The Ideal WP Fastest Cache Settings With Cloudflare + CDN Instructions (Updated 6/18/2021 With Latest Version 0.9.1.9)

WP-Fastest-Cache-Settings

WP Fastest Cache is a free cache plugin that’s easy to setup.

However, the developer hasn’t done a great job in updating the plugin for core web vitals. It lacks browser resource hints (preload, prefetch, preconnect), delaying JavaScript, removing unused CSS, adding missing image dimensions, heartbeat control, and other features many cache plugins have already integrated (WP Rocket, LiteSpeed Cache, and SG Optimizer are a few). You will need to install quite a few extra plugins if you want to get these speed features.

For this reason, I wouldn’t use WP Fastest Cache and would use one of those other cache plugins instead. If you don’t want to pay for WP Rocket or you’re not using LiteSpeed or SiteGround, you can use W3 Total Cache, but it’s also much more difficult to setup properly.

Otherwise, this guide shows you the ideal WP Fastest Cache settings and how to set it up properly with CDNs like Cloudflare or BunnyCDN. For hosting, I use Cloudways Vultr High Frequency (#1 host in most FB polls) and have a great GTmetrix report with a <150ms TTFB.

Leave me a comment if you have questions or see their support forum. But there are many complaints about WP Fastest Cache’s support just to give you a heads up. Remember to retest your site in Lighthouse or GTmetrix when you’re done – and comment with your new load time!

The ideal WP Fastest settings (click thumbnails to enlarge):

 

1. WP Fastest Cache Settings

If you plan on using BunnyCDN (recommended), StackPath, or another CDN besides Cloudflare, use these settings and go to the CDN section since the main settings will be configured differently (disable the preload, logged-in users, mobile caching, and update post).

If you plan on using Cloudflare, use the settings below but disable Auto Minify and Rocket Loader in the “speed” tab of your Cloudflare settings (Railgun should be enabled). This is what the WP Fastest Cache plugin developer recommends in his Cloudflare tutorial. The Cloudflare section shows you how to sign up for Cloudflare, change nameservers in your domain registrar, setup 3 Cloudflare page rules for better performance, and purge the cache once you’re done.

If you plan on using neither, use the settings below. The only thing you would change is in the Preload tab (pages per minute). If you’re using shared hosting use 4-6, VPS should use 10-12. Also, combining CSS and JavaScript files is not always recommended and needs to be tested.

wp fastest cache settings

WP Fastest Cache Settings Overview:

  • Cache System: enable.
  • Widget Cache System: premium feature – caches your widgets.
  • Preload: enable – shared hosting should use 4-6, VPS should use 10-12). Preloading is done every 5 minutes, but you can change the interval by using cron jobs (learn more).
  • Logged-in Users: enable – only disable if multiple users can be logged in (i.e. bbPress), since each user should have their own cached version. If it’s just you, leave this checked.
  • Mobile: disableonly enable if you have a separate mobile theme or plugin (you probably don’t). Otherwise, most themes are responsive and work without a separate mobile cache.
  • Mobile Theme: premium featureyou would leave disabled if you use a responsive theme.
  • New Post: enable – when you publish a post, it will clear the cache (select clear all cache). This will also update blogrolls (i.e. on your homepage or blog page) to show the new post.
  • Update Post: enable – clears the cache files when a post or page is updated (learn more).
  • Minify HTML: enable – removes unnecessary characters from the HTML code to reduce the file size (high priority item in Lighthouse and GTmetrix). Leave disabled in your CDN.
  • Minify HTML Plus: premium feature – theoretically a more powerful HTML minification.
  • Minify CSS: enable – removes unnecessary characters from the CSS code to reduce the file size (high priority item in Lighthouse and GTmetrix). Also leave disabled in your CDN.
  • Minify CSS Plus: premium feature – theoretically a more powerful CSS minification.
  • Combine CSS: enable – combining CSS and JS is not always recommended and should be tested. Usually, small sites should combine CSS and JS while large sites shouldn’t combine.
  • Minify JS: premium feature – removes unnecessary characters from the JS code to reduce the file size (high priority item in Lighthouse and GTmetrix). Leave disabled in your CDN.
  • Combine JS: enable – again, combining is not always recommended and should be tested.
  • Combine JS Plus: premium feature – theoretically a more powerful JS minification.
  • Gzip: enable – if you’re using Cloudflare, enable Brotli (in the speed settings) and disable Gzip in WP Fastest Cache settings, since Brotli is widely known for being faster than Gzip.
  • Browser Caching: enable – temporary stores data to reduce load times for repeat users.
  • Disable Emojis: enable – disables emojis which are known for causing slower load times.
  • Render Blocking JS: premium feature – can help eliminate render-blocking resources (Lighthouse Item). However, Autoptimize and Async JavaScript will likely do a better job.
  • Google Fonts: premium feature – loads Google Fonts asynchronously. However, font optimization requires more than selecting this. Try hosting fonts locally, optimize them with browser resource hints (i.e. preconnect or preload), use font-display:swap, and limit the number of font families, weights, and icons. Try OMGFSwap Google Fonts Display.
  • Lazy Load: premium feature – lazy load was built-in to WordPress 5.5 (you don’t need this).

