Magento Full Page Cache Comparison

- E-Commerce, Magento tips & tricks

full-page-cache-magento

In the following post we compare top Magento full page cache extensions in order to find out which module is the best. The participants are Amasty, Mirasvit, and PotatoCommerce, but before running any experiments, let’s figure out what FPC is and why it is so important.

'

What is FPC?

FPC stands for Full Page Cache’. In its turn cache is a memory with the fastest access speed used to speed up the access to data permanently available in the memory with the lower access speed.

A full page cache module places the content of a web page which may be probably requested to a cache storage and provides the information to work with.

As for our favorite ecommerce platform, Magento, there are several page types that may be processed by an FPC module in order to achieve the highest possible performance:

  1. CMS pages;
  2. Category pages;
  3. Product pages.

Why is FPC necessary?

A full page cache module is a must-have solution if you run an ecommerce website on the basis of Magento 1 and want to decrease your TTFB – time to first byte. The lower your TTFB is, the faster your pages are loaded and the less resources are consumed.  As a result, the installation of an FPC module leads to better shopping experience (your ecommerce Magento store works faster) and improved SEO (both shoppers and search engines do love rapid websites).

The Most Popular Magento Full Page Cache Extensions

Below, we shed light on three popular full page cache Magento extensions. As mentioned above, they are Amasty FPC, Mirasvit FPC, and PotatoCommerce FPC. The optimal module should be as simple as possible and at the same time as robust as the current technologies afford. Most Magento users are common merchants, so they often don’t know what to do with complex solutions especially when some work with code is required. Therefore, a tool that has minimum Magento full page cache settings is preferred.

But don’t forget about the second requirement. In order to provide the highest possible Magento performance, the extension must offer various settings that enable more precise configuration. A tool with the only ‘Turn On/Off’ toggle will never provide you with the best results when it comes to FPC.

Thus, fine tuning is inevitable on the way onward Magento performance improvements. But it is necessary to mention that the level of complexity may differ a lot. And sometimes dozens of settings doesn’t lead to the desired results while a more user-friendly solution makes a website lightning fast, so not only customers but also search engines are fully satisfied.

Before return to our muttons, let’s refer to one more aspect of each FPC extension – it provides better results in combination with a warmer module. Warmer is a tool that analyzes your store pages and updates their cached versions with the latest data.

Amasty Full Page Cache Magento Extension

magento full page cache

This module is available on the market since June 18, 2014 or even earlier. Its latest update dates from May 10, 2017. Let’s see the extension’s pros and cons.

Pros:

  1. Good TTFB;
  2. An additional page that displays crawler-related data;
  3. The ability to turn off hit / miss statistics which allows to improve current TTFB (0.020 sec. improvement)

Magento FPC settings

Cons:

  1. The configuration file is  overwritten upon upgrade;
  2. 27 options for the main module and 14 options for the crawler including a bunch of redundant options of the ‘yes / no’ kind;
  3. There is no guest cache, so the first page visit is carried out without cache, and if cookies are disabled in the browser, then other visits are carried out without cache as well.
  4. The crawler can not be set for faster warm-up, using the technical capabilities of the server;
  5. The module does not use the platform cache settings;
  6. There is no warm-up by URLs in a sitemap;
  7. Partial cache clearing is absent.

Mirasvit Full Page Cache Magento Extension

FPC Magento Extension

The Mirasvit Magento full page cache module is available on the market since February 10, 2014 or even earlier. Its latest update dates from June 23, 2017. As for positive and negative aspects, you can see them below:

Pros:

  1. Uses cache settings of the platform;
  2. The ability to exclude a page from cache;
  3. The ability to warm up cache from the admin area;
  4. The ability to clear cache from the admin panel;

Magento FPC settings

Cons:

  1. Warming up mobile cache is disabled;
  2. Relatively high TTFB;
  3. 18 options for the main module and 19 options for the crawler;
  4. There is no alternative source of links for the cache crawler.

