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:
- Via 3rd party plugins like WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and others
- 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!
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.
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!