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Speed Up Your Blog with WP Cache

Posted on by in Blog

Sometimes blogs can take an extended period of time to load, especially when there’s a lot of hosted content or media to process.

One way to fight this problem is to host images and content elsewhere, and only host text and simple information on the blog in question. But this method can be quite troublesome, and can have dire consequences especially if the externally hosted content is on a timed hosting plan.

The best way to load an extensive directory on a normal computer is to use a backup cache. Every installed hard drive sets aside a certain amount of space to cache all the information and data stored within. This makes file access and hard drive loading much faster, because the operating system can simply access the recorded cache instead of reloading all the information manually.

Think of it in terms of a file cabinet. A cache file is basically just a stored image of another file that can be quickly accessed and scanned on the fly. So if you were to take a very large file from a cabinet, summarize it quickly and then store this summary in another file for quick access later… you’d have the idea of a cache down pat.

This same process can be used with a WordPress blog using an external plugin called WP-Cache.

Basically it does exactly what is mentioned above and creates a complete cache file of the related blog for quick access at a later time. This means all PHP, HTML and extra code is already built within the cache, resulting in a much faster and more responsive browsing experience.

After the WP-Cache plugin has been installed the admin can enable or disable cache files, change the expiration time for static pages, reject and accept the caching of certain blog pages and choose which pages to be cached or delete cached files.

As advertised WP-Cache can reduce loading times from several seconds to less than a millisecond.

Installing WP-Cache

Installation of the plugin is simple. Just download the WP-Cache compressed file, and then unzip it after it has finished downloading. When the file has been extracted, upload the entire directory to the “WP-content/plugins” root directory of the related WordPress install using an FTP client or something similar.

Once the plugin itself has been installed be sure to navigate to “options” in the WordPress admin dashboard and select “WP-Cache”. The plugin should automatically configure itself to work properly on your WordPress enabled blog or website.

Congratulations, your visitors will no longer experience terrible loading times when visiting your blog!

Link: WP-Cache WordPress Plugin

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Comments (8)

Comment by Briley Kenney says:

The safest way to backup WordPress manually is to use an FTP client like Filezilla and download the entire WordPress install directory. Then just make sure to compress the file (once it’s finished downloading) so it doesn’t take up tons of space on your computer.

The downside to all of this is that backups need to be done frequently (every time new content is hosted), and this can become quite tedious work. :(

If you personally like Backupbuddy however, stick with it.

There’s also VaultPress, myRepono WordPress Backup Plugin, Automatic WordPress Backup, BlogVault, and Blog Zapper. I’ve heard good things about all of the plugins I just listed, some are premium (pay) and one or two are free.

Comment by Ecig Addict says:

Thanks again Bril. Have you got a link to a good tutorial on backing up wordpress? If you do please post it here or email me. I’d appreciate it very very much. :(

Comment by Briley Kenney says:

No Problem Ecig.

Plugins can cause a slower loading time with a blog install especially if everything isn’t kept up to date (latest version). But there are also separate factors like the amount of internal images hosted, the quantity of content, and even individual file formats of hosted files; for instance a .png image file loads faster and takes up less space than a .jpg.

Personally I tried Backupbuddy and I don’t really like it, as you said the backup/restore process can get quite confusing. I go the more traditional route and back everything up manually- it’s not the fastest or most traveled route but can always be sure it’s been done right. I’m not in any way stating that’s what you should do, just explaining my thought process. :)

I don’t see anything concerning the Catalyst theme and WP-Cache, however if I do happen to come across some issues I’ll let you know.

Love the layout of your site by the way. ;)

Comment by Briley Kenney says:

Hey Ecig, thank you very much for the response! :)

It is correct that there are some third party WordPress themes that have problems with WP-Cache. As far as I know, none of those themes include the default themes. But considering you’re worried about it, I would say you probably have a premium theme installed.

That being said, what theme do you currently have installed?

The plugin DEFINITELY takes care of a slow loading WordPress application. You can likely Google your theme if you want to do the legwork yourself and find information on whether or not your theme is compatible. I haven’t come across anything indicating this is a detrimental issue so I’m inclined to believe theres no need to worry.

I will however say that you should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS back up your WordPress database and important source files any time you make even the slightest change to the application. Especially if the blog or website in question is older, you don’t want to take any chances and lose all that beautiful data.

If you want to shy away from the plugin there are a few other steps you can take to try and speed up your blog.

Comment by Ecig Addict says:

Hey Bril,

Thanks for the reply. To answer your question, I am using Catalyst Theme, which I think is a premium one. I’m also using backupbuddy to do my backups just in case but the restoration process is quite confusing, I haven’t yet tried doing a restore (hope I never have to).

I’m hosted with HostGator and at times my blog fails to load or is quite slow.. I don’t know if it’s that or some of the plugins like Statcounter. Perhaps the plugins are trying to reach their servers and are just timing out or something.

Comment by Ecig Addict says:

Hi Briley,

Just came across this post. I’ve been a bit fearful about Wp-cache because I’ve heard from some friends that certain WP themes conflict with this plugin and renders the entire site unreachable by search engines. This is a “no no”. What’s your take on this?

My Wp site is loading slow at the moment and I’m very tempted to use this plugin..

Comment by Briley Kenney says:

Thanks for the comment Dave! :)

I’ve seen several reports by users that W3 Total Cache is a bit slower than WP-Cache when loading pages; which is ultimately why I chose to include WP-Cache in the tutorial. For all intents and purposes they do exactly the same thing.

Another cache type plugin is WP Super Cache which basically creates a static HTML page of your blog or WordPress enabled site. But not everyone is interested in generating static HTML caches.

Comment by Dave Clements says:

Now I must admit that I don’t know all that goes on with caching plugins, though I have a good idea. I have W3 Total Cache installed and it has done wonders for my site speed. Does WP Cache do something that W3 Total Cache doesn’t?

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