April 5, 2019

An Introduction to Website Caching (And Why It’s Necessary)

How to Select the Best Caching Solution for Optimizing VPS Hosted Website

There was a time when things happening within the blink of an eye was considered fast – not anymore. Imagine that – a blink of an eye which takes around 400 milliseconds is too long for many web users today! Now, allow us to ask you a question – how long does your website take to load? Even if your answer is 2/3 seconds, you might be losing some valuable traffic – at least the impatient ones. We understand that a site has many elements which it needs to load and they all increase the loading time of the page. Also, in most cases removing these elements is not possible. So, what should a site owner do? One of the most effective ways of boosting your website loading speed is by implementing caching. In this article, we will look at some caching solutions that will help you to optimize your VPS hosted website.

What is Website Caching and Why is it so Important?

How to Select the Best Caching Solution for Optimizing VPS Hosted Website

With respect to website hosting, caching is the temporary storage of frequently-accessed information like images, content, data, files, etc. This helps in reducing the latency and improving the responsiveness of the site. If the same file or set of files are requested repeatedly by users, then the server has to deploy resources to process each request. If you implement caching, then all repeated requests are fulfilled through the data stored in the cache memory.

For VPS-hosted websites, there are various caching methods available like server-side caching, browser caching, etc.

Using Caching Software for Optimized Web Delivery

Most website owners use a caching software to boost the page load speed. While installing and implementing such software is complex, the web host can offer you support to help you simplify the process. Here are some caching software options for you to consider:

  1. Memcached – This is a distributed memory-caching system which helps in speeding up dynamic data-driven sites. It improves the speed by caching objects as well as data in the RAM.
  2. Varnish Cache – This is a web application accelerator or a caching HTTP reverse proxy which enhances the speed and performance of websites. Varnish Cache can speed up the website by 300-1000 times. 
  3. Squid – This is a caching and forwarding HTTP web proxy. 

WordPress Caching Plugins

WordPress users can choose from a wide selection of caching plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, etc. Ensure that you research well and choose the one that is best suited to your site and hosting type i.e. Cloud Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, etc.

How to Leverage In-Browser Caching

As the name suggests, in-browser caching means that certain static files are stored by the user’s browser after he requests them once from the server. If the same files are requested again from the same browser at a later date/time, then the browser fulfills the request directly without going back to the web server. 

All these types of caching help you to boost the speed of your website and offer a great site experience to users. Talk to your VPS Web Hosting provider and check if they offers server-side caching like Varnish along with the hosting plan. Do let us know what caching solution you use for your website in the comments section below.

Conclusion

Caching is a widely popular technology that is used to greatly increase the loading speed of your website without sacrificing much in the process. When caching is used correctly, it’ll not only result in remarkably faster webpage load times, but also dramatically decrease the server load. If you aren’t already using at least one of the methods to cache your web pages, you should drop everything and do it right away!

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