NewSprout Support Articles

Should I use a caching plugin on my WordPress site?

in Web Hosting

Yes, absolutely! Server level caching is only part of the solution. Install a caching plugin such as Wordpress Super Cache or W3 Total Cache.

Why should you install caching?

1. To improve site speed by caching the content ready to go

2. WordPress particularly ‘needs’ caching. It is great, but very resource intensive. WordPress needs to account for so many variables when building a site using the WordPress template and in the end there is simply ‘lots of stuff’ that is unnecessary. It makes sense to have this cached so it doesn’t hold your site back from flying!

3. This in turn will make Google like your site more and index you more preferably

4. The server you are on will perform better

There are lots of benefits and these are just a few reasons.

What is Best Practise to speed up web sites?

Best practises to speed up and increase the efficiency of your website are well documented on the internet. Any good web designer will know what to do according to best practice.

Should I use a CDN?

For the majority of small – medium sized businesses, directing traffic to a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is not necessary. If your traffic is very high and global then it may be a consideration in terms of technical necessity and cost.

In a sense, this is caching your site closer to your end user. But it will only really benefit massively popular sites with huge amounts of traffic.

Who uses a CDN? Think global players like YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Stan, and global airline websites to name a few.

There are various forms of Caching

This link is a great simple overview on caching. Here is some of the content…

Caching Plugins

Caching plugins can be easily installed and will cache your WordPress posts and pages as static files. These static files are then served to users, reducing the processing load on the server. This can improve performance several hundred times over for fairly static pages.

When combined with technologies such as Nginx or Varnish, this can be quite powerful.

If your posts/pages have a lot of dynamic content configuring caching can be more complex. Search for “WordPress cache plugin” for more info.

Browser Caching

Browser caching can help to reduce server load by reducing the number of requests per page. For example, by setting the correct file headers on files that don’t change (static files like images, CSS, JavaScript etc) browsers will then cache these files on the user’s computer. This technique allows the browser to check to see if files have changed, instead of simply requesting them. The result is your web server can answer many more 304 responses, confirming that a file is unchanged, instead of 200 responses, which require the file to be sent.

Look into HTTP Cache-Control (specifically max-age) and Expires headers, as well as Entity Tags for more information.

Server Caching

Web server caching is more complex. We take care of this for you and do all the heavy lifting.
We use Nginx. Others that also use Nginx are Airbnb, Dropbox, Netflix, TED, WordPress.com and many more.
A wide range of options are available. Us adding caching to our servers definitely improves PHP’s performance and ultimately your website.

NewSprout has caching installed as standard on ALL it’s servers :)

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