What is Caching and why is it important you ask?

Well, here’s a technical explanation:

When a visitor comes to your WordPress site, their browser talks to your web server which loads up WordPress – this involves PHP processing, making requests to your database, sending files back to the browser to finally be assembled into a fully formed webpage. This can take several seconds – an eternity to modern web surfers.

Caching replaces that process by sending a static HTML file to the browser instead, which is much faster.

What does that really mean? It means your website will load faster and perform better with a caching plugin.

Think of it like this… Someone asks you directions to restaurant. You don’t know the actual address so you pull out your phone and look it up online. Now you can give them directions. What if someone else asks for the same directions? Well now you KNOW the address so you don’t have to take the time to look it up.

So the initial time-consuming process (looking up the address) was done once, then after that, when the same question was asked, the answer was readily available, and delivered much faster.

Now, I’m not going to try to spew a ton technical jargon at you – most of which I don’t understand either – but if your site takes too long to load, you’ll lose customers – it’s that simple. Luckily there are many caching plugins available (both free and paid) and I’m going to discuss the one I use for this site: WP Fastest Cache Premium ($39 Now $49.95 and still well worth the price).

So how do you determine how fast your website is? The easiest way to analyze a site’s speed is to use GTmetrix. The following image is a screenshot of the test I did on this site BEFORE I installed Fastest Cache. Pretty dismal, eh?

Now take a look at the performance AFTER I installed WP Fastest Cache:

You’ll notice that I’ve cut Fully Loaded Time by a full 1.2 seconds and the Total Page Size has been cut down by almost two-thirds! The PageSpeed Score and YSlow Score are now A’s instead of E and D.  Pretty remarkable after installing a single plugin, don’t you think?