If you’re a WordPress developer, then caching becomes absolutely necessary to prevent your servers from crushing. Additionally, it helps in loading your site faster and delivering content in a seamless manner.
Beforehand, let’s understand what it’s, what to consider, and its importance to WordPress websites.
What is website caching?
So, technically speaking, it’s a temporarily stored file in your storage for easier and quicker internet surfing.
Every time you click on a website, your browser needs to download a lot of information for the display of the website. The download times could delay the page load times, which is often an unpleasant experience.
However, a stored file in your hard drive makes you access web pages as soon as you place an access request. As a result, your page loads a lot faster the next time you visit the webpage.
If you visit a web page and get incorrectly loaded content, you can correct the situation by deleting the stored files and loading the page again.
Typically, speaking, there’re two types- browser and server. Server caching is done on the server-side while the browser is done on the user or client-side.
Caching in WordPress
There’re three ways you can do this in WordPress; by using plugins, writing efficient code, and using host inbuilt cache. Let’s explore each option;
As a rule of thumb, NEVER use more than one caching plugin. And if you configure your plugin correctly, it will speed up your site. If you are looking for some of the effective plugins to use on your site, then we recommend W3 Total Cache and WP Rocket.
Writing Efficient Code
As a developer, you need to learn how to use transients in WP effectively. For instance, when you want to retrieve metadata for a post you can call get_post_meta ($post_id, ‘name’, true); and WordPress will retrieve all the data about the get request. More succinctly, transients are useful when serving objects that don’t change except under special circumstances like headers and footers.
Using Host Cache
If you’re running a managed WP hosting environment, then this applies to you. In fact, we recommend that if you’re running a managed server hosting, don’t use plugins since the existing system runs at a lower level than WP plugins. They’re far much effective and are finely tuned to specifically work with WP.
Things to consider when caching websites
During web design, the practice is a core technique to help minimize network traffic. This feature of HTTP protocol also improves the perceived responsiveness of the system. And caches can be found all along the content’s journey, from the browser on your desktop to the server’s database.
Populating the Cache
When implementing this plan, the first challenge you face is populating your files with relevant information to the remote system. You can do so up front, where you feed your cache system with all valuable resources when the system is starting.
Alternatively, you can use lazy population, where you feed the data to the system.
Managing the Cache Size
Sometimes, websites have too much information, making it unfeasible to store all that data in cache files. Hence, you would need a plan to help you manage the amount of data stored.
You can achieve size management by evicting data from the cache once used to give room for new data. Some of the eviction techniques used include:
- First-in, first-out eviction – in this technique, the manager evicts data stored first to create room for more data.
- First-in, last-out – this works like stack memory, where the last data fed is the first to be evicted to create space for new data.
- The Least time between access – the manager keeps a record of the time between accesses. Once files accessed a lot in the past lot are no longer in demand, the time between accesses increases, and the cache manager evicts them.
More than 70% of website access is via mobile phones. And among these users. More than 57% of the users would not revisit a website with slow performance. So, if you want to keep attracting organic traffic to your pages, and rank better in search engines, then caching is a forte to explore.
With proper caching, you can enjoy benefits such as:
- Improved Web Responsiveness
We have mentioned it severally; the tool helps your network respond faster since it reduces the server roundtrips. With the cache files stored near the user, fetching the website’s information becomes more effortless and quicker.
- Uninterrupted Access to Content
Sometimes, servers fail to deliver as per expectations. However, if the website had downloaded cache files beforehand, you can continue to access the information without interruptions.
- Decreased Network Costs
If you can manage to implement aggressive caching, then you will need less server space. This way, there are cache files close to the users in the path of content. As a result, the content access requests will not burden the server, resulting in lower costs.
- Predictable Performances
Sometimes, it can be challenging for websites that deal with app usage spikes, like black Friday sales. Without preparations, websites experience latencies that make the overall performance of the sites unpredictable. However, with a well-implemented in-memory caching plan, you can mitigate these problems.
Checking the validity of your data when implementing cache layers is a crucial issue we handle. You want to have a helpful cache that requested information is always available when needed by the webpage. Once you eliminate cache misses, then you are on your way to achieving high hit rates.
From the database to the application and web contents, website caching gives you the best solution to web result pages latencies by offering temporary storage for files on the internet and your device.
NOTE – Remember, Web Cache or Cache-in Server, or Cache-in Plugins does not only support you with Speed Up but Hosting plays an important role. And if you like, you can check out our other post about the fastest web hosting.