WordPress has many pros for content creators like ourselves, but every once in a while there’s a big con that can get in the way of WordPress Fun. One of them is really annoying: when your website becomes regularly unavailable due to a server crash!
Even though a reboot brings things back to normal for a while, you can’t afford your site(s) to have regular downtime.
Worry not, for help is at hand – by installing a simple plugin called WP Super Cache.
The great thing about WordPress is that your site is built and output to the browser “from scratch” every time you get a visitor. That’s the nature of a dynamic website.
Of course the downside is that while the server has to process all these PHP requests, it uses up a lot of valuable resources. When you only get 10-20 visitors a day you won’t notice the difference, but if you get 100+ and regular “visitor attacks” or traffic spikes, it can cause your server to waive the white flag of defeat. You’re affected on dedicated, virtual and shared hosting packages alike.
WHY IS THAT?
File Servers are really good at returning a file when requested by your browser. They can do all kinds of other things too, but serving files is their strong point.
WordPress and other PHP based applications often make the server do things that are really difficult for him. Even though you don’t hear your server complain, he might tell you he’s confused – not in so many words, but by simply not responding anymore.
If you’re running several projects out of one dedicated or virtual server, a crash will cause ALL your projects to go down. Shared hosters will most likely be told off by their provider and risk to lose all data in a potential reset or rebuild.
By creating static websites for everyday visitors, you’re helping your server do what he does best. Meanwhile, the cache plugin rebuilds your site in set intervals (every once per hour by default, but you can adjust it any way you see fit).
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
If you think you’re affected by server crashes, or you want to give your server a break, or you want your site to load a lot quicker, go download the plugin and install it.
Or, if you’d like to read a bit more about the plugin, head over to developer Donncha O Caoimh’s site.
OH DEAR… THAT LOOKS DIFFICULT…
I know what you mean… it’s not for the beginner or faint hearted alike to install this plugin.
If you want this plugin on your site and can’t hack it yourself, contact me and I’ll help you for a fee.