How speeding up your WordPress site can help, or hurt, your business
One of the best, and easiest, ways to improve your affiliate site’s SEO is to make your pages load faster. You can do this by reducing image sizes, using fewer separate files, and writing very efficient code for your site.
And if you’re using WordPress, you can really speed up your site by using a caching plugin.
What are caching plugins?
If you’re wondering what a caching plugin is, these plugins take your WordPress posts and pages and store them as static files on the server, rather than creating them dynamically every time they are accessed. These plug-ins create a repository, or cache, of static pages that have been pulled from the database of your site.
Normally, when a post or page is accessed, WordPress has to access data from its database, and run PHP code over that data to display the content to the screen. If you’ve got a popular site, or if you’re on shared hosting, that can make your site slow.
Every time a page is normally accessed, it may need to access data in the database multiple times (transactions). If hundreds, or thousands, of people are accessing the same page over a short period of time, this adds load to the database and slows the database down.
For example, when a post is accessed, your website connects to your database 30 times. If 1000 people access your post over a five minute period, that makes for 30,000 transactions to your database.
When a cached WordPress page is accessed, the caching program checks to see it a copy of the page just requested exists in the cache. If the page exists, the cached version is displayed to the screen. If the page doesn’t exist, the page gets normally processed, and a static copy of that page is then added to the cache.
Instead of a page calling the database and PHP scripts to display the content, it displays an HTML file. And instead of 30 transactions, only one or two are needed.
This greatly improves the load and display time of a post. and this will improve your SEO, your traffic and your affiliate commissions.
How caching can hurt your business
So how can caching hurt your SEO, and in turn your business? If your website thrives on user interaction such as commenting and posting, frequent updates of information such as trending topics, caching can hurt your SEO if not setup correctly.
If your caching plug-in is setup to cache every 30 minutes, any interaction or updates which occurs in that 30mins may not appear on your website.
The best way to setup your caching plug-in, is to ensure that a new static page is created every time a page is updated, whether with new content, or comments. While this might not be as lean on the database as having a new page cached every 30 mins, it does ensure is that your users always see your site’s most current content.
If you’re a WordPress user, here are two free caching plugins we recommend:
Before you install these on shared hosting, check with your hosting provider to assure compatibility.