Web browsers are easily put off by slow loading web pages. It is estimated that around 80% of web browsers only wait for approximately three seconds for a page to load. If it takes longer than that, they move on to the next site and may never come back. This impacts negatively on the traffic flowing to the website. However, there are many techniques employed to ensure that the website opens fast. One of these is caching. Caching is a technique that ensures certain website’s data is stored in the local computer of the visitor for the first time. Therefore, the subsequent visits on the same website using the same device will be faster as less data will be sent over from the server of the website, and as a result, the page content opens faster.
Ways of caching a WordPress site
A WordPress user has a number of options with which they can use to implement the caching on their site. The first and simplest option is subscribing to a hosting plan. Adding caching to a site and adjusting it may be daunting especially for people with little technical know-how on the subject. However, with WordPress professionals offering this and more technical services at a fee, it is easy to add caching to a WordPress site and customizing it to one’s needs. Therefore, signing up a WordPress expert may be the best decision for anyone with little knowledge of caching as they have the technical understanding of the area and can do it effectively.
The second option is adding caching plugin to the WordPress site. Plugins added to a WordPress site extend the functionality of the site and add new features that enhance it. Each plugin added to the WordPress has an impact on the site. With so many caching plugin options to choose from, it may be difficult to know which one best suits a site. A number of factors, therefore, must be considered when choosing the right caching plugin for a site as explained below.
Factors to consider when choosing a plugin
The following are five most important factors to consider when choosing a plugin:
Under features, a good plugin should have customizable settings and other options. This gives one liberty to customize the site according to their preference.
WordPress has free caching plugins available for its users. However, there are those that would prefer to use the premium version which is paid for. It is important for an individual opting to go for the premium to know what they are getting from the paid version. Although the premium contains features that are not in the free version, it is important to look into these features and determine if they are necessary for the site before paying for the premium version.
Updates are an important factor due to one’s element. Search engines such as Google keep updating their algorithm which ranks websites. The plugin chosen for a site should always get regular updates from its developers. This way, it can keep up with the changing algorithm and maintain its ranking on the search engine.
Plugins are software and as usual, they crash or sometimes display technical glitches. In case this happens, the user may need to find the support that will guide them through correcting the problem. The plugin chosen should always have a customer support where in case one encounters problems with the plugin, they can always have a place to get answers and resolve the problem.
The reviews that a plugin receives from other users who have tried it have to be put into consideration. Reviews are very important because they give first-hand experience from other people using the software. Knowing what people say about a software is vital for an individual who is shopping around for one as they can be able to eliminate poorly rated plugins from the list of consideration.
Even after considering the above, it is essential to test the speed of the site after installing the plugin. Some of the tools for this task include Pingdom, Monitis, StatusCake and Uptime Robot. These tools scan the site identifying anything that might not be running as it is supposed to. For best results, it is recommended to install several plugins while testing them to identify the perfect fit for a site.
Here is a list of several plugins to choose from when testing out one that perfectly suits a WordPress site:
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is the most popular caching plugin for WordPress. The main reason for its prevalence is that it is free and easy to use. WP Super Cache has tools that enable one to customize it on their own hence good for both beginners and experts. The plugin also has three modes of activation (i.e. Simple, Expert and WP-Cache caching) which makes it easy for users to choose depending on their level of expertise.
WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin which excellently boosts the speed of a site. The plugin only requires a little technical knowledge on installation. With this plugin, it is easy to get reliable support in case of a technical glitch. The plugin offers a number of pricing plans to choose from.
This plugin is excellent for WordPress site owners who target a specific audience with their content. The plugin is designed for Apache users and ensures security and excellent performance of the site.
Comet Cache is a lightweight alternative plugin. Other than its easy configuration, it is straightforward and effective. The plugin is efficient for caching solution as well as saving the processing time.
Benefits of caching a WordPress site
A website can benefit from Caching technique through various ways. The first one is through enhancing the visitor’s experience. Caching ensures that a website is quick and responsive, therefore enhancing the experience for those interested in coming back to the website. A responsive website also receives more traffic and a drastic change in bouncing rates and more. The other benefit of caching a website is its impact on the search engine optimization (SEO). The speed of a webpage plays an important role in how the page ranks on major search engines such as Google. Since caching ensures increased speed, it is plausible to assume that the page will rank higher on the web.
From the above discussion, one thing is clear, Caching is a crucial part in the performance ranking of a website. It is wise to take WordPress professionals advice and incorporate caching for better WordPress site performance.