No matter how good your site looks, no matter how much functionality it has to offer, it just won’t get your business where you expect it to be if it lacks speed. Over the years many good websites have gone out of business just because they lacked speed. Even though speed is basically dependent on the web server that is hosting your site but if you leave your site un-optimized then even the best web server in the world cannot guarantee peak performance.
For those who are using popular content management system known as WordPress, site optimization is a breeze. The availability of a wide range of plug-ins and extensions has made WordPress the most preferred content management system and blogging platform. The same attribute comes to save you when your site needs optimization. Even though there are a lot of third party plug-ins available and almost all of them claim to instantly optimize your site, still there is nothing better than W3 Total Cache.
What is W3 Total Cache:
To be honest it is a bit hard to believe that W3 Total Cache is a free plug-in. judging from its usability it must definitely feature amongst the premium plug-ins. But anyways since it’s free, it makes things even easier. By simply configuring the plug in, you can save up to 80 percent of the bandwidth and decrease the loading times of your WebPages by a factor 10. The plug in also features an optimization tool known as Yahoo YSlow. The tool is very much similar to the Google’s PageSpeed. The plug in can be integrated with both shared web servers as well as dedicated web servers. However, it works better in case of dedicated web servers.
How can cache decrease the loading time:
In order to understand the concept of web caching, think of the RAM (Random access memory) in your computer. A random access memory is not a significantly large memory; in fact it is very small as compared to other storage devices attached with your computer. The purpose of this ram is to act as a cache. When you use a computer system, some programs are loaded again and again. If the computer was to read all these programs from the hard disk every time they were needed then your computer’s performance will be seriously compromised because the speed of traditional hard drives is very slow. In order to increase the speed and decrease the access times, these programs are loaded in to the cache memory or ram. Now cache memory might be smaller in size as compared to traditional hard drives but its speed far exceeds the speed of hard drives. Hence loading the frequently used programs in the cache memory increases the performance of your computer system.
The same concept is applied in web caching. The pages of website that are most visited are cached so that every time those pages are requested, a static page can be forwarded instead of creating a dynamic page on the go.
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