WP-Super-Cache is probably one of the most widely used plugins ever created.
Recommended by the likes of Matt Cutts right down to yours truly, it is the essential tool to safeguard your site when it comes to managing and maintaining site stability when your traffic is high and your server resources are being stretched to the limit.
If, during the life of your site you should gain a traffic surge, for example you write something very in depth or challenging or insightful and your visitors decide to use the Digg button a lot, hence driving more traffic your way quaikly and in bulk, the PHP scripts that access the MYSQL database that your site runs off, will be stretched to and possibly beyond, breaking point and there is nothing worse than a dead site for new visitor! The reason for this is that each time someone visits your site the page is served or “called” from the database on the request of the visitor via PHP.
Database Caching Explained
With a traffic surge or even consistently high traffic, this puts a lot of pressure on the database as it continually serves the page to each new visitor. Imagine it like a restaurant that’s got one waiter and suddenly it fills up with a queue outside, each person must be seated, the order taken, served fresh food, which is freshly cooked and then shown out. The waiter would in this example be your blog and the cook or chief would be the PHP scripts. That’s not really the best way to run things is it and the inevitable outcome is disaster!
Now imagine that the waiter and chief where prepared in advance with a set menu and 1000′s of plates all ready to be handed out immediately. There is no expiry date on web pages so don’t worry about hygiene or food poisoning :P. People would be surging into the restaurant and the chief and waiter would be able to manage and serve all their requirements, not without strain or pressure but certainly with more efficiency, speed and less chance of a meltdown.
WordPress Super Cache is Essential
That’s exactly what this plugin does for your blog. In technical terms it creates a cached version of your page in HTML without accessing the PHP allow your site to say live, serve visitors and do it quickly and with minimal problems.
Just to clarify, even if your site hasn’t got massive traffic, speed loading time is still a major factor and using this plugin will make the pages appear faster regardless of server load or the amounts of visits you have so even on a low traffic site it is still worth using.
Author: Donncha O Caoimh
Download the WP Super Cache Plugin