Understanding the Basics of Web Caching Strategies

Written by WordPress Expert

December 2, 2023
Understanding the Basics of Web Caching Strategies

In the 2000s, website owners hadn’t really heard much about web caching, and how it can benefit their website. Today, web caching strategies have become something essential in helping optimize a website for speed. In this article, you’ll learn some basics about web caching strategies.

What is Web Caching?

Web caching is where data is stored for the purpose of being reused later. The end result is to improve the performance and speed of a site while saving resources on the server that the website is stored on. A great example of this is caching a web page.

What a lot of people don’t know is that most websites, especially powered by content management systems, like WordPress, use databases to store information. Each time someone visits a site that calls up stored data from a database uses server resources. Depending on how many people visit the site, the number of times that the stored data is requested to be seen on a web page, adds up. Web caching strategies help reduce the load of those requests.

Caching and storage of a web page happens when a user visits the site. The next user to visit the same web page, the cache will deliver a copied version of the page. In return, this means that the page isn’t being loaded over and over with each visitor, and it saves server resources.

Aside from saving resources, web caching strategies can help reduce server outages, since the cache will have a stored copy of the website on hand. The stored copy within a cache is delivered while the server is down.

What Website Elements can be Cached?

Most files on a website can be cached. For example, the following can be cached:

  • Images, as long as they aren’t in a rotation
  • CSS Stylesheets
  • HTML
  • JavaScript files

That being said, when you’re applying any web caching strategies, you should carefully test your site as you optimize your website. If you over-optimized, some elements on your site may not appear or may cause errors. You also should make sure not to put strict caching rules on content that you frequently change, or your visitors will only see your old content until all caches are cleared.

It’s important to keep in mind that you should use standard web development practices, and try to use optimized media, in conjunction with any web caching strategies. Additionally, try not to use too many third-party resources, like JavaScript, as hosting your scripts in-house will help with speeding up your website.

In the case of video, this is probably one of the few things you may want to rely on 3rd party video services like YouTube and Vimeo, to help with optimizing. Those services specialize in optimizing video to load fast, much more so than normal web caching strategies.

4 Types of Web Caching Strategies

  1. Site cache
  2. Browser cache
  3. Server cache
  4. Micro cache

1. Site cache

A site cache is a type of caching that’s controlled by the user. It’s also known as page cache and is what stores a website’s data during the first time a web page has been loaded. After that first visit, other website visitors will be given a saved version of the web page.

This form of caching is a fantastic idea for any website that won’t have a lot of content changes in the near future. In the case of CMS like Drupal and WordPress, you can use modules or plugins that deal with cache, to help regulate the cache on pages or blog posts, so that if you do create regular content, your visitors get the most up-to-date version of the web page.

2. Browser cache

Browser caching is not far off from site caching, but it’s built into the user’s web browser. So, while your site can have its own web caching, your browser also stores from a website that you visit. Your web browser has the ability to store a lot of data, like HTML pages, CSS stylesheets, images, and other digital content.

Browser caching actually goes hand-in-hand with site caching since both are web caching strategies that are client-side based. However, browser caching differs from site caching because the browser controls the cache in the end, instead of the end-user. In some instances, when you clear your site’s cache, you may also need to clear your browser’s cache, especially if you’ve changed up your content on a web page, and after saving, the new version isn’t showing the changes.

3. Server cache

Server cache covers several types of web caching, like Content Delivery Network (CDN) caching, object caching, and even opcode caching. Server cache is how it reads - it stores content onto a website’s server. Unlike site caching and browser caching, server caching isn’t controlled by the user.

One of the benefits of server caching is that it is designed to effectively reduce a server’s load. Another benefit is that your server can take on more traffic and your website’s pages show up faster.

The process of server caching starts when there’s a request given. The server then looks into its stored cache, before processing the request. In the case that there’s a stored version on the server cache, it will immediately be sent to the web browser.

4. Micro cache

Micro caching is a bit interesting and rare because it is used to store content for small increments of time, like up to 10 seconds! It’s also a type of site cache, as it allows caching to be controlled by the end-user.

Not a lot of websites use micro caching unless they are high in visitor traffic and the content is constantly changing. An example of a site that would use micro caching is stock exchange websites, where the trade amounts are always changing.



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In Summary

It’s important to do your best to deliver a great user experience for all of your website visitors. Optimizing your site can make the difference between your web visitors staying on your site, and even buying your products.

Do you understand web caching strategies a bit more? Have you optimized your site yet? If not, you might want to learn how to implement your own web caching strategy for your own website.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Verpex ensure optimal performance and speed for my CRM?

Verpex uses cutting-edge infrastructure and technology to provide high-performance CRM hosting. We employ SSD storage, powerful servers, and advanced caching techniques to ensure fast loading times and a smooth user experience. Our robust network and 12 data centers are strategically located to provide low latency and high-speed connectivity for your CRM.

How does Verpex ensure optimal loading speed for my social media platform?

Verpex ensures optimal loading speed for your social media platform by utilizing SSD storage, LiteSpeed Webserver, and a global network of 12 servers to deliver content efficiently and quickly to users worldwide.

Is there any impact on the loading speed of my website due to domain redirection?

Domain redirection does not directly affect website loading speed. However, the destination server's performance or the redirect configuration's efficiency can indirectly affect the loading speed. It's important to choose a reliable hosting provider, optimize your website's performance, and ensure efficient redirect configurations to minimize any potential impact on loading speed.

Can you migrate my existing website over?

Yes, and without issue. Regardless of how many websites you’re managing, we’ll bring all of them under the Verpex wing free of charge. Just send us the details of your websites when you’ve signed up to get started.



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