Thanks to WordPress, people with little to no experience can create great-looking, functional websites with ease. However, creating a WordPress website that performs well is another matter.
Many people know that caching is one of the most effective methods for boosting loading speeds not only for WordPress-based projects but on the whole. Unfortunately, not all of them know how caching works /tutorial: https://www.scalahosting.com/blog/wordpress-site-caching-tips-and-tricks /, what it does, and how to effectively implement the performance-enhancing technique in WordPress. Let’s see if we can answer some of the most pressing questions.
What is Caching?
One of the things that makes WordPress so popular is the fact that it lets you create a dynamic website. Every time a visitor interacts with it, WordPress queries the database. Based on the results, it compiles the page displayed on the screen. Thanks to all this, people with no coding skills or experience whatsoever can create functional, interactive websites and start their own online business.
The downside is, processing database queries takes time and hardware resources. The goal of caching is to reduce this time and make your website faster.
If you set up a caching mechanism in WordPress, the static elements of your website will be pre-generated and stored. When visitors try to access them, instead of waiting for WordPress to compile them, their browsers will load them directly from the cache memory.
The Benefits of Caching
The number of advantages of running a faster website is larger than you may think.
For one, good loading speeds boost the overall user experience. The smoother performance will entice visitors to spend more time on your website and even come back later. Countless studies have shown that improved speed results in lower bounce rates.
The quicker loading times also contribute to your website’s search engine rankings. Google is the best way to maximize your outreach, and we know that the search engine giant takes loading speeds into consideration when arranging the results on its pages.
In other words, it attracts new visitors, and it then helps you turn them into returning customers. Already, the potential benefits for your business are pretty significant. That’s even without mentioning the optimized hosting expenses.
The lower number of database queries reduces the load on your hosting account and helps you serve more people with the same hardware resources. As your website grows, you will be able to enjoy consistent performance without the need to frequently upgrade your hosting account.
Types of Caching
Caching can be categorized according to where the cache is stored and what sort of data is cached.
- Server-side caching – Cached data stored either on the hosting server or by a Content Delivery Network.
Depending on the actual data being cached, we can distinguish between:
- Page caching – The HTML parts of your website are static and can easily be cached and loaded whenever they’re needed.
- PHP Opcode caching – WordPress is written in PHP, and every interaction with it results in the execution of PHP scripts. If you cache the results, you stand to save quite a lot of time.
- Object caching – Similarly, you can store the results of some of the database queries. As an added bonus, this will also lower the load on the server.
How to Enable Caching in WordPress
Out of the box, WordPress has an object caching facility, ensuring that the database isn’t queried multiple times during a single page load. However, its functionality is somewhat limited, and it’s far from the most efficient way of optimizing your website’s performance.
If you had a custom website written from scratch, setting up a robust caching mechanism would have required extensive technical knowledge and maybe even some coding skills. Fortunately, as a WordPress user, you can rely on the practically limitless pool of plugins and add-ons that can automatically cache data and boost your website’s speed.