Support » Plugin: W3 Total Cache » W3 Total Cache – test results vs wp-cache

  • Hi,

    [repeat post – the first posting attempt seemed to fail]

    I have been running W3 Total Cache for about 10 days now, and comparing it to what I was using previously: wp-cache (not super). Here are the results. The main anomaly is webpagetest, which reports w3tc to be 3 timas as slow as wp-cache. I suspect webpagetest talks baloney. However some other tests also show wp-cache marginally faster, which is unexpected.

    W3tc is configured with everything turned off except enhanced page caching.

    YSLOW gives a score of 97 for w3tc, 96 for wp-cache.

    Pingdom shows the same for both plugins: about 3.5 seconds for the first (uncached) visit and 1.2 to 1.4 seconds for subsequent (cached) visits. Pingdom results are quite variable. gives initial load time of over 3 secs on the first visit, and just over 1 s for the second visit with W3TC. For wp-cache, the same figures are 0.9s and 0.3s. This is consistent over repeated tests. Go figure.

    With w3tc, a recursive wget from a co-located server (in my house/1 Gb/s network) takes 40 seconds to download my whole site, uncached (27 files). A second test takes 13.6 seconds. With wp-cache, again the results are slightly faster: 35 and 10.7 seconds. These timings are very repeatable and consistent, probably because only my home network is involved.

    Leaving a comment on my blog (again from a browser on a co-located laptop) takes 5 seconds when w3tc is running, but 4 seconds with wp-cache. I only timed it with a watch, but the results are consistant and repeatable.

    For the time being, I have rolled back my site to wp-cache. The above results are only part of the reason for that. I look forward to revisiting W3TC when it has had more time to mature. W3tc is still configured on the alternative root disk, so I can repeat the tests if necessary.

    Keep up the good work!


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  • Plugin Author Frederick Townes


    Many people have done tests similar to what you describe in a scientific way and not demonstrated similar outcomes. There’s not really anything here I can use to improve. wp-cache doesn’t optimize a given site, it just generates cache files, if that’s all you want use wp super cache, which is actually still supported.

    Since you’re not using all of the parts of W3TC I’m not sure what I can say, your site wasn’t tuned there was more to do to improve your site, not the least of which is discover why some operations were slower on your machine.

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