Speed it up with page “caching”.
I still remember the days when we used to hand cut HTML code for every single page on a website. It took a long time to build a website but the code was clean, light and loaded in no time at all. Nowadays website design systems such as WordPress are great – but they put a heavy load on a web server.
Web Servers are optimised for serving content when website visitors request a web page – that’s how come you can have a lot of websites all sharing one web server (‘shared hosting’). When a visitor requests a pages from a CMS, such as WordPress, however, the server has to run the WordPress code and pull information from the database it uses and build the page on the fly. This takes effort and if the server is under load with a lot of page requests (not just from your site but also from other websites on the sane server) then that effort can take a long time to complete and for the page to reach the website visitor (who might be Google!)
Most CMSs have plugins to provide caching. These intelligently save a copy of a page once it has built by the CMS and when the next person requests it they just hand it straight over instead of having to build it from scratch – often leading to a great reduction in the time it takes the visitor to be shown the page.
Caching can be very complicated but it is easy to get some big performance gains just by installing a plugin and following its default setup. If you’re using WordPress for your website consider one of the following plugins:
- W3Total Cache for the ultimate performance capability
(don’t be scared by all the options, just accept the defaults)
- WP Super Cache
(select their recommended defaults and you’re good to go)
Remember better website performance leads to better engagement from customers – and don’t forget Google can reward you for good performance also! Happy caching.