 

2. Delete Cache

Once you’re done configuring the WP Fastest Cache settings, delete cache and minified CSS/JS.

WP Fastest Cache Delete Cache

 

3. Image Optimization

Premium feature which losslessly compresses images (an item in GTmetrix). There are other free plugins that do this like ShortPixel, Imagify, or TinyPNG (no need to upgrade just for this).

WP Fastest Cache Image Optimization

Losslessly compressing images fixes efficiently encode images in Lighthouse.

efficiently encode images

 

4. Premium

If you’re going to spend money on a premium cache plugin, WP Rocket has way more features than WP Fastest Cache Premium. The free version of WP Fastest Cache lacks many features and is rarely updated to incorporate new speed optimizations, while WP Rocket is constantly being updated with new features. It’s worth the money and is what I currently use on my blog.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Premium

 

5. Exclude

If any minify settings break your website, view your source code, find the problematic CSS or JavaScript files(s), and exclude them from minification by adding new CSS and JS rules. If you don’t see visible errors on your site when enabling minification settings, you can skip this step.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Exclude-Settings

 

6. CDN Settings

A CDN makes your site faster by hosting it on multiple servers around the country and world as opposed to 1 origin server, reducing the geographical distance between the server and visitors.

  • BunnyCDN – the CDN that is most recommended in Facebook Groups and who I use. Affordable pricing, 50 data centers, easy to setup, and a consistently performant CDN.
  • StackPath – can be a solid choice but can actually increase TTFB in some cases. Recommended by the WP Fastest Cache developer but not who most people recommend.
  • Cloudflare – free but can also increase TTFBs in some cases. Cloudflare is setup differently (by changing nameservers). See the Cloudflare section for setup instructions.

Step 1: Sign up for BunnyCDN (highly recommended in Facebook Groups and who I use).

CDN Comparison Feedback

Step 2: Configure WP Fastest Cache with these settings if using BunnyCDN or StackPath.

stackpath wp fastest cache settings

Step 3: In the BunnyCDN dashboard, create a pull zone.

BunnyCDN Add Pull Zone

Step 4: Copy your CDN URL from BunnyCDN.

BunnyCDN Hostname

Step 5: Click “Other CDN Providers” in the CDN area of WP Fastest Cache.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Other-CDN-Providers

Step 6: Paste your CDN URL in WP Fastest Cache and use your website as the origin URL.

WP Fastest Cache CDN URL

Step 6: Click next, leave all file types selected, then keep clicking next until it’s ready.

stackpath file types

Next.

stackpath specify sources

Next.

stackpath exclude sources

Finish.

stackpath ready to go

stackpath integration ready

Done.

WP Fastest Cache CDN Confirmation

Step 7: In BunnyCDN, click “purge pull zone”.

BunnyCDN Purge Pull Zone

Step 8: Finally, make sure the CDN item is green in GTmetrix.

CDN GTmetrix YSlow

Cloudflare Instructions – this section is for setting up Cloudflare. Do not follow these instructions if you’re already using another CDN since you should only be using 1 CDN.

SiteGround, Bluehost, and other hosts usually have an option to activate Cloudflare in the dashboard. If your host doesn’t have this, you can setup Cloudflare using WP Fastest Cache.

Bluehost Cloudflare

Step 1: Sign up for Cloudflare and you will be prompted to add your website and begin a scan.

cloudflare-begin-scan

Cloudflare-DNS-Records

Cloudflare-CDN-Plans

You will eventually come to this page where Cloudflare assigns you 2 nameservers and provide a link to your Global API Key.

Cloudflare-Dashboard-WP-Fastest-Cache

Step 2: Do a Google search for “how to change name servers on GoDaddy” (only search for your domain registrar), then follow their instructions. You will be copying the 2 nameservers from Cloudflare and paste them to a custom name servers option in the domain registrar dashboard.

