certificate for example) and load time optimization. That’s why you need the best Cache Plugin and Image Optimiser for WordPress.

Why is Website Speed Important?

If anyone takes the speed aspect lightly, we must burst their bubble – visitors aren’t keen on waiting for pages to load forever. And if they don’t wait, it means website owners can potentially lose customers, readers and buyers. This issue concerns all website owners regardless of their industry.

There’s another reason why not bothering with speed will hurt your business: Google will sanction slow websites just like it sanctions websites without SSL certificates. Fine-tuning website speed is just as important from an SEO perspective as choosing the perfect keywords for a text. There’s a lot to lose if we don’t invest in these matters. In this case, it’s not enough for the server to be a performant one like a dedicated machine or a high speed VPS, quality cache optimization is also important. In addition, image size should also be optimized for best download speed.

Luckily, for those using WordPress CMS, we can recommend a readily available solution that automates both the creation of cache that speeds up page load and the appropriate resizing of image files used on the website. With only a few clicks, you can make your website more attractive to both users and Google with the best WordPress Cache Plugin and Image Optimiser.

Speed up WordPress sites in a few clicks

WordPress itself does not really address the matters of caching and image optimization, therefore, for these you must resort to a plugin. Most times, you’d need a plugin to address each issue because there are relatively few plugins that would completely address both these issues.

Luckily, Swift Performance has come into the scene, offering all needed functionalities in a single package (another reason we think this is the best WordPress Cache Plugin). While the plugin includes all options needed for caching and image optimization, you don’t need professional expertise to install and configure it. Best of all, after installing the plugin, an application wizard will guide you through the possible options, allowing you to control, with only a few clicks, the plugin’s level of involvement into the operation of the website (at each stage, the advantages and the technical requirements are clearly listed).

Here are some of the advanced settings of the Best WordPress Cache Plugin:

  • Disk caching
  • DNS preloading
  • Full CSS compression
  • Merging JavaScript resources
  • Server push
  • Cache preloading
  • HTML optimization
  • Bypass CSS import
  • Lazy load for images
  • WooCommerce mini cart caching
  • Normalizing static resources
  • Merging styles
  • Critical CSS function
  • Asynchronous JS execution

Advanced Settings for Caching Like a Pro

Best WordPress Cache Plugin and Image OptimiserOf course, advanced users don’t need to rely on the default settings. With only a few clicks, they can access the Swift Performance admin page, and they can manually set all available settings. And there are a lot of settings. With Swift Performance, you can compress CSS and JS scripts, you can set preloading, merge scripts and styles. You can set what and how to compress and what to load after caching.

It’s also possible to do database maintenance and clean-up, which is a further aspect that’s important. When using WordPress, broken pieces of data or metadata in the database are inevitable, which only increase its size and might reduce the overall performance. With a single click, you can clear unneeded metadata, deleted posts, comments, duplications, so that the server is not overloaded with database processing.

CDN & Cloudflare Support for WordPress

Even with the above changes, a noticeable speeding up can be observed on a website. You can add to this the fact that Swift Performance also supports the use of CDN (Cloudflare for example) and if your website is optimized for mobile, you can create a separated cache content. The list continues with features such as disabling emojis, Gravatar cache, Gzip, inline Lazy Load, normalizing static resources.

For operation optimization purposes, we can choose whether the plugin optimizes in the background or only when preloading, and for those using shared hosting services there’s the possibility to limit the number of simultaneous threads to prevent server overload.

While there are a lot of cache plugins available with similar, although less complex functionality, Swift Performance makes it the easiest to configure all the above features. Besides offering a clear overview of these functions, the developers of this plugin have also paid attention to add a short, straightforward explanation to each function.

Therefore, even if you’re not a master of cache optimization, you’re still not going to raise your hands in desperation while trying to configure these settings. If, however, the effect of certain features is still unclear to you, it’s best to go with the default setting. We’re still not done presenting the features of Swift Performance. There’s another important feature, rarely to be found in competitor products, namely the built-in image optimization.

Image Optimization: jpg, png and webp

Do you need more reasons that makes this the Best WordPress Cache Plugin and Image Optimiser? We got you… Cache functions and the image optimization module – that’s also suitable for converting to WEBP – can be easily and meticulously configured. The result is a website that visitors love for its speed and that performs better in search results. In addition, a major part of the cache function can be used for free with the Lite version.

