Monday, 19 October 2015 11:23

How to clean Joomla cache

Introduction

The content caching is very often used inside Joomla core as well as 3rd party's extensions. Main advantage is faster response of page content in browser but only in the case when the page or parts of it are already stored in the cache.

Process of caching of yet not cached page is time consuming and usually takes tens up to hundreds milliseconds for page content parts (stored in Joomla global cache) and several seconds for entire page content (stored in so called page cache). The cached pages on live site for hundreds or thousands pages are created during long time (up to several hours).

For smooth operation of web site using cache(s) are critical two activities:

a)    how to clean (delete) old cached content for the page which content was changed to ensure that the new page content is correct presented in the browser

b)    how to recache latest page content into the cache

These two kinds of activities have heavy impact on site fast response. Have a look on some used scenarios.

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(Translation from german original with courtesy of author Jan Gieselberg, Joomla-Downloads)

The lowest possible load times are pleased not only by the website visitors, but Google search engine also evaluates page load time as an important parameter in its rating calculation. Short loading times of Joomla site can so pay twice positive for the administrator.

Of course the quality of web space, used server and the configuration plays an important role. But up to delivery of the finished page to the visitor browser every request passes through a number of processing stages that can positively or negatively affect the page build-up. Information must be retrieved from the database, permissions applied, code for components and plug-ins executed, and last but not least to be rendered by the framework inside of the template. And exactly up to this point, you can take advantage of shortcut in the form of a page cache. Because why to leave each page to be generated by the whole system if rarely changed pages, when "finalised" processed, you can store in a cache?

Actually, Joomla brings already cache function that must be activated in the configuration. But as so often, the devil is in the details. Because JotCache is not only just upgraded an extra cache to reduce load times, but also brings a few useful features that Joomla cache does not offer. This includes, for example, the option not only modules to exclude from the virtual storage but on request the exclusion is possible for whole module positions and components. JotCache shows in his administration only those items that are actually occupied by a module.

But JotCache is not creating just one version of the respective cached subpages. On request, it sets different versions for each browser type (Internet Explorer 6, 7, Firefox, etc.) and even it takes into account mobile devices. Not for nothing are bringing many modern Joomla templates the mature framework, referring specifically to the peculiarities of each browser. JotCache can handle many of them prepared in the buffer store.

In addition, JotCache lists all the cached pages so either by url or title page in its admin component, and may even wish to define styles and parameters exceptions differently or realize long storage periods. However important care have to be taken for the correct order of the included plugins. This means that the "marker" plugin belongs entirely to the beginning and the actual "cache" plugin completely to the end of all system plugins installed. Joomla's cache must be turned off completely when using JotCache, otherwise there will be problems.

Since JotCache not automatically cope with all occurrences of installed Joomla extensions, it is recommended to take a little test run on the desired project. As a good addition also can be used a plugin like the 'JCH Optimizer " which the CSS files and JavaScripts combines together. Again, you have to try out the correct settings on the site. A previous backup is of course always required. More information and the download can be found on the project page JotCache.

Published in Blog
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