Caches are used to speed sites up. Whether it’s saving images to your user’s computer for future visits or pre-rendering pages on your server, the more data your site caches, the faster it will be.
Think about it like this: if I visit your site everyday, it would be ideal if I wasn’t re-downloading your logo image every time I visited. Or if you wrote a great blog post that 1,000 people came to at once, your server shouldn’t have to rebuild that page from the database every time someone loads it. That would be a lot of unnecessary work! This is where caching comes in.
Far and away, W3 Total Cache has always been our go-to since it gives granular control over what you can cache and it’s free. Due to its popularity, most hosts shouldn’t give you any problems when you set it up, but if a feature or two aren’t available (like enhanced disk caching), it’s still better than nothing. Additionally, the plugin offers code minification and simple CDN integration so your images get delivered faster.
Speaking of CDNs, CloudFlare can be another great way to give your site an additional speed boost with an added bonus of offering a free SSL connection to make your site more secure. Getting setup with CloudFlare requires a bit more effort since you will need to modify your site’s DNS, but their installation instructions are pretty great!