Your website is one of your biggest assets today – and faster loading speeds are a matter of course. If you want faster loading speed for your e-commerce websites, then you should look into your website cache.

Caching is a little tweak that carries a lot of impact.

But what is website cache? How will it help you? In this article, you will learn the benefits of managing website caching for your online business in the Philippines. Let’s dive right in.

Website caching example

What Is Website Caching: The Basics

Internet load speed is something that people overlook when it’s working well. Still, it will occupy their attention when it’s not working well.

Think back on the last time that you opened a webpage to shop.

You were probably excited about what you wanted to look for and barely noticed the loading screen. On the other hand, a loading screen lasting a couple of seconds might have been enough to shift your emotions from excitement to boredom, then to frustration.

The same is true for your audience. According to Google, page loading speed directly contributes to page bounce, with bounce likelihood increasing to 32% as loading times climb to 3 seconds.

Website caching is a technology used to counter this.

A web cache is a standard web process where you store frequently accessed data and static web content on the client or server side, which is what is called a memory cache. HTML pages, images, files, multimedia content, and temporary files will be stored.

Thus, your website will only need to transmit fewer things over the internet, resulting in faster load times.

To understand better what cache is and how it works, let’s delve deeper into this technology.

Understanding How Website Cache Works

Imagine you’re at a large library looking for a specific book.

The first time you go, it takes some time because the librarian has to check the system, walk through several aisles, and finally fetch the book for you. This is similar to visiting a website without caching; the browser has to fetch the information you want from the server each time you ask for it, which can take time.

Say the librarian remembers you and the book you often ask for. Instead of repeating the entire process, the librarian keeps your book at the desk (the cache location). The librarian immediately hands you the book the next time you come in. You won’t have to wait; the librarian won’t have to walk around.

This is what caching does for websites.

Elements like images, texts, and website templates are stored or cached on your computer. 

The next time you visit the same website, your computer doesn’t have to get all the requested data again from the website’s server; it already has the necessary data in a storage space. The web page loads faster for you, making your experience smoother and more pleasant.

This caching process also happens at multiple levels.

Data can be cached on the cache client side (the browser accessing the site), the server side (the website accessed), and through intermediate points (such as content delivery networks or CDNs).

Benefits of cache on a checkout page

Benefits of Website Cache for Improved Performance

Granted, the website cache system is a great technology – but why should you care? How will caring about loading speeds affect your business?

This section will tackle the specific and immediate benefits that optimizing your website cache will have on your e-commerce system performance.

Let’s see some of the benefits of caching below:

  • Faster website load speed: Load speed is one of the biggest factors for website engagement and discoverability. When websites load quickly, your customers’ experiences on your website are better. This makes them more likely to stay and shop.
  • Decreased server load: Caching reduces the work for the servers (computers that host the website). This is especially important when many people visit the site at the same time, like during sales or campaigns. It ensures your website stays and runs smoothly.
  • Decreased bandwidth usage: Memory caching helps to use less internet data, which can save money and make the website more accessible to people with slow internet or limited data plans.
  • Better crawling by search engine: Faster websites are critical for SEO. Thus, your optimized site is more likely to appear higher in search results, attracting more visitors.
  • More visitors: By making the server’s job easier, more potential customers can visit the website without causing problems – great for growing businesses.
  • Improves shopping experience. A smooth and efficient website works well even during busy times or if there are problems with the server. This makes shopping more enjoyable and reliable for your customers, giving you a favorable reputation.

Chances are, a lot of your customers in the Philippines love to shop online. Not one of them would like a slow and buggy website that crashes during peak hours. You don’t need a web expert to tell you that.

But that’s exactly what happens if you don’t implement website caching right.

On the other hand, caching helps online stores run faster, handle more visitors, and provide a better shopping experience. This is critical if you want to gain an edge over your competitors and capture as much of the market as possible.

The next sections will examine the specific aspects of these benefits.

Other types of caches

There are cache types for your computer’s functions’ hardware or software components.

Some of the most integral are the primary cache memory (also called L1 cache) and the secondary cache memory (L2 cache), which are caches in your computer hardware. The L1 cache is located on the processor core. In contrast, the L2 cache is a buffer between RAM (random access memory) and the CPU (central processing unit). 

Other hardware cache types include disk cache, CPU cache, GPU (graphics processing unit) cache, instruction cache, write-through cache for write operations, and more.

A cache that deals with your own computer’s data retrieval is called a hardware-based cache. It’s typically to help your computer processor function better. Without it, you will have a slower main memory and an overall slower experience.

Implementing Cache for Dynamic and Static Content

There are different caching approaches for various types of website content.

There’s a caching method for remembering and reusing parts of the website that don’t change often (static content) and managing the parts that change based on what users do (dynamic content) in smart ways.

If you are still learning how to develop your e-commerce website, mastering these varying approaches can help you optimize your strategy. You’ll know what to do and when.

Static Content Caching

Some parts of the website include static content like images, CSS files (which decide how a website looks), and JavaScript files. These become static data stored on the cache location or temporary storage.

Here are some ways to cache static content:

  • Use browser caching: Tell visitors’ web browsers to store data for a certain period so they don’t have to download them again each time they visit.
  • Set expiration headers: These instructions tell the browser how long to remember specific files, reducing the need to repeatedly fetch them from the server.
  • Leverage a content delivery network (CDN): CDNs store copies of your static content on multiple servers worldwide, delivering it from the closest location to each visitor and speeding up loading times.

If you want to implement better caching systems but don’t know where to start, implementing cache rules for static content is a great first step. It will give your website distinct advantages without the complexity of storing dynamic content.

Dynamic Content Caching

Dynamic content, like user profiles or search results, is personalized and changes frequently. Caching data like this requires you to use more sophisticated techniques.

