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Web Cache Guide: Learning the Different Types of Web Caches

In general, caching is a procedure that involves storing copies of data and files in a temporary storage location for easy access. To put it simply, it is a scheme that helps mitigate delays by temporarily storing content, making it a lot easier for online users to navigate the web.

With that said, there are four significant types of web caches today: site, browser, server and micro caches. Each of these is useful in varying circumstances. Thus, it’s essential to understand the kind of data they store, the process they involve, and the benefits they offer.

So without further ado, here is an honest close look at each type of web cache to make it easier to decide which fits your organisation’s website better.

Site Cache

A site cache, also known as page cache, mainly stores website data the first time it loads. So every time an online user comes back to view the same website, saved elements and components can easily and quickly be accessed and displayed.

Unfortunately, only the end-user has control over saved resources and elements in this caching. Thus, as the website owner, you have limited influence over the content in the cache. The only thing you have a say in is how long the content can remain in the cache, nothing more, nothing less.

Browser Cache

A browser cache can store HTML pages, CSS stylesheets, images, files and other content. It also groups similar files associated with each other to make them more accessible.

Although browser caching is also a client-based system like site caching, the primary difference is that the browser facilitates the cache without user intervention. This means that it is also responsible for flushing out old files even without confirmation from the user and the website owner.

Server Cache

A server cache is merely an umbrella term that refers to various types of caching, such as object caching, opcode caching, content delivery caching and many more. Each of these caches stores different elements on your website’s server. Thus, as the website owner, you can freely choose the caching you want to implement.

Furthermore, website owners administer and facilitate everything without any input from online users and visitors, giving you total access and control over the caches.

Micro Cache

A micro cache is storage that keeps data saved only for a short period, which is why many people are unaware of its existence. This type of caching stores and holds static versions of different elements for up to ten seconds, making them perfect for currency exchange and stock market websites with high traffic and rapidly changing content.

End users usually have control over micro caching, but it also requires limited input from website owners.

Conclusion

Each of the web caches listed above has its benefits and limitations. Thus, it would be best to give the implementation of a particular caching type more thought before diving right in. Note that your choice can ultimately influence website loading speed and user experience, so it’s essential to read more into them prior to making a decision.

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About the author

David Sullivan
Owner of Hosted WP.