Cache Your Wordpress Blog to Make it Faster

What's the most common problem that growing blogs always run into?  Their Wordpress site needs to be cached in order to handle the growing influx of traffic. The lifespan of the common blogger goes something like this.

  1. Blogger starts blog at Wordpress.com, Blogger, or Typepad.
  2. Blogger realizes they want more flexibility and ability to generate a little revenue.
  3. Blogger moves their site over to a self hosted Wordpress.org setup on a cheap blog host.
  4. Blogger's traffic continues to grow.
  5. BOOM.  Site begins to fail because their shared PHP server and database are overwhelmed.

That's where most bloggers start scratching their head.  They start to do some research about all the errors they are getting.  Of course, their lame hosts have no good answers and just tell them to upgrade their hosting plans.

Not knowing any better, most agree and get sold into a more costly plan only to find themselves in the same position a few months later.

In most cases, you are probably a year or more away from needing to upgrade your hosting plan.  Even then, it might not be necessary.

What is causing these problems with my blog?

Your site needs to be cached.

Back in the day, this would have taken you hours and hours of coding, some coin, and some aspirin.  Not anymore.

If you are not running WP Supercache on your Wordpress blog today, you are nuts.  For the technical and traffic level of most bloggers on the Internet today, this one, simple, easy to use plugin will solve so many of your problems.

WP Super Cache: This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

The reason your site is loading slower, and you are getting resource over use notices from your host is due to the volume of unnecessary queries being run by your blog.  The more traffic you generate, the more queries and processes are run.

It makes sense when you think about it.

Your blog text (and a lot more) resides inside a database.  In order to get that text out of the database and into a readable form, your server runs a query for your post and displays it to the user via PHP.  Logic would then tell you that each time a user comes to your site, that query is run and the text is displayed.

Over. Over. Over. And over again.

But hey.  Why does that query need to be run over and over when it is always showing the same thing?  Nothing has changed since 3 seconds ago when the last user came to your site.  Why run a unique query?

That's where caching comes in.

As described above, once the query is run the first time, it gets saved as a plain HTML file (in essence) and served to all future users using nothing but plain old Apache.  Once the query has been run once, there's no need to run it again.  Just serve the same results to the next visitor.

Therefore, your database and PHP engine are not overworked.

The result is less stress on your CPU or shared CPU, and a faster loading blog for the user.

Next time you do a post, that cache is erased and regenerated with your NEW post.

That is really basic description of how caching works, but you can see how it really makes sense.  Luckily, we have the free WP SuperCache plugin to handle all of the work for us.  It takes just 30 seconds to install and have running on your blog.

Immediately, you will notice your slow site loading faster, and those pesky server overage errors should stop.

If you do in fact have the next Perez Hilton, TechCrunch, or Daily Kos on your hands, you may eventually need to upgrade your hosting.  However, even then, you will still be using this plugin. In the mean time, you'll be good where you're at.