An Introduction to GridPane Server Caching Options

4 min read

If you’re new to GridPane, our server caching options may be a little confusing at first, especially if it’s your first time venturing outside of the more traditional caching plugins such as WP Rocket, Swift Performance, W3TC etc etc.

Some of these perform admirably well – especially Rocket and Swift – but they simply can’t perform as well as what our native server caching can offer.

Page Caching and Object Caching

GridPane offers two types of caching: Page caching (2 options available) and object caching.

Our page caching options will cache your individual page assets. Once a page is loaded it creates a static version of it, which can be loaded much faster the next time someone visits that page.

Object caching caches database queries (including things like menu items, breadcrumbs, post author names, dynamically generated archives like blog roll pages etc), which means the database doesn’t need to perform the same queries over each time the page is loaded.

GridPane Page Caching Options

no plugin-based solution will ever match the performance of Nginx server-based static asset and page caching.

FastCGI Caching

FastCGI is perfect for websites with high concurrent traffic (where it has an edge over Redis Nginx Page caching), and it’s also ideal for websites where content regularly changes. For example, popular blogs and news websites that regularly publish new content and/or have active comments, or forums with publically accessible content.

In these cases, microcaching is perfect as it will update the cache in the background each time a visitor loads a page, ensuring that all future visitors are served with the latest content.

For most other use cases where your site traffic isn’t thousands of concurrent visitors hitting your website at the same time, and your content is fairly static, Redis Nginx Page Caching may be a better fit and is what we recommend for most websites.

Redis Nginx Page Caching

Not to be confused with the Redis Object cache, Redis Nginx page caching is another highly performant page caching solution that you can take advantage of on GridPane Nginx servers.

Most of the websites on GridPane use this option and we generally recommend for most websites.

If you’re not experiencing thousands of concurrent visitors hitting your website at the same time, and your content is fairly static, Redis Nginx Page Caching is usually the best option, and this includes both brochure style websites as well as WooCommerce, LMS, and membership sites.

Redis is extremely performant into high levels of concurrent visitors, and it will also auto-purge itself more effectively than FastCGI, which can sometimes use a significant amount of RAM on very large websites, and/or on servers where you have many websites hosted and all utilizing it.

Redis Object Caching

Redis is an open source, in-memory data structure store. For WordPress purposes, it can be used alongside a MySQL database to cache your database queries, and dramatically reduce the number of requests that reach your database, thereby decreasing the amount of work your server needs to do in order to serve up your websites pages.

When a visitor hits a page on your website that hasn’t been cached, MySQL will serve up the information needed, and this will then be cached by Redis so these same queries don’t need to go through MySQL the next time around. When the next visitor comes along, Redis will instead serve the information instead of MySQL.

Reducing the amount of work your server has to do means your website/s will load faster and be able to handle more traffic.

Clearing the Server Caches

We often have people report that the cache clearing doesn’t work correctly, but this is usually traced back to one of the above two caches being cleared, and the other one left. If you’re trying to fully purge the cache on your website you must clear both the Page Cache using the Nginx Helper plugin, and the object cache using the GridPane Object Cache plugin. 

You can clear all your caches inside of your account as well. The easiest way is inside your websites customizer, in the caching tab where you can either clear the page or object cache, or both:

You can also do this inside of your GridPane account using the Self Help tools as shown in the image below:

Getting Started with GridPane Server Caching

The following articles will help you get started using our server caching options. If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend checking out this article on caching strategy first:

Caching Strategy

And you can learn how to set up our different caching options here:

Nginx Redis Caching

FastCGI Caching

Redis Object Caching