Best W3 Total Cache alternatives

Are you looking for a W3 Total Cache alternative to improve the page speed score of your website? Here, we’ve shared five excellent alternatives to W3TC.

Why use a W3TC alternative? Well, although W3TC has more options than any of the caching plugins you’ll find in the WordPress repository, it may work great only if you test various options after putting the site in maintenance mode. If you don’t do so, your site will break as soon as you enable the minify and combine CSS/JS features of W3TC. Frankly speaking, configuring the extension takes some time, and you can’t put the site in maintenance mode for a long time. Here are the top alternatives to W3TC:

WP Rocket

WP Rocket might be a paid WordPress plugin, but it makes your site faster with just a few clicks of a button and also cleans the site’s database. Unlike W3TC, which has a complicated UI, WP Rocket’s settings page is uncluttered, and it makes a website faster automatically by applying various important optimizations. What can this plugin do? WP Rocket can reduce the size of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files by minifying them. It can compress them as well automatically.

WP Rocket also extracts critical CSS of the page and adds it in between the <head> </head> tags. The latest version of WP Rocket can remove unwanted CSS/JS code from website pages. It can defer scripts and inline CSS code.

LiteSpeed Cache

A close competitor of WP Rocket, LSC is another WP extension with many options. Around 25 to 35 percent of its features require your site to be powered by OpenLiteSpeed or LiteSpeed web server, or you must use the QUIC cloud CDN.

LSC is a very interesting plugin. It lets you optimize HTML, CSS, JS, images, and database tables. It also has options to fine-tune the optimization. For example, you can preserve Exif information while optimizing images. Like W3TC, its minify feature can make a website look broken. I have experienced this in the past. LiteSpeed also stores gravatar locally.

Also check: WP Rocket vs LiteSpeed Cache

WP Optimize

WPO’s interface is much better than the interface of W3 TC. Like the above W3TC alternatives, WPO will not break your site when you activate minify/compress CSS/JS functions of WP-Optimize. WP-Optimize has everything that you would need to make a website fast. It can compress photos, minify CSS/JS files, combine CSS/JS files and also remove useless entries from the database. The only thing this W3TC alternative doesn’t have is the critical CSS generator.

WP Fastest Cache

WPFC also has CSS minifier and optimizer functions, but it doesn’t break the site when you enable these two features for your website. WP FC is faster than WPSC and W3TC, according to WPFC’s developer. WPFC can detect mobile devices and serve the uncached pages to mobile users instead of the cached page.

WPFC features an exclude page wizard. It will not store the pages that you add with this wizard. It can also not serve the cached page to the devices matching certain user agents. Unlike WP-Optimize, which includes a database cleaner utility, WPFC doesn’t have image and DB optimization functions.

WP Super Cache

WPSC might be an old plugin, but it still does a great job of caching and preloading pages. The options of WPSC are related to page caching only. You won’t find a function to enable/disable CSS/JS minification. WPSC can, however, compress pages by gzipping them.

WPSC can clear all files it has generated/stored when you’ve updated a post, or you can manually delete a page from the cache by opening the “Contents” tab and clicking the cross icon displayed on the right side of the page.

The W3TC alternatives we’ve shared above are simpler than W3TC, and they work like a charm on high or low-traffic websites hosted on shared or VPS servers. Some of the plugins have toggle options or checkboxes that you must select to enable/disable the feature mentioned in front of the checkbox or toggle.

One thing I’ve not mentioned is the preload pages feature. Preload module runs once or as many times as you like. It generates a cache of all pages. The preload function runs for a few minutes and makes the entire website fast. Each W3TC alternative we’ve shared above ships with preload function. LSC and WP Rocket can optimize Google Fonts. They can lazily load images too. They let you set up CDN on a WordPress site, and work great on WooCommerce-powered WordPress stores. The two extensions can flush all caches on demand. You can make them not cache wp-login, wp-admin, or any other page on your website.


Pramod is the founder of wptls. He has been using WordPress for more than nine years. He builds web applications, and writes about his experiences with various WP products on this site.

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