WP Fastest Cache is a free cache plugin that’s easy to setup.
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.
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: disable – only 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 feature – you 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.
- 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 OMGF + Swap 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.
3. Image Optimization
Losslessly compressing images fixes efficiently encode images in Lighthouse.
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.
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).
Step 2: Configure WP Fastest Cache with these settings if using BunnyCDN or StackPath.
Step 3: In the BunnyCDN dashboard, create a pull zone.
Step 4: Copy your CDN URL from BunnyCDN.
Step 5: Click “Other CDN Providers” in the CDN area of WP Fastest Cache.
Step 6: Paste your CDN URL in WP Fastest Cache and use your website as the origin URL.
Step 6: Click next, leave all file types selected, then keep clicking next until it’s ready.
Step 7: In BunnyCDN, click “purge pull zone”.
Step 8: Finally, make sure the CDN item is green in GTmetrix.
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.
Step 1: Sign up for Cloudflare and you will be prompted to add your website and begin a scan.
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.
Step 3. Grab your Global API Key from the link in Cloudflare, or in your Cloudflare profile.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 6. Finally, go to your Cloudflare caching settings and purge individual files.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 use Cloudways is who is #1 in most recent Facebook polls and my TTFB is consistently <200ms. I’m currently on their Vultr High Frequency plan, but DigitalOcean is good too. It’s $10-$13/month, but we’re talking about fast cloud hosting, not cheap hosting with slow TTFBs.
Instead of reading biased reviews, I encourage you to do your own research. Join Facebook Groups and look at polls, migration results, and conversations on “the best hosting” (shown below). Check out Backlinko’s PageSpeed Test where he found SiteGround had a slow TTFB. You already know GoDaddy and EIG brands (Bluehost + HostGator) are not good choices. WP Engine went downhill, Hostinger writes fake reviews, and NameCheap is mainly for domains.
People who moved to Cloudways and posted their results (click thumbnails to enlarge):
Why I use Cloudways:
- My TTFB is consistently <200ms
- The WordPress admin loads instantly
- Easier to pass web vitals on cloud hosting
- Monthly pricing and free 3-day trials are nice
- Server-level caching (Redis makes a big difference)
- They do a free migration and have a migrator plugin
- Support is fast/helpful as reflected in Trustpilot reviews
- Choice of 5 cloud hosts: DO, Vultr, AWS, Google Cloud, Linode
- They have a Cloudways Users Facebook Group to ask questions
- Only major con is no email hosting, but there’s an option for Rackspace
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for Cloudways with my affiliate link, thank you! Most affiliates recommend things only for commissions but I take mine seriously and support them with evidence. I also donate to GoFundMe campaigns and everything helps. They do free migrations but if you have questions about launching a server or anything else, you can reach out to me by leaving a comment. Cheers to a faster TTFB.
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?
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.
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.