What Does a Cache Do?
A cache pronounced as “cash” is a small container that stores frequently used information that a computer can access on demand. This information can include static HTML pages and parts of web pages, such as logos and designs, that do not need to be repeatedly downloaded.
A web page loads faster when a browser has quick access to that page. This is because a browser does not have to recapture the page from the server because it is already stored within the cache.
The cache’s role inside the inner workings of a desktop is a concept that should be understood.
Among the computer’s parts, the cache is relative to the hardware. The hardware is made up of the keyboard and the mouse which are seized by the user to input data. And the monitor, which presents the output of information back to the user.
Electrical conduits called buses exist inside the computer to help transmit information in a language that is called binary digit or bits.
The bits funnel through these electrical conduits because an adapter or a controller makes it easy to do so.
The main memory and the processor are the next two important pieces of the architecture. They work together to carry out user-inputted commands.
The main memory stores bits of information for a short period. Mostly it holds the data so that the processor can read the instructions and execute the command.
While the memory stores the program or data, the processor is the “engine” that translates and administers the commands. Inside the processor is the Program Counter, which contains the address of the instructions that are stored in the main memory.
Both the memory and the processor work as a team to hold and execute commands. The memory dictates what actions a computer should carry out, while the processor carries them out. Yet, the processor and the memory do not always work quickly. A term for this is called the processor-memory gap. This is why system designers inserted the idea of a cache as an attempt to send information to the processor at a faster rate.
The problem with caches happens when a font size, color, stylistic element or webpage is updated. The cache has stored the old webpage and has not downloaded a copy of the new file. At this point the server-side cache should be cleared. If the cache is not cleared, a user may update their website, and a returning visitor may not be able to see the latest version of that page. This is because a copy of the static page has already been stored in their cache. This is where “cache busting” can help. A developer can create a unique identifier code that forces the browser to download the new webpage.
Where Is a Cache Stored?
Caches are placed in several locations. These locations include in a web browser, a server-side cache, and caches that are located within a WordPress plugin, such as Fastest Cache.
The server-side cache- Information such as facts and figures, or web pages can be cached on the server. This can save processing power and time as this information doesn’t have to be retrieved from a database again.
Web Browser Cache- A cache has a size limit with regard to the amount of information it can hold. Therefore, a user needs to flush the cache, which clears all the previously saved data within the space. A cleared cache makes room for new data to be downloaded and stored.
Cache Plugins- Plugins for your WordPress website provide an increased performance because static HTML files, which are files that have prebuilt-in content are stored locally. This makes your site faster.
When a website fails to update, even after you refreshed the web browser cache. Don’t panic. While this is frustrating situation to be in, it can be quickly resolved with proper instruction.
How to Clear Your Cache
The server-side cache can be found on your hosting site’s web portal. For example, If a user has a website hosted on SiteGround the server-side cache will be in the cPanel. In WP Engine, the cache will be located under the utilities button within the side panel. Follow the steps outlined below to clear the cache. Then repeat the steps if you installed a cache-based WordPress plugin.
Here are steps to clear the cache:
1. Login to your web hosted account. For example, I’m using SiteGround. Under “Accounts”, you can locate the cPanel where the cache is.
Guest article written by: Gabriella – http://www.gabbing.biz/portfolio