Hummingbird Cache Suggests WP Super Cache

The Hummingbird Performance Report suggests:

Install and configure a full page caching plugin like WP Super Cache or Batcache. This can substantially improve your response time for logged out visitors and search engine bots.

I am currently using Hummingbird to perform browser caching.
Is this a flaw, or does your caching plugin really suggest using another caching plugin? In which case, why does your performance plugin even have a caching option?

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello John,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    This is not a flow and not a mistake. There's a difference between "browser caching" and "full page caching", so let me please explain this:

    1. Browser caching

    In this case browser is told to keep copy of received content on your local system (on your computer's disk drive) and attempt to use that content each time a request for page is send. If cache expires or a browser is told that the requested content has changed - that content is then fetched again from server.

    Therefore, browser caching can significantly increase site's performance and decrease server load but it's just a "user-side part of equation" :slight_smile:

    Furthermore, caching in this case is not performed by the server or WordPress or even the plugin itself. Our Hummingbird enables this mechanism and configures the site the way it would ask browser to cache content.

    2. Full page caching

    This is a server side solution that should work along browser caching. Hummingbird is not a caching plugin and that's why it's suggested to install WP Supercache or Batcache along it.

    The "full page caching" is - opposite to browser caching - performed on a server. Let's assume that the browser caching is enabled so the browser servers user with content stored locally instead of fetching it from server. When this cache expires browser again pulls the content from server.

    At this point without "full page caching" WordPress needs to perform all the tasks it usually does to build a complete page that it then sends to browser: it has to read multiple files, perform multiple (tens or even hundreds sometimes) DB queries and then put it all together. This is resource-consuming set of operations.

    Full page caching works "in between" browser and WordPress. When it detects request for a page from user it let's WordPress build that page and then saves it to server. Next time it's asked by user browser for the same content it serves that stored copy lowering resource usage even more.

    These two mechanisms - browser caching and full page caching on server - are, as you can see, a bit different and they work well together.

    Our Hummingbird doesn't perform full page caching currently but enables browser caching. That's why setting up additionally a full page caching plugin is recommended.

    I hope that helps!

    Best regards,
    Adam

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