What is Web Cache and Why is it Important for your Website Hosting
Your website performance is paramount! Therefore, it is imperative to keep a regular check if essential website elements like turnaround time, information accessibility, navigation, etc., are functioning properly. Among all these website elements, the website turnaround time is the most important one as it represents the time the website takes to get up and running on the web browser. The longer it takes to load the site, the more business – and value – you lose.
One of the key solutions to make your website extremely fast is Web Caching. This technology helps decrease the website loading time, which results in better SEO ranking and increased traffic. There are a lot of reasons why web cache is important for your website hosting but before jumping onto that, let’s take a closer look at what web cache is and how it works.
What is Web Cache?
Every technology that helps in improving the website speed and reduces the load time matters! A particular website is viewed many times in a month. If the website is popular, the server receives the request to access the website multiple times. Every time a browser sends a request for a web page, the server has to retrieve all the media files, content, generate the header and footer, etc. Overall, it is a time-consuming task.
With some websites, the server can retrieve the information in the blink of an eye and provide it to the web browsers. So, the user doesn’t even realize if there was any loading time; this happens due to web caching.
A web cache primarily handles the request for a popular website that would otherwise be directed to the original server. It also puts repeatedly requested content closer to the end-user, thereby improving response time.
How Does Web Caching Work?
To put it simply, caching creates the copy of the requested website and sends it to the user’s browser which reduces the website load time and increases the website performance.
Web caching works by storing the site’s data in a physically closer location to the visitor.
When a user accesses the same website again, the browser doesn’t need to send the request to the server. Instead, it only has to go wherever the cached data is stored. Thus, the data, in turn, takes less time to travel back. As a result, the process automatically reduces the request time and increases the website load time.
Why is Web Cache Important for Your Website?
A website with impressive uptime usually witnesses heavy traffic and top rankings on Google and other popular search engines. Therefore, caching plays a crucial role in improving the website’s uptime, which makes it important for the website.
Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of caching to better understand how it makes a difference to your website.
Nobody would want to spend time on a website that takes too long to load. To be precise the load time should not be more than 4 seconds otherwise, most users are likely to switch on to the next website. In fact, a user would rather switch on to another website and explore. This implies the speed at which a website loads is essential to give a satisfactory user experience. Caching can reduce the load time as it serves the user request from a location nearer to the users-either on the user’s hard disk or a nearby server.
Undoubtedly, the time taken to fetch the information from the cache will be lower than the time it requires from the original server, which speeds up the website speed and reduces the load time.
Reduces Network Traffic
If traffic volumes aren’t managed appropriately on the website, bandwidth congestion can cause heavy damage to major networks. Caching reduces the chances of network congestion significantly after reducing the path travelled in the fetching process. Although not all the browser’s requests are required to be sent to the server, most of the repeated requests retrieve the information from the cache. Thus, it opens up the network and significantly reduces the original server load, which eventually allows non-cached content to load faster.
Reduces Workload of the Remote Web Server
A remote web server refers to the remotely located computer that has a web server software, database, and other important resources required to handle remote requests sent by the users. Caching reduces the workload of the remote server after spreading the data widely among the proxy cache over the WAN.
Increase Work Rate
Caching reduces the response time of a user’s request. It reduces the latency and encourages much higher request rates relative to a comparable disk-based database. Thus, it leads to increased throughput and a better user experience.
There are certain special events/days, like days when a sale is announced on a website (mostly an e-commerce website); on such days, the website is expected to experience heavy traffic; thus, the users might experience a higher load time than usual. This increased load on the database leads to higher latencies to get data, making the overall application performance unpredictable. Therefore, appropriately used web caching during such times can reduce this issue.
Types of Web Cache
By this point, you must be thinking, where exactly is all the cached data stored. There are two types of web caches:
- Server-side caching
- Browser-side caching
Most of the information we have read in this post so far was about server-side caching. This caching type provides the data to the second time website visitors and reduces the main server’s load. Server-side caching also refers to reverse proxy because it acts on behalf of the server to enhance the user experiences by reducing the user’s request response time.
When a user visits a website for the first time, the browser-side cache saves some of the information to display it later without reaching the server. This way, fewer requests are sent to the server, leading to faster web page load time and, eventually, happy users. Browser-caching is indeed beneficial for repeat site visitors, but the service request will reach out to the original server for first-time visitors to retrieve the information.
Website caching, in simple terms, increases the speed of the website without affecting anything in the process. Also, it results in significantly faster load time and decreases the load on your server.
We hope that the above explanation has provided you with enough insights into the importance of caching and the benefits of implementing it in your hosting server. However, if you’re still unsure about choosing the right caching type, contact BigRock to know more about the web hosting services along with caching and how it will improve your website’s performance!