Simple Cache: A New One-Click Install Caching Plugin for WordPress

simple-cache

WordPress caching plugins are notorious for being packed full of confusing options, spammy with upsells, and difficult to uninstall. Users who are looking for a caching solution that simply works and has nothing to configure should check out Simple Cache, a new plugin on WordPress.org that offers a one-click install. The plugin promises lightning fast speed with a simple on/off switch.

After investigating some of the popular caching solutions for WordPress, Taylor Lovett found most of them to have cluttered interfaces that make them unnecessarily complex to configure. Lovett, who has worked with many different caching solutions as Director of Web Engineering at 10up, decided to create his own implementation that would be easy for users to work with, hence the name Simple Cache.

“I wrote my comparison blog post with no plans of creating my own caching plugin,” Lovett said. “After doing the research, I had a few ideas on how to create a plugin that would really have a positive impact on websites.”

Once installed, Simple Cache can be turned on with the click of a button. It also has a few optional settings for expiring the cache and enabling compression. The simple mode offers file-based page caching (similar to WP Super Cache), which is sufficient to speed up the vast majority of simple sites.

simple-cache-settings

Lovett also built an advanced mode that implements object caching and will automatically setup Batcache and Memcached/Redis for you.

After a quick test in simple mode on a blog with a handful of plugins like Akismet, Jetpack, Google Analytics, and a few others, I saw a roughly 38% decrease in loading time. Before installing Simple Cache, the site loaded in 3.9 seconds.

Before installing Simple Cache
Before installing Simple Cache

Simple Cache shaved 1.5 seconds off the loading time:

After installing Simple Cache
After installing Simple Cache

These results came without touching the advanced mode, which would offer an even bigger performance boost.

“The Redis functionality is forked from Pantheon’s WP Redis plugin,” Lovett said. “The Memcached functionality is forked from Automattic’s drop-in. If you use page caching with object caching, a forked version of Batcache by Automattic is used.”

If there is no object cache set up, page caching defaults to using the file system (simple mode). This is most likely what you would use if your site is on shared hosting.

“So really Simple Cache gives you the best of both worlds,” Lovett said. “A very simple setup, or an advanced setup with the most battle-tested page cache and object cache drop-ins.”

Users can easily purge the cache from the button on the plugin’s setting screen. If you try Simple Cache and don’t want to keep using it, it’s easy to uninstall, cleans up after itself, and, most importantly, doesn’t break your website. Lovett also worked to ensure that the UX, notices, warnings, and error messages are user friendly and understandable.

The whole concept of caching is difficult for non-developers to grasp. It might as well be powered by Merlin’s wand, as far as most users’ understanding goes. They need it to work without a ton of complicated settings. Simple Cache fits the bill and is hands-down the easiest caching plugin I’ve ever tested.

Lovett plans to add more features and improve upon his implementation based on feedback from the community. If you’re looking for a new caching solution, you can find Simple Cache on WordPress.org. Feedback and contributions are welcome on the plugin’s support forums and via its GitHub repository.

17 Comments


  1. Lovett plans to add more features and improve upon his implementation based on feedback from the community.

    Many of the caching plugins didn’t start out as complicated as they are today. This looks like a great plugin — I’d hate for it to lose it’s way and become a total caching ( ;) ) plugin. KISS!

    Report


    1. Many of the caching plugins didn’t start out as complicated as they are today. This looks like a great plugin — I’d hate for it to lose it’s way and become a total caching ( ;) ) plugin. KISS!

      It is inevitable that it will become complicated. Invariably you’ll end up serving stale content and people will complain and you’ll have to add an exception for that particular use-case. Then that will break something else and you have to fix that and so on.

      Besides it’s no fun caching stuff for an hour. Most sites don’t get enough traffic for that to save any server resources. You have to cache for days. That’s where you get into trouble with nonces expiring and what not.

      Report


    2. I can see this with WP Rocket. Slowly but continuously buttons and checkboxes are coming with each update.
      The last update even takes care about Emojis ;)

      Report


  2. Looks awesome! Thank you Taylor for your work on this plugin.

    As fortune would have it, I’m going to be presenting on WordPress performance optimization at WordCamp San Diego next weekend. I’ve become a Comet Cache guy, but I will check this one out and maybe even give it a little plug :)

    Report


    1. A plug would be great :)

      Report


  3. This plugin Looks so simple and easy to install. Will have a try and come back with the result. Thanks for the share…

    Report


  4. Looks like the perfect solution for NutritionRealm.com My partner and I was just thinking about slicing out a byte of our advertising budget for WP Rocket.

    We’ll try this out first,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Report


    1. It worked. It literally shaved off 2.9 secs off our initial load time :)

      Thanks guys.

      Report


  5. This plugin is definitely filling a gap. Hope Taylor will maintain it for a long time.

    Report


  6. On his blog plugin author complains that other plugins do not provide sufficient information about what methods of caching they use. But in fact he doesn’t provide any information about this in WP or Github index page too.

    For example I was looking for info if his plugin was using Mod_Rewrite, but could not find any info.

    Report


    1. It doesn’t use mod_rewrite. I asked him about that but forgot to include it in the post.

      Report


      1. Thank you for the clarification!

        Anyway, criticism in terms of non-existing theme documentation remains valid.

        Report


  7. Hi Sarah,

    This plugin looks very simple. I have been using WP Super Cache for a long time. I also used W3 Total Cache for a while.

    Going to give it try. Let’s see if this works for me.

    Thank you

    Report


  8. Another simple, yet elegant solution is WP Fastest cache. It has done the job for us quite well on 20+ websites.

    Report


  9. This sounds great! I’m always looking for simpler cache solutions. I’ve used the popular great big ones, and even though I’m geekie, I don’t want mission control. :) I’d rather sacrifice a few options and a pinch of speed if I can get something that’s easy to set up and manage.

    Thanks for the tip!
    Dave

    Report


  10. Installed this plugin last week based on this recommendation (Just Install and your done… simple)
    …but was dismayed to realise yesterday that non logged in users (all those pesky site visitors we’re trying to attract by regular news updates) were being served a week old site with none of our updates.
    Since there are no settings (I am aware of) I’m not sure how long that would have been the case.

    Report

Comments are closed.