Digg-Proof Blog: Use WP-QuickCache
This 5 minutes trick will dramatically improve your WordPress Blog performance. Whether you are on a shared hosting, a VPS or a dedicated server, you should be worried about resources and blog speed. You may not really care (yet) about the way your website is served to your visitors but trust me, you are making a big mistake.
Your blog may have to experience huge spikes in traffic from time to time. It may be because you are featured on another website. I take the example of Digg because it can really bring an overwhelming flood of traffic to your website. While this can be a very good thing audience-related or advertising-related, it won’t do your blog any good if you can’t handle the traffic coming all at once.
If your blog takes forever to display each page, visitors will give up and move to another website. We live in an era when people want things to be fast. Moveover, Google is now taking into consideration the time needed for your pages to be displayed in their ranking system. Faster blog = higher rankings.
Of course, you could always upgrade your hosting. But are you really going to pay the extra dollar for a better hosting just for a few days of increased traffic? The other possibility, if you are not yet using it, is by using a Cache plugin.
Wikipedia Definition Of A Cached File: In computer science, a cache (pronounced /kash/) is a collection of data duplicating original values stored elsewhere or computed earlier, where the original data is expensive to fetch (owing to longer access time) or to compute, compared to the cost of reading the cache. In other words, a cache is a temporary storage area where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access. Once the data is stored in the cache, it can be used in the future by accessing the cached copy rather than re-fetching or recomputing the original data.
Basically, what a WordPress cash plugin does is, instead of letting your server process the PHP code on your blog every time a new visitor visits a page, processes the PHP only once every X minutes (X amount can be manually set). It saves a very important share of your resources because it will serve a pre-built HTML page to all the next visitors.
For your information, PHP is a server-based language. It means that your server has to do some computations to create the HTML that will be displayed, and to grab data from your MySql database to fill this page with content. On the other hand, HTML doesn’t imply any computation by the server. It’s just returned as-is to your visitors.
On Dukeo, I am currently using WP-QuickCache because it’s one of the easiest to setup Cache Plugin I found so far. It’s just the matter of a few clicks to get it up and running.
If you care about the speed of your site, Quick Cache is one of those plugins that you absolutely MUST have installed. Quick Cache takes a real-time snapshot ( building a cache ) of every Page, Post, Category, Link, etc. These snapshots are then stored ( cached ) intuitively, so they can be referenced later, in order to save all of that processing time that has been dragging your site down and costing you money.
The Quick Cache plugin uses configuration options, that you select from the options panel. See: Config Options under Quick Cache. Once a file has been cached, Quick Cache uses advanced techniques that allow it to recognize when it should and should not serve a cached version of the file. The decision engine that drives these techniques is under your complete control through options on the back-end. By default, Quick Cache does not serve cached pages to users who are logged in, or to users who have left comments recently. Quick Cache also excludes administrational pages, login pages, POST/PUT/GET requests, CLI processes, and any additional User-Agents or special pattern matches that you want to add.
Hint: WordPress can only deal with one cache plugin being activated at a time. So, you’ll need to un-install any existing cache plugins that you’ve tried in the past. In other words, if you’ve installed WP Super Cache, DB Cache Reloaded, or any other caching plugin, un-install them all before installing Quick Cache. One way to check, is to make sure this file: /wp-content/advanced-cache.php is NOT present; and if it is present, delete it before installing Quick Cache. That file will ONLY be present if you have a cache plugin already installed. If you don’t see it, you’re good.
Quick Cache is very easy to install ( follow these instructions )
- Download WP QuickCache
- Upload the /quick-cache folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory
- Activate the plugin through the Plugins menu in WordPress
- Navigate to the Quick Cache panel & enable it
How do I know that Quick Cache is working?
First of all, make sure that you’ve enabled Quick Cache. After you activate the plugin, go to the Quick Cache Options panel and enable it, then scroll to the bottom and click Save. All of the other options on that page are already pre-configured for typical usage. Skip them all for now. You can go back through all of them later and fine-tune things the way you like them.
Once Quick Cache has been enabled, you’ll need to log out. Cache files are NOT served to visitors who are logged in, and that includes you! In order to verify that Quick Cache is working, navigate your site like a normal visitor would. Right-click on any page ( choose View Source ), then scroll to the very bottom of the document. At the bottom, you’ll find comments that show Quick Cache stats and information. You should also notice that page-to-page navigation is lightning fast compared to what you experienced prior to installing Quick Cache.
Tip: If your pages are including data that is updated very quickly, you can use WP-QuickCache with an expiration time of 1 minute. If you receive a lot of visitors, this will still improve the speed of your blog.