Website performance is crucial when it comes to providing an outstanding user experience. Speed is critical. A user forms an opinion of a website in 0.05 seconds, and 88% of users or customers are less likely to revisit a website after a bad experience. A fast-loading website is non-negotiable, and businesses are spending massive dollars to ensure their website loads swiftly.
A speedy site allows Google to crawl sites faster, which means more pages can be crawled in a day. The more pages Google crawls, the more content you have saved in Google's vast resource repository. The more content you have stored, the more chances you have of being discovered and connecting with potential buyers. A fast-loading website helps with a variety of factors, including improved search engine rankings, user engagement, and overall online success.
Fast and Efficient: How Caching Accelerates News Website Load Time
A positive user experience is highly influenced by the speed at which content is delivered. News websites, in particular, thrive on the speed with which information is delivered. And to achieve the desired optimum speed, understanding caching is important.
Caching, a technique that includes temporarily storing copies of frequently visited data, this allows a static copy of your website to be served instead of loading it from scratch. News websites can drastically reduce the time it takes to load content for users by carefully caching items such as images, CSS files, and even entire web pages.
When a visitor accesses a news website, cached elements are brought up instead of retrieving each component from the server, reducing round-trip time and server processing. This leads to a user experience that is speedy, seamless, and swift.
Caching also minimizes the strain on servers during periods of high traffic, ensuring that the website remains fast and responsive even under huge loads. As news websites rely on real-time updates and breaking news, caching strikes a balance between delivering up-to-the-minute content and maintaining an efficient user interface.
A Snapshot of Caching Options Available
For news websites, there are multiple caching options available, each geared to handle specific aspects of content delivery and user experience. Here are some popular caching options and their functions in improving website performance.
Page caching involves storing entire HTML pages as static files. When a user requests a page, the server can deliver the pre-rendered HTML directly from the cache, eliminating the need for dynamic page generation. This significantly reduces server load and accelerates page load times, especially for frequently visited pages. However, we recommend using this only on pages where the content doesn’t change very often.
Object caching focuses on storing specific objects or database queries in memory. This includes caching results from database queries, API requests, or any other resource-intensive processes.
By retrieving frequently used data from a cache rather than querying the database or external APIs every time, it reduces the processing time and enhances the overall website speed. For example frequently searched topics such as on-going elections, updates from a sporting event can be cached.
This results in the less number of HTTP requests thus minimizing the amount of data that needs to be transferred, leading to faster page loading times. This also help reducing the load on your server.
Content Delivery Network (CDN) Caching
CDNs store cached copies of static assets on servers distributed globally. When a user requests content, the CDN delivers it from the server closest to the user’s location. This helps reduce latency It is also a great advantage for news websites with a global audience as it ensures faster load times regardless of the user's location.
Fragment caching is another option that involves caching specific parts or fragments of a page rather than the entire page. This technique is pretty useful for dynamic pages with some static elements here and there.
Opcode Caching (PHP OpCode Cache)
Opcode caching stores the compiled PHP code in memory and thus eliminating the need to recompile scripts on each request. This is particularly relevant for news websites built with PHP. It speeds up the execution of PHP scripts, contributing to overall server performance.
The effective implementation of a combination of these caching options is crucial for news websites to deliver content swiftly and efficiently to a diverse and information-hungry audience.
6 Most Popular WordPress Caching Plugins for News Website
We’ve curated a list of the best WordPress Plugins that can help you speed up your website.
WP Optimise is much more than just a caching plugin. Over 1 million WordPress website owners across the globe count on it to improve user experiences and Google SERP rankings. This incredibly successful application has everything a news website will require to keep their website fast and fully optimized. WP-Optimize is a ground-breaking all-in-one plugin that cleans database, compresses large images, and caches your site.
