In this guide we’ll discuss the advantages of using a caching plugin to speed up your WordPress website.  Optimizing WordPress ensures your visitors have the best experience with minimal load times and caching content plays a vital role.  Each plugin you install in WordPress contributes to the load time of your website so the first step you should take is reducing the number of active plugins you have.  We tend to install plugins and forget about them but this leads to an excessive number of active plugins that slow down your website.  That being said,  some plugins are needed and even required so we need to look at alternative options to improve performance and this is where the benefits of caching come in to play.  Using a proper caching plugin is one of the best way to improve performance which in turn leads to better SEO rankings and

What is caching?

Caching is the process of storing website data for quicker access upon request.  When someone visits your website the hosting server needs to compute and process the request in order to display it in your browser.  Depending on the design and content of your website and the number of concurrent visitors this can slow down the loading time.

Each time a browser requests a web page, the hosting server has to perform various tasks to serve and load the website.   Here are some examples of the tasks and requests your browser makes when requesting a web page:

  • The header and footer content
  • Javascript – things like Google Analytics, Google Adwords or Adsense, Tracking Pixels
  • Website widgets and posts
  • Brand images and logos
  • HTML pages
  • CSS
  • Rotating images

All of the above contribute to the load time of your website.  The more content you have on a page the longer it can take to serve the page to the visitor.

How Caching Improves Speed

Caching solves this issue by processing the frequently requested website data and then storing it in memory or on SSD drives.  Once content has been cached it can be served to the next visitor without having to make a new request for the same content.  Caching is one of the most effective ways to improve the experience for your website visitors since the website will simply load much quicker.

For WordPress websites, using the LiteSpeed Cache plugin automatically caches content for you.  Once you’ve installed an activated the plugin the server will store cached html files of the webpage on SSD drives.  Now when a visitor loads a page that has content in cache it will load faster.  This process significantly  improves the overall performance of your website and gives your visitor a better experience.

A common question many people wonder is what happens when I make changes to my website or add a new page or post?  Although it depends on the website, LiteSpeed cache can determine if it’s serving the correct cached content or if it needs to delete the cached version and create a new cache copy.

Browser Cache vs Server Cache

There are two types of caching methods and with so many WordPress caching plugins it can be difficult to determine what’s best for your website.

Browser caching:  This is when your web browsers stores cache file locally.  This process enables you to load frequently visited pages faster without having to request content from the server.

Server caching:  This is the process where cached content is stored in either the memory or hard drives of the server.  This is very fast and allows you to take advantage of the servers SSD drives which are approximately 4 times faster than standard SATA hard drives.

Comparing WordPress Caching Plugins

There are various WordPress Cache plugins available.  Here are the 4 most popular caching plugins:

These 4 plugins all provide the same functionality and although they work great, the LiteSpeed Cache plugin is by far the best option.  Lets look at a comparison chart between the 4 plugins and LiteSpeed LSCache so we have a better idea of what features they support:

lsacache comparison

Source: https://www.litespeedtech.com/products/cache-plugins/wordpress-acceleration/compare

The LiteSpeed LScache plugin for WordPress outperforms the 4 most popular plugins.  With image and database optimizations built-in it eliminates the need for additional  plugins.

Important:  Although the plugin is free, your web host needs to be using LiteSpeed as their web server to take advantage of server-side caching.  If your web host is using Apache as the web server, you will not be able to use all of the features of the LSCache plugin. You can still use any other WordPress cache plugin.

At HostUpon, all of our shared hosting plans use LiteSpeed.

Conclusion

Caching content is one of the best and simplest ways to improve performance by serving static content to the end user without having to request the content from the web server on each page load or visit.  Your website will load faster, use less bandwidth and will be able to handle more web traffic.  Giving your visitors the best experience is the key benefit of caching.  With minimal effort you can speed up your website load time and take advantage of all of the built-in features of LiteSpeed caching for WordPress.

You can install LSCache by going to the plugins section in your WordPress dashboard and searching for ‘LiteSpeed’.  Alternatively, you can manually install and download LSCache.