The Faster Cache for WordPress pays attention to how frequently new content appears on your site — in the form of new posts or new comments — and adapts its expiry algorithm dynamically.
Adaptive Cache Expiry (ACE) helps provide your visitors with the freshest content, while bypassing the performance-sapping overheads of unnecessary cache clearing. It also keeps track of its own performance, so administrators can see at a glance just how much server responsiveness is being boosted compared to firing up the whole edifice of PHP and WordPress and building pages from scratch.
As a static file-based caching solution, the Faster Cache begins on the same playing field of performance as the two leading caching plugins: when cache files are retrieved directly by the server using reasonably efficient configuration rules, all file-based caching solutions are essentially the same in terms of the single dimension of raw page delivery speed. However, adaptive cache expiry in the Faster Cache can make a huge difference to the real world performance experienced by users, not to mention real world load on the server. While other caching plugins require an administrator to take an educated guess at an efficient cache life, hope for the best, and then guess again if and when conditions change, the Faster Cache monitors activity automatically and continually adjusts cache life dynamically.
You can toss in all the extra knobs and dials you like, puffing up a plugin with more switches to flick or adding ‘features’ that have arguably limited impact on real world performance, but hobbling your site with a plain old static cache life leaves a whole stack of much more significant performance gains on the table.
For a nearly half a decade, the Faster Cache has been working behind the scenes delivering many millions of page views across sites run by my own company. Here’s a look at the performance dashboard, showing both the ACE status and the results of performance self-monitoring on one site where the plugin has been in continuous use since 2010 (just click for the full size image):