When you cache a website, you help it load faster the next time you visit. Caching is the process of storing images and HTML pages on a designated space to ease the load on the website’s server and reduce lag. Caches are essentially copies of websites.
In the real world, a cache is a place to store food and rations for travellers. In the same way, caching helps data make its way through the web easily. You can also think of cache as a way of storing memories.
If we ask you to recall what’s the colour of the shirt you wore yesterday, you would have a definite answer. It is because your short-term memory is likely to still have that information. A cache works in the same way short-term memory does. In this article, we differentiate among two basic types of caching.
When you access a website, your browser sends a series of requests to the website’s server. These requests correspond to commands on a computer. Several people sending multiple requests to one server can cause it to overload, which is why some pages crash.
When you visit a website for the first time, you will notice that it takes a while for it to load. This is because your browser is caching segments that it can store for future use. Try loading the same website again, and observe how much faster the process becomes.
Site or page caches work the same way as browser caching. These are client-side processes and use up the memory of the client’s terminals. A WordPress site with a caching plugin helps site visitors load your WordPress site faster.
In contrast to a browser cache, a server cache is administered by the website owner. In this type of caching, the server notes the type of requests and stores the results from these. Server caching is not handled by the client’s browser. In this type of caching, the server stores versions of the website to send to people every time a request is made. There are different types of server caching. Some of these include object caching, Content Delivery Network (CDN caching), and Opcode caching.
An object cache deals with database queries. For high-traffic websites, such as e-commerce sites, there can be hundreds if not thousands of database queries made in a day. Object caching can help your site manage the volume of queries it gets.
Meanwhile, Opcode caching compiles PHP codes and executes it when requested. By storing script codes in the server, an Opcode cache prevents the need for parsing scripts every time these are requested. Finally, CDN caching helps servers deliver versions of websites to users who are geographically distant from the source or the host. That can help minimise the load time for large data like images and media files.
Caching helps make efficient websites, which improves your ranking in search engines. If you are not caching your web pages, you are missing out on a way to optimise your load times.
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