There is some great news for those contemplating our number 1 recommended web host; SiteGround. As of this month, all Shared Hosting accounts have SuperCacher Static Cache enabled on all SiteGround plans as standard. Previously, this was only available on their GrowBig and GoGeek plans.
What’s more, now all plans have it activated by default. Unfortunately, you still need to sign up to either the GrowBig or GoGeek plan to get the Memcached (a high-performance distributed memory object caching system, which is often used to speed up dynamic web applications like WordPress by reducing the load on the database servers) or Dynamic Cache options. It is worth the upgrade, especially when you take advantage of our exclusive deals.
But what does this all mean? Well for that you need to know a little bit more about the SiteGround SuperCacher.
What is the Siteground SuperCacher?
SuperCacher is a web caching service that SiteGround specially developed based on Varnish and Memcached. The SuperCacher stores a copy of the web page into the cache when it is first requested, so that upon subsequent requests the page is retrieved directly from the cache (RAM) rather than via the server. This makes retrieving the web page much quicker and has the benefit of reducing the load on your server. What this means is that a shared hosting plan can handle much more traffic, preventing the need to upgrade to a more expensive VPS plan so soon.
SuperCacher currently has three levels of caching, and while the StartUp plan only has the Static Cache enabled, it will still significantly speed up your site. Of course, you can alway upgrade further to get that little extra boost, and there are several other perks to going for the Growbig plan, including Priority Support, and more Server Resources. Of course, the GoGeek plan is on a whole new level, especially with their developer features.
So what are the different levels of the SiteGround SuperCacher?
1. Static Cache
The simplest form of caching, which can bring some significant speed improvements, is included on all SiteGround’s shared hosting plans and activated as standard, including their StartUp plan. The caching is based on Nginx, which is significantly faster at retrieving static assets than a traditional Apache server. This allows many more visitors to your site reducing the need to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Memcached is a popular caching system that speeds up database driven sites. The problem with database driven sites is that each page load the database is queried and a page is formed based on its results. This can easily use a fair amount of server resources unless you implement a caching system. That is where Memcached comes in. On large sites with lots of traffic, where the same database queries are often repeated (Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia just to name a few) the results of those queries can be taken from the cache (RAM) rather than having to query the server each time. This makes for amazingly fast page speeds and reduces the server load significantly.
One problem with Memcached is that is rarely available in a Shared Hosting environment. Fortunately, SiteGround offers this on their GrowBig and GrowGeek plans. It should be noted that to use Memcached your application must have support. Fortunately, all the major applications such as Joomla, Magento have native support, and others such as WordPress have support subject to the installation of a plugin.
3. Dynamic Cache
Dynamic Cache is by far the most superior caching technology that SiteGround offer. Dynamic Cache caches the entirety of the web page, rather than individual parts (i.e. the static part). Many Content Management Systems such as WordPress or Joomla will be written in PHP. That PHP will produce the HTML pages, depending on the settings. This means that each time a web page is requested by the user, it has to query the server and go through the process of creating the page. Dynamic Cache will store the result of the page in the Cache (RAM) so that the next time the page is requested there will be no need to query the server, and the page will be quickly loaded from the Cache. Because it is stored in the RAM, rather than a hard disk, the result is phenomenal. RAM is a lot faster than even SSD storage. If you are more developer orientated you may refer to this as PHP Cache.
One of the problems with Dynamic Cache is that if you make changes to the website, you will need to flush the cache before these changes show to the public. Fortunately, SiteGround has written a plugin that will automatically do this when you make a post.
Dynamic Cache is one of the best caching methods available for WordPress or Joomla users, and something you will rarely find on Shared Hosting.
We thought we would include this nifty infographic as a summary of what the SuperCacher is: