Chapter 6: Caching & CDNs – Blazing Speed
Most bloggers I come across only have a slight inkling of what a Caching plugin does, just that they know they need one. As for having a CDN installed, I’d say roughly 99.9% don’t and don’t know what it is. If you already have it on your site, for purposes of this audit, test your page with it enabled, versus with it deactivated. You should see a substantial difference. If not, or your site actually loads faster without them, then it’s time to replace them with better ones.
Caching makes WordPress websites faster and reduces the load on the webserver. This is why every site should strive to use as much caching as possible. In addition, in the case of CDN caching, it also reduces the amount of server bandwidth required to generate a pageview by storing static resources external from that of your WordPress host.
I emphatically recommend to all bloggers WP Rocket Caching plugin – it’s affordable at $49/yr, feature-packed, an easy to understand dashboard and setup, and just plain works and plays nice with all plugins. Check out my WP Rocket Settings tutorial.
Content Delivery Network (CDN) : In 99.9% of scenarios, it will have a huge impact on the speed of your site. Depending on the location of the data center your site is hosted on, and the location of your visitors, I’ve seen a CDN decrease load times by over 50%!
I recommend Cloudflare CDN & Security service as it’s a one-two punch that both speeds up your website and makes it more secure, for FREE! Yes, you don’t need to be on the paid plan starting out to reap the benefits. Check out my Cloudflare CDN Settings tutorial.
Caching combined with a CDN benefits:
- Improves Site Speed by Reducing TTFB: by shortening the geographical distance between the Web Visitor and your server by the use of a globally distributed CDN with Cached files.
- Keeps Hosting Costs steady: by offloading upwards of 50-75% of your bandwidth onto Cloudflare, you’re not having to pay for traffic surges and won’t have to upgrade your hosting near as often as without a CDN.
- High-availability and Scalability: If one CDN server goes down, another has your back. If you get a huge Traffic spike from your viral post you’re covered, CDN’s were built for scalability from the get-go.
- SEO Advantages: Google made site speed a ranking factor back in 2010, so it is no secret that a faster website could result in higher rankings. Google rewards fast sites.
- Additional Security: Cloudflare CDN provides additional security by implementing a web application firewall (WAF), and putting you behind a proxy that helps to hide your origin IP address, and much more to keep out bad Hackers.