If you use WordPress for any period of time you have surely reached the point where you’ve heard about caching your site and might have been left asking What is WordPress cache?
Well if that’s the case, and you still haven’t had your question fully answered, you’ve come to the right place!
In addition take note that Cache is just one component, a major one at that, to improve the speed of your WordPress site.
Make sure to check out my WordPress Speed: The Ultimate Guide post for a full detailed list of all of the items you can optimize to speed up your WordPress installation.
Before we can fully dive into the topic of what WordPress Cache is we need to take a half step back and understand what Cache is in it’s own right.
Per Wikipedia a cache is simply “a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster”.
And that last part about being “faster” is the key.
As a matter of fact any type of computerized cache system, that you see set up in any environment, is done with the goal of improving speed!
2. WordPress Cache
When using cache with your WordPress installation certain components of your site, whether they be images or data, are stored in other locations so that future requests to view your site go faster.
So if we take our previous definition of cache and tie it into WordPress we can see that the main purpose of it is to speed up your WordPress site.
The complicating factor in this is that your WordPress site can be cached in many different ways!
3. Plugin – an easy way to enable WordPress Cache
When it comes to WordPress using a plugin to create a caching system for your site is by far the most popular option.
You essentially install a plugin, tweak the settings, and away you go.
Therefore one of the most difficult parts about using a plugin is choosing the right one.
With many options on the market I opt to go with one of the most popular premium caching plugins called WP Rocket.
4. Server – will often have WordPress Cache setup
Surely any decent web host these days has a builtin caching system setup as well.
And consequently they likely do this for you automatically behind the scenes.
The top hosting company I recommend includes a behind the scenes caching system and they are SiteGround.
If you are unsure of how to clear your cache checkout my How to Clear WordPress Cache? post.
When using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) on your site it will cache items like images as well.
This applies to browsers on your computer, mobile phone and tablet.
Another kind of caching that’s going on when you visit a website (not just WordPress sites) is browser cache.
Whether it’s Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari or another browser they are all caching aspects of the websites you visit to improve speed.
So keep in mind if your site is not displaying correctly, and you’ve already cleared all of the other caches, you should then clear your browser cache as well.
WordPress Cache explained
So there you have it.
Make sure to comment below and let me know of anything you think I missed.
Thanks for reading!