Let’s see some of them below:

  • Use edge side includes (ESI): This allows parts of a web page to be cached and others not, which is helpful for pages with static and dynamic content.
  • Implement cache invalidation: This method updates the cache whenever the dynamic content changes, ensuring users see the most recent version.
  • Personalized caching rules: Since dynamic content varies by user, setting up rules that define how different types of content are cached based on user behavior or profiles can help manage caching more effectively.

While dynamic content is more complex, it also gives direct advantages to web pages. Most websites have a hybrid of static and dynamic content – using only static content caching methods still leaves much room for complex content to use up bandwidth and server workload. 

This is all the more true for e-commerce websites, with its vast array of products, descriptions, profile-optimized offers, and more. Your online store benefits the most from implementing dynamic and static data cache systems.

Different types of website caching

Different Types of Website Caching

There are different types of website caching, depending on the type of website that you have: static or dynamic, and each serving different functions. Understanding and implementing the right type of caching based on your website’s content and how users interact with it will boost your performance.

Before you can implement it, you need to know the most common types of website caching:

  • Full page cache: This is like taking a snapshot of a webpage and keeping it ready to show anyone who asks for it. It’s best used for pages that don’t change often and can be shown to multiple people without needing personalization.
  • Object cache: This method stores parts of a webpage, such as database queries or complex PHP objects, so they don’t need to be recreated whenever needed. It’s useful for speeding up parts of your site that retrieve data from the server frequently but don’t change with every page load.
  • Browser cache: This cache accesses stored data (like images, CSS, and JavaScript) directly on the computer’s main memory and other cache locations. The next time they visit the site, their browser can load these files from its storage instead of downloading them again. This method is great for static content that doesn’t change often.

Knowing when and how to use each type of caching allows for a tailored approach perfectly suited to your needs. Each type of caching has its own benefits and use cases. You can even use them together to maximize your website’s performance.

Implementing the correct caching strategies ensures that websites are efficient, robust, and quick, keeping visitors happy and engaged.

Server-side Caching vs. Client-side Caching

There are two main types of caching methods: server-side caching and client-side caching

Each plays a vital role in enhancing website performance, especially for e-commerce sites. In the e-commerce game, speed equals sales. Thus, you need to be well-versed in these types of caching methods, as well as learn when and how to implement them for maximized utility.

Server-side Caching

Server-side caching stores website content on the web server – where your website is stored.

When someone visits a website, the server delivers a stored copy instead of generating each page from scratch. This is much faster. This is especially useful for e-commerce websites as there are parts of a website that don’t change often, such as product listings.

Implementing server-side caching typically involves configuring the web server or using caching tools designed to work with your website’s backend technology.

This means either simple plugins in your CMS or custom caching solutions for more specific needs. Speak to your webmaster or ask a professional for guidance on what you need. Another option is to consider using a headless CMS that allows you to use server-side caching.

Client-side Caching

Client-side caching happens on the visitor’s browser.

When you visit a website for the first time, elements like images, CSS, and JavaScript files are stored on your computer or mobile device. The next time you visit that website, your browser loads those elements from its cache rather than downloading them again.

Implementing client-side caching involves setting HTTP headers to instruct browsers how long to store the cached content. You’ll see these options through your website’s server configuration or content delivery network settings.

Ecommerce website example

Considerations for E-commerce Websites

You need to implement a robust website caching system to make your business website run faster and better. A good system will make your website run faster, improve the shopping experience, and boost sales. But you can’t just implement a caching strategy randomly – you need to consider your business needs and goals.

Below, you can see what you need to have in mind when designing your website’s caching system:

  • Balancing dynamic and static content: Your sites will have a mix of dynamic and static content. Figuring out how to cache static content efficiently while ensuring dynamic content is updated and accurate (like stock levels or prices) is key.
  • User experience: Tailoring the caching strategy to enhance your user experience is crucial. This means ensuring that pages load quickly and users see the most current versions.
  • Cache invalidation: Knowing when and how to clear the cache (cache invalidation). This ensures that these updates are reflected to the customer when your product information or prices change without delay.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, your caching strategy must handle increased traffic without compromising performance. Planning for scalability involves using distributed caching mechanisms or cloud-based solutions.
  • Security and privacy: Ensuring your cached data does not compromise user privacy or security is critical. Be especially careful with pages that contain personal customer information or payment details.

By carefully considering these factors, you can create a caching strategy that enhances your site’s performance and makes users happy. Customers enjoy a fast, seamless shopping experience, and businesses benefit from increased sales and customer loyalty – always a win-win.

Final Thoughts

Your online store’s loading speed is more important than you think – but the solution is easy. 

Website caching is one of the most significant things you can do to improve your website’s loading speed. But not many online business owners in the Philippines know what it is and how to implement it.

This article gave you all the information you need about website caching. With this, you can easily implement a good caching strategy that considers your business goals, needs, and current website capabilities.

Create a fast-loading website. Enjoy increased sales and customer loyalty!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cache miss?

A cache miss is when the website tries to retrieve data from the cache but can’t find what it’s looking for in the cache memories. This is the opposite of a cache hit – when the requested data is successfully found in the memory addresses. A cache miss results in slower load times.

What is associative cache mapping?

Associative cache mapping is a technique where the mapping of main memory blocks to cache blocks is flexible, allowing a main memory block to be stored in any cache block. This method is known as fully associative cache mapping. This is in contrast to a direct-mapped cache, where the same data can only be stored in one possible place in the cache.

What is a non-volatile storage technology?

Non-volatile storage technology is a type of computer memory that retains stored information without power, such as flash or read-only memory (ROM). Its opposite is the volatile memory (for example, virtual memory), which requires constant power to retain data.