Cache Pre-load Impact on Performance
Cache Pre-load Improves Google Page Load
Using a cache pre-load system can improve Google crawl page load speed substantially as clearly shown in the infographic below. Google considers page load in it’s SERP algorithm as an indicator of site quality: Where two similar ranked sites exist, the site with faster load speed will usually get better SERP than a slower site. With this in mind surely it’s a good idea to make the effort to improve page load speed as much as possible.
Page load speed can be improved in a number of ways; moving the site to a better hosting service, optimising the site technically, including getting rid of unnecessary plugins, keeping image size as small as possible, and using an effective caching system are some of the things we can do.
No matter how well all the other technical aspects are improved, caching the site, and especially pre-loading the cache, will make a big difference to page load speed.
From Poor to Good – Cache Pre-Load Improves Client’s Website
I am using one of my client’s websites Clearwater Beach Real Estate as an example. This WordPress self-hosted website is hosted on GoDaddy (not the best shared hosting solution for WordPress). When I took on admin for this website, the site was not cached, and pages took up to 15 seconds to load. Adding a WordPress caching system improved page loads to around four seconds on average, and as shown in the chart, Google measured download speed at a little under 3 seconds. (Server to server speed will always be faster than page load to visitors.)
However, I do not consider “a little under 3 seconds” good enough for best SERP. My client’s site is fairly simple with not too many plugins. It uses a theme with fairly well optimised code, and apart from a large image used for the header, there are not a lot of images used (Of interest, the 15 seconds it took before caching was at a time when there was no header image at all).
The caching plugin I installed on Clearwater Beach Real Estate is WP Super Cache, as this is the system recommended by GoDaddy hosting. It has a built-in cache pre-load function, which doesn’t work! So, late in June I installed Generate Cache, a WordPress plugin to cache the pages listed in the XML sitemap, and the results speak for themselves… (Chart generated by Google Webmaster Tools.)
2000 ms Improvement
With the site cache pre-loaded, Google takes less than one second (average time) to load pages – an improvement of around 2000ms. Maximum time has improved from 15 seconds (un-cached), 6200ms (cached) to less than 3 seconds with the cache pre-loaded. A page load speed for Google under 1 second is really good for SERP, and will definitely improve long term ranking for this website.
Pre-loading the Cache is a Good Idea
Nearly every site or blog will benefit from pre-loading. There may be a small minority of sites where cache pre-loading will not benefit overall performance – but they are surely few and far between. A few site owners with highly interactive forums and blogs may think pre-loading will prevent latest comments being included in the cached files, but that is easily overcome by refreshing the cache every time a new comment is posted.
Sites on very fast, well configured servers, may have less noticeable results from pre-loading the cache, but there will be a gain…
So, why not try pre-loading your blog or website cache. There is nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Posted on August 17, 2012, in WordPress and tagged Blog, Caching, CMS, GoDaddy, Google, Page Speed, Search engine optimization, Search Engines, SEO, Website, WordPress. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.