Caching Methods for your Website

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Written by Dennis Nind

Last published at: February 8th, 2019

Here at Brixly, we offer a large number of caching methods all designed to improve site loading performance of your website or blog. Unlike many hosts, our belief is that the performance for your site should come be handled at 'server level' as opposed to using tons of 'plugins' in your site. Whilst we are 'optimized' by default using our incredibly efficient 'stack' (mod_lsapi / nginx reverse proxy) we do have a number of facilities available to improve page loading times even further. The majority of the following caching methods completely remove 'apache' from your site and content is instead served 'natively' by nginx / PHP-FPM. As Apache is generally the bottleneck for performance, this vastly improves loading times but disables the use of .htaccess files. Please note that whilst the following optimisations and performance enhancements are available, if you are uncomfortable or unsure with how any of them work then we would recommend you remain using the default 'proxy' method - as mentioned, we have already taken care of much of the optimisation work for you without any intervention from your end. You can then simply install the caching plugin of your choice via the WordPress plugins search facility. Alternatively, you can contact support if you are unsure, or need any assistance.

WordPress Caching

By default, your WordPress site will be using our 'nginx first' reverse proxy to httpd / apache (running mod_lsapi) - this is incredibly performant by default, however you are able to enable everything from full page caching through to nginx-only support for some of the most popular WordPress caching plugins...

Full Page Caching (powered by Redis)

Our 'full page cache' allows you to serve your site or blog as though it were 'static' / built in HTML. This is by far the fastest type of cache and is served from RAM / Memory (therefore is incredibly efficient) - this is the perfect caching method for sites whereby the content is only updated infrequently, such as a static / brochure type site built in WordPress.

WordPress Full Page Cache

The 'WordPress Full Page Cache' template allows your site to be cached automatically. The cache is built when the page is first 'hit' and stored in Memory - from that point onwards the page will be served directly from the server cache. It is recommended that you hide the 'Admin Toolbar' if you are enabling this cache method. The cache is cleared automatically every 10 minutes. If you want to instead cache your site until you make changes, see the 'WordPress Full Page Cache + nginx Helper' option

WordPress Full Page Cache + nginx Helper

Similar to the 'WordPress Full Page Cache', this caching method caches the full page to memory on first 'hit' of a page. From that point onwards, the page will be served directly from the server cache. It is recommended that you hide the 'Admin Toolbar' using this cache method. This caching method requires you to install the 'nginx helper' plugin (found in the WordPress plugins search) - this will 'flush' the caches for any changes you make within WordPress, such as changing the contents of the page. The nginx helper plugin also provides you with a 'Purge Cache' option, which will allow you to manually flush the server caches. The cache doesn't have an expiry, therefore will remain cached until cleared / purged via the nginx helper plugin.

Wordpress + W3 Total Cache

If you want to use the W3 Total Cache plugin, but benefit from the performance increase of using 'native' nginx then selecting this template will automatically load the 'nginx' directives (.htaccess alternatives) for your WordPress site.

Wordpress + WP Super Cache

If you want to use the W3 Super Cache plugin, but benefit from the performance increase of using 'native' nginx then selecting this template will automatically load the 'nginx' directives (.htaccess alternatives) for your WordPress site.

Wordpress + WP Rocket (Recommended)

If you want to use the WP Rocket plugin, but benefit from the performance increase of using 'native' nginx then selecting this template will automatically load the 'nginx' directives (.htaccess alternatives) for your WordPress site. By selecting this template, we automatically enable the same features as provided by 'Rocket Nginx' which is an nginx set of directives designed to increase loading times for your WordPress website when using the WP Rocket plugin. The WP Rocket plugin is a commercial product and can be purchased here.

Drupal Caching

By default, your Drupal site will be using our 'nginx first' reverse proxy to httpd / apache (running mod_lsapi) - this is incredibly performant by default, however you are able to also enable...

Drupal Full Page Cache

The 'Drupal Full Page Cache' template allows your site to be cached automatically. The cache is built when the page is first 'hit' and stored in Memory - from that point onwards the page will be served directly from the server cache.

Proxy Cache

Unlike the caching methods mentioned above, the proxy cache still allows full use of the .htaccess file and is therefore still 'reverse proxied' to Litespeed PHP. Enabling Proxy Cache enables caching your static resources, such as images, CSS, JS into the server memory, and works in a similar way to the CloudFlare CDN. Your images, CSS and JavaScript files will be cached unless you explicitly state 'no-cache' headers.