Caching & WebApplications

One of the funny observations as a web developer: It’s amazing how many people consider caching bad by definition. If you know what you’re doing, caching is an amazingly powerful tool, which can provide cheap and efficient scaling to those who know how to use it.

Know when it’s okay to cache

If thousands of people see the same non-personal frontpage of your website – do you then do the 20+ database queries to build a fresh one for each visitor or do you just refresh a cacheable version from time to time?

Cacheing isn’t a binary this

While a page on a website may not be cacheable as a whole, is your navigation, your header and footer – and other static parts of the site cacheable? is new menu-items are rare compared to the number of page views, the pages probably receives, the “semi-static” parts of a site should absolutely be cacheable (server side).

Consider you cacheing options

Do make a caching strategy and see what works best for you. Is it a caching server in-front of your website (such as varnish), is it pre-build HTML-files, is it shared memory or is it blobs in the database serving pre-build pieces? The efficiency and the fit to the task may change from case to case, but knowing there is a range of options and knowing what the different options are good for, should be a required skill for any professional web developer.

Caching isn’t evil, it’s your friend – if you know how to use it efficiently.