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What’s the best cache plugin to use with Smart Slider?

Ramona Nemeth-Csoka
Ramona Nemeth-Csoka
February 22, 2022

Everyone wants their website to load as fast as possible. In fact, one of the best ways to help speed up your site is to use a good cache plugin. For this reason, there are many WordPress plugins available to create cache for your site. Which cache plugins are the most popular? Which one helps speed up your Smart Slider pages the most? Let’s find out together!

Why is page speed so important?

There are many reasons why people want their sites to be fast. The most important reason is the user experience: visitors don’t like waiting for a website to load. In fact, 47% of visitors expect a web page to load within 2 seconds. That’s not much time, but it requires website owners to optimize their site to ensure it loads as fast as possible.

Ultimately, slow loading websites have a higher bounce rate. The reason is that visitors don’t like slow sites and will not wait for them to load. So, a slow loading website can cost you losing sales. It doesn’t matter how good your website and how much time and effort you spend on SEO.

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What does a cache plugin do?

Generally speaking, cache plugins save your site’s content in a given time and state. After that, they’ll keep displaying the content they’ve saved until you clear the cache. Clearing the cache regenerates the cache files. In other words, it saves yoursite again which makes the changes you’ve made on your site show up.

So, clearing the cache is always a good idea after you make changes on your site. It’s worth noting that some cache plugins clear their cache automatically after you save a post or page.

What are the most popular caching plugins for WordPress?

WordPress powers over 43% of websites. This means WordPress is super popular, both amongst developers and users. Because of its popularity, there are many plugins to give WordPress extra functions. Some plugins let you build your page visually, with no coding knowledge. Others help strengthen its security. Additionally, there are many plugins which help you optimize your website.

There are many popular cache plugins today, each having millions of users. The most popular ones include WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache WP, Super Cache. LiteSpeed Cache is also very popular, but that only runs on LiteSpeed servers. Unfortunately, my test server didn’t run on LiteSpeed, so I wasn’t able to test this plugin.

However, I tested all others listed above. In this article I’ll check which one helps you most to optimize your site where you use Smart Slider. Let’s dig in!

Speed testing of the page

To see which plugin helps the most to optimize my website with Smart Slider, I’ll test each of them. In order to perform fair tests, I’ll use the exact same server for each test. I’ll only enable two plugins: Smart Slider and the cache I’m currently testing. Additionally, I’ll use the TwentyTwenty theme. I’ll use a 10Mb/s connection and an incognito window. Also, I’ve reloaded the page 5 times to leverage browser caching.

Loading speed without any plugins

One of the most interesting aspects of a speed test is to see how a page performs on its own, with no plugins enabled. In other words, when there are no plugins to slow down the page. So, the only thing that affects the page load is the speed of the server, the theme and the content of the page. Here’s how my testing server performs on a page that has only text and a few images.

Connections speed 10Mb/s
Requests 11
Load time 263ms
Page size 766kb

Speed of Smart Slider

After testing the page load time on a simple page, I also wanted to test how much time it takes for the page with Smart Slider to load. I’ve used the Layer Slider template for testing. During this test, the only enabled plugin I had was Smart Slider. Here’s the speed result:

Connections speed 10Mb/s
Requests 38
Load time 412ms
Page size 1.4MB

Testing with WP Rocket

WP Rocket is a paid caching plugin, which powers more than 2 million websites. So, it’s widely popular and it made me super curious about how much speed I can gain by using it. While running the speed tests, I used WP Rocket version 3.10.7. I enabled WP Rocket’s cache option. Additionally, I also enabled the CSS and JS minification and combination options.

Connections speed 10Mb/s
Requests 30
Load time 234ms
Page size 1.3MB

That’s a pretty great result. With a slider on the page, WP Rocket managed to make the page load faster than the very first test I had run. That test measured a single page with text and images, without any activated plugins. Pretty impressive job!

Testing with WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest cache is a freemium plugin. This means there’s a free version on you can grab for free to use. But, there’s also a premium version which offers some extra options. For the test, I used WP Fastest Cache free, version 0.9.8. Also, I’ve turned on Minify HTML and CSS, Combine CSS and JS, GZip, browser caching and disabled the emojis.

Connections speed 10Mb/s
Requests 33
Load time 251ms
Page size 1.4MB

Testing with WP Super Cache

WP Super cache is a free cache plugin, which is used by more than 2 million websites. I used it’s simple caching and enabled page compression as well. I ran the tests using version 1.7.6.

Connections speed 10Mb/s
Requests 38
Load time 304ms
Page size 1.4MB

Testing with W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is another free cache plugin you can download from After installing it I enabled the cache. I also turned on its minifying options for better performance. The W3 Total Cache version I used for testing was 2.2.1.

Connections speed 10Mb/s
Requests 34
Load time 286ms
Page size 1.4MB

Summarized results

Each caching plugin performed pretty well and they made the site load faster. So, I can recommend any of them to you to help you make your site faster. Below there is the summary of how each plugin performed, so you can compare them more conveniently.

WP Rocket WP Fastest Cache WP Super Cache W3 Total Cache
Connections speed 10Mb/s 10Mb/s 10Mb/s 10Mb/s
Requests 30 33 38 34
Load time 234ms 251ms 304ms 286ms
Page size 1.3MB 1.4MB 1.4MB 1.4MB

Based on the tests, the plugin that helped speed up my site the most was WP Rocket. In fact, it had the fewest requests and smallest load time and page size. WP Fastest Cache deserves second place with its fast load time and small number of requests. But W3 Total Cache follows it very closely with just one more request and 35ms extra loading time.

As mentioned above, I wasn’t able to test the LiteSpeed cache since my testing server is not on LiteSpeed. Keep in mind that LiteSpeed Cache was created for LiteSpeed servers. As a result, it might perform better on those servers than the other plugins. So, it’s worth running your own tests, especially with the free plugins.


Every website is different. For this reason, it’s worth investing some time in finding the best cache plugin for the site at hand. As a result, you can find the plugin that will speed your site up the most. If you’re only looking for a free solution, try WP Fastest Cache or W3 Total Cache. However, if you’re interested in paid plugins, I can recommend WP Rocket for you.

Ramona Nemeth-Csoka

About Author

Hi, I’m Ramona and I’m a member of Nextend‘s awesome support team. You’ve probably chat with me if you’ve submit a support ticket. When I’m not answering support emails I read a book or go cycling. I enjoy writing as well, both for our blog and for my private projects.