What is Cache?


Cache (pronounced cash) is a temporary storage area where website data is stored; speeding up subsequent retrievals.

By caching this data, the web browser can improve performance by loading data from your disk, instead of the internet, if it is ever needed again.

Cache store the site pages, images and logos to reduce bandwith usage and server load.

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What is cache?

So cache is basically temporary storage of information of your website for faster delivery of information.

So what a website does when you request a page, it has to go off to a database and fetch all of this information and then display it on the front end. And with that processing, getting that information takes time but if like most websites, the information always comes back the same and rarely changes, you would store that information that has been gathered in a typical file or a temporary file that can be retrieved a lot quicker.

I always liken this to a library or a librarian where the librarian may be asked quite often for the Harry Potter series of books. Rather than having to go out and fetch each book from a different part of the library, they would basically take those books and then store them behind the till or the counter, there for quick retrieval when someone comes in and says can I have the Harry Potter series? Ah, I have it stored here already in the cache. Here it is available so they don't have to walk around the library, saves them a lot of time and everybody's happy, just like the website and your server will do the same if set up correctly, it'll cache the information that's stored in lots of different places, put it into one file that can be sent to the visitor when they hit that website.

Your browser will also have a cache. So the server will say you can store this file in the cache for a certain amount of time because it's not going to change, and so the browser will display a web page but it'll also go off and when it's got a bit of spare time, it'll go off and check to see if there are any updates been made and then bring it back down but essentially, a cache is a way of storing information temporarily so it doesn't have to go off and fetch it from lots of different places - making your website a lot faster and more efficient.

So hopefully that answers your question of what is a cache? And if you've got other questions like this, then please ask us and we will create a video just like this.

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