How to use Edge Caching to improve WordPress performance


When your website serves visitors worldwide, slow loading times and high latency can significantly hinder the user experience. Whether you're managing a personal blog, an e-commerce store, or hosting an application, speed and responsiveness are critical factors that can determine the overall user experience.

Unsatisfied users quickly leave the sites.  How can you enhance their experience?

Thankfully, there are powerful tools available to enhance website performance, with one of the most impactful being edge caching.

If you've ever been frustrated by slow loading times or unresponsive performance on your WordPress site, this guide is made for you. Let's take a look at the area of edge caching and find out how to supercharge WordPress.

Many WordPress hosting providers offer built-in edge caching solutions or compatibility with popular Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) that provide edge caching functionality. Popular WordPress caching plugins can also integrate with edge caching services.

What is Edge Caching?

Edge computing focuses on minimizing the physical distance between a client (your website's visitors) and the origin server (where your website is hosted).

Many CDNs utilize edge servers for this purpose. Typically, CDNs function by distributing centralized data centers across the world. However, many of these data centers are still geographically distant from the majority of their users.

"The edge" refers to the outer perimeter of a CDN or the network infrastructure nearest to end-users. It's where edge servers are typically located, often at physical internet exchange points where ISPs and CDNs connect, aiming to minimize the distance between users and servers.

Edge caching is a powerful method that leverages the expansive network infrastructure to store duplicates of website content nearer to its users. This approach effectively cuts down the time needed to retrieve data from the origin server.

How Edge Caching Works

When a user asks for content from a website, like images, videos, or web pages, the request usually goes to the closest edge server instead of directly to your main server.

Edge caching functions by retaining both static and dynamic content on these edge servers. Static content, like images, CSS files, and JavaScript, remains constant for all users and can be cached for long durations. Dynamic content, which may alter frequently, necessitates more meticulous caching strategies.

Caching content at the edge allows for serving subsequent requests for the same content directly from the edge server, eliminating the need to fetch it from the origin server.

This helps your server work better and makes data travel less distance, making things load faster, reducing delays, and improving how well everything works.

Edge caching is especially useful for websites with a worldwide audience. By utilizing a CDN's widespread edge servers, users from all over the world can quickly and dependably access content.

What websites benefit from Edge Caching?

Edge caching benefits a wide range of websites, from basic static sites to fully interactive applications. Let's explore deeper into the types of websites that can benefit from the significantly enhanced performance provided by edge caching.

Static sites

Static websites, which consist of fixed content that rarely changes, are well-suited for edge caching.

These sites typically encompass blogs, portfolios, landing pages, and informational websites devoid of dynamic elements. They primarily feature HTML, CSS, image assets, and client-side scripts like JavaScript.

Although edge caching can be effective for certain dynamic content types, it necessitates additional configuration. The pre-rendered structure of static websites aligns seamlessly with edge caching, as cache files remain up-to-date for weeks or even months.

Edge caching removes the need to repeatedly fetch unchanged content from the origin server, ensuring instant access to cached resources and enhancing the browsing experience with smoother navigation.

Interactive applications

Edge caching is crucial for optimizing website performance heavily on interactive applications or dynamic content delivery, such as e-commerce platforms or social media networks.

Traditional caching methods frequently need to be revised for dynamic and personalized content. For a long time, only static content, such as images and HTML, could be cached.

Demanding and high-resource websites

High-traffic websites or resource-intensive applications like streaming platforms or online gaming portals can experience significant benefits from edge caching.

These websites frequently serve large files like videos, audio streams, or high-resolution images, which may strain origin servers and network bandwidth, leading to buffering and latency issues.

Edge caching relieves the load on your servers by storing and delivering these large files from the edge servers nearest to your visitors. Furthermore, the distributed setup of edge servers empowers you to manage substantial traffic surges and scale as your user base expands.

E-commerce sites

In e-commerce sites, every second counts in retaining or losing a potential customer, making it crucial not to waste any time.

Edge caching effectively handles caching dynamic content, like product listings, pricing details, and user sessions, requiring fast and reliable delivery. It also caches frequently visited product pages, images, and other resources at the edge servers.

How does Edge Caching work in WordPress?

Edge caching works in WordPress by storing static and dynamic content on geographically distributed servers, closer to website visitors, for faster loading times and improved website performance. Here's a breakdown of the process:

Initial Request: When a visitor accesses your WordPress website for the first time, their browser sends a request to your origin server (where your WordPress site is hosted).

Content Generation: The origin server processes the request, generates the webpage content (including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and images), and sends it back to the visitor's browser.

Edge Server Caching:  If the content being requested is considered "cacheable" (usually static content like images, CSS, and JavaScript), a copy of that content is also stored on the edge server closest to the visitor's location.

Subsequent Requests: When another visitor from the same geographical area visits your website and requests the same content, the request is first routed to the nearest edge server.

Serving from Edge:  If the requested content is found in the edge server's cache (because it was previously stored there), the edge server directly delivers that content to the visitor's browser, bypassing the need to communicate with the origin server again. This significantly reduces the time it takes for the content to load.

Dynamic Content Handling:  For dynamic content that undergoes frequent changes, such as blog posts or user-generated content, edge caching may adopt a more sophisticated strategy. Techniques like "cache invalidation" ensure that edge servers only serve the most recent version of the content.

Benefits of Edge Caching for WordPress:

Faster Loading Times: By serving content from geographically closer edge servers, users experience significantly faster loading times, leading to a better user experience and potentially higher conversion rates.

Reduced Server Load: By offloading static content from the origin server, edge caching reduces server load, improving overall website performance and scalability.

Improved Global Reach: Edge caching benefits users worldwide by ensuring faster content delivery regardless of their physical location.

Integration with WordPress:

Overall, edge caching is a powerful tool for optimizing WordPress website performance and enhancing the user experience for visitors around the globe.


In conclusