What is WordPress Caching and Why Do I Need It?
Wondering about what is WordPress caching?
A cache is a set-aside storage location that collects and stores temporary information that enables mobile applications, websites, and browsers to load quickly. So, suppose you own a WordPress website, you should incorporate WordPress caching as it improves the performance of your website.
This makes it easy for previous visitors to access your website faster by reusing the previously stored data. To enable WordPress caching, you need to install specific plugins like W3 total cache or WP super cache.
These are some of the plugins we will inform you about more plugins in this guide. Also, you will get to know the reasons for caching and the types of WordPress caching. Furthermore, another WordPress caching solution other than the use of plugins.
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Definition of WordPress Caching
Maybe it is your first time hearing about caching. What is the definition of caching?
This is a system where your website data is stored temporarily in a website, browser, or app for easy access to the information later. Cache enables you to quickly get the search you are looking for without taking too much time.
Let’s say you are searching about world war II. When you close the website but remember that there is some information you didn’t get, you to go back to the site again. But this time, it won’t load for longer as the site’s files are saved on your browser’s cache. This makes it easy and quick for you to get the information you were missing.
So, WordPress caching will improve your website’s performance as it drastically reduces page load time. This is because it generates static HTML files for your website’s visitors.
Importance of WordPress Caching
Why should you integrate caching into your WordPress site? There are several advantages when you use this technique.
⚡️ Increased Speeds and Performance
Cache enables the display of static HTML pages rather than dynamic HTML pages. For your information, static HTML pages are quick to load, unlike dynamic pages. This goes ahead to improve the performance of your website.
⚡️ Rank High on Search Engines
Search engine optimization and a user-friendly website are the key factors that enable a website to rank on the top pages of search engines. But they are not the only factors. WordPress caching is another factor.
Suppose you are familiar with how SEO works. A website should have a fast-loading time. This will make visitors spend more time on your website. But if the website takes much time to load, then visitors will prefer your competitors.
A factor that makes your website load quickly is embedding WordPress caching.
⚡️ Improves User Experience (UX)
What defines a user-friendly website?
WordPress caching makes your site responsive. This is a character of a user-friendly website.
So, it increases the user’s experience of your site to all who visit. Also Google ranks website with a better Page Experience higher.
⚡️ Increases Your Revenue
How much do you get monthly from your WP site? Were you earning a high revenue? But after some time, you are experiencing a reduction in income. This might be due to the slow load time.
This mostly happens when you are not implementing caching. For you notice when your website takes longer to load a particular post or product page. The visitor will leave the site, and the conversion rate of your site will reduce.
When such happens, this means you are losing the revenue you were supposed to earn. So, implement WordPress caching to help your site have a high page loading speed.
Does Installing WordPress Caching Affect a Website?
A site owner who has never installed any cache plugin will be asking whether it affects your website.
Yes! Some plugins, not necessarily WordPress cache plugins, can crush your website. So, what can you do about that?
You need to check for a plugin that is ideal for your website. Get to check its features and make sure you update your site before installing the plugin.
WordPress sites running on old versions tend to crush when installing such plugins because they have advanced features.
Note: WordPress cache plugins are not the same as other plugins that are installed and activated. No! they take time to install (probably hours).
Types of WordPress Caching
There are two types of WordPress caching. They include; client and server caching.
Some people categorize browser caching as caching, but it is under client caching. Browser caching is a well-known caching and involves downloading and storing static HTML pages on your browser for quick loading time.
When it comes to server caching, there are various sub-categories. They consist of;
- CDN caching
- Page caching
- DNS caching
- Opcode caching
- Object caching
Domain name system (DNS) caching comprises storing data from a DNS search on your device or browser. This makes it fast to load the DNS search next time you are looking for the same query.
Object caching is where your search results are temporarily stored to enable you to retrieve the lookup rather than querying the data from the database again.
What is opcode caching? Before learning about this type of WP caching, you need to know about the programming language used to write a WP site. The programming language used to write WordPress is PHP. So, when you are requesting a particular search on your website. The PHP code compiles it and gives you the result.
So, opcode caching cuts the need for a repeated compilation of the PHP code again when you request the same page or post. But this type of server caching is advanced than the other and is suitable for high DA websites.
This is because it requires you to invest in this caching.
Factors to Consider Before Installing a WordPress Cache Plugin
As from the previous sections, I have informed you that WordPress caching is a determinant of your site’s performance. In case you are not taking note of search engine optimization and improving the UX. Then even if you install this plugin will not help much.
Make sure you are combining the three and doing them perfectly. This will improve the performance and ranking of your website.
