What are cache plugins for WordPress and why you must use them

For someone who hosts content on a WordPress-powered site, the amount of time it takes to load their webpage can be an important factor that affects the overall site-viewing experience.

For example, when a user accesses a WordPress-powered site, requests for information are sent on to the web host. These requests, in addition to those for content stored in the WordPress database, can be for images, JavaScript, and CSS. This is done dynamically, since WordPress is a database-powered platform, and therefore, a fresh page is loaded every time a visitor visits a WordPress-powered site.

All this adds up to time taken to send requests, receive information, and dynamically render the webpage. For “heavy” web pages, this can result in unacceptably long loading times, which in turn affect the overall usability of the website.

Cache plugins for WordPress allow faster page-loading times, thereby enabling a more seamless web-browsing experience. They do this mainly by creating “static” versions of webpages that are then rendered quickly to visitors.

In simpler terms, this means that when a user visits certain websites frequently, some content from that site is saved in a cache area so that when he/she revisits that site, the website loads faster since there is a reduced amount of information requested by the client’s browser, which is due to some of the information already being available in the cache.

There are many cache plugins, some of which are free, that enable faster page-loading times, but a review of all or even some of them is beyond the scope of this article. However, some of the top plugins reported are WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, Zen Cache, and Cache Enabler.