Do you want a blazing fast WordPress website? Yes? Then what will you say to the possibility to achieve this with only a couple of clicks? Want to know how it’s done? Well keep on reading!
This post is about utilizing the important caching functionality which each modern website should provide. This reduces the load on your server and improves your loading speed and both of these are extremely important SEO ranking factors.
There are many caching plugins for our good old WordPress, however some of them are just too good! While the two top players on the market are the all-time favorites (W3 Total Cache & WP Super Cache) you will find a third one to compete with them. So without further ado here is the mysterious player – ladies & gentlemen I am proud to present to you ZenCache!
Remember – this wonderful plugin will speed your WordPress with just a few clicks! You don’t believe me? Let’s count!
First of all you need to go to Plugins -> Add New and then type in ZenCache. Then click on Install (that’s one), then on Activate (two) and then on the ZenCache menu in the WordPress Dashboard (three). The fourth click is on the top of the ZenCache settings on the “Yes, enable ZenCache” radio button and the fifth is on the bottom of that page on the “Save All Changes” button. And you are done!
That was way too fast? What about some configuration? Don’t worry – you can still adjust ZenCache to your liking!
You should know that the plugin is already optimized and provides the needed caching functionality by default. However some options are really important and may need your intervention.
*The image above is embedded from the wordpress.org page of the plugin.
Let’s see what we can configure in ZenCache:
You can enable notes in the source code of each page on your WordPress website in order to know that ZenCache is working.
If you allow this there will be a line at the bottom of the source code stating that ZenCache is fully functional and that the cache has been served for that page.
The next step is the possibility to safeguard the plugin against deletion.
Basically this option allows you to uninstall and reinstall ZenCache without loosing settings or the created by the plugin directories. But if you really want to purge the plugin effectively then you should disable this option.
Then you can adjust the options regarding the cache clearing.
By default ZenCache will clear the cache files for all posts, pages (even the custom types), archives, XML sitemaps, feeds, etc when the content on them is updated. My personal recommendation is to allow this functionality as it will save you time, effort, potential problems and most importantly it will ensure that your visitors will always see the actual content and not some old cached version. However if you need some of these to remain uncleared then you can disable this functionality for them.
In the next section you can choose the base cache directory for ZenCache (ie. change it in case you need to do this) and then set the automatic expiration time.
By default it is 7 days which means that each cache version will be showed to the visitors for 7 days without expiring. Well at least until you update your content – then it will be updated as well for a shorter time period. For websites that are not going to be regularly updated you can set a longer time period.
ZenCache also provides the Client-side Cache functionality.
If you enable this then the visitors’ browsers will cache the cached content thus improving the loading speed even more. However by default this is disabled since there might be problems with membership sites (ie. sites that allow the visitors to log in or out). If your website is not such then by any means you should take advantage of the Client-side Cache functionality.
If you are not using SEO-friendly permalinks then you should enable the GET requests caching functionality.
But do not do this if you do! You will have many problems and since nowadays most websites prefer the SEO-friendly way then this functionality is disabled by default.
The same default state applies for the 404 requests!
However if you have a high-traffic website you can always enable this and ZenCache may improve your loading speed even more.
The next disabled by default option is regarding the caching of the RSS, RDF and the Atom feeds.
You should allow this to remain like this unless you are using a web feed management provider like Google’s Feedburner.
The next few settings are regarding the patterns that should be excluded from caching.
ZenCache allows you to set URL, HTTP Referrer and User-Agent Exclusion patterns.
And if you want GZIP compression (and I am 100% sure that you do) then ZenCache provides the necessary lines that you can copy/paste into your .htaccess file!
And last but not least – if you are a theme or plugin developer you can disable the ZenCache caching temporarily in order to work without any problems.
And all of these are just in the free version of ZenCache! If you want more then the PRO one is for you. More information about it can be found on the wordpress.org page of the plugin.
So what are your thoughts friends? Will you use ZenCache? Share this in the comments below.
See you soon!