WordPress Cache: How it works at the Server - If you want to achieve true website optimization, you cannot ignore the role of WordPress Cache. Just a few years ago, cache was little known in the WordPress community. Today, it is a hot topic in WordPress community discussions. Website owners can achieve high levels of performance by applying the correct WordPress cache optimization tactic.
However, many people in the community still don't know much about cache optimization. This article is for all such users. To give you some details about how to optimize the cache, I've broken down this article in server-level cache and client-side cache.
What is cache?
Cache is the term used to store and reuse asset elements to save server resources and provide a better user experience. WordPress Cache memory allows you to serve web content fast while keeping the server ready to handle other requests.
A typical example of a cache is the Page Buffer (explained later). The Cache page keeps a copy of the web page and displays it when the user requests it. This saves a trip to backend site and database to retrieve page content. Basically, WordPress caching simply helps your server maintain a balance between available resources and user requests by providing cached data to users.
Benefits of WordPress Cache
Applying cache to your WordPress site offers a range of benefits including:
- Load webpages faster.
- Improve SERP ranking when Google likes fast websites.
- Better server resource management.
- Enhance user experience.
- Better handling of traffic.
Cache caching in WordPress can be applied primarily at server and application level. In this section on server caching, I will introduce the server cache mechanism that is broken down into the following sections:
Varnish - Reverse proxy
Varnish cache is a great way to speed up website loading time by 10 times. It is a reverse HTTP proxy that acts as a middleman between server and client. It caches the content after the original request and serves a copy for subsequent requests.
Varnish cache take the buffer to a whole new level by making PHP web server 100 times more efficient unlike the buffer plugins that can start showing the stress of the increasing number of requests. Varnish can be used to host both dynamic and static content and can help you increase the performance of your website and server.
Page Cache is also known as website caching data like websites, images and other media content on the server. This cached data is then quickly served to users who request the same page. The Cache page maintains the cache reference enabled when the server receives a request for a page that has been served before. Instead of going back to the backend and the database to retrieve the data for the request, the data is provided from this buffer.
The content stored in this cache can be controlled from the user's browser. For example, users can set shelf life for content depending on the nature of the content. After the expiration date, the content will be deleted and replaced with new and updated content.
Redis - cache database buffer
Redis is a great tool used for object storage and / or database storage. It caches database queries to optimize the overall performance of the website. Redis is a great open source option that supports a wide range of data structures and can store data in the cache for faster processing.
When the user launches a request, this request is taken to the backend of the website where the PHP code processes it and, if necessary, creates and executes a database query to retrieve data from the tables. . This back and forth time can be avoided by using the Redis cache.
Memcached - cache objects
Memcached is another great open source tool that can also store database queries. It has a key-value storage process in the cache to speed up dynamic web applications by optimizing data fetch time.
Dynamic websites such as eCommerce stores can benefit from Memcached by reducing the database load. Memcached handles redundant requests faster by eliminating the entire process of going to website backend and querying database tables for data items.
Opcode cache buffer
Opcode Cache is an effective way to store PHP code that has been processed between requests. The Opcode cache cache stores the converted byte code in memory so that it can be served immediately for subsequent requests.
PHP versions 5.5 and above are provided with Opcode cache. Opcode caching improves speed and helps the server handle requests more nicely in a given time.
The Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a geographically distributed service that serves a copy of a website from multiple locations. CDN reduce latency by providing site data from the closest node to the end user.
CDN can serve both static and dynamic data and save server bandwidth. Another important benefit of a CDN service is that it improves site security because it is difficult to determine the actual location of the server / site.
Cache in the application
Client-side cache or application-level cache related to browser buffers can be implemented using WordPress plugins.
Almost all major web browsers have built-in capabilities to manage browser buffers. The browser usually stores these files in local memory, and it is highly recommended to periodically clear the browser cache.
Now, let's look at some WordPress cache plugin .
WordPress cache plugin
The WordPress cache plugin is a great way to optimize your WordPress website for performance. There are many different plugins but in this article, I try to mention some of the best WordPress cache plugins.
1) Light breeze
Breeze is a free cache plugin developed by Cloudways. It is a simple but effective WordPress cache plugin. Breeze provides all the key features useful for application-level caching and collapsing & grouping of CSS and JS files.
2) Optimize page speed of Hummingbird
Hummingbird Considered one of the best WordPress cache plugins developed by WPMU DEV. The plugin has over 70,000 active installs and provides features like compression, shrinking, lazy loading and browser storage tools.
3) Total W3 cache
Plugin W3 Total Cache Provides key features such as AMP support, SSL support, CDN management for media and database object storage. This is one of the more popular WordPress cache plugins with over a million active settings.
The above plugins are considered the best WordPress cache plugin. Try any of these but be sure Backup your WordPress site before doing any level of caching.
Clear cache in WordPress
Clearing or clearing the cache in WordPress is just as important as setting up the cache at your WordPress site. Clearing the cache should be done regularly, especially when you change files. This ensures users get updated content. If you are using the Breeze WordPress cache plugin, you can simply delete the cache from the plugin's settings.
WordPress cache is very important to the performance of your website. If done right, you can unlock a whole new level of user experience, SEO and revenue just by optimizing your WordPress site for performance. However, before applying any of the techniques mentioned in this guide, make sure to back up your entire site.