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Caching 101: An introduction to website cache

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By Shane McClelland 5 May, 20235 MIN READ
Website caching by wibble

As the internet has grown over the years, the speed of websites has become increasingly important. Users expect websites to load quickly, and if they don’t, they are likely to move on to another site. One way to speed up websites is through caching. In this blog post, we’ll explore what website caching is at a high level and the importance of caching as well as explaining how it can be utilised on WordPress sites.

Caching works in a similar way to the human brain – if I ask you what the sum of 10 + 8 is, you’ll know that the answer is 18. You did not need to calculate it because you have repeated the calculation so many times over the course of your life that you don’t really need to think – it is muscle memory, which is kind of how caching works. Certain components of a website get cached such as HTML, CSS and Javascript in order to optimise performance and return the page to you in milliseconds.

How webpages are served

When a user requests a website, the website’s server retrieves the necessary data and sends it to the user’s browser, which then renders the website. This process can be slow, especially if the website has a lot of data to retrieve. Website caching can speed up this process by storing commonly used data in a cache, so that it can be retrieved quickly and easily.

Why Web Caching is Important

The main benefit of caching is improved speed and performance. However, it can also:

Reduce Latency

Because a user would rather switch on to another website and explore, this implies the speed at which a website loads is essential to give a satisfactory user experience. Caching can reduce the load time as it serves the user request from a location nearer to the users-either on the user’s hard disk or a nearby server. Undoubtedly, the time taken to fetch the information from the cache will be lower than the time it requires from the original server, which speeds up the website speed and reduces the load time.

Reduce bandwidth consumption

With caching, a web browser can display a website without downloading static content. Less data means lower bandwidth consumption, allowing the website to load faster on a slow connection.

Reduce Load on Servers

Caching helps to reduce the load on servers by reducing the number of requests that need to be processed. By storing frequently used data in a cache, servers can serve this data directly from the cache, rather than having to generate it from scratch each time a request is received. This can help to improve server response times and reduce server load.

Complement Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Loading speed is one of Google’s website ranking metrics. Since caching speeds up your site, it helps improve your site’s ranking.

Improve user experience (UX)

Visitors will have a more pleasant user experience if your site loads quickly. Run a website speed test on sites such as PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix to check its performance.

Increase conversion rates

Research shows that improving load time by a few seconds can significantly increase conversion rate. A slow website entices visitors to leave immediately without taking any action, harming your business.

Caching in WordPress

There are a number of plugins that can be added to your site to manage caching such as:

At Wibble we employ Breeze because it complements the Varnish caching feature of our hosting provider Cloudways. It supports CDN integration and performs caching at multiple levels to suit lots of compatible websites such as WooCommerce and Multisite.

Conclusion

Caching is a technology that increases the speed of your website without sacrificing anything in the process. When used correctly, it’ll not only result in significantly faster load times, but also decreases the load on your server.

If you aren’t already caching your web pages, start to think about it – for the sake of your users and your Google ranking!

As a web design and web development company specialising in WordPress, Wibble has the expertise to help you optimise your site’s performance with caching. Our team of experienced web developers can implement caching solutions tailored to your specific website and ensure that it’s functioning optimally.

To get started with caching on your WordPress site, take a look at the above-mentioned plugins or contact us about the caching features we include as part of our Wibble Rescue Package and Wibble Support Package.

Proven results using caching

This screenshot has been taken from the PageSpeed Insights report of aclsolicitors.ie which was achieved using some specific caching features including Lazy Load reducing page requests. Look out for our next blog for more information on this…

Visit aclsolicitors.ie

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Shane McClelland

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