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Content Caching

Mike Peters, 10-10-2007
Generally speaking there are two types of content -

Static Content: Your blog posts, "about us" page, articles etc.
Dynamic Content: Your blog post comments, Stats, Search results etc.

By static content I am referring to content that is NOT frequently updated while dynamic content stands for content that is frequently refreshed (daily, hourly, in real-time etc)

Static content is typically stored as raw .html files, whereas dynamic content requires some form of php/asp/jsp computation coupled with database access, before the page can be served back to the end-user.

To improve the performance of your website, you should do everything you can to minimize database access and cache all dynamic content as static.

Most CMS Systems employ built-in caching so that frequently accessed articles/pages are automatically cached to disk, eliminating the need to access the database everytime a page is served back to the user. But please -- don't rely on your CMS system and call it a day.

We just did a site review for a client and found every single page was accessing the database 6 (!) times. And that includes pages like "about us", "privacy policy", as well as the home page and "contact us" page.

So, when you're done combining all .js to a single file, optimizing your images for fast loading, combining all .css to a single file and moving scripts to the bottom of your html files, analyze how many times you're hitting the database per every page load and work on reducing this number to the bare minimum.
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