17 August 2020

What is Caching?

Hey there and welcome back to another edition of

the Hussey Coding blog.


A long time ago in a Magento 1 galaxy not so far away, Hussey Coding created an extension to help with Caching, we called it evolved Caching. Now that M1 has come to the end of its "official" life we are releasing this extension for free. But before we go into detail about evolved Caching and what it does, let's first explore the question...

If you've been around eCommerce for any length of time, you will have inevitably come across this term at some point, but what is it?

Well, to understand what it is you have to go back a little.

Every time you type in a web address your web browser, phone or tablet makes what's called a request to a server, the server then looks at the request, works out a response and then sends back that response to your web browser. Simple.


But what happens when it's not just you sending a request, what if it's 10 people, 1,000 people, 10,000 people or even 100,000 people? And what if all of those people are sending different requests? 

Imagine you are talking with a friend, it would be easy for you to answer their questions. But what if 10 people are asking you someth

ing? You may get them all answered although it would take a little longer, What about 1,000 queries? Or 100,000 different questions all at the same time? You'd be there for weeks! It's the same for the server that has hundreds of requests coming in from multiple sources, it would slow the whole system down, not just for you but for everyone.

That's where Caching comes in.


The Cache creates a copy of the website that you are looking at and stores it on the device or web browser you're using. Things like images, script, files and such which make load times much faster the next time you make the same request. For example, if you go to www.funwithcache.co.uk for the first time, then the site will take some time to load, but the second time you go there, it will load much faster. This is because, during your first visit, your device or browser generated Cache files that act as a memory bank. This makes it quick and easy to access data that's stored locally on your device without having to re

-download it every time you visit the same website or app.


There are a few benefits to Caching. Firstly, Caching makes everything run quickly and smoothly. As we mentioned above the Cache will copy and save sites to help with loading times, this drastically increases the user's experience, which is a huge hot topic in the eCommerce industry at the moment. By copying websites data and increasing their loading speeds, the device you are using doesn't need to waste its resources, such as time, power or data responding to requests already made. Caching will store data, so if you are scrolling through Hussey Coding's Facebook profile and your internet connection drops out, you may still be able to see some posts, images or even videos from information that your device has already Cached.


But it's not all sunshine and lollipops, there are some negative sides to Caching too, for example Caching can take-up a lot of space on your device. The odd Cache file here and there is fine but the more websites you visit or apps you download, the bigger and more numerous those files become, taking up valuable space and memory. 

Another disadvantage is corrupt Cache files. This is when something has gone wrong with the Cache its self and now every time the request is sent the response will always bring you the corrupted version. As we said above the Cache is designed to copy and save the servers first time response, to speed up loading times, however, there are times when old responses get stuck in the Cache and prevent websites or apps from working correctly.

 

Thankfully there is a common way to fix all of these issues which is to clear the Cache and when you do this all the saved files will be erased and it will be like starting again. Depending on what device you are using will depend on how you go about clearing your Cache which, is something we will cover in next weeks blog.

Thank you for joining us again today. We hope that you have enjoyed this post and request that you help to support Hussey Coding by liking and sharing these posts across your favourite social media platforms.

We'll see you again next Monday for another edition but until then, stay safe and have a great day.


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