You can save site resources and speed up your WordPress site by properly setting up a caching plugin. Learn more about caching and how it relates to Shopp.

Caching Shopp with WordPress Plugins

caching-shopp

Caching Shopp with WordPress Plugins

In this article, we’ll talk about caching a WordPress site and how it can offer a faster browsing experience for your customers.

Below is an overview of what happens when a visitor browses to a page on your site:

  1. Web Browser sends the request to HTTP server
  2. HTTP server contacts Database Server
  3. Database Server retrieves information and sends it back to HTTP Server
  4. HTTP Server sends data back to Web Browser
  5. Web Browser displays web page

What is Caching and how does it Work?

When a page is requested, WordPress code is processed to dynamically build the page markup. Running code is expensive for the server, consuming both CPU processing cycles and memory. For pages that don’t change too often like older blog posts or an about page, it would save a lot of time and resources if we could capture the already built page and send the saved copy instead of dynamically building it every time. That’s exactly what cache does. It saves the “rendered” page markup into a temporary “cache file”. When that page is requested, if no changes to the page have been made, the server can provide the saved page from the cache file instead of recalculating it.

This is great when serving pages that don’t change all that often, but when page content changes a lot — when they are mostly dynamic not static — caching just gets in the way.

The shopping experience is entirely dynamic — it is unique to each customer and should not be cached. Here are some examples of what could happen due to incorrect configuration on a caching plugin:

  • Issue with adding items to a cart (adding an item to cart results in an empty cart)
  • A customer could see another customer’s cart contents
  • Problem with removing items or update quantities within the shopping cart

Configure your Caching Plugin to Work with Shopp

In order to configure your caching plugin with Shopp, you’ll need to locate the settings area for “no-cache rules” or “caching exclusions.” These terms both refer to the same thing and instruct the caching plugin to cache everything except for the content that is specified.

Shopp 1.2.x uses virtual pages and the URLs of these pages should be added to this area. Here are the default pages:

Shopp Page Example URL
Storefront yourwebsite.com/shop/
Account yourwebsite.com/shop/account/
Cart yourwebsite.com/shop/cart
Checkout yourwebsite.com/shop/checkout/
Confirm Order yourwebsite.com/shop/confirm-order/
Thanks yourwebsite.com/shop/thanks/

You’ll want to add your page URLs as shown in Shopp Setup –> Pages to the exclusion list. Then save changes and clear your cache.

Screenshots from several Caching Plugins for WordPress

Note: Shopp pages are added after the default no-cache rules. No default rules are removed.

W3 Total Cache

w3-total-cache-exclude-shopp

Quick Cache

quick-cache-exclude-shopp

Hyper Cache

hyper-cache-exclude-shopp

WP Super Cache

wp-super-cache-exclude-shopp

Image credit: p_c_w

Avatar of Lorenzo Orlando Caum

By

Lorenzo Orlando Caum is the founder of Enzo12 LLC, a consultancy in Tampa, FL. Lorenzo provides consulting services such as a Shopp upgrade service through Shopp 101. He also recommends using managed WordPress hosting with Shopp because a faster site means more sales. You can learn more about Lorenzo, you can follow @lorenzocaum on Twitter or check out his blog.

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