When does caching become necessary?

When does a caching plugin becomes necessary? Is it more needed for exceptionally busy sites? Or, is it dependent upon the server environment (ie, shared hosting, old PHP, or whatever)? I’m getting great performance from ClassicPress without a caching plugin and just curious what triggers are used to determine if such a plugin is needed.

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For me, it’s always necessary, to get anywhere near the results you get at GTmetrix.

Looking at your page source, I’m not surprised. But I don’t have the skills to do that, so using WP Fastest Cache does the next best thing for me.

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I only use it for redis caching; page cache and database cache, that way, my website can run thousand of request without getting in too much trouble, and yes, my main site is sometimes busy whenever I update maybe a new track, so this is really saving my ass!

Other than that, it’s not that necessary, that is just me

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I use a caching plugin for similar reasons to @Horlaes, albeit that I use Memcached instead of Redis.

Most of my sites are membership sites or intranets where page caching actually harms performance rather than helping it, but using object caching significantly reduces the load on the server and allows for large numbers of people to be logged in and active on the site without impinging on performance.

Oh, and by the way, I use Litespeed Cache. It works well without a Litespeed server, but is obviously designed to work best in conjunction with one. (If you’re currently on Apache, you would see a performance boost by switching to Litespeed, and I’m told that it’s a fairly painless transition.)

EDIT:

Yes, it does have a CDN option.

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  1. You should optimize your website & hosting without any caching and CDN turned on. Using Cloudfare? Pause website!

One more time: you should do everything possible your website loads as fast as it can. For most websites, it is about 1 - 1.5 sec. Check TTFB to evaluate your hosting.

  1. If your website have huge traffic, which your hosting can’t handle, use caching. Until 1000 pageviews/day don’t bother with it.

Caching is not without drawbacks, it brings its own problems. If you can live without - go ahead. If you want to hide poor performance of hosting or your website - please, don’t do it, it’s a cancer treatment by doing face makeup. Not effective.

  1. If your website have huge traffic from different locations - you can start to consider CDN.

Resume: your site should be fast, use caching for huge traffic handling and CDN for huge traffic from different worldwide locations. Crappy shared hosting and old PHP should be fixed by changing hosting, not by mocking problems with cache plugin.

Regarding your website: timing is more or less acceptable, but I see, that you host on a busy shared server. OK, I promise to sponsor you a managed VPS with some elitist stack to host your website and compare with. After 2-3 months it will be available (I hope), I will contact you.

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I’m not on a shared server…it’s a VPS running PHP 7.2.

At this point, there’s only a couple hundred pageviews a day. The site and hosting are highly optimized and I use Autoptimize to lessen requests/bandwidth. At this point, it’s faster than most *Press sites… just wondering when (if ever) I’ll need to look at actual caching.

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You don’t need it! But once you are getting thousands of page views, you can use object caching, that way you won’t repeatedly query the DB.

I am a regualar user of your site, and it loads super fast

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A VPS? Then I didn’t like the first waterfall line of your report. To my taste, the first response should be faster.

Until your server can handle it without speed penalty - it is OK not to use cache. 1000 pageviews per day, even if your server can handle it, you can start considering.

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Couple of hundred a day? Dont worry about caching, seriously people selling cache plugins will tell you you need to buy a cache plugin. When I first started with WP many many years ago the 1st plugin people would install is AIOSEO … now days the 1st plugin they install is a cache plugin with 20 million options all designed to chase the magic 100% unicorn score.
I have one of our servers doing 30 requests per second, do the maths its 2.5 million hits per day, no cache.
Edit: and yes its a $20 VPS.

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Mine’s also a $20/VPS…and I’m already getting the magic unicorn score. Ok, points taken… I’ll revisit caching if I ever manage to get over 1000 pageviews a day.

Edit: I’ve moved some posts to this thread to avoid hijacking the other thread.

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The screenshots clearly show the benefit of using caching on a site using Elementor. Notice the TTFB time without caching.

This site is on shared hosting in Singapore and tested from Canada.

When tested from Sydney, page load is 1.9 Sec and TTFB is 300 ms

I am using the free version of WP Fastest Cache, not the paid version.

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Thanks for sharing the screenshots… it definitely makes a noticeable difference there.

Hi,
Thanx for splitting this thread. The reason I brought up a caching plugin had nothing to do with speed or performance of ClassicPress - in fact its much faster.

To clarify. The easiest way to hook a CDN (Content Delivery Network) into a WordPress (and now ClassicPress) website is via a caching plugin. So that was my reason for asking about it. I should have been more clear on that.

As @Aussie points out, most people should take advantage of a caching plugin - different topic. But some clients with heavy use sites (via traffic or types of plugins) do need caching.

Thanx everyone for leaving your replies - I have 2 or 3 plugins to consider specifically for ClassicPress. :slight_smile:

Cheers
Avrom

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I’ve never found a need for a caching plugin. I tested a while back and it made no difference to me (but the sites I manage don’t get thousands of hits per day either).

As others have said… keep the site optimised and light, and have good hosting. Most of my sites are <1 second page load.

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I only use a cache plugin if necessary and sometimes I do find it is necessary. I run my own VPS so I know that is as optimised as it can be. But some sites with hefty plugins struggle without some help. I also find caching can make a big difference on image-heavy sites too (sites with large photo galleries for instance) even if the images are as squished as they possibly can be. Sometimes I do use lazy loading but I don’t always like the effect that has.

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I avoid those!

Actually that’s a good point. I do manage one site for a photographer and not sure if I have ever tested a caching plugin on that one. I’ll try it and see if it has an effect.

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Have you tried Chrome’s new lazy loading feature? I never did lazy loading before for images because I found that it provided a horrible user experience, but Chrome does it well.

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Does it well on chromium browsers!

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I’ve read about it and it does sound good but haven’t tried it yet. I think I need to have a play.