Potato Full Page Cache Magento Extension

Magento Full Page Cache Extension

The FPC module by PotatoCommerce is available on the market since March 25, 2015. Its latest update dates from August 9, 2017. Below, there is a list of pros and cons.

Pros:

  1. Good TTFB;
  2. Ability to select automatic cache cleaning events;
  3. Alternative source of links to warm up cache;
  4. Code comments;
  5. Uses cache settings of the platform;
  6. Possibility to split cache into desktop / mobile / tablet;
  7. Detailed information about cache status.

PotatoCommerce FPC settings

Cons:

  1. No information about Crawler state;
  2. Warm-up from the admin area is disabled;
  3. 17 options in settings.
PotatoCommerce Amasty Mirasvit
Open Source Yes Yes Yes
Works Out Of Box Yes Yes No
Crawler Yes Yes Yes
API Yes Yes Yes
Unnecessary options No Yes Yes
Mobile/Desktop Cache Yes Yes Yes
Guest Cache Yes No Yes
Individual Config File Yes No Yes
Ability To Speed Up Cache Warm-up Yes No Yes
Alternative Source Of Links for Crawler Yes Yes No
Information About Crawler State No Yes Yes
Hit/Miss Statistics Yes Yes Yes
Partial Cache Clearing Yes No Yes
Code Comments Yes No No


Now, let’s see what other conditions related to the module usage are provided by each vendor.

Other Conditions Comparison

PotatoCommerce Amasty Mirasvit
Updates Free & Lifetime Free & Lifetime 1 year free.
Paid prolongation.
Installation Free $59 $49
Support Free & Lifetime 90 days free 30 days free
CE Price $119 $199 $149
EE Price $199 $399 $248
Refund Period 30 days 60 days 30 days

As you can see, the most favorable terms are provided by PotatoCommerce Full Page Cache Magento extension. But let’s go even further and compare the productivity of all three extension in the same environment.

Performance Comparison

It is not necessary to use such special tools as jMeter to compare the performance of FPC modules, since we are going to check TTFB only. Curl completely satisfies our requirements. In this comparison, the following command is used:

To reduce inaccuracy caused by distance and quality of communications connection between the client and the web server, the local server is used.  

Since standard Magento themes provide quite good TTFB, we’ve decided to use the following one:

Porto | Ultimate Responsive Magento Theme

Note that popular Magento templates and themes usually has good TTFB. As for the the testing environment, it has the following characteristics:

OS Centos 7 x64
Processor Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2650L v3 @ 1.80GHz
RAM 2Gb
Web Server Apache/2.4.6
PHP PHP/7.0.21
Hard Drive SSD
Magento Version 1.9.3.1
Web Theme Porto | Ultimate Responsive Magento Theme
Standard Cache Turned Off
Compilation Turned Off

The environment was the same during the test, so all three modules were examined in unchanged conditions. You can see the results in the following grid:

TTFB Comparison

Reference value, sec Without cache, sec PotatoCommerce Amasty Mirasvit
Homepage 0.001 1,73 0.065 0.064 0.98
Category Page 0.001 2,84 0.062 0.061 0.7
Product Page 0.001 2,55 0.065 0.063 0.68

And this is how the aforementioned results for PotatoCommerce, Amasty, and Mirasvit are visualized on a chart:

Magento Full Page Cache Comparison

Final Words

As you can see, Mirasvit provides the highest TTFB on all three pages, but it is still much lower than the value without cache. PotatoCommerce and Amasty show almost the same TTFB, but Amasty is slightly faster. The difference in speed can be fully compensated by the difference in price, free support and warmed which is included into the PotatoCommerce FPC module. Taking all these aspects into account, we can state that PotatoCommerce is the winner of the comparison. Amasty is hot on the heels of the champion, and Mirasvit comes in a good third. To find more information about the winner and buy it, follow this link:

Download / Buy PotatoCommerce Full Page Cache Magento Extension

'