What is Website Caching and Why is it so Important?
What Is Caching?
A server or a device that loads a website can collect data. This process is known as caching. Computers have a dedicated cache, which they use to store data from web pages. By doing this, computers can deliver a more efficient end-user experience.
Let’s look at a situation where a person visits your website for the first time. Then that person will use his device to request data related to the website. The request will be accepted by the server, which will process it. Then the web page will be served back to the end-user. This will be done in the form of an HTML file. If site caching is turned on in the end device, the HTML file will be stored in memory. Whenever that person requests the same web page again, there is no need to send a request to the server and download a new HTML file. An HTML file is already available in the local machine, and it is possible to pull up that file for loading.
This is a basic idea of what caching is all about. It would be best to keep in mind that caching is not something permanent. It will get cleared after a specific time. However, if the content on a website gets changed, that particular change should be made visible immediately. This is where you will come across the need to clear the cache.
Types of Caching
When it comes to website caching, you will have two main options to consider. They include browser caching and server caching.
1- Browser caching
2- Server caching
Server caching is the mechanism where the webserver will take all your requests and store them. Then it will go ahead and serve the results accordingly. This ensures that you get great functionality at the end of the day.
Apart from these terms, you might also come across technical terms such as full page cache and object cache. Both these are server caching methodologies. We have been discussing full-page caching. Instead of caching the entire website, it is also possible to store only specific data. That’s where object caching would come into play. Likewise, you will have numerous concepts to explore as you learn more about what is caching.
The Benefits of Caching
Cached pages can deliver numerous benefits. Let’s look at some of the most prominent advantages you can get out of them.
1- Improve website performance
2- Reducing expenses
3- You can view cached pages
How Cached Pages Are Served
As you view cached pages and experience the benefits of caching, you should also figure out how they are being served. The understanding you currently have of how a website is being operated will benefit this. When you visit a website for the first time, it will be loaded regularly. For example, the request will be accepted and processed within the server. This will ensure that the web page content is transformed into the HTML file, which is visible on the website browser of the client device.
The HTML file will be stored within the Random Access Memory or RAM upon turning on site caching. When a user revisits the same website, the browser can access the cached file already available in RAM. This delivers a quicker experience at the end of the day. If you don’t want this to happen, you can delete cookies. There are tutorials on how to delete cookies from Chrome. You can follow such a method and get rid of the cached websites already saved in your memory.
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How Long Does Cached Data Remain
The time that cached data remains in your memory is not exact. Multiple factors contribute to the length of stay for cached website data. The size of cache memory available on the device is one such factor. When it comes to server caching, server capacity and the allocated space are the main reasons. This is why Google’s webpage cache can effectively catch large volumes of data. If you are looking for a quick and effective method to visit cached websites, you may look at the Google webpage cache without keeping a doubt in mind.
Is Caching Really Effective?
If a website is properly designed and coded, it will only take seconds to load up on the client device. Hence, some people wonder whether caching is effective or not. Caching is highly beneficial. That’s because it provides a helping hand to load a website within a relatively short time. If you want to learn more, you may go through the section where we discussed the benefits of caching again. Then you can continue to enjoy all the great benefits that come with caching.
How Cached Pages Are Served
The HTML file will be saved in the Random Access Memory (RAM) when site caching is enabled. When a user returns to the same page, the browser may retrieve the cached file already stored in RAM. This results in a faster experience. If you don’t want this to happen, erase the cookies. How to erase cookies in Chrome is covered in tutorials. You may use this approach to delete any cached URLs that have already been stored in your memory.
But What if My Content Changes?
If there is a change in the website content, it will not be reflected in the locally stored cache. Therefore, you should think about a method to update the cache. By deleting the cache, it is possible to get the job done. We will share how you can delete cookies and cached websites in the upcoming section. Then you will be able to follow the steps to delete cookies from Chrome and then reload the website. Once you fill it, you can quickly clear the cache and get a new HTML file from the server with updated content.
How Can I Clear My Cache
There are multiple methods available for you to clear your browser cache. We will share the steps to do it on Google Chrome. The steps are pretty much similar for other internet browsers as well.
As the first thing, you should open up the menu of your web browser. You can do this from the top right-hand corner. Then you need to navigate to settings. Under settings, you may select Privacy and Security. Now you can click on the option named “Clear Browsing Data.”
You can now configure the data that you wish to clear. However, we strongly encourage you to remove All Time data. Then you will not have to worry too much about anything. As you clear, you will also see an option named “Cached images and files.” If you only select this and clear it, you will only be removing the cache, and nothing else will be impacted. Upon doing these configurations, you can click on the Clear data button to immediately clear the cache.
You learned about caching and clearing the cache for one site from this article. Ensure that you keep this knowledge in mind, which will be helpful during certain instances as you work with web cache.