SiteGround-DNS-Records

Step 3. Grab your Global API Key from the link in Cloudflare, or in your Cloudflare profile.

loudflare-Global-API-Key

Go back to WP Fastest Cache and click the Cloudflare tab. Enter the same email address used in your Cloudflare account, as well as your Global API Key.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Tab

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-API-Keys

Keep clicking next in WP Fastest Cache. They will automatically turn off the minify settings in WP Fastest Cache (since Cloudflare will now do this). They will also turn off Rocket Loader for better compatibility (your website won’t break), and set browser cache expiration to 24 days.

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Disable-Auto-Minify

WP-Fastest-Cache-Disable-Rocket-Loader

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Browser-Cache-Expiration

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Message

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Integration

Looks good!

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Confirmation

Step 4: Go to Cloudflare’s speed settings and make sure Auto Minify and Rocket Loader are turned off, but SG Railgun is on. This is what the WP Fastest Cache developer recommends.

Step 5: Take advantage of page rules which you can also add in your Cloudflare dashboard (you have a limit of 3 free page rules). Below are the 3 Cloudflare page rules I generally recommend.

Page Rule 1: Cache Everything And Force HTTPS – cache your website aggressively.

https://*yourwebsite.com/*

Always-Use-HTTPS-Page-Rule

Page Rule 2: Secure The WordPress Admin And Bypass Cache – sets security level of the admin to high and bypasses Cloudflare’s cache in the admin, since you don’t want CDNs (or apps + performance features like Rocket Loader) running inside the admin.

yourwebsite.com/wp-admin*

WordPress-Admin-Page-Rule

Page Rule 3: Decrease Bandwidth Of WP Uploads – since the content in your WP Uploads folder does not change frequently, increasing Edge Cache TTL to a month can save on bandwidth, since the WP Uploads folder cache won’t be refreshed as often.

yourwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads*

WP-Uploads-Page-Rule

Step 6. Finally, go to your Cloudflare caching settings and purge individual files.

Purge Individual Files Cloudflare

All done!

WP-Fastest-Cache-Cloudflare-Confirmation
It can take up to 24 hours for Cloudflare to propagate

Cloudflare APO – I recommend using Cloudflare’s automatic platform optimization if you have $5/month which caches dynamic content and can significantly improve TTFB. But then again, if you’re going to pay for a premium CDN, that money might be better off purchasing WP Rocket.

Cloudflare Automatic Platform Optimization

 

7. Database

Cleaning your database removes unnecessary junk and makes your site load faster. You can use the free WP-Optimize plugin to do this (no need to upgrade to WP Fastest Cache Premium). WP-Optimize also lets you delete tables left behind by old plugins you don’t use anymore. Make sure you’re not deleting things that can break your site and always take a backup beforehand.

WP-Optimize Clean Database

 

8. Delete Cache And Retest Your Site

Once you’re done configuring the WP Fastest Cache settings, go to Delete Cache → Delete Cache And Minified CSS/JS. Rerun your site through Lighthouse or GTmetrix to view results.

GTmetrix Report - OMM
For how long this post is with tons of images/comments, it still loads in about 1s

 

9. Plugins I Recommend On Top Of WP Fastest Cache

Since WP Fastest Cache lacks many features that can help you pass core web vitals, I created a list of additional WordPress speed plugins I recommend installing on top of WP Fastest Cache.

  • Autoptimize – better job at optimizing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Async JavaScript – should help eliminate most render-blocking issues.
  • OMGF – host fonts locally and add browser resource hints for your fonts.
  • CAOS Analytics – host Google Analytics tracking code locally on your server.
  • WP-Optimize – cleans your database and removes old, unused plugins tables.
  • ShortPixel – popular image optimization plugin (can also create WebP images).
  • Flying Pages – when users hover over a link, the page downloads in background.
  • Flying Scripts – delays loading JavaScript (great for optimizing third-party code).
  • Perfmatters – selectively disabled plugins from pages/posts with bloat removal.
  • Pre* Party Resource Hints – resource hints (prefetch, preconnect, and preload).
  • Heartbeat Control – disables Heartbeat to save server resources + CPU usage.

 

10. Cache Plugin Comparison

WP Fastest Cache is usually the #2 or #3 cache plugin in Facebook polls, trailing behind WP Rocket which is almost always #1 (click thumbnails to enlarge):

 

11. Cloudways: The Host I Recommend

I’m using Cloudways Vultr High Frequency and usually have a 150ms TTFB + 1.4s fully loaded time in GTmetrix (the post tested also has 50+ images and 600 comments). Feel free to click through my site to see how fast it loads. Vultr HF and DigitalOcean are two of the most popular hosting plans in the WordPress Hosting and WP Speed Matters Facebook Groups. Cloudways is monthly pricing and includes a free migration which makes them easy to try out. Hosting is by far the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide and they even recommend DigitalOcean.

