Cache Warming: Know it's Importance to Improve Website Performance

Cache Warming: Know it’s Importance to Improve Website Performance

What is Cache Warming?

Warming up cache is when websites artificially fill the cache to ensure that real visitors always have access to it when needed. Essentially, it warms up the cache for visits rather than serving the first visitor a cache miss (thus the word ‘warming’, as in warming up a car engine). We’re frequently asked at Payoda if users should employ cache warming to enhance the possibility that their visitors will be provided content from the cache and, as a result, reduce page load times.

What is the Purpose of a Cache?

What is a Cache Hit vs. a Cache Miss?

Modern websites are continuously being updated — whether it’s a media site changing the articles on their homepage or an eCommerce site updating the inventory of a particular product — files are set to expire after a specific duration, which may be a minute or an hour. Therefore, when a cached file expires, it must be re-collected from the origin server.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cache Warming

It is in a company’s best interests for website visitors to encounter a cache hit and receive a rapid response. Unfortunately, after the data expires or the cache is cleaned, some users will face a cache miss unless sites use cache warming. This diminishes the visitor’s experience.

1. Warming Too Many Cache Servers

The system will have to set up all of these caches if the pages are cached on a CDN with several hundred edge servers. An indexing bot, often known as a crawler, can be used on the site. To ensure that each cache is filled, this crawler will have to visit the website numerous times and from multiple places. This becomes more problematic as the number of caching servers increases. It may unnecessarily raise website demand since caches must be refreshed regularly in expectation of visitors arriving, even if no real visitors arrive before the cache expires.

2. Very Short Page Lifespans

Setting up a crawler will be ineffective if the cache duration is limited to a few minutes. This is because it won’t go through the entire catalog before the pages it visits expire. In this case, a compromise must be reached: pre-loading critical site pages.

3. Not Being Able To Handle Regular Crawling

When using undersized origin servers, a crawler’s visit might result in a significant load. In essence, the crawler rarely requests pages from the origin server, putting pressure on the database of the origin server. In this instance, the best options are to minimize the number of pages browsed, slow down the crawling, or crawl at night or during lower demand times.

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