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5 Best Caching Plugins for WooCommerce to Choose From in 2021 [+3 Mistakes to Avoid]

The best WordPress caching plugins will speed up your website. Here’s why that’s important:

To put it simply, every internet marketing study ever done on website speed shows us one thing:

Speed sells stuff.

Best Caching Plugins for WooCommerce to Choose From [+3 Mistakes to Avoid]

How Loading Times Impact Your Website

Long loading times make people click away from your website. It’s really that simple. Does it really matter, though? How much money can you lose from a few percentage points?

Let’s show you some stats and some figures about site speed and conversions so you really get why this is important.

To begin, imagine your website sells $40 gadgets. Your average number of visitors is 1000 per week.

  • The optimal speed for conversion rates is 0-1 seconds. Websites with this speed see about 8.11% conversions rates. At this rate, your sales would total $3,244.
  • Websites that load in 1 second convert at 6.32%. At this speed and conversion rate, your sales would be $2,528.
  • If your site loads in 2 seconds, your conversion rate drops to 4.64% and your sales would drop to $1,856.
  • Slower websites that take just 3 seconds to load have an average conversion rate of 2.93%. Their sales would amount to just $1,172.

Your website could lose 66% of its sales in those 3 seconds. The message is super clear:

Speed sells stuff.

So how can you speed up your WordPress WooCommerce website? You must use website caching to speed up your website and achieve top performance.

What is Web Browser Caching?

Caching is when the website stores data about its pages on the end user’s device. Each time the user visits the website, unchanged content comes from the cache and new content comes from the website. 

Website caching speeds up browsing because the user’s device does not request information about site elements that are already in the cache. Lowering the number of requests and information needed for a page view makes the website load faster.

Why is Caching Important for WooCommerce?  

Caching speeds up your WooCommerce website. As we have shown, speed makes your website more attractive to buyers. The last thing you want is someone visiting your site, deciding to buy, and then clicking away because your site made them wait too long.

What Does a Caching Plugin Do?

A caching plugin stores data in a temporary location. It does this by saving a static, lightweight HTML version of your website. These lightweight pages can be served to customers instead of the slower PHP WordPress scripts.

What Does a Caching Plugin Do?

A caching plugin stores data in a temporary location. It does this by saving a static, lightweight HTML version of your website. These lightweight pages can be served to customers instead of the slower PHP WordPress scripts.

WooCommerce Caching vs WordPress Caching: What’s the Difference

WooCommerce adds dynamic pages to your WordPress site. WordPress blogs are generally static. Blog pages are created and stay mostly the same for weeks, months, or even years. Your WooCommerce site has a few elements that must change regularly to process sales.

These are:

  • Cart – your customers’ carts change regularly so caching them will not work. Improperly cached cart pages can expose customer records.
  • Checkout – as your customer goes through the checkout process, their page changes and caching would break the process.
  • My Account – Customer data is updated in their account pages. Caching them could produce incorrect data or even expose customer records to other users.
  • Products – Your product pages may be mostly static. Inventory, prices, and customer interactions may require constant updates, thus making caching useless.

Best Cache Plugin for WooCommerce: 

We’ve evaluated four caching plugins and six web hosting caching methods. This quick guide can show you which one may work best for your website.

Built-in Cache Plugins from Hosting

Many web hosting providers offer their own caching plugin to speed up website performance. These can be faster because they operate at the server side and reduce traffic loads. The features of each hosting cache operation are determined by your web hosting provider, so you should check into them. In some cases, you may not need a caching plugin at all because your web hosting caching service will be adequate.

TheeCommerce Best Caching Plugins - Pantheon

Pantheon’s hosting service works by using containers to provide speed and scale for your website operations. Full object caching is available through tools like Varnish and Redis. The software automation makes this hosting provider lightning fast.

TheeCommerce Best Caching Plugins - WP Engine

WP Engine is a hosting service offering an integrated ecommerce setup for as low as £30/month. As part of their service, they offer extensive caching to boost website performance. The exclusions needed for ecommerce, like the Cart, My Account, and Checkout pages, are built into the service. These can also be modified as necessary for your store.

TheeCommerce Best Caching Plugins - Pressable

Another option for hosting is Pressable. They offer worldwide content delivery networks, built-in caching, and free automatic failover to ensure your website is at peak performance at all times.

TheeCommerce Best Caching Plugins - Siteground

Siteground hosting comes with caching enabled out of the box for every plan. Their caching system uses their unique Super Cacher technology. This provides caching on 3 layers:

  • NGINX Direct Delivery
  • Dynamic Cache
  • Memcached

All these options have the ability to exclude the necessary ecommerce pages from being cached.

3 WooCommerce Caching Mistakes to Avoid

All the plugins and options we have listed do their best to make caching as user-friendly as possible. However, people can still make mistakes. Here are three things to avoid when you’re setting up your caching system.

Don’t Cache WooCommerce Pages

The three WooCommerce pages, Cart, Checkout, and My Account, should never be cached. Doing so will make the customer’s buying process difficult at best. Check the settings on your cache plugin or hosting caching feature to ensure these pages are excluded.

Don’t Cache WooCommerce Cookies

There are four WooCommerce cookies to exclude from caching:

  • Woocommerce_recently_viewed
  • Wp_woocommerce_session
  • Woocommerce_items_in_cart
  • Woocommerce_cart_hash

If these are cached, the updates will not display properly to your customers. This can lead to distrust in your store.

Don’t Cache WooCommerce Sessions

Finally, don’t cache WooCommerce sessions. You should look into your plugin or caching settings and exclude “_wc_session_” from the cache.

What to do: Do Minify JavaScript

WooCommerce recommends not minifying JavaSript, but this leaves some performance upgrades on the table. Instead, you should minify your JS, but exclude any WooCommerce scripts from the minification.

How to Test Your WooCommerce Store Works Properly After Configuring Caching

After you’ve configured your caching settings, you should try these six operations to test your site is still working correctly:

  1. Test a product page
  2. Test a category page
  3. Make a purchase as a guest
  4. Make a purchase as a customer
  5. Create and test a coupon at checkout
  6. Reset your password (as a customer)

If you can complete all six steps without a problem, then your settings haven’t broken your website and you should be good to go.

Conclusion

Fast sites perform better in SEO, have lower bounce rates, and usually have a higher conversion rate. Check your caching settings, upgrade as many performance features as you can, and boost your site speed as much as possible.

If this seems like something you should leave to the experts, then get in touch. An expert from our team will be happy to help you.

Are You Looking for Help with Your WooCommerce Caching or Want to Increase Your Online Store’s Loading Speed?

If you are looking for a dedicated web design agency please call us at 919-336-1790 or click here to schedule a consultation with one of our web design experts.

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