Be careful with other hosting recommendations:

  • Matthew Woodward pushes WPX but uses Kinsta on his own site.
  • Darrel Wilson pushes NameHero but his GTmetrix report is a mess.
  • Hostinger writes fake reviews and was banned from Facebook Groups.
  • They also push SiteGround when Backlinko says their TTFB is slow (I stopped recommending them and changed my review to outline all SiteGround’s problems).
  • WP Engine, GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, and EIG brands are obviously not good.
OMM TTFB
153ms TTFB for a huge post with 50+ images and 600 comments (view report)

I switched from SiteGround to Cloudways in 2019. My response times were 2x faster, I was paying 1/2 the price of what I was on SiteGround, and had no CPU issues or high renewal prices.

Cloudways Shoutout

Cloudways is usually #1 in recent Facebook polls (click thumbnails to enlarge).

Moving from SiteGround
eCommerce Hosting Poll

People who moved to Cloudways and posted their results:

Cloudways Numbers
Cloudways-BuddyBoss
Cloudways Vultr High Frequency
Step 1: Sign up for Vultr High Frequency
Cloudways Coupon Code
Step 2: Use code OMM25 to save 25% your first 2 months
Cloudways Launch Server
Step 3: Launch your server (Vultr HF and DigitalOcean are both solid)
Cloudways Free Migration Request
Step 4: Request a free migration or use the Cloudways migrator plugin
Latest OMM GTmetrix Report
Step 5: Enjoy the faster TTFB + load times

NameHero’s Turbo Cloud plan is also a solid choice. It uses NVME, LiteSpeed servers, the LiteSpeed Cache plugin, and QUIC.cloud CDN which supports HTTP/3. All 3 tools have excellent reviews and were specifically designed to work together for faster speeds. They are different from Cloudways: NameHero is more beginner-friendly with cPanel, everything is built-in to their hosting (no need to pay for WP Rocket or email hosting), and support is A+. The biggest con is you pay 1-3 years upfront, then higher renewal prices kick in. My NameHero review shows you how to setup LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud (I was able to get a 61ms TTFB). Obviously an Astra Starter Site is smaller than onlinemediamasters.com, but it was impressive nonetheless. They also do a free migration and Ryan (CEO) has some awesome YouTube videos.

NameHero GTmetrix With LiteSpeed QUIC
Astra Site on NameHero Turbo Cloud w/ LiteSpeed + QUIC.cloud: 61ms TTFB, 733ms load time

Affiliate Disclaimer – yes, I’m an affiliate for Cloudways and NameHero, but I’d rather make a living referring people to better, faster hosting than other garbage out there. I try to backup recommendations with real evidence. You can see conversations in FB Groups, how Cloudways is recommended by Adam (WPCrafter), and other feedback.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WP Fastest Cache Premium worth it?

If you're going to spend money on a premium cache plugin, most people use WP Rocket since it comes with more features than WP Fastest Cache Premium and typically yields better results.

Which CDN should I use with WP Fastest Cache?

Cloudflare's free CDN is sufficient for most sites. If you're looking for even better results, use Cloudflare's APO or BunnyCDN.

How do I clear cache when I'm done configuring the settings?

In the WordPress menu on top, go to WPFC and Delete Cache And Minified CSS.

What other speed plugins do I need besides WP Fastest Cache?

On top of WP Fastest Cache, you should install a plugin for image optimization, database cleanup, browse resource hints, optimizing Google Fonts, hosting Google Analytics locally, delaying loading of JavaScript, selectively disabling plugins, and heartbeat control.

How do I configure WP Fastest Cache on WooCommerce?

Cart, account and checkout pages are automatically excluded from WP Fastest Cache. If the cart widget uses PHP to update the cart, exclude woocommerce_items_in_cart cookie.

How do I use Cloudflare on WP Fastest Cache?

Sign up for Cloudflare and change nameservers in your domain registrar. WP Fastest Cache will ask for your Cloudflare email and API key which is in your Cloudflare account.

Here’s the WP Fastest Cache FAQ page if you still have questions.

WP-Fastest-Cache-FAQs

See Also: My Full WordPress Speed Optimization Guide

If your website loads faster, feel free to leave your new page load time in the comments! Or if you have any questions I’m glad to help with that too. As you can see I’m a pretty big nerd when it comes to WordPress speed so if you follow these recommendations, there’s no reason your website shouldn’t load in under 3s. And if you found this tutorial helpful, sharing is appreciated.

Cheers,
Tom

About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis 2017Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

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