alex sysoef

WordPress Caching

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!

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16 Responses to “WordPress Caching”

  1. TheSpot-Er,

    Thank you for writing about my fixes. I can confirm that Lester Chan is incorporating the WP-PostViews fix into the next version of WP-PostViews. I haven’t heard from Alex King about the integration status of Popularity Contest. So hopefully this post will give my fixes more exposure so people can start persuading Alex to release a new version of Popularity Contest with these fixes in them.

    Thaya Kareesons last blog post..Creating a Staging WordPress Blog for Testing

    • TheSpot-er says:

      Thanks for comment Thaya!

      Yes, Alex King seem to drop the ball with Popularity Contest …. we can only hope he will at least make it working with WordPress 2.5 as currently it requires jumping through the hoops to get working.

  2. @Alex,

    I haven’t given it too much thought, but I have some ideas for a new stats plugin with new features and better GUI. I really hate to re-invent the wheel, but if Alex King doesn’t re-release his Popularity Contest soon (i.e. before a new major version of WP releases), I’m going to be forced to release a new stats plugin. 🙂

    Thaya Kareesons last blog post..Creating a Staging WordPress Blog for Testing

    • TheSpot-er says:

      Great idea 😀

      I love the Popularity Contest but if support fails – we will e all forced to move to something better supported. I’m sure you will find quite a few people using your creation 😀

  3. Hi Alex, This is comment I tried to leave yesterday:

    This is a great article! I’ve long thought about using one of the caching plugins, but have held back because of concerns over plugins.

    I was actually thinking about hacking WP-PostViews to count views via AJAX, so it’s great to see that there’s a solution and I needn’t waste my time.

    Anyway, I learned a lot from this – Thanks. I’ve stumbled it…

    Stephens last blog post..BullGuard Resolves Customer Service Issue

    • TheSpot-er says:

      Thanks Stephen,

      I agree caching is good and bad at same time. It breaks many plugins that rely on dynamic site. I actually had to change the spam handling plugins due to same issue – result = nearly double amount of comments since I did that! Goes to show that I have lost a lot of good comments since I have implemented WP Super Cache. A lesson learned.

  4. Wp-Super-Cache is freaking amazing for websites when you go hot on Digg! I’ve had one site completely crash due to Digg–a dead site and a pissed off webhost are not worth it.

    MJs last blog post..SEO Challenge – Learn SEO!

  5. Alex Newell says:

    Thanks for the “heads up” Alex. I use WP Super Cache in a shared hosting account and I am very pleased with it. I’m very aware of plugin conflicts and would not have suspected this plugin at all!

    Thanks again!

    Alex Newell

    Alex Newells last blog post..Keyword Research Delusions and Disappointments…

  6. Sajid says:

    I love the Popularity Contest but if support fails

    I agree caching is good and bad at same time.


  7. Your post is very timely. I just learned about WP caching today and it is on my “to do” list ti find out more about it. I appreciate the clear, concise post and will gladly heed your warnings about trying to work around plugin issues. I did not know that was an issue. You would think by now I would have learned my lesson about plugins but no… if they say they do something, I assume they will – Again, Thanks!
    .-= Debra Harrison´s last blog ..Book Collecting Software =-.

  8. Kenney says:

    Alex thank you for this article…I have supercache on my blogs but have not seen a great increase in loading speed…I may be looking for something that is not there…Anyway I would look into postviews…thanks again…
    .-= Kenney´s last blog ..Jesus I Trust in You =-.

    • TheSpotter says:


      I checked your blogs – on Super Cache seem to be installed but not working. Check all your settings as it doesn’t cache your pages right now. On your other blog I don’t see it installed.


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