If you’re new to WordPress, or even if you’re a seasoned veteran, understanding how caching works is essential to keeping your site running smoothly. Caching can be a complex topic, but it doesn’t have to be. This ultimate guide to WordPress caching for beginners will explain everything you need to know in simple, easy-to-understand terms.
Introduction: what is caching and why should you care?
Caching is a technique used to speed up the loading of web pages by storing frequently accessed data in a temporary location. This means a web browser doesn’t have to make a request for the same data over and over again. The most common pieces of code that get saved to users’ browser is the HTML, CSS, and in some cases even JS.
For more tips on speeding up your site read our “Ultimate Guide To WordPress Speed Optimization“
How much can caching speed up your site?
Depending on the caching plugin you choose and how your WordPress site is built it can have significant speed improvements. For most WordPress sites the improvement is around 1-2s in loading speed but some have even reported going from 4s to 1s or even under with their web pages’ load speed.
Caching plugins: our top 3 picks
If you’re looking for a premium caching plugin to solve all your problems with a push of a button then WP Rocket is the choice for you. It’s also one of the few caching plugins recommended and supported by some of the most popular WordPress hosting companies like Bluehost.
- Quick setup
80% of web-performance best practices are automatically applied, no need to touch the code
- The most powerful features for web performance
Caching, LazyLoad, Preload, Delay JS, Remove Unused CSS, just to name a few
- Excellent support
Rely on our support service and technical documentation to solve your doubts
- Broad compatibility with hostings, themes, and plugins:
The most popular WordPress tools trust us, and this should give you peace of mind
- eCommerce compatibility
No matter what eCommerce plugin for WordPress you’re using, we’ve got your back
- Multilingual compatibility
Customize the cache options for a specific language or for all languages at the same time
W3 Total Cache (Free)
If your looking for a cache plugin that does it all then W3 Total Cache might be the choice for you. Though it’s not as easy to use and configure as WP Rocket it does its job fairly well and is a powerful caching plugin. Though we mainly recommend it to more experienced WordPress users.
WP Fastest Cache (Free / Premium)
WP Fastest Cache is a fast easy-to-use basic caching plugin for those looking for a simple-to-use cache plugin. It has a free and premium version available so if you wish to unlock the more advanced speed optimization features you need to open up your wallet.
Note – Always be sure to check if the caching plugin you choose is compatible with your WordPress site’s theme, other plugins, and most importantly hosting.
What is Cloudflare and how does it work?
Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) and distributed domain name server (DNS) service that helps improve website performance and security. It works by caching static content on its edge servers located around the world, which reduces the load on the origin server and speeds up delivery. Cloudflare also provides security features such as DDoS protection and SSL/TLS encryption.
Cloudflare’s services use a global network of data centers, which are located in 120 cities in 30 countries around the world. Cloudflare offers a range of security features to limit the availability of cached content to an IP address.
Cloudflare also includes a free content delivery network (CDN) and distributed domain name server (DNS). Cloudflare’s CDN is similar to other commercial offerings, but Cloudflare’s CDN is free of charge.
On the other hand, if you want even more speed and want something that works perfectly with your WP Rocket, consider trying the RocketCDN which integrates quickly and easily with WP Rocket. Simply go to the RocketCDN tab and activate your subscription. If you’re not using WP Rocket you can simply install the plugin and activate the product there.
Varnish: another popular caching solution
Varnish is another popular caching solution that is often used in conjunction with WordPress. Varnish can speed up your website by caching static content and eliminating the need to send requests to the server for each page load.
Varnish is a great option for websites that receive a lot of traffic, as it can significantly reduce the load on your server. However, it is important to note that Varnish does not cache dynamic content, so you will still need to use a WordPress caching plugin for this purpose.
If you are considering using Varnish, be sure to consult with your web hosting provider to see if it is compatible with your setup. You should also consider using a caching plugin for any future WordPress websites that you build. There are several options available, so be sure to research which one is best for your needs.
How to set up caching on your WordPress site
Assuming you have a WordPress site that’s already up and running, there are only a few steps you need to follow in order to set up caching.
First, you’ll need to install a caching plugin. We recommend using WP Rocket for the best results and because it’s the easiest one to use even for beginners. On top of that, you also get great support if you ever feel like you need help to get even more power out of the plugin.
Once the plugin is installed and activated, you can begin configuring your cache settings. The specific settings will vary depending on which plugin you’re using, but thankfully WP Rocket has a straightforward option that should be self-explanatory and super simple to use. In most cases, after activating the plugin you don’t have to do anything extra and WP Rocket will self-apply 80% of the best practices instantly! That’s how easy it is to use.
Finally, once you’ve saved your changes, test your site to make sure everything is working as it should. Caching can speed up your website significantly, so it’s worth taking the time to set it up properly.
In conclusion, the WordPress caching process is not as complicated as it may seem. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can quickly and easily set up caching for your WordPress site with WP Rocket. Caching can significantly improve the performance of your site, so it is well worth the effort.
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