WP-Optimize configures itself automatically for WordPress sites. All you have to do is enable it with a single click and fine-tune its settings. The cache preloading feature replicates a site visit, which means cached files are provided immediately, speeding up your site from the first visit. Its GZIP Compression feature sends HTML, CSS, and JS files to the user's browser as smaller, compressed files, cutting page and style sheet sizes by up to 90%.
WP-Optimize offers a free version as well as premium plans. WP-Optimize premium plans cost $49 per year for up to two sites, $99 per year for up to five sites, and $199 per year for unlimited sites.
WP-Optimize Premium version allows users to choose specific tables for optimisation. The premium version also deletes unused images, freeing up precious server space. It also includes lazy loading, which reduces load times by postponing below-the-fold picture loading until the user scrolls to them.. The premium edition also offers precise scheduling, allowing users to select specific periods for cleanup tasks.
WP-Optimize works with the majority of tools and hosts. It does not, however, support third-party CDN integration.
The basic plan, which caters to a single site, costs $49. The mid-tier option, which allows activation on three sites, costs $99. The unlimited sites package is $249 per year.
WP Rocket is the only cache plugin that works with WP Engine's WordPress hosting. Because WP Engine already features a caching mechanism, when you install WP Rocket on a WP Engine-hosted website, the page caching feature is deactivated by default.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a pretty popular and effective WordPress caching plugin. It is a free plugin with over 2 million installations. It creates a static HTML file copy of each page on your site. This way, when someone visits your website, they are offered the duplicated version rather than the entire website. As a result, the speed and performance of your WordPress site improve drastically.
WP Super Cache is a completely free plugin. In case you have a limited budget and you need a viable solution, WP Super Cache is a great option.
WP Super Cache is an excellent all-purpose caching plugin that is compatible with the majority of WordPress website settings.
LiteSpeed Cache is another open-source and free WordPress plugin with over 4 million active installations. It communicates with your LiteSpeed Web Server installation and LSWS's built-in page cache to significantly minimize page load times.
LiteSpeed Cache is an all-in-one site acceleration solution with comprehensive cache-management tools and optimisation features. Your news website can use LiteSpeed to have all the benefits of page speed best practices that result in a high PageSpeed score and, more significantly, an amazing user experience.
LiteSpeed Cache is a free, open-source plugin.
LiteSpeed Cache allows server-level full-page caching plus private caching of personalised pages. It also supports crawlers to search for and refresh redundant cached pages.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache (W3TC) improves your site's SEO, Core Web Vitals, and user experience by speeding up and shortening load times. This is achieved by using capabilities such as content delivery network (CDN) integration and the most latest best practices. W3 Total Cache is presently used by over 1 million websites.
It includes essential functionalities like Page Caching, Browser Caching, Database Caching, and Object Caching support, which collectively contribute to faster page load times. The plugin goes beyond basic optimizations with advanced features such as minification and reducing file sizes to enhance efficiency.
W3 Total Cache provides Automatic CDN support, integrating content delivery networks to distribute resources globally. Another feature is Lazy Loading of Images/Media, improving user experience by loading visuals only as they come into view.
While these features are powerful, some may require the Pro version of the plugin.
There is a free version of W3 Total Cache accessible from WordPress.org, as well as a Pro edition. The Pro version, however, is only available in-app within the free plugin interface, unlike most other plugins.
1 Site License costs $99 per year, 5 Site Licenses cost $70 per license, and 10 Site Licenses cost $500 per year.
WP Fastest Cache
WP Fastest Cache is known for its simplicity and ease of use. And the best part- it has a free version too.
WP Fastest Cache is among top-performing caching plugins providing essential features like HTML and CSS Minification and Browser Caching. While the free version covers the basics, you can also explore the premium options.
The WP Fastest Cache Premium offers multiple options like Bronze ($49) for a single-site license, Silver ($125) for three site licenses, and Gold ($175) for five site licenses, and more.
A fast-loading website is no longer a good-to-have feature but a must-have feature; . Readers expect a website to load in no longer than a few seconds. Start exploring caching plugins if you haven’t already and ace your user engagement.