The BEST WP Fastest Cache SEttings

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WP Fastest Cache was rated the #1 (free) cache plugin in this Facebook poll.

I was able to get .5s Pingdom load times (the most accurate tool according to WP Rocket) after configuring the WP Fastest Cache settings. They’re easy to setup and have options to add Cloudflare and StackPath’s CDN which can further improves grades/load times (I use both since more data centers = faster website). Combine this with fast hosting (I use SiteGroundwho was rated #1 in 26 different Facebook polls) and your website should load much faster.

I will show you how to configure the WP Fastest Cache settings, StackPath’s CDN, and what upgrading to WP Fastest Cache Premium did for me. I also have instructions for Cloudflare.

Leave me a comment if you have questions or see their support forum. But there are many complaints about WP Fastest Cache’s support, just to give you a heads up. Remember to retest your site in Pingdom when you’re done and leave your new page load time in the comments 🙂

1. Cache Plugin Comparison

WP Fastest Cache was the #1 free caching plugin in this Facebook poll trailing behind WP Rocket which was #1 in all (typically yields better results and less chance of causing errors).

Best-Cache-Plugin-Poll
Swift-Performance-vs.-WP-Rocket-Feb-7
2018-WordPress-Cache-Plugin-Poll
Best-WordPress-Cache-Plugin-Poll

Cache Plugin Test – I ran the same page through Pingdom which had minimal content so results would be accurate. I setup each one with the best settings and Cloudflare/StackPath.

Pingdom Page Speed Test

WP Rocket (.406)

WP Fastest Cache Load Times

WP Fastest Cache (.527)

W3 Total Cache Load Times

W3 Total Cache (.619)

WP Rocket vs. WP Fastest Cache – both plugins should give you similar grades and load times, however WP Rocket has quite a few extra features WP Fastest Cache does not (eg. you would also need to install the Lazy Load For VideosCAOS Analytics, and WP-Optimize plugin to use these with WP Fastest Cache, whereas WP Rocket has these features built-in). If you can drop $49, I’d go with WP Rocket (it’s what I use, and I wrote a WP Rocket setup guide).

WP Rocket has more features than WP Fastest Cache…

StackPath vs. Cloudflare – StackPath is $10/month, Cloudflare is free. Both are CDNs which mirror your site on multiple data centers around the world (reducing the distance between your server and visitor) and is recommended in the WordPress optimization guide. Cloudflare has 160+ data centers, StackPath, has 31 data centers which are heavily focused in the US (more data centers = faster website, that’s why I recommend using both). StackPath comes with a support team who improved my GTmetrix YSlow score by 8% – support is incredible.

StackPath-Data-Centers
Cloudflare-Data-Centers

Why Use StackPath?

  • StackPath’s 31 data centers use faster SSD servers + 10GB connections
  • StackPath doesn’t charge for HTTPS traffic, Cloudflare charges pay-per-use
  • StackPath’s team helped me configure my CDN and improved my GTmetrix YSlow score by 8%, putting the cherry on the cake to make my GTmetrix report nearly perfect
  • StackPath has dashboards that provide lots of information about your cached files
  • StackPath allows you to protect your account using a two-step authentication process; you can whitelist the IP addresses of people who are permitted to access your account

2. WP Fastest Cache Settings

If you plan on using StackPath, see my StackPath section which has it’s own WP Fastest Cache settings (you would disable the logged-in users, mobile, and browser caching options) which is shown in StackPath’s WPFC tutorial.

If you plan on using Cloudflare, use the settings below but disable Auto Minify and Rocket Loader in the “speed” tab of your Cloudflare settings (SG Railgun should be enabled). This is what the WP Fastest Cache plugin developer recommends in his Cloudflare tutorial. My Cloudflare section shows you how to sign up for Cloudflare, change name servers in your hosting cPanel, set page rules for optimal performance, and purge the cache once you’re done.

