There are a few options when it comes to caching, so what’s “best”?
It really depends on the web server that’s running your website. That might be Apache, LiteSpeed, or something else entirely.
Often times, the most sensible solution where you’re using Apache/httpd is to use a WordPress plugin such as WP Super Cache (simple, reliable & effective) to offset the demands of your website by caching it. Where you’re using LiteSpeed Web Server, there’s a bespoke solution that goes hand-in-hand with the web server that you should be using already.
What does caching actually do for my website? How does it speed my website up?
Each time someone visits your website, the web server has to load (from the database), compile (assemble the code such that web browsers can understand it) and deliver (send to your device) the content. Those first two steps are avoidable if you cache your website’s content (where possible, some pages won’t tolerate caching – ie. Shopping Cart).
Caching simply does a single instance of those 2 steps for each and every page (except those you may end up needing to exclude), then stores the resulting static (HTML/CSS/JS) pages ready to serve to viewers. The only time it doesn’t do that is where you’re logged in to WP Admin (ie. you’re updating the site so need to see live content, not cached content). What this means is that the pages are pre-built and ready to send to viewers without needing to check the database and assemble the pages firstly – caching does that assembly work once, then sends the results out to each and every viewer.
Your site’s needs will dictate the best solution for you. eCommerce 1st.
A simple blog with a few photos will benefit from caching, though not as much as a 200 product website with 30 pages and plenty of content, plugins and customisations. That’s where you’re more likely to notice a substantial improvement when enabling caching. It’s worth contacting your host (whether it’s us or another provider) to make sure your current set-up is as efficient as it can be.
Not convinced that you’re getting the most out of your website? Let us check for you!
It’s no trouble for our team to provide some high-level recommendations if you’re hosted elsewhere, even if you don’t want to move. You might just be trying to confirm that what you’re being told is actually the truth, or you might be looking to move but want some evidence that it’d result in performance benefits. Either way, we’re here to help so please let our Australian team know!