UPDATE: March 2021. I am presently using WP Rocket (again). Breeze seems to be working fine, but there was small period in 2020 where my sites were experiencing long Time to First Byte. WP Rocket introduced a few useful additions for me such as deferred loading videos scripts and optimized google fonts. I still think Breeze is a good option.
After three months of testing I’ve moved all our client sites to the (free from the WordPress Repository) Breeze Cache plugin from Cloudways. Here is why and how we use it.
My main reasons for the move to Breeze were:
- On my tests it was one of the fastest particularly with NGINX servers (also repeated this report).
- It’s simple for clients and blends in with the WordPress UI.
- It’s free and I have not encountered any issues.
We moved from WP Rocket because:
- They removed white labeling and as we used it this stopped updates coming.
- Advertising of their other products on our client sites and the change to a new branded UI.
- It was not faster than Breeze on my servers so the cost were no longer justified.
- We recently had some layout issues on sites.
- An increased number of settings for clients over the years.
Important: I believe WP Rocket is still a great solution which outperforms Breeze on other servers and offers more. However, I was facing a second time with WP Rocket where I needed to manually make changes across all sites. As renewal was due soon it seemed a good time to re-evaluate. Of course, one good thing about paying for a solution is there is greater chance of getting update which is to be seen with the Breeze plugin.
I also tested Swift Performance. It was undoubtedly the fastest (as also shown here) of those tried, but I found the free version was heavy on the servers CPU and there were too many options for my clients. I also had one layout issue, but if your priority is shaving off the most milliseconds , this is one to check out.
WP Fastest Cache was also recommended to me, but I found it much slower on my server tests. The same was true with Super Cache which I used regularly before WP Rocket. Many years back I tried W3 Total Cache. Probably due to my ignorance it gave me problems so it was not considered. That concludes my cache plugin experience.
My Breeze Cache setting
My settings are specific to my requirement as someone who encourages client to make content updates with Beaver Builder. It also takes into account that I am using only NGINX servers via Cloudways and also with Digital Ocean and ServerPilot.
- I adjust the purge time according to the volume of traffic and how often I expect the client will use the page builder.
- I don’t presently use the Advanced Options. Concatenating CSS and JS have not proved to save me any signification load time. Also the plugin now exclude WooCommerces carts and checkout page. If using other similar plugins I may need to exclude certain URL’s.
- I don’t check Gzip compression
as I understand NGINX server do compression(and I see no improvement).
Update: The information from here may not be correct. On the whole ticking Gzip may be better if the gain is greater than the processing power needed to make that happen. I am likely to keep this unticked as I usually have plenty of bandwidth and less CPU available.
- I untick Browser Cache too on sites where the page builder is used a lot. It significantly lowers the Google score, but do not affect a first visitor load time.
- I minify HTML and CSS and notice a speed decrease and have never had an issue so far.
- I don’t minify JS due to some hard to find issues. I just don’t have the time to test each site across all browser and devices.
- I untick Auto Purge Varnish. Varnish is on the server by default with Cloudway, but I turn it off due to some reporting issues with Beaver Builder (and I believe it is true with other Page Builders). Some report no issues at all. As I can’t measurably see a speed increase I play it safe.
Finally, I wanted to say thanks to Clark Marshall (from Blue Dog Digital) who was the first person I knew to move from WP Rocket to Breeze with a significant number of client sites to manage and similar software. If you are a Beaver Builder user who use Cloudway too you wish to join his Facebook group where he’s shared some tips like the ones above.
If you are considering trying Cloudway, I can recommend it and have used my affiliate link here, but here is the direct link too https://www.cloudways.com/
Over to you… What cache plugin do you use and why?
I build websites at WP Corner Shop and travel. I also co-host a weekly WordPress podcast called WP Builds and make YouTube videos.
Thanks a lot for jotting down all the settings. I too came to the same conclusion. Gzip can be left on and Browser Caching to be left off particularly for working with Page Builders. Worked perfectly well for a page with lots of images which meant the page size was heavy too. Compressing the images and then activating Breeze helped a lot.
Nice to see you Abhijit. Thanks for this.
As a Beaver Builder user I must admit I had a slight crisis after letting my WP Rocket licence expire. On their last update they added the automatic clearing of their cache when Beaver Builder clears its own. That means no layout issues on BB updates.
The good news is I think BB is going to implement this in the core: https://github.com/Pross/beaver-cache-helper. Hopefully, Simon will include Breeze by then.
I always make it point to read your blog and watch your videos :)
I too let my WP Rocket license expire. I tested quite a few caching plugins but I always found the caching solutions provided by web hosts to be much more reliable than independent caching plugins. Kinsta for example does a great job with caching from my experience. That is why I was interested in Breeze when I first saw your post in Beaver Builder FB Group. Just got the time to set it up. So this blog post was a great help.
Have you tried Cloudway’s CDN? I tried, but I found that it destroys page layouts while loading the page from various page speed testing tool. Had to disable it eventually. Kinsta’s CDN works great and I was expecting the same from Cloudways’ CDN too. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
I Got some good idea by reading this topic. Great information thanks for sharing such a nice blog with us.
I’m using Breeze with Cloudways with a new site I launched last night. I noticed that my logged in admin users had a cart with 2 products in this morning so there seems to be an issue with cart persistence and other users seeing each others carts.
I’m looking for a fix but so far coming up blank. Also not sure how to replicate it myself to test if its still happening.
Hi Sean, Thanks for this comment.
That is worrying. I thought Breeze excluded caching cart and checkout pages by default. Have you tried adding these pages under: Breeze Setting > Advanced Options > Never Cache these URLs?
I have not noticed an issue so I’m wondering if you could have any other kind of caching like Cloudflare?
Yes it is a bit of a worry. I’ve turned off caching for the checkout page and the cart so now waiting to see if the issue reappears.
I don’t have any other caching plugins active on the site although I am planning to configure Asset Cleanup to tweak my sites loading times a bit more.
Cloudflare might be setup on the server, I need to check that.
“What Cache Plugin Do You Use And Why?”
LS Cache with either Varnish or Redis cache activated. So far this is the best caching plugin I use. I also use Keycdn’s Cache Enabler and I loved it for its simplicity.
Thank you Fairiez. Interesting share. I have turned off Varnish due to reports from others about issues using a page builder, but I must say I am thinking on enabling it on sites which not not changed much.
I’m pretty sure Whitelabeling of WP Rocket has not been removed. https://docs.wp-rocket.me/article/7-enabling-white-label (but I need to run some more tests on one of my installs to confirm 100%).
I too was not impressed with the new look UI, and also pushing their own products to my customers. But with some creative css etc, in an MU plugin, I’ve hidden everything the customer does not need to see, including some of the advanced features which they don’t need to touch.
I stand coprrected! lol … that info which WP Rocket have in their docs is a Red Herring. White Labeling has definitley been removed in v 3.
https://wp-rocket.me/blog/3-0/ — “In previous versions, we’ve had a White Label option. In 3.0, that option will no longer be available.”
very nice thanks for sharing