Caching is the process in which calculated values are stored in a temporary storage area called cache. The files are saved in the computer’s “random access memory” (RAM). Every time a calculated cache value is requested, the browser will pull the value from the cache memory.
How does caching work?
The first time you visit a website, the browser needs to load everything in the HTML code (headers, footers, widgets, etc.). After a request is made, and it gets processed on the servers, the resulting site is sent to your browser, where it is displayed.
When caching is enabled, the browser saves the HTML file into the RAM. So, the next time you visit that page, a significant part of the site’s code is already stored in your device’s RAM. Then, it can access the stored information instead of making the same requests every time you go to the site, taking less time to load pages that have been cached.
How does caching affect loading speed, and why is this important?
You can use HTML caching to improve your site’s loading speed. This greatly affects your website’s ranking and indexing, and also has an impact on user experience.
No one wants to enter a website and wait for it to load forever (and by forever, we mean 5 seconds tops). Site’s speed can be crucial for its performance. If it takes too long to load, you may be losing potential customers.
As we stated before, search engines like Google consider a sites’ speed at the time of indexing and ranking them. There are two main reasons for this. The first one is that Google wants to present its users with the best search results available for their query. A website that takes too long to load is far from being ideal.
The second reason is that a slow page affects the crawling budget. So, the bots would crawl fewer pages in your slow site than if you had one with optimized speed.
When left unattended, this problem can jeopardize your website’s position in the search engine results pages (SERPs), ending up with a low-ranking site that no one will ever find.
In a nutshell, the faster your site loads, the better.
How can caching help?
You can leverage browsers’ caching abilities. This means that you can specify how long they should keep the cached data stored locally. If your site’s design and homepage don’t change that often, you can set it up for a year. Every time users request access to your website, the amount of data that needs to be downloaded will be less, and your site loading speed will improve.