Cache Plugin With MaxCDN, WP Super Cache Or W3 Total Cache

If you want to use Max CDN in your WordPress blog, then you will need a cache plugin. There are many cache plugins out there, however, WP super cache and W3 Total cache are undoubtedly the top two of them. Now, the important question is, which one to use?

If we look for the speed test performance for both the plugins, then definitely W3 Total cache is the winner. Thanks to Kim Tetzlaff  and Bhagwad Park for their speed test comparisons between WP super cache and W3 Total cache. Their tests conclude that W3 Total cache definitely helps a WordPress blog to load faster than WP Super cache. Until here, W3 Total cache is the number one choice.

However, few years back I was using a shared hosting account with Hostgator. As you might be aware that there is processor and CPU restrictions in a shared hosting account and they said that the site was using too much CPU resources which they won’t approve in a shared hosting. Here’s the exact email I received:


This message is to advise you of a temporary block placed on your account. This account was found to be consuming an inordinate amount of processor time, to the point of degrading overall system performance. While we do limit each account to no more than 25% of a system’s CPU in our terms of service, we do not actively disable accounts until they greatly exceed that number, which is what happened in this case.

Requests to this scripts under this account may become degraded by limiting the ability for scripts to run for a limited amount of time, or if the issue persists, we may be forced to restrict how fast processes can be spawned until the issue has been resolved.

We recommend taking steps to reduce the overall CPU usage for the account, which may be as simple as generating a flat HTML page for popular content, or enabling caching that is available through many popular scripts, or disabling high CPU usage features such as searches or Ajax refreshes. Although we may not be able to help in all cases, we would be more than happy to assist if you are unable to determine any cause, or if you need help interpreting any of the information.

Well, I replied saying that I have already a cache plugin in place which is W3 Total cache and I am at a loss as what needs to be done next. I received a swift reply from them and they recommended me to use WP Super cache. So, I did exactly that and they lifted the block saying:


It appears that your modifications were successful. I have removed all restrictions from your account and we will continue to monitor the situation.

Please note that if this account over uses resources, we may have to, once more, disable the content in question.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

After some time I moved to their VPS service eventually and I had no problem of CPU resources anymore. However, in the back of my mind, I know that W3 Total cache does have problems and it uses more CPU resources. Now, I needed a second opinion. So, before installing MaxCDN in my blog, I contacted MaxCDN support asking them which one to use, and guess what, they also recommended WP Super cache. So, currently, I am using WP Super cache along with Max CDN.

Over to you: W3 Total cache definitely makes a blog load faster. But, my vote still goes with WP Super cache as I don’t want over usage of CPU resources beyond a certain limit. However, I am curious on which plugin you are using and why? If you are using W3 Total cache without any hiccups, do let me know.

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4 thoughts on “Cache Plugin With MaxCDN, WP Super Cache Or W3 Total Cache”

  1. I carefully read both your & Bhagwad’s article and the only thing causing concern is the nature of the Hosting. after reading Bhagwad’s article & recommendation from Yoast, I was seriously thinking about W3TC for my infant blog, as it also allows minification of JS and CSS files(as my theme is a bit heavy while loading), but since I am on a Shared hosting with MediaTemple (not sure, If i will face CPU resources issue or not) I might change my mind to WPSC.
    Thanks for the review as I learn alot from it.

    1. You are welcome. My hunch is, since your blog is a bit new, you might not face any issues with W3. If you use W3 with a shared host, please do let me know how it went through.

      1. Personally I think I must give a Try first to W3TC since MediaTemple is far better than a normal Shared Hosting out there, so maybe I might not get into any issues of using excessive CPU usage. but then again no one knows until they give it a try first,

        For sure I will update you via a reply if I get into something.


        1. Yeah, you should it give it a shot. Thanks for sharing your views. One of my other blogs is growing and I too wanted to shift to W3 as it has a lot more options. I am still skeptical though, the tricky question which I always had was which is better:

          a) A blog which usually loads faster (under 1 second), and uses more CPU resources, or

          b) A blog which loads okay (under 2 seconds) all the time

          Maybe I have got to A/B test it for a couple for months to verify what is the REAL impact of that on traffic.

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