Each and every WordPress installation is unique to it’s users in terms of functionality, resource consumption, and ultimately load speeds. Because of this, it is important to help optimize your sites performance in any way possible.
As mentioned previously, the great thing about WordPress, is the ease in which these optimizations are applied. We simply need to install plugins for various optimizations. In this article we will be covering an extremely important optimization plugin WP Super Cache.
With over 1 million installs, WP Super Cache is far and away the most popular caching plugin for caching static html files. By implementing multiple caching techniques, you are guaranteed to benefit from the offerings of WP Super Cache, let’s take a look at each of these methods:
- Mod_Rewrite. The fastest method is by using Apache mod_rewrite (all Host Boogie servers support mod_rewrite) to serve “supercached” static html files. This bypasses PHP altogether and drastically increases the speed at which your content is being served. If your site is hit by a large influx of traffic (say during a running promotion, or something similar) it is more likely to efficiently serve these requests as the requests themselves are now “lighter”. This does require a modification of your .htaccess file. This is the preferred method of caching your content.
- PHP. Supercached static files are now being served by PHP. The plugin will serve a “supercached” file if it exists, while this method is typically slower than the previous mod_rewrite method, it is easier to configure, as there are no modifications to the .htaccess file required.
- Legacy caching. This is mainly used to cache pages for individual users of your site. These are logged in users, visitors who leave comments, return customers, or people simply trolling your comments, basically any user who can be shown content custom to their unique login. It’s the most flexible caching method but also the slowest. It is typically recommended to avoid Legacy Caching whenever possible.
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