3 Reasons Why You Need to Deactivate Your WordPress Caching Plugin
Slow-loading websites can harm user experience and search engine optimization (SEO). They may increase bounce rates and lower positions in Google because page speed is a ranking factor for search results.
For many, installing a WordPress caching plugin is a practical solution to increasing website speed. However, not all caching plugins work as intended and can even cause issues.
This article will explain the basic concept of WordPress caching and some general problems you may run into with caching plugins. We also cover three tips on how to choose the perfect caching tool.
What Is WordPress Caching?
WordPress caching refers to the process of temporarily storing data like HTML and media files in a cache.
When users visit a WordPress site, their browsers will send requests to the website’s server to load the web content, and this process may take some time.
Website caching helps speed up this process by downloading the data and loading it when you open the same site in the future. As a result, the browser can show the content quickly because caching has minimized the amount of data transmitted between the browser and web server.
There are two main types of web caching:
1. Browser-side caching
It stores the content in the browser cache folder.
2. Server-side caching
It has a similar system as browser-side caching, but it uses a server to store the data. With this option, it’s possible to cache a full page or specific parts of a website, like widgets and extensions.
Reasons to Deactivate Your WordPress Caching Plugin
WordPress caching plugins are supposed to help increase website speed, but this is not always the case. Many users find issues with caching plugins and may need to deactivate them for the following reasons:
1. Changes Aren’t Showing
Installing a caching plugin can be a problem when you want to deliver personalized web design elements or dynamic content that updates frequently. They generally require additional requests to the server and may not appear accurately if you use caching.
2. The Plugin Conflicts with the Web Host
Hosting providers usually have a list of banned and incompatible plugins. This list may include caching plugins if a web host already performs server-side caching.
In this case, an additional caching plugin will overlap or interfere with the web host’s built-in tools. Users installing external caching plugins may therefore face performance issues and need to deactivate it.
3. The Website Loads Slower
Slow-loading websites may be the result of plugin conflicts above.
Also, cache plugins only speed up cached requests but can slow down ones that are not. A general cache hit rate is between 10% to 25%, so 75% to 90% of visitors may encounter a cache miss.
A cache miss happens when a cache can’t find specific data and takes extra time and server resources to satisfy the query. This can result in slower page load times.
Note that plugins generally increase loading times because they add extra code to the websites. Some caching plugins can cause this issue, although the other well-coded plugins may not.
Choosing Your Caching Plugin or Tool
This section will discuss tips for choosing the right caching plugin or tool while avoiding website mistakes.
1. Choose the Right Web Hosting Provider
Many web hosts have built-in caching features, so we recommend choosing a web hosting company that offers this. That way, you don’t need to install a caching plugin and can avoid plugin overload.
When choosing a hosting plan, review its features and see whether a built-in caching tool is included. Contact customer support if you can’t find the information.
2. Understand the Criteria of a Good Caching Plugin
Installing a new caching plugin can offer numerous benefits, but be careful when making this choice.
Here are some tips to help pick the right caching plugin:
Check the plugin’s reviews and ratings on the WordPress plugin directory, third-party review platforms, and other reputable websites.See the plugin’s answered questions on its support forum to ensure customer support availability.Look at the plugin’s last update to see if the developers regularly improve it to match WordPress’ latest version.Ensure the plugin has a disable cache feature for frequently updated content like FAQs.Find the pricing plan and calculate your budget.3. Choose the Right Caching Tools and Plugins
After considering the above tips, check your hosting provider’s guidelines to avoid installing a blacklisted plugin. Alternatively, ask their customer support agent which caching tools or plugins are compatible with their hosting.
If the hosting provider allows users to install any caching plugin, here are our top recommendations:
It’s a Content Delivery Network (CDN) service with numerous features, including cache control and protection. A good CDN cache can have a hit ratio of 95 to 99% for most sites.This WordPress plugin offers all-in-one site acceleration and server-level caching. A test shows that LiteSpeed delivers 12 times faster performance than Nginx and Apache.W3 Total Cache. It’s one of the most popular WordPress caching plugins with over one million installations. W3 Total Cache offers various types of web caching and receives Grade A in multiple speed test tools, like Page Speed Insights and WebPageTest.Conclusion
WordPress caching uses the temporary storing of data to reduce the number of requests between web browsers and servers. When users access a cached website, web content tends to load faster.
However, some find that a caching plugin doesn’t always improve loading speeds.
In that case, here are three reasons why you should consider deactivating a WordPress caching plugin:
Changes aren’t showing.The plugin conflicts with the web host.It slows down the website.
To avoid caching issues, consider choosing a hosting provider with built-in caching functionality.
Alternatively, carefully pick another caching tool or plugin and ensure it’s compatible with your web host. Our recommended options are Cloudflare, Litespeed, and W3 Total Cache.