When it comes to optimizing a Wordpress website, the role of caching can never be underestimated. Quite a lot has been talked about caching on the internet in general. Yet, it still remains a relatively lesser utilized feature among a large section of the WordPress user base.
What is Wordpress Caching?
Caching refers to the process of creating static versions of your content, and serving that to visitors. Static pages are generally rendered quickly in browsers. This leads to faster performance of your website.
In WordPress, rendering or fetching a page (or post or custom post type) requires back and forth queries to be sent to and from the database. Now, more often than not, you will create a post or a page and then you won’t be updating it everyday. Caching creates static copies of your post or page, and serves that to visitors. This way, the back and forth queries to and from the database can be avoided, thereby reducing the server load.
This type of caching would be classified as "Server-side" as opposed to "User-side". Meaning it all takes place on the website's hosting server.
- Enhances the speed and performance of your website. Static cached files load faster than dynamic database queries, and this leads to faster and better performance of your website.
- Helps reduce the load on your hosting server. This can save server memory and I/O operations. As a result, caching is fast becoming a vital feature, especially for folks with limited hosting plans.
- Faster websites rank better with search engines. This, obviously, depends heavily on other metrics as well, such as the quality of your content and your SEO settings. But all other things being constant, a website that loads faster will getter a better pagerank than a slower one. Google has confirmed that it takes pagespeed in consideration.
Impressed already? But how do you enable caching in WordPress? The easiest way to do so is by means of plugins. There are several free and premium WordPress plugins out there that help you to enable caching on your website.
Popular Wordpress caching plugins
- WP SUPER CACHE (Reliable, easy, and free.)
- WP ROCKET (The best. Has a premium cost)
- W3 TOTAL CACHE (Very advanced, steep learning curve, usually overkill.)
Whenever possible, Skunkworks installs WP Super Cache on all of our client websites.