WordPress Caching is a necessary evil. There, I said it!

I know in one of my previous posts I have advocated to NOT use caching plugins but if you are on a shared hosting – you might not have a choice when put in front of simple dilemma – reduce CPU usage that your blog consumes or go look for a new host…

I love Hostgator for on simple reason – they are willing to work with you to address the issues but that might require YOU working with THEM and implement WordPress Caching. So in this article I will share how I have done it…

One of the main reasons I’m against using current breed of caching solutions for WordPress is that they break functionality of the plugins I consider MUST HAVE for a blog. But what if you MUST? Well, then we have to find ways to work around the issues, because implementation of caching DOES greatly help your WordPress blog!

Implementing WordPress Caching Mechanism

For majority of WordPress bloggers it will be as simple as installing WP Super Cache plugin and then enabling Caching. There are a few more things we will have to do to ensure that this plugin plays nicely with our WordPress blog fully enabled for interactivity but we will get to it in a bit…

VPS or Dedicated Hosting

Yep, if you are on a dedicated host or have a VPS you have a few more options under your control to get even more performance out of your WordPress blog Caching. Optimizing your server on back end ( Apache, PHP and MySQL ) is a MUST if you have an option to do so. I want to provide some links that should help you with your task…

  • Jeff at CodingHorror talked about high CPU usage of WordPress on Windows based server and managed to get a reply from Matt with his recommendations for MySQL database settings to squeeze every bit of performance from database.
  • Elliot posted nearly a year ago article on Why His WordPress blog is faster and as far as I’m concerned it has great info, specifically him pointing to eAccelerator. If you have the option – install the PHP acceleator to gain huge performance boost. Plus he provides links to a whole range of useful posts on the topic ala Lorelle VanFossen 😆 A great resource by itself!

Making Your Dynamic WordPress Blog Work With WP-Super-Cache

Don’t get me wrong – I think the plugin is great but if you simply implement it and expect everything to work – you will be in for a shocking experience! Some plugins will simply refuse to work properly and you have a good chance of getting errors or failures from some dynamic pages.

So, let me begin with simple – Excluding Pages or files from Caching

In image below I have specified to exclude 2 pages that have a Dagon Design Form Mail on it and rely on dynamic nature of the WordPress to work properly: About and Advertise. I have also excluded feed as I have seen some people complaining that WP-Super-Cache breaks their feed.

wp-super-cahce settings

Now, that ensures that Pages that require Dynamic interaction (content form) will function on my blog as designed! But still leaves a few plugins that have HUGE issues with WP-Super-Cache plugin. And I provide some links to solutions that work like a charm for me…

Both fixes come from Omninogin blog run by Thaya Kareeson and provide very elegant solution to 2 major issues I had with WP-Super-Cache plugin:

  • Popularity Contest. By default it relies on dynamic data provided by your blog to define the popularity of one or another post and since caching replaces dynamic pages with statically saved – it breaks this plugin functionality. Thaya provides not only solution but a complete plugin files that work with 2.3 and 2.5 WordPress blog.
  • Post Views. This is another plugin which is not too critical but I like its functionality and rely on it in couple of my pages – 404 Error page is one example. Thaya also manages to address this one and I think Lester is actually planning to integrate it into his official plugin but until he does – get your files here.

If you have any other plugins that rely on dynamic data you will ave to search for your own solution but steps outlined above ensured that WP-Super-Cache plugin works quite nicely on my own WordPress blog and doesn’t break any functionality. If I missed something – I would appreciate the feedback! Making WordPress Caching work properly might be an absolute requirement once your blog starts getting 20+ concurrent visitors and options I have provided above should help!