The factors you should take note of before installing a WP cache plugin include;
⚡️ WordPress Speed Ready Theme
Is your theme making your site load slowly or faster? Before installing a cache plugin, you must ensure your theme doesn’t slow down the loading time. Suppose you have such a theme consider installing a fast-loading theme.
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⚡️ WordPress Focused Hosting
Who is your host? This is another determinant. Make sure that your host company has fast servers. This will make queries load quickly, unlike a host that has slow servers.
Ensure you get the best hosting company. This will go a long way in not creating performance issues when installing plugins but loading time.
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Things to Check on a WordPress Caching Plugin Before Installation
Theme and host service are the main things you must check before installing a WP caching plugin.
Now that you have this information. What things do you look for in a plugin? They will help you determine if it is the best for your website.
⚡️ Support Service
Automatically you have questions before and after installing the plugin. Without a proper support service, you will have a hard time getting solutions.
So, as you check for WP caching plugin, make sure they have the best customer support service. This means you will get instant replies to any configuration issue you experience as you install or use the plugin.
WordPress offers free and paid plugins. Other plugins are free, but you can get more features when you select a specific plan.
This works the same to WordPress caching plugins. Free caching plugins have fewer features. Also, the support service is not that good.
As for free or paid plugins, you enjoy some features when you don’t have a paid subscription. But if you subscribe to a plan, you get additional features and quick customer support. Depending on your preference, you can go for such a plugin.
Paid or premium plugin. This only works after paying for the premium plan. Once your subscription is over, then the plugin will not work. An example of such a caching plugin is WP Rocket.
⚡️ Supports WooCommerce
WooCommerce is the WordPress eCommerce platform. Suppose you are having an eCommerce website that uses WooCommerce you need to consider specific caching plugins.
Look for a plugin that fully integrates with WooCommerce. This will ensure that the plugin works properly and doesn’t crush or exclude your site’s primary pages.
Make sure that the plugin comes with WooCommerce support.
⚡️ User-friendly Interface
A plugin is easy to use when the interface is user-friendly. This will enable you to see all the details without any issues.
Go for a plugin whose interface is user-friendly.
⚡️ Ease of Configuration
Does it have a one-click configuration? A plugin that has this feature makes installation and use effortlessly. You won’t have to struggle to configure settings as it requires one click.
⚡️ Easy Exclusion of Pages and Posts
How easy is it for you to exclude certain pages or posts on your website from being cached? This is another factor you should consider before installing a WordPress caching plugin.
This works for those with online stores running on WooCommerce. Dynamic pages require exclusion as they don’t add much to your website. These pages are checkout, account, shopping cart, and more.
Such dynamic pages are not supposed to be cached because they have your visitor’s details. And when you cache them, other people will get access to their details.
So, go for a plugin that enables you to exclude particular pages and posts from the cache.
What Reasons Can WordPress Caching Plugins Crush Your Website?
The following are the reason why a WordPress caching plugin can crush your site.
⚡️ Scripts Minification
Many developers prefer minifying scripts because they believe it improves the performance of a website. Is that the case? Frankly, I don’t know.
Minification can crush your website, and you end up losing data. At all costs, you avoid this or get a plugin or theme that is coded correctly.
⚡️ File Concatenation
At times enabling concatenation can mess your website more so when you install a WordPress caching plugin. However, file concatenation leads to a reduction of requests your browser will take to load.
Therefore, be cautious when concatenating your files as they may cause your website to crash when you install a caching plugin.
⚡️ Updating Plugins and Themes Before Clearing Cache
Ensure that you clear your site’s cache before updating the theme and plugins.
Once you have a WordPress caching plugin installed, it is best to always clear the cache before updating plugins and the WP theme.
2 of the Best WordPress Caching Plugins 2021
There are many WordPress caching plugins that you can install on your website. But which are the best plugins to use?
In this section, we cover two of the best WordPress caching plugins you should install in 2021.
⚡️ WP Rocket
This is a reliable caching plugin for WordPress sites. When using this plugin, your site’s speed improves, SEO ranking goes up, and your conversion increases.
WP Rocket is a paid WP plugin. The single plan costs $49 and is for one site. Another subscription plan is plus that costs $99, and you can install it on three websites.
Infinite is the final plan. It costs $249, and you are not restricted on the number of websites to use it on.
NB: All these subscriptions are annual plans.
Swift Performance provides an intelligent, modern caching system. You can even cache AJAX request, dynamic pages, and you can add exceptions (URL, page or content based rules).
Swift Performance is a paid WP plugin. The single plan costs $47/year and is for one site. They do have a FREE lite version at https://wordpress.org/plugins/swift-performance-lite/
Don’t let slow loading time reduce your revenue. Make use of WordPress caching to speed up your site today.
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