I am using w3 Total Cache Plugin
- Disabe minify option in the W3TC > General settings
- Enable Autoptimize (instead)
I will be using Autoptimize Plugin for minification.
Is it necessary to use cache plugin when we place Gzip and Browser Caching code in htaccess?
Yes. GZIP is not equal to page Cache. Both are different things may comes together.
98% web page on the Internet are static in nature.
WordPress by default design, it uses a lot of resources to serve content.
A cache plugin is indeed necessary to keep performance better.
Cache plugin role:
It helps in serving static HTML output without querying each time MySQL and PHP. With cache plugin we can handle more traffic. Curious? Check today /wp-content/cache/ directory possibly you can see some interesting data.
Without Cache plugin site document of 14KB will load in 300ms
While with Cache plugin it can load in near 100ms.
So, it makes clear difference in the load time.
Further, enabling GZIP allow to reduce the overall page page size up 70-80% at avg.
Also, browser cache helps to serve frequently used content instantly without asking server each time for the same thing.
For example, the logo of a site is not going to change soon… so what we do is set cache for the 1 year so within that period returning visitors will see it quickly without waiting for downloading the image in the browser.
Every little bit helps… These are pure basic things most web server generally follow.