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Static and Dynamic Web Caching

Web caching has increasingly become a necessity for most websites. This is simply because caching speeds up the delivery of content at the user-end and enables faster page load speeds for the user. With the explosive growth of the mobile devices market in the last decade, faster loading speeds are a top priority with most users. In fact, a study reveals that 47% users expect a website to load within 2 seconds.

Caching is a great way to speed up your website with a rather small amount of effort involved. Basically, the more amount of website resources are available in the cache, the faster your website will load at the user’s end. To make this happen, a typical caching service usually combines the two main modes of caching, namely static and dynamic caching. Here is a brief overview of each.

Static Web Caching:
Static web caching involves the static content of a website. For instance, if there are any images, files or content on your website which do not frequently undergo change and remain the same, they can be regarded as static content. All a website’s server has to do is declare this content as static. The caching service will recognize this and create a cached version of this static content on the cache server. So when a user visits a website, the static content will be immediately displayed at his end, speeding up content delivery.

However, a lot of content on a website is dynamic, which means that it is undergoing frequent change. This is where dynamic web caching comes in.

Dynamic web caching:
Dynamic web caching relates to the dynamic content on your website. Dynamic content may include a home page that generates a new copy every day because of the recent updates. Or it may involve user-specific pages or section on a given website. Basically, it is any content that is not the same as it was when the user last visited the website.

The problem with dynamic content is that it is resource-intensive and takes longer to load at the user’s end. And yet, dynamic content is inevitable on any given website with a sizable traffic.
Dynamic web caching resolves this issue by breaking down the dynamic content into smaller pieces and then sifting through them intelligently. It detects exactly the portions where content has undergone change and also identifies that areas which have relatively remained the same. So, for instance, although your home page may be updated daily, there are a lot of components of the home page which remain the same.

Dynamic web caching is able to cache these unchanged sections of the dynamic content and deliver them at a greater speed to the end user. The user gets better page load speeds.
Most web caching services today offer a combination of static and dynamic web caching. And it is by combining the two that you can truly make the most of the advantages of caching.