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What Are the Different Caching Strategies?

Speed is an essential factor for websites. Your assets and media files must load in a matter of seconds. It ensures your visitors use all your website’s features.

It’s only possible through the use of a cache. Caching comes with varying strategies and methods. These aim to achieve better performance for your website.

When done right, server caches improve your website’s loading speed. It’s why finding the right caching strategy helps.

Today, we look at these caching strategies and how they function. It also includes details on how you can maintain them for optimal performance. Read on and optimize your website further:

Write-Through Caching

Server caching allows you to “take a snapshot” of the web page. It results in an easier and faster load time for your website.

This approach lessens the strain on the server hosting your web pages. It’s most especially when you have a lot of visitors.

One of the web caching strategies is write-through. This caching method writes the information into the cache first.

After that, it goes to the database or main memory. The cache then situates between the application and the database.

With this setup, the application retrieves data from the cache memory. The downside to this approach is the increased write latency rate. However, it works well when paired with a read-through cache.

Read-Through Caching

As discussed before, write-through caching writes the information on the cache first. Upon doing so, it writes the data on the database.

Read-through caching takes a different approach. In this case, the cache situates with the database. For any missing cache information, it draws from the database before sending the requested information to the application.

Among the types of caching strategies, read-through caching works best on read-heavy workloads. The downside is when it requests certain data for the first time, resulting in a slower loading time.

You can avoid this situation when coupling it with write-through caching. It allows you to have a consistent data stream because these caching methods cover both the reading and writing portions.

Coupling read-through and write-through bring out the best results for your cache. On areas, read-through methods can’t cover, use a write-through to compensate.

Cache-Aside

This caching strategy puts the cache at the side. The application communicates to this cache and the application to check for the requested information. It checks the cache first.

When the requested data is within the cache, the application returns with the requested data. Otherwise, it draws from the database and returns to the client with the requested data. After that, it stores the data in the cache for future searches and requests.

This approach works well in a read-heavy workload. Systems using cache-aside are often resilient against cache failures. It means the system continues to operate and draw from the database when the cache cluster goes down.

Cache-aside’s primary issue is data inconsistency. It often comes from the common writing strategy used for it. They write the data straight into the database.

The best countermeasure to data inconsistency is using the time to live (TTL) parameter. Continue serving stale data until the TTL expires. If you want fresh data, use a different strategy for your cache.

Write-Back Caching

This server caching strategy allows the application to write the information to the cache. The difference is the cache immediately acknowledges the changes. After some time passes, it writes back the data to the database.

Some experts call this strategy a write-behind.

For write-heavy workloads, write-back caching is the best choice since it improves writing performance. Maximize this method with read-through caching. You’ll get a system catering to mixed workloads.

Write-back caching also works best with batching or coalescing. It can reduce the amount of writing to the database. It also reduces the load and costs.

Write-Around Caching

When compared to other types of cache strategies, a write-around goes straight for the database when writing the data. That specific data ends up in the cache when read.

This strategy works well with a read-through. It also complements a cache-aside method.

Write-around shines when dealing with once-written data but never read. A good example is real-time logs and chatroom messages.

The downside of this approach is a higher read latency. It’s the trade-off because of its low write latency. Having either a cache-aside or a read-through can cover this issue.

Lazy Loading

This strategy loads the data into the cache when necessary. It delays the loading or initialization of resources unless specifically requested. This approach aims to save up on system resources and improve performance.

The lazy loading approach enables you to get a faster initial load time. It also conserves bandwidth when loading assets for the web page.

The best part is it caches the requested data only. However, the downside is in the cache miss penalty. It often causes delays in getting data to the application.

Another downtime of lazy loading is the way data in the cache can become stale when the cache has no updates.

Why Use Caching?

Now you know the different caching strategies, it’s time to learn their benefits. The most popular advantage is reducing bandwidth consumption. It decreases traffic within your network, preventing congestion.

Caching also decreases access latency. It minimizes the transmission delay since it won’t use remote data servers. Instead, it gets data from the nearest proxy cache.

Lastly, caching reduces the remote web server’s workload through a wider data spread. It distributes the data among proxy caches within the WAN.

Use These Caching Strategies for Your Website Today

With these caching strategies, you can ease up the server load. It means better performance and faster loading times. When done properly, your server cache can make your website execute actions faster and boost your SEO ranking.

Did you find this helpful? We also have articles that cover topics to improve your website’s performance and rankings. Check them out and learn.

 

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