Dynamic web applications have become the norm for most websites. Whether they are using basic content management systems (CMS) or more complex custom social media applications, today’s websites are more fluid and more interactive than ever.
Accompanied with that new interactivity and fluidity are higher server loads and greater bandwidth usage. We previously looked at content delivery networks (CDN) as a method for reducing dedicated server load. Another method worth considering is caching.
A cache is essentially a copy of content stored somewhere on the server where it can be quickly and easily accessed. Under normal conditions, a dynamic web page is created on the fly, but when thousands of people access the same dynamic page, the server is wasting resources by constantly recreating the page.
By caching frequently used pages, images, and other content, the server can provide users with faster load times, while also reducing the strain on system resources. The system administrator can specify the update frequency of cached content and use syncing tools to ensure that users always receive the latest information.
Some content management systems have caching built into them, allowing individual website owners to specify the cache configuration. Furthermore, server administrators can enable caching for web servers, databases, and other services.