If you plan on using neither, use the settings below. The only thing you would change is in the Preload tab (pages per minute). If you’re on shared hosting use 4-6VPS should use 10-12.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Settings

Breakdown Of WP Fastest Cache Settings:

  • Cache System – enable
  • Widget Cache System – caches your widgets (premium feature)
  • Preload – create cache of entire site automatically (shared hosting should use 4-6VPS is 10-12. Creates caching delay for first user who views the page. Learn more)
  • Logged-in Users – don’t show the cached version for logged-in users (if it’s just you running your website, leave this checked. But if multiple users can be logged in, each user should have their own cached version, so it would be unchecked)
  • Mobile – don’t show the cached version for desktop to mobile devices
  • Mobile Theme – caches mobile theme (premium feature)
  • New Post – clear cache files when a post or page is published
  • Update Post – clear cache files when a post or page is updated (Learn more)
  • Minify HTML – decrease size of page (high priority Pingdom item. Learn more)
  • Minify HTML Plus – more powerful minify html (premium feature)
  • Minify Css – decrease size of css files (high priority Pingdom item. Learn more)
  • Minify Css Plus – more powerful minify css (premium feature)
  • Combine Css – reduce HTTP requests through combined css files (combines JavaScript and CSS files between <head></head>. This reduces the amount of JavaScript and CSS files on a page which reduces the number of HTTP requests required to render the page. Also a high priority item in Pingdom. Learn more)
  • Minify Js – decrease size of js files (premium feature)
  • Combine Js – reduce HTTP requests by combining js files
  • Combine Js Plus – minify combined js files (premium feature)
  • Gzip – reduce size of files sent from your server (reduces transfer time between server and browser, and is a high priority Pingdom item. Learn more)
  • Browser Caching – reduce load time for repeat visitors (Learn more)
  • Render Blocking Js – remove render-blocking JavaScript (premium feature)
  • Google Fonts – loads Google Fonts asynchronously (premium feature) but this can also be done using the free WP Disable plugin which I highly recommend

Nearly every item in WP Fastest Cache is found in GTmetrix/Pingdom…

GTmetrix-With-WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-StackPath

Delete Cache – clear the cache after configuring the WP Fastest Cache settings…

Delete-Cache-WP-Fastest-Cache

Cache Timeout – if it’s not set as default, add a new rule to cache your homepage once a day.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cache-Timeout-Settings

Image Optimization – premium feature which losslessly compresses images (an item in GTmetrix). This can also be done using the Imagify or Kraken plugin. I would not use any other plugins since these might break your site or have bugs – I have done tons of research on this.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Image-Optimization

Losslessly compressing images fixes the “optimize images” item in GTmetrix…

optimize-images-gtmetrix

Premium – see the difference below which shows 2 GTmetrix reports (it’s worth it). If you decide to upgrade for $49.99, they will send you a download link via email which you will manually upload in your plugins menu. Keep both the free and premium version activated.

WP Fastest Cache Premium

Premium

WP Fastest Cache Premium

Not Premium

WP Fastest Cache Free

Exclude – exclude pages from being cached (eg. eCommerce checkout pages).

WP-Fastest-Cache-Excludes-Settings

CDN – a CDN (content delivery network) makes your site faster by hosting it on multiple servers around the country and world, as oppose to 1 origin server (it reduces the geographical distance it takes your content to reach your visitors). See the StackPath section.

Database (DB) – cleaning your database removes unnecessary junk and makes it load faster. You can use the free WP-Optimize plugin to do this, upgrading for this feature isn’t necessary.

WP-Optimize-Database-Cleanup

3. StackPath CDN ($10/Month With Free 30-Day Trial)

StackPath mirrors your site on 31 data centers, reducing the geographical distance between your server and visitors. This can reduce load times by multiple seconds especially for visitors who used to be far away from your 1 origin server. StackPath also helped me configure my CDN and was able to improve my GTmetrix YSlow score by 8% (see my report). They have a 30-day trial and their own tutorial on configuring StackPath’s CDN with WP Fastest Cache.

This is recommended in the WordPress optimization guide

CDN-WordPress-Recommendation

Step 1: Sign up for StackPath.

Step 2: Configure WP Fastest Cache with these settings when using StackPath…

WP Fastest Cache MaxCDN Settings

Step 3: In the StackPath dashboard, click the CDN tab, then create a StackPath CDN Site

StackPath-CDN-Tab
StackPath-CDN-Domain
StackPath-Server-IP-Address
StackPath-CDN-URL-WP-Fastest-Cache

Step 4: Click “StackPath” in the CDN area of WP Fastest Cache.

WP-Fastest-Cache-StackPath-CDN

Step 5: Paste your CDN URL into WP Fastest Cache and use your website as the origin URL…

WP-Fastest-Cache-CDN-Settings

Step 6: Click next, leave all file types selected, then keep clicking next until it’s ready…

WP Fastest Cache MaxCDN File Types

Next…

WP Fastest Cache MaxCDN Specify Sources

Finish…

WP Fastest Cache MaxCDN Confirmation

Done.

WP-Fastest-Cache-StackPath-CDN-Confirmation

Step 7: In StackPath go to CDN → Cache Settings, then click “Purge Everything”…

StackPath-Purge-Cache

Step 8: Run your site through GTmetrix and look at the YSlow tab to make sure it’s working…

CDN GTmetrix YSlow

Ok, NOW you’re done.

4. Cloudflare

SiteGround and most other hosts have an option to activate Cloudflare in the cPanel. If your host doesn’t have this options, you can setup Cloudflare using WP Fastest Cache (see below).

Cloudflare-Activation

Step 1: Sign up for Cloudflare and you will be prompted to add your website and begin a scan…

cloudflare-begin-scan
Cloudflare-DNS-Records
Cloudflare-CDN-Plans

You will eventually come to this dashboard where Cloudflare assigns you 2 name servers and provide a link to your Global API Key

Cloudflare-Dashboard-WP-Fastest-Cache

Step 2: Do a Google search for “how to change name servers on SiteGround” (only search for your host), then follow their instructions. You will be copying the 2 name servers provided by Cloudflare and pasting them into a custom name servers option in your hosting cPanel…

SiteGround-DNS-Records

Step 3. Grab your Global API Key from the link in Cloudflare, or in your Cloudflare profile

loudflare-Global-API-Key

Go back to WP Fastest Cache and click the Cloudflare tab. Enter the same email address used in your Cloudflare account, as well as your Global API Key

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Tab
WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-API-Keys

Keep clicking next in WP Fastest Cache. They will automatically turn off the minify settings in WP Fastest Cache (since Cloudflare will now do this). They will also turn off Rocket Loader for better compatibility (your website won’t break), and set browser cache expiration to 24 days.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Disable-Auto-Minify
WP-Fastest-Cache-Disable-Rocket-Loader
WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Browser-Cache-Expiration
WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Message
WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Integration

Looks good!

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Confirmation

Step 4: Go to Cloudflare’s speed settings and make sure Auto Minify and Rocket Loader are turned off, but SG Railgun is on. This is what the WP Fastest Cache developer recommends.

Cloudflare-Speed-Tab

Add these 2 page rules in your page rules settings

Step 5: Cloudflare says “we recommend you create a Page Rule to exclude the admin section of your website from Cloudflare’s performance features. Features such as Rocket Loader and Auto Minification may inadvertently break backend functions in your admin section.”

Cloudflare-Page-Rule-WP-Admin
Cloudflare-Page-Rule-WP-Preview

Step 6. Finally, go to your Cloudflare caching settings and purge individual files

Purge Individual Files Cloudflare

All done!

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Confirmation

5. Delete Cache And Retest In Pingdom

In the WP Fastest Cache settings, go to the “Delete Cache” tab and “Delete Cache And Minifed CSS/JS.” Now rerun your site through Pingdom to view your updated scores and load time…

WP Fastest Cache Pingdom Test

Ideally the following Page Speed items are green:

  • Minify CSS
  • Minify HTML
  • Minify JavaScript
  • Leverage Browser Caching
  • Specify a Cache Validator
  • Enable gzip Compression
  • Defer Parsing Of JavaScript

Ideally the following YSlow items are also green:

  • Reduce cookie size
  • Add Expires headers
  • Reduce DNS lookups
  • Use cookie-free domains
  • Make fewer HTTP requests
  • Minify JavaScript and CSS
  • Configure entity tags (ETags)
  • Compress components with gzip
  • Remove duplicate JavaScript and CSS
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Remember, it can take Cloudflare up to 24 hours to propagate, so check back then.

6. WP Fastest Cache FAQs

Here’s the FAQ page if you still have questions…

WP-Fastest-Cache-FAQs

SiteGround (#1 Host In 26 Facebook Polls)

Join the WordPress Hosting and WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group to see what real, unbiased people are saying, since hosting is the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide.

I use SiteGround and have 200ms response times with 100% GTmetrix scores and .4s Pingdom load times. Do a hosting check, run your own tests, or click through my fast loading pages. They were rated the #1 host in 26 Facebook polls and are worlds better than EIG (BluehostHostGator), Godaddy, and other hosts who pack too many people on the same server. There have been plenty of people who migrated and posted results on Facebook and TwitterTweetafter tweetpost after postpoll after poll after poll, faster hosting will fix slow response times. They’re recommended by WordPress, do free migrations, and I use their semi-dedicated plan.

