This is the first post in a series where we will look at various aspects of website performance, and try to explain them in terms understandable to non-developers. This first installment looks at the concept of caching. A lot of WordPress users have heard they need to “use a caching plugin”, and may even be using one without really understanding what it’s doing. It can be pretty technical, even for a lot of developers, so a lack of understanding leads to frustration when things go wrong. I want to try and demystify it a little. There are several different kinds of caching. What we are talking about in this post is specifically “page caching”. This is the kind of caching that plugins like WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache and others do. What Does Caching Do? Most articles will explain caching in terms something like this: When a visitor comes to your WordPress site, their browser talks to your web server which loads up WordPress – this involves PHP processing, making requests to your database, sending files back to the browser to finally be assembled into a fully formed webpage. This can take several seconds – an eternity to modern web surfers. Caching replaces that process
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