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July 21st, 2010

Talking Caching at WordCamp Boulder

Sean and I were pleased to have the opportunity to give a talk on WordPress caching at WordCamp Boulder last weekend. I gave an intro to the two types of caching in WordPress along with tips for developers and Sean showed the results of caching through benchmarking a test installation of one of our client’s sites we developed which uses caching extensively, the PlayStation Blog. You can view the slides online (use the arrow keys to move between slides) but I’ll give a brief rundown.

Caching is Important

It doesn’t matter if your site is small or large, gets a little bit of traffic or a bunch of traffic: caching can help. While many WordPress sites with relatively low traffic levels may never receive traffic spikes that bring them to a crawl, they can still benefit from caching with faster page load times and fewer server resources. For moderate or high-traffic sites, caching is a must to keep pages loading quickly, prevent requests from timing out, and keeping server admins happy.

Caching is Easy

Using caching in WordPress is as easy as installing a plugin and taking a few minutes to configure it. The most common plugins for output caching are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. Either of these is a great choice and will cache the output of your pages for fast retrieval. If you aren’t using one of these, give them a try and see which one you like and keep it active.

Caching is About Money

After our talk, the volunteer helping with our venue at Techstars mentioned that someone commented that they thought the talk was going to be about making money with WordPress. Well, you can’t please everyone… While caching isn’t about making money, it is about saving money. Many hosting plans restrict server resources and charge for overages. Caching lets you reduce server resources which may save you money either in the hosting plan you fit in or by avoiding overages. Reduced resource usage also allows hosting companies to maximize the hardware they have and pass this on to you by keeping their hosting plans priced low.

Thanks to Devin, Alex, everyone else at Crowd Favorite and the volunteers for putting on really great WordCamp.

About the Author
Chris Scott is a lead application developer for the Platforms team. Follow Chris on Twitter @chrisscott.

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