WP Rocket vs Hummingbird vs WP Fastest Cache vs Comet Cache

Any WordPress site owner who keeps an eye on his metrics will tell you one thing: speed is crucial when it comes to attracting and retaining visitors. Increasing your loading times by a second may not seem like a big deal, but it could cost you dearly. With this in mind, implementing a WordPress caching plugin is a no-brainer.

There are plenty of ways to speed up a site – such as image optimization and cleaning up your database – but few are as efficient as a good old WordPress caching plugin.

This time around, we’ll be comparing four different caching tools on price, features, ease of use, and (of course) speed. By the time we’re done, you’ll know exactly which solution is right for you. Let’s get cracking!

Finding the best WordPress caching plugin: WP Rocket vs Hummingbird vs WP Fastest Cache vs Comet Cache

WP Rocket vs Hummingbird vs WP Fastest Cache vs Comet Cache:


The WP Rocket homepage.

This premium WordPress caching plugin has been making waves in the WordPress community ever since its inception – you could say it’s taken off! Its success is down to remarkable support, thorough documentation, and interesting progress reports.

Features
  • Caches each of your pages.
  • Uses dedicated crawlers to preload your cache by simulating visits.
  • Loads images on request to improve your page load times.
  • Automatically minifies your HTML, JavaScript, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) files.
  • Optimized for use with Google Fonts.
  • Fully compatible with CloudFlare for even faster loading times.
  • Supports WordPress Multisite.
Performance
For this, we’re taking our numbers from a previous independent test of WP Rocket using GTmetrix.

Before installing the plugin, the site in question took exactly two seconds to load – that time got shaved down to a lean 0.7 seconds with WP Rocket activated.

 That’s a 65% reduction right there, and pretty impressive. 

(Chart by Visualizer Lite.)

Pricing
There are three licenses available, priced at $39, $99, and $199 respectively.
Which kind of user will benefit from this plugin?
Those who value a professional solution that’s simple to set up, delivers quick results, and comes with solid support from its developers. At $39 per site, WP Rocket might seem a bit expensive, but it’s worth the cost.

The Hummingbird homepage.

Hummingbird is WPMU DEV’s entry into the WordPress caching wars, and it’s a solid one. This WordPress caching plugin takes ease of use to another level thanks to its detailed performance reports, and the ability to enable each function at the drop of a hat.

Features
  • Provides you with a detailed performance report.
  • Includes advanced minification features.
  • Ability to set the longevity of your cached files in your visitor’s browser.
  • Works alongside other WordPress caching solutions.
  • Fully compatible with CloudFlare and other major Content Delivery Networks (CDN).
  • Supports WooCommerce out of the box.
Performance
In a previous test, one of WPMU DEV’s Managing Editors took Hummingbird out for a ride and reported on the results.

Activating the plugin with its default options turned on managed to improve their test site’s Google PageSpeed Insights ranking from 52 to 88 out of 100, and cut its load time from 5.88 to 3.63 seconds.

 That comes out to a respectable 38.26% decrease in loading speeds. 
Pricing
This one is available as part of WPMU’s membership package at $49 per month. It also includes a number of other plugins and themes.
Which kind of user will benefit from this plugin?
If you don’t want to deal with a complicated setup, and are looking to get the most bang for your buck, Hummingbird is the right WordPress caching plugin for you. Its dashboard is simple to use, and the WPMU DEV membership enables you to enjoy their entire catalog of plugins for a single fee.

WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache is a popular free WordPress caching plugin that’s been around for a while. Its design and feature set is simple and functional, but it gets the job done without much fuss.

Features
Performance
We tested WP Fastest Cache and measured its loading times using GTmetrix.

Before applying the plugin, our site took 1.4 seconds to load – not bad. After activating WP Fastest Cache and enabling its basic settings (cache preloading, minification, combined CSS files, and GZIP compression), we reduced that to 0.8 seconds.

 A cool 42.85% reduction in a matter of minutes. 
Pricing
Free, or $39 for a premium license, which can only be purchased within the free version.
Which kind of user will benefit from this plugin?
Those looking for a free solution that can stand toe to toe with other premium tools. The plugin’s dashboard might not be pretty, but it explains each option well enough and is easy to set up.

Comet Cache

Formerly known as ZenCache, this plugin rebranded itself as Comet Cache at the beginning of 2016 at the insistence of ZenDesk – a rather un-zenlike move if we do say so ourselves.

Despite this minor setback, Comet Cache has continued to grow its user base steadily, and development shows no signs of slowing down.

