Website Caching is a technique to reduce the server load by sending visitors of the website static pages instead of dynamic ones whenever that is feasible.
A normal request would query the database of the website and run all the commands referenced in the php files of the site (in the case of WordPress). That's usually not a huge problem unless your website gets hit by a storm of visitors, say because it was linked on a very popular website or if it is just that popular.
Many websites go down if visitors reach a critical level, usually because the site can't keep up anymore with the requests that visitors create. Many web hosting companies disable websites when that is happening, especially if the plan that is used is a cheap one. Often, this is combined with an offer to switch to a higher paying plan so that additional resources are assigned to the website in question. And yes, Ghacks has been disabled in the past as well because of it using too many server resources.
Caching can help to reduce the load which means that the server or host can serve additional visitors without slowing page loads to a crawl or getting shut down by the hosting company.
It can also decrease page load times which is the obvious benefit for visitors. I decided to give the WordPress plugin Super Cache a try. It is basically the most advanced caching plugin for WordPress. Installation was quite difficult because of server permissions that had to be changed to run the script properly.
The script is now working properly and I could not discover any errors or problems so far. It would be nice if you would let me know if you encounter any errors on my website so that I can fix them asap.
Caching can have its disadvantages as well. Sometimes, visitors may receive old versions of a page because the old page is cached even though a new version is available. All in all though it helps keep a site speedy.
Update: We have switched to the premium plugin WP-Robot instead for WordPress as it offers better functionality and seems to run better on this site.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.