In todays world of trying to climb the google ranking algorithm, there are multiple factors to consider. SEO used to be as simple as backlinks and keywords. Now its widely known that mobile compatability, media and other factors affect your rankings. One of the biggest factors and often overlooked, is page load speed.
Its only smart to begin by explaining what cache plugins are and why they are popular. Quite simply, these plugins store a pregenerated version of your website, serving this version to the customer, compared to generating a fresh copy.
WordPress themselves promote the use of cache plugins on their website. Popular hosting providers also promote the plugin. With the poor performance of wordpress on typical shared hosting providers, the need for cache plugins becomes quickly apparent and its marketed as a potential solution
WE REMOVED OUR CACHE PLUGIN
So, if this is so great, why would you get rid of it? Well in short, we use a hosting setup thats a lot better than shared hosting. This allows us to optimize our server to perform caching, instead of waiting for the application (wordpress -> plugin) to do it.
If you have a vps or dedicated hosting solution, you should use the mod_deflate option if its available. We have seen a 30%-40% increase in performance on google developer insights from the implication of this single module. This one change outperformed any cache solutions by several multiples.
In addition, consider that cache plugins often conflict with other solutions like CDN’s (content delivery networks) and other wordpress plugins. This often creates a situation where you use products to fit the cache plugin instead of the other way around. For us, the results were surprising, prompting us to drop our cache plugin for good and write this article
So assuming you do have the necessary hosting solution and are willing to finally drop the cache plugin, there are actually lots of other enhancement plugins out there to choose from. We have found that they really depend on your goals, theme and plugins you are using. The perk here is that you are finally in a position to search for the speed boosting plugin that works best for your needs
Also consider that there are a few things that cache plugins were trying to do. Many of them are simple and if done manually, will save you the overhead of getting a plugin to do them for you. Things like adding browser cache expiration commands to your .htaccess file takes seconds and makes major differences. Here is an example of what you would add below the wordpress declarations.
Measure the results using google’s developer insights tool. It will show you how the changes you make affect the performance of your website for mobile and desktop users. With free unlimited use, this tool allows you to fine tune performance of your server
Whoever created the problem of wordpress website speed, its real and needs to be addressed if google ranking is important. Moving to a vps or dedicated server is only part of the solution. With the right solution, you can make the changes necessary to remove your dependence on cache plugins