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People usually migrate because their speed technology can improve server response times by multiple seconds. Here are a few people who migrated to SiteGround and posted their results.

Switching To SiteGround
SiteGround Load Time Migration
Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix
HostGator To SiteGround
SiteGround GTmetrix
SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights
100 Perfect Score On SiteGround
SiteGround Genesis
Speed Delivered By SiteGround
SiteGround GTmetrix Report
Reduced Load Times With SiteGround
New SiteGround Response Times
HostGator To SiteGround Migration
SiteGround Response Times On Joomla
Switched To SiteGround Hosting
SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo
Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround
SiteGround PageSpeed Insights
SiteGround On Joomla
SiteGround Reduced Load Times
SiteGround Speedy Hosting
New Pingdom Results On SiteGround
New SiteGround Response Time
SiteGround Response Time Improvement
SiteGround-vs.-Godaddy-Load-Time-Improvement
EIG-To-SiteGround
SiteGround-Migration
Godaddy-To-SiteGround
SiteGround-Backend
OMM-On-SiteGround

I use SiteGround because…

  1. My GTmetrix + Pingdom report speak for themselves
  2. They use PHP 7.3, NGINX, HTTP/2, Cloudflare, fast speed technology
  3. Average load time is 1.3s, giving most people instant speed improvements
  4. They’re recommended by WordPress and Ivica from WordPress Speed Up
  5. Free Let’s Encrypt SSL, easy to use cPanel, and features for eCommerce
  6. Renewal prices are a price jump, but you can get 3 years of the promo price
  7. Always been known for great support (tickets usually answered in <10 min)
  8. I always get 100% uptimes but 99.99% is guaranteed (includes daily backups)
  9. They do free migrations, have a migrator plugin, and 30-day money back policy
  10. They’re based in Chicago (my hometown) and have 4 data centers to choose

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I would genuinely appreciate it. Each year I donate $3,000 to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the homeless, and 2017 was to Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps, and I know there are tons of affiliates out there. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook pollstweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.

They have 3 plans:

SiteGround-Hosting

Higher plans include more server resources (#1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide). Here’s the full comparison chart, but GrowBig gives you about 2x more server resources than StartUp, and GoGeek is semi-dedicated hosting which gives you even more. GrowBig and up comes with a free migration, staging, advanced caching, and ability to host multiple websites. GoGeek comes with priority support. Their cloud hosting is quite the price jump at $80/month.

You can see this on their features page

SiteGround-Server-Resources-Comparison

One of many threads…

Favorite-Web-Host

36+ WordPress Speed Optimization Tips

WordPress Speed Optimization Guide

Follow my WordPress speed optimization guide which shows you how to…

  • Diagnose slow plugins using GTmetrix
  • Add AMP (accelerated mobile pages) using the AMP plugin
  • Use AWStats to find causes of high CPU (crawlers, images, etc)
  • Recommendations for lightweight slider/gallery/social sharing plugins
  • Use Complete Analytics Optimization Suite (CAOS) to host Google Analytics locally
  • Image optimization (serve scaled images, specify dimensions, lossless compression)
  • Use WP Disable to disable unnecessary settings in WordPress core while turning on heartbeat control, loading of Google fonts asynchronously, other speed optimizations

And plenty of others. Read the comments and you’ll see things like “My page speed score on gtmetrix went from 69 to 93” and “this might be one of the most helpful posts I’ve ever read.”

Get Help From My WordPress Speed Optimizer

Still need help with your GTmetrix/Pingdom report? I’ve been working with Pronaya for 7 years (he’s the one who helped me get a <1s load time in Pingdom). You can hire him by creating a profile on freelancer.com and searching for username bdkamol. Here is his full WordPress speed portfolio. He’s $40/hour from Bangladesh (so there is a time change) and you can email him at [email protected]. He also has a perfect 5 star review on his profile. Serious inquiries only, and please don’t expect 100% scores if you’re using slow hosting, a bloated theme, and tons of heavy plugins. Please follow my full WordPress speed guide first.

Pronaya-Kumar-S-Reviews

Here are some reviews on his profile…

BDkamol-WordPress-Speed-Reviews

See Also: How I Got 100% GTmetrix Scores

If your website loads faster feel free to leave your new page load time in the comments! Or if you have any questions I’m glad to help with that too. As you can see I’m a pretty big nerd when it comes to WordPress speed so if you follow these recommendations, there’s no reason your website shouldn’t load in under 3s. And if you found this tutorial helpful, please share 🙂

Cheers,

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