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Why LiteSpeed Cache Is Better Than Caching Plugins

Caching is an important part of any website’s performance strategy. Especially for systems like WordPress, which heavily rely on dynamic, database-powered pages. It dramatically reduces the system resources required to serve a page, leading to faster load times for end-users, and makes everyone happy.

However, not all caches are built equally. There are essentially two ways you can achieve dynamic page caching:

  1. Via 3rd party plugins like WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and others
  2. Via in-built server caching provided by your web host

In simple terms, the latter is preferable to the former, for a number of reasons, but it all comes down to one simple truth – the server-based caching has access to backend functionality that ordinary caching plugins do not. So they’re able to implement more functionality and optimize common tasks in a far more resource-efficient manner. Let’s take a look at how, and why.

NameHero Provides LiteSpeed Caching For Free

LiteSpeed is a paid server that’s a drop-in replacement for Apache. You won’t find many web hosts use LiteSpeed because it costs money, and it’s different from what they’re used to. NameHero is one of the few web hosts that offer LiteSpeed installations out of the box without any additional charge.

As a result, you get to use the cool features of LiteSpeed such as server-caching, without having to pay extra as you do with many other web hosts who offer similar add-on features. And for many of those web hosts, their in-house solutions won’t be as good as the dedicated functionality of LiteSpeed.

Yes, LiteSpeed ALSO Uses a Plugin

I should mention that to take advantage of caching with LiteSpeed, you still need to install a plugin on your software framework. LiteSpeed has caching plugins for all the popular frameworks, starting with WordPress.

However, because of the backend integration, this plugin is far less resource-intensive than ordinary caching plugins. And here are some reasons why.

Hard Work is Done by LiteSpeed – Not your Website

After installing the plugin, you need to make sure that the LiteSpeed cache is enabled for your site from cPanel. This is the primary difference between LiteSpeed cache and other plugins. Namely, that the process of creating the cached webpage and storing it, is carried out by the server, and not your website. Neither are the cached pages themselves stored in your application folders but in those belonging to the server.

And this is the key difference – the workload of caching pages is removed from your site, and transferred to the server.

Purging and Garbage Collection

A caching system for a website requires a lot of maintenance, otherwise, it starts to use up a lot of space. Whenever you change something like writing a new post, related content needs to be cleaned out – like the homepage, archive and tag pages, and the like. This is an expensive process, and the LiteSpeed server does this far more efficiently than a front-end solution like an ordinary WordPress plugin. LiteSpeed cache’s integration allows the server to gradually clear out tagged files for garbage collection, reducing the server load, and ensuring that your site is never unduly burdened.

All “Pro” Features of Plugins are Available for Free with LiteSpeed

Excellent as the caching plugins are, they need to provide some kind of revenue for the developers. As a result, a few premium functions are paid like “Fragment Caching” with W3 Total Cache. However, since the LiteSpeed server is already a paid product, the developers of LiteSpeed cache can provide all this functionality for free.

For example, LiteSpeed’s “Edge Side Includes” (ESI) are the equivalent of W3 Total Cache’s fragment caching but have the added benefit of automatic integration with shopping carts like WooCommerce, thereby allowing even dynamic pages to be optimized to some extent. And all this for free!

Bottom Line

While it’s true that LiteSpeed caching also requires a plugin to work, it’s not the same as other caching plugins for WordPress and other software frameworks. The tight integration with the backend means that the whole system is much more efficient, and is a superior solution to what you’re used to.

Bhagwad Park Profile Picture

I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!

Should You Buy A Special Backup Plan For Your Website?

The few people I know who own a website are pretty casual about their backup strategies. I don’t blame them – unlike us who live and breathe in the industry, most individuals have other stuff to do in their life, and don’t spend time thinking about “best practices” or “worst-case scenarios”.

Nevertheless, if you or a client of yours has a website, it’s vital that you think about a backup plan. The reason is simple – one day your site is going to crash. There are no “ifs” or “buts” about it. No matter how great your hosting, no matter what precautions you take, you will wake up one morning and find your site doesn’t work. The reasons could be many, and there’s no point in even trying to predict why. Suffice to say that there is a long, fat tail of problems, and it’s only a matter of time before something happens to you.

Website Backup is Insurance

Most of us have thought at some time or the other that the insurance premiums we pay for our health, or our vehicles are useless. After all, we barely even use the services for which we spend money every month.

But the thing with insurance is that when you finally need it, you thank your stars that you had the foresight to buy it. There are some events that can completely decimate your life or your assets, and insurance is a hedge against that. Losing your website is one such event. Years (or decades) worth of work, content, and reputation on the line, along with income.

If that isn’t worth insuring, I don’t know what is.

In-Built Backups: Are they Sufficient?

Most web hosts are aware of this and offer some form of backup to their users. They too are aware of the tremendous damage to their reputation if one of their customers loses their website due to an unforeseen event. So they typically have a bare-bones backup system in place. However, the implementation varies widely.

A10 Website D & H Daily Backups by Default

A10 WDH offers a free nightly backup of all your data, subject to a limit of 20 GB per account. Backups are kept for a single day, and then discarded. The reason is simple – there’s a storage and performance cost to data and maintaining multiple backups for thousands of accounts is not only expensive, it also slows things down for everyone.

Obviously while this provides some protection, it’s nowhere near enough. If a backup occurs immediately after a crash, you’re out of luck, and restoring it won’t do anything. Also, it’s good practice to maintain backups at a different location from where your site is located.

To address these issues, A10 WDH offers integration with DropMySite.

A10 WDH’s DropMySite Integration Solves the Backup Problem

DropMySite is a service dedicated to backups and restoration. A10 WDH conveniently integrates with it so that users can access backups directly from cPanel. In addition, A10 WDH allows you to purchase plans from DropMySite starting at just 5GB instead of the 10GB minimum if you order directly from DropMySite. For just $1.99/m, you can schedule up to 30 backups and restore them with a single click directly from within cPanel.

Outsourcing the backup system to a professional service is, in my opinion, the best option simply because you want to keep the stored data away from your own infrastructure in case something goes wrong at your end.

Comparing to Other Services Like Jetpack

As a point of comparison, Jetpack’s Backup service starts from $3/m – more expensive than with DropMySite. So the rates offered by A10 WDH are extremely competitive, and I think a very worthwhile investment. In addition, DropMySite specializes in backup, and I like handing over work to those who specialize in it (like LastPass and passwords for example). Given the cheap rates and security it provides, A10 WDH’s DropMySite integration is the best of all worlds!