Mar 2024

Caching in WordPress

WordPress Website Cache and Caching explained

In the rapidly evolving world of web design and development, ensuring that your website offers a swift and seamless user experience is paramount. One of the most critical components contributing to website performance is the dreaded: cache. Specifically, within the context of WordPress websites, understanding what a cache is, its purpose, and the importance of managing it effectively, especially clearing your browser cache, is essential for both web developers and clients.

What is a cache?

In the simplest terms, a cache is a temporary storage area where website data is stored to make future requests for that data faster. Caches exist in various forms across the internet, including browser caches, server-side caches, content delivery system caches and caching which works directly within WordPress through plugins.

When someone visits a WordPress website, the server processes the website code and queries the database to fetch the content of the page requested. This process can be resource-intensive and slow down the website, especially under heavy traffic, underserviced web hosting or a website which could have been better put together. That't where caching comes in as a middle man, to speed up this process. It's like those half baked baguettes you can throw in the oven, where some of the work has been done for you and therefore they cook really quickly.

Types of WordPress website cache

Caching solutions store a static version of your website's pages and posts in a cache (a load of files). When a user visits a page, rather than processing the entire code and database for the website again, the server or the visitors browser delivers the stored static cache version of the site. This significantly reduces the website's load time, offering a faster and more pleasant browsing experience to the visitor.

For WordPress sites, caching can be implemented in various layers:

  • Browser caching: Stores parts of your site on the visitor's browser i.e. Chrome, Safari, Edge, so that on subsequent visits the browser loads the site from its cache rather than retrieving it from the server.
  • Page caching: Stores static HTML versions of pages on the server, reducing the number of database queries needed to render the site.
  • Object caching: Reuses PHP code objects within the server's memory to reduce the time needed to process PHP scripts.
  • Content delivery networks: We could write another article on these, however, CDNs such as Cloudflare, if used, also can have a cache at play.

The importance of clearing your browser cache

While caching undeniably boosts website performance, it can also lead to a common frustration among website owners and developers alike: not seeing the latest version of your website immediately after updates or changes have been made. This is because the browser might be serving the stored version of the site from the cache, not the updated version directly from the server.

Clearing your browser cache, usually where you clear your browsing history ;-) forces your browser to retrieve the latest version of the website from the server, ensuring that you are viewing the most recent updates. This step is particularly essential during the website development and maintenance phases, where changes are frequent and need to be reviewed in real-time so work can be signed off.

How to clear your browser cache

Clearing your browser cache is a straightforward process, though the steps vary slightly depending on the browser used. Generally, it involves going into your browser's history or privacy settings and selecting the option to clear your browsing data or cache. Another tip is to hold down shift on the keyboard and then click the refresh button in the browser. Using private browsing or incognito can also sometimes help, but we've often found this to be inconsistent.

How to clear your cache in Chrome

How to clear your cache in Safari

How to clear your cache in Edge

How to clear your cache in Firefox


Understanding the concept of caching and its impact on WordPress website performance is crucial for anyone involved in web development, whether than me as the developer or you as the client as well as other stakeholders. Caches play a vital role in enhancing site speed and user experience but also can create frustrating testing issues, where clients cannot see the latest change. As your web development partner, we're here to assist you in navigating these technical aspects, ensuring that your website not only performs optimally through the use of caching but also accurately reflects your most recent updates and improvements.

If you're having problems with caching, please get in touch and we'll help you to navigate through these.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.