Besides the fine-tunable cache settings, the plugin also takes it upon itself to correctly optimize images. Optimizing an image with a dedicated software before uploading is merely a drop in the ocean. What this does is only to speed up the uploading; however, WordPress will create multiple variations of the uploaded image depending on the requirements of the templates and plugins your website uses and saves them as independent files.

For example, it saves them separately as cover image, main image on page, illustration, etc. But does no further optimization. Therefore, you can have a correctly optimized original image, but all the other versions will remain oversized and they can slow down the loading of the page.

With Swift Performance, there’s also the option to optimize retroactively, namely all images and all its versions are re-compressed by the plugin according to your requirements – you can choose the image quality and the compression efficiency ratio.

Lossy & Lossless Image Compression

For a photography website, where the pixel-perfect rendering of images is important, you can choose lossless compression, while for a news site, where images only serve as illustrations, you can use a more aggressive compression, which indeed can worsen the quality of an image, even if just slightly. As a trade-off, however, it significantly decreases the size of the file, which is more important for a news site than having crystal clear photos.

Auto Create WEBP Format Images in WordPress

Swift Performance has already set its eyes on the future – besides the compression of PNG and JPG images, it can also create images in WEBP format. This image format from Google is becoming more and more widespread, and it’s supported by all popular and modern browsers (since the rolling out of macOS Big Sur and iOS 14 even by Apple Safari). Because it has a great image quality to image size ratio, with time, it’s probably going to be supported by every browser.

Of course, until that happens the creators of Swift Performance have come up with a solution to a potential dilemma faced by developers, namely they have designed the plugin to use JPG and WEBP formats simultaneously and to load one or the other depending on the browser (with the help of the element or the rewrites method). Therefore, you’re not going to frustrate those that access your website from a browser that doesn’t support this new image format as their browsers will display JPG images, while tech nerds can acknowledge that your site already uses WEBP images.

As we’ve already mentioned, Swift Performance can retroactively convert images that were uploaded before its installation, but naturally, you can start a manual optimization process anytime you want or even make the whole process automatic, that is, to automatically optimize newly uploaded files according to your chosen settings. In addition, the plugin saves the original image, so if the file does not turn out how you expected, you can restore the original version and recompress it with different settings. All in all, anything you upload, Swift Performance will resize and recompress according to your requirements.

Small Image base64 Encoding & Large Image Resizing

Since we’re discussing images, it’s worth mentioning that there’s also the option to use inline images (base64 encoding), and you can even turn on the lazy loader function, which will speed up pages with a lot of image content. It’s important to also note that while other similar image optimizers require payment to resize each image (there are both credit-based and monthly subscription-based solutions), with the help of Swift Performance you can process as many images as you like.

How to get Best Speed from WordPress

Watch this detailed video from WP Johnny telling you all about his recommended settings for Swift Performance, the Best WordPress Cache Plugin and Image Optimiser.

Small Extras for Added Website Speed

From the above, you can see that Swift Performance is a complex cache and image optimization plugin for WordPress that includes all functions you would expect from a comprehensive optimization plugin. The repository of functions also means that there are many extras also included, for example, the module can automatically clear cache after updating plugins, templates, or WordPress.

It can also automatically delete the stored cache of an updated subpage or post, you can exclude specific GET parameters, exclude headings, limit the speed of preloading (which can make all the difference on a shared hosting), etc. In short, many functions can be automatized in a set it and forget it kind of way. Let Swift Performance handle these for you!

So, do you agree that this is the Best WordPress Cache Plugin yet?

“The SWIFT Performance cache plugin was something I was really excited about because it made such a difference on my sites. I was previously cycling between 3 or 4 different cache plugins throughout various sites but can now replace almost all of them with just this one.” WP Johnny

Best WordPress Cache Plugin Conclusion

All in all, Swift Performance is currently the most comprehensive cache and image optimization solution. You can find everything that’s needed for your WordPress website to serve content quickly to visitors. Besides these, the use of this plugin can also give you an edge from an SEO standpoint because it can carry out a host of optimization tasks that are recommended to webmasters by Google itself.

Regarding its pricing, it’s a true bargain for the best WordPress cache plugin – prices start at $39.99/year for a single website. If you would like to use it on multiple websites, you can choose from a few other reasonably-priced packages. To get acquainted with the product, we recommend you try the Swift Performance Lite version, which doesn’t include all the features we discussed (there’s no image optimization, for example), but the basic features it does include still allow you to reliably speed up your slow WordPress website.