Over the years, WordPress usability has become greater making the application easier to use. This means adding plugins and custom themes has become easier than ever. With a few clicks in the admin area you can add new features or change the entire look of the site.
The down side of this is that the code behind everything has gained complexity. You may be easily adding a custom theme or plugin but the code is written by different people. The more features you add this way, the more external sources you have your code coming from.
Of course, limiting your code to the bare essentials by only sticking to plugins and features you absolutely need would be suggested practice, but some sites may require the complexity. That is where caching comes into play.
Each time your site loads each piece of the theme, each plugin and each piece of content on your page have to make calls to the database where everything is stored. The more complex your site is, the more calls it has to make and the longer it is going to take. So, even if you don’t have a lot of visitors you can benefit from caching. If you have a lot of visitors it may even be essential. A faster site means a more enjoyable experience for your visitors, a higher chance they may come back, and a chance it may even improve your search rankings.
After working on many blogs over the years, the simplest most convenient way to add caching is by adding the W3 Total Cache plugin. You can get started using with very little changes to your server by using enhanced disk caching for your pages, and disk caching for your database and object caching. The plugin will walk you through any permissions that may need to be changed, and allow you to preview your settings before they are deployed. Once they are deployed, you should log out or use another browser where you aren’t logged in and check the speed again.