I have avoided using caching plugins and I have stayed away from Breeze despite the plugin being the official caching plugin for servers managed through Cloudways.
The plugins keeps getting better and it will remain free. Recently one of the developers behind the project asked for recommendations in the Cloudways users group and I didn’t know how to answer that question because I haven’t used it for a while
These are my thoughts about Breeze, another caching plugin for WordPress.
Table of Contents
Breeze: Active Installations
I got a bit surprised by the number of installations that Breeze has.
At the moment of writing this, the plugin has more 200,000+ active installations.
I wonder if those many sites are managed through Cloudways or users are starting to see Breeze as a reliable option to speed their sites.
I don’t expect to see many bloggers talking about it since you don’t get paid for promoting Breeze. There is no affiliate program behind it.
Unless you promote Cloudways
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Breeze Caching Plugin Alternatives
There are some alternatives if you don’t feel like using Breeze.
FlyingPress is a kinda new caching plugin who is taking the lead since it has features that other plugins have even contemplated.
WP Rocket is the most popular premium plugin. It is constantly promoted by bloggers.
LiteSpeed Cache is a caching plugin for those who use Litespeed servers so it is not a surprise why it is leading the race. It has more than 3 million active installations.
WP Super Cache has more than two million active installations. The way the interface looks gives you the impression that nobody gives a crap about the plugin but it is maintained by Automattic.
W3 Total Cache has more than one million active installations. It has way too many options so you probably don’t want to mess with it unless you know what you are doing.
WP Fastest Cache also has more than one million active installation and it is easy to set up
SiteGround Optimizer is a caching plugin that could be used only on sites hosted at SiteGround. Now the plugin can be used by whoever needs it. The plugin has 1 million active installations.
There are other plugins with less activations that Breeze which are trying to make a name for themselves that you should also consider.
Let’s Talk about Breeze Features
These are some of the features available on Breeze.
Breeze: Basic Options
Caching plugins do more than caching your site content if they want to stay relevant and monetized.
One thing that I don’t like about the plugin despite learning how to do basic Math is setting the cache lifespan in minutes.
Why not hours or days?
You can also enable Gzip Compression and Browser Cache.
You have the option to lazy load images, videos and Iframes but keep in mind that the script to do this is heavier than other options out there. The file is 3.75 KB and Optimize more! Images script is less than 1.5 KB
Breeze: File Optimization
In this section you will find options to minify your site HTML, Styles and Scripts
Let me tell you this. The minification of Scripts and Styles sucks and the minification of inlined scripts and styles sucks even more.
As you can see in the screenshot, minification will create lots of tiny CSS and Script files.
I don’t think that speed experts would be happy to see that when trying to minify their site scripts and styles.
It seems that the Cloudways team behind Breeze is happy with the way the minify styles and scripts so don’t expect things to change anytime soon.
I don’t recommend combining scripts and styles since you need to do that anymore in the HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 age.
You have options to delay and defer scripts
I have written about preloading links before so you can read what I have to say about that.
Preloading links is a nice feature to have but this is handle by an additional script so If you don’t really get a lot of benefits out of it, you might not want to enable that options.
Also keep in mind that these won’t improve your Core Web Vitals Scores
Breeze: Advanced Options
The advanced options is used when you want to create exception to what the caching feature does by default.
Breeze: Heartbeat API
If you don’t have multiple authors or content creators, you can deactivate the heartbeat once and for all with the help of a code snippets plugin.
Breeze: Database Options
This is what all optimization plugins do when it comes to database optimization.
If you use a CDN which is not CloudFlare, you can use the options in this section to set that up.
I use CloudFlare so this is not something I need.
Varnish is positioned in the middle of the browser (client) and the web server. When a client requests information from the server, Varnish saves a copy of all the requested information.
When the same resource is requested next time, the request is served by Varnish; thus, it boosts the website’s speed by saving the time and resources it takes for a server to fulfill that request.
If you have some form of full page caching via a CDN, you don’t really need Varnish.
Breeze: Tools and FAQS
You won’t find anything that helps boost your site speed in the tools and FAQS section.
The Future of the Plugin
It seems like the plugin will keep getting better as time passes because Cloudways has a team behind it.
Cloudways doesn’t seem to like the idea of providing Litespeed server technology so I think they must be planning to make Breeze better.
I think that the team behind Breeze should pay attention to what WP Rocket, Perfmatters and FlyingPress is doing and try to get some inspiration and incorporate some of the features that those plugins have.
If they can compete with WP Rocket and FlyingPress, the plugin will become the best way to advertise Cloudways and in the long run, making the plugin better will be cheaper than ads, collaboration and high paying commissions.