Caching is perhaps one of the most critical and essential tasks you would need to perform if you want to optimize your site. Of course, you will find that website owners do not pay attention to this mode of website optimization.
Designed as an essential element of making your site run faster, caching is something you should never ignore. So what exactly is caching and why it is so important? We will explore the concept of caching and its functionality in finer detail in this post.
What is WordPress Caching?
Caching, as most of us are aware of, is a process where a frequently used data is stored temporarily as a cache. If you do not use cache, your site can face a lot of speed and server related issues.
When a visitor requests information from your site, the browser sends a request to your web server or web host. The data so required will include images, CSS files, PHP files, scripts and other elements that make up the page. The web server compiles this information and sends it to the browser. Your browser will then present the content in the human-readable format.
Now that WordPress has its content updated dynamically, each time your visitor comes to your page, the whole process is needed to be repeated. This can considerably reduce your site load times. Ultimately, the user may get bored and move away to some other site or page.
What is Caching?
Caching involves creating local storage of your website content and serving it to the user. The cache files are stored as static pages, and they are faster to load. This ultimately helps in reducing the load time of the website.
The dynamically generated web pages from WordPress sites are saved on the physical memory or RAM and served to everyone who visits the page and it results in saving a lot of computational time. That’s what we call WordPress Caching.
However, imagine a situation when a new post is published, or a new comment comes up on the site … if the same old information is shared, it will be considered as outdated information and thus be invalid in more ways than one. The WordPress core files and the caching plugins (if you are using them, and you should use them) know exactly when to rebuild the cache. That’s done through what is called Cache Purging.
Cache Purging refers to removing the old cached data and reaching the data. After deleting the old cache files, the new ones are created or regenerated. It ensures that while the load times are maintained within the best possible levels, the user is not served the invalid or irrelevant data.
Why is Caching so Important?
Page load time is one of the most important elements in any computational process. Everyone loves fast loading sites including Google and other search engines. If you want to rank at top position in the search results, you should understand clearly that the key factors that ensure a higher SERP also includes response time and speed of a website.
And caching plays a significant role in ensuring a faster performance of a website. It assumes even more significance when it comes to WordPress as it is a dynamic platform and employs PHP code in association with the MySQL database. If you have been able to configure your caching protocols properly, you will end up turning your site faster.
You can speed up your website by employing three major options – using powerful servers, using a CDN or content delivery network and opting for WordPress caching. The first two options can be expensive sometimes and it will also be dependent upon the number of visitors you have. Thus WordPress caching is one of the most important aspects of handling your website.
Benefits of WordPress Caching
Here are a few benefits of WordPress Caching for you to understand the importance of the same…
- Caching improves the speed and performance of your website. WordPress works with the dynamic pages while static pages load faster than the dynamic queries. With proper caching in place, your visitors will be welcomed with the best performance of your website.
- A well-cached website will provide your visitors with better benefits. In addition to providing them with an excellent load speed, it will also save their bandwidth considerably.
- A good WordPress protocol will ensure that your servers are not overloaded. If you are restricted with the hosting plans with the limited resources, employing a good WordPress caching protocol can help you achieve the best results without exhausting your server resources.
- A faster site will ensure that your search engine ranking has favorable results. Of course, search engine rankings will not only be dependent upon the speed of the site alone. Some of the other elements that make it rank higher include the high–quality content and other search engine optimization techniques. That said, a faster site does have a better chance of getting better SEO ranking.
Caching Plugins – 2 Good Choices
So, to implement the WordPress caching on your site, you can use any of the caching plugin available for WordPress. The plugin will help you automate the task and in addressing the page load time issues.
Almost all modern browsers now support browser side caching and caching plugins can help you in implementing browser caching.
Caching plugins also help in multiple server sides caching like page caching and object caching. Let us examine a few Caching Plugins that are helpful.
1) W3 Total Cache
One of the most popular caching plugins for WordPress users. With more than one million sites using the plugin, it can compress your scripts, and help you leverage multiple tools for enhancing the performance of your website.
However, it can be a little complicated and may not be a more excellent choice for beginners. If you are someone who is just making a beginning, W3 Total cache plugin may not be a good option for you.
2) WP Super Cache
This is yet another plugin that has been very popular with the WordPress users. It is a simple and free plugin that provides excellent customization. It can sync well with your CDN service as well.
The steady development of the plugin is one of the reasons why we love this plugin. It is a light service that would help even those who are newbies in the realm of WordPress.
If you are looking for the performance tweak and high-end optimization, WordPress caching is one of the essential elements you need to go with. Now that you have understood the importance of caching, implement the right options and enjoy the benefits of caching.
What methods are you using for caching your WordPress website? Share your inputs with us.