Hola! This is SwiftCache Lite’s very first blog post and we are super excited to introduce the awesomeness of cache technology to you and your business!
To get everyone warmed up for it, we will introduce the most basic, yet also one of the most crucial benefits of web caching – SPEED.
But before we dive right into today’s topic, there is a more compelling question that needs to be answered; who or what business needs web caching? In most cases, that will point to the Internet/Wifi Service Providers, Education Institutes, e-Commerce businesses, Hotels, Gaming (including LAN gaming centers & mobile games), Enterprises… the list goes on but you get the picture – any business providing internet or wifi service (either to public or private users), or delivering various digital media content such as videos and images that are heavy on bandwidth consumption will find a use for web caching; not least because of its many benefits which we will cover in separate blog posts.
So…What is web cache?
When a user tries to visit a website, his/her request is processed by the origin server (original location of the content). The origin then retrieves the requested content, and sends it to the user’s screen.
However, with web caching, the cache simply remembers the previous requests made by the user. So when the user requests a page that he/she had visited previously, the request will be sent to the cache to retrieve the content instead of the longer route of sending the request all the way back to the origin. This means that the cached content is closer to the user, thus, resulting in quicker response time.
There are generally 2 types of web cache; browser cache and proxy cache. As the name indicates, the browser cache is simply the cache in web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari etc. It caters only to one person – the user. Whereas for a proxy cache (such as SwiftCache Lite), it is often provided by corporations and ISPs to serve a much larger group of users. This in turn reduces latency and network traffic.
Dynamic and Static Caching
Users’ increasing demand for value in information obtained from the web means that content providers have to update their websites regularly for more relevant and personalized content. In such instances, you may wonder if caching is still useful since it depends largely on storing data that was previously assessed.
An efficient caching solution with more sophisticated caching techniques may divide the cached content into two modes: dynamic and static. Static content is the kind of content that changes very rarely or not at all. This may include the header of the website, the additional pages such as ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact Us’ and other similar content. The dynamic content refers to such content which is updated on a regular basis, for instance the Home page of your website.
So when a user tries to access your website, the server combines the cached copy of static content with the fresh copy of the dynamic content. In this way, the server doesn’t have to process the entire request to the origin but simply the dynamic portion of it.
The Need for Speed
In this connected age where the use of internet and the related technologies has become ubiquitous, there is an ever greater need for content providers to speed up the delivery of their content.
Users typically expect a website to load within 3 seconds or less, any longer and they will abandon it for another website; mostly likely your competitor’s. So for all websites and e-commerce businesses, SPEED can very often be the determining factor between a positive and negative user experience, which in turn affects conversion rates. This is why web caching is a technology you cannot overlook.
A study from Kissmetrics shows that for an e-commerce website making around $3 million a month, every extra second taken to load the website incurs $2.5 million in annual losses. So no matter if you are a small business, a big corporation, a content-centric blog, a video delivery service or a website with a sizable traffic, improving the speed of your website should be your utmost priority.
Speed is simply just one of the many positive elements of caching, in our subsequent posts, we will delve more in-depth into the importance of the technology and how different organisations can benefit from it; so Stay Tuned!
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