Features
  • Simple one-click configuration, preconfigured with the best possible options to maximize speed.
  • Automatic caching of your entire site.
  • Supports RSS feed caching.
  • Ability to manage your cache expiration times.
  • GZIP compression.
Performance
Using the same site as for our WP Fastest Cache test, we installed this plugin and ran the rule over its default configuration.

Our test site dropped from 1.4 to exactly one second in loading times.

 That’s a decent 28.57% reduction. 
Pricing
Free, $39, and $139 licenses.
Which kind of user will benefit from this plugin?
This plugin is a good fit for those users who want a one-click solution to their speed woes. The default configuration could be improved upon, but it provides a decent speed return if you don’t have the time to look through its documentation.

Finding the best WordPress caching plugin: Conclusion

All things considered, all of these caching tools offer excellent solutions for WordPress users who have a need for speed – and that should be all of us! They each have their pros and cons, and depending on your specific requirements you may want to choose one over the other.

Let’s recap to see which WordPress caching plugin is the best fit for you:

WP Rocket: A professional solution with world-class support and documentation.
Hummingbird: A premium tool with a simple interface, which comes alongside dozens of other WPMU DEV plugins.
WP Fastest Cache (free): A no-frills caching solution with solid performance.
Comet Cache (free): An incredibly simple to set up plugin that can be ready to go in a matter of minutes.

And lastly, here’s a quick comparison table of the performance numbers that each plugin has given us. And while we’re not saying that these results are anything close to “ultimate benchmark,” it’s still cool to see them all in one place:

WP Rocket vs Hummingbird vs WP Fastest Cache vs Comet Cache
WP RocketHummingbirdWP Fastest CacheComet Cache
No Cache2.0s5.88s1.4s1.4s
With Cache0.7s3.63s0.8s1.0s
Difference -65% -38.26%-42.85%-28.57%
 
You’ve already read our opinion, now it’s your turn. What’s the best WordPress caching plugin as far as you’re concerned? Share your picks with us in the comments section below!

Layout and presentation by Karol K.

 

Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer is a freelance blogger, longtime WordPress enthusiast and the founder of WordCandy. Find him at http://wordcandy.co
  • Thanks for compiling the list.
    It would be great, if you can also mention the configuration of testing environment.

  • Thanks for this great share. looking forward for more tips about the topic as it is a great helping content for a new wordpress user.

  • TD

    I think this article would be a lot more valuable if you told readers more about how you tested. It doesn’t look like you used the same site across all the plugins. And did you do more than 1 pass?

    • Richard Daniels

      My sentiments exactly. Especially the last two ones. When a site is already loading pretty quick, the infrastructure starts to play more significant role.

  • DJ Blair

    Agree with TD. How about r-running the tests, all with the same website? Also, how about making your test website woocommerce with around 30 plugins? ‘Lite’ sites don’t really need speeding up, but as you add plugins they slow down and this is where speedup efforts are therefore required.

  • How hard is it to install and test all 4 of these on the same site? Pretty trivial but his post author didn’t bother. Let me use a bit harsher words than the others… Posts like this render all the authors opinions suspect and this post utterly useless, either they don’t have a clue or they don’t have a care. Or you know someone paid $5 for this post on fiver and just link bait.

  • Totally confusing and below the codeinwp standard. Its not hard to install all plugin one by one in one website where everything same for all plugin.

  • Ejaz

    Not very helpful. You can’t make comparison unless tests are made in identical environments. You can’t do two very different tests and compile a general result.

  • Stephen Norman

    Totally agree with the above…

    My own setups include W3 Total Cache and CloudFlare CDN. Does anyone know of a better combination or can give info as to what they are running to improve speed?

    I’m getting good results with this combo but always open to new suggestions to get an extra little speed!

  • Hans Schmitz

    hmm, it means that no need to buy Wp-Rocket 🙂 because Free WP Fastest Cache is enough. thank you so much

  • Thanks to everyone who submitted feedback regarding the consistency of testing across the four plugins. We’re currently working on more rigorous testing results and will update the post soon!

    • Jul

      When will you updated the test with the same testing site? It shouldn’t take that long…?

  • Tamhas

    Saying WOW this plugin reduced load time to 3.8 secs is an idiotic thing to say in my opinion… since 3.8 sec load time is a MASSIVE FAILURE

  • Valerie Adler

    What would be great would be an update on this piece, paying due regard to the comments already made about consistent testing (and that 3.8 seconds is a fail)…and then comparing performance improvements for the premium versions, too, which one presumes will be different again, as the premium versions add additional value. Thanks for the article, though. I’m trying to decide from among the three which AREN’T Hummingbird and may have to just go ahead and buy a single premium license of each (but I’d love not to have to do that)!

  • I like wp fastest cache it has all the features I need. also the pricing model is one time which is good 🙂