See that nice dip in the graph for this week? I started to preload the cache used by WP Super Cache last Sunday and it’s made a noticeable difference in the load on my server here. The big spike is the preloading process.
I’ve always discouraged users from preloading the cache (Askapache Crazy Cache will do this for any cache plugin), mainly because of the possible problems so many files will cause for hosting companies. If you have thousands of cache files, it’s going to take so much longer to recover from a disk crash.
On the other hand, Google will now be using speed as a metric for judging how “good” a website is. In the past this plugin ignored the pages visited by bots because the bots only visited each page once so caching a page after the fact was pointless. The page, all pages, have to be cached first before Google ever visits.
That’s what it looks like. Once you start preloading it launches a wp-cron job to fetch 100 posts, then schedules another job 10 seconds in the future to fetch another 100 posts until it finishes. It also disables garbage collection of old pages, but making comments or posts will still clear out the appropriate cached files.
It only caches single posts right now. It may not be worth caching archive or tag pages because many sites already tell bots to ignore those pages as the server is doing less work it will serve those archive pages more quickly anyway.
The preloading only works if you’re using the plugin in Supercache or “ON” mode. It’s still a work in progress but has worked fine here. As well as the preloader the development version of the plugin has:
- Better support for mobile plugins.
- A cache tester.
- Can be configured to only delete the page a comment is left on, rather than the front page and associated pages.
- Works in WordPress 3.0.
It also has a number of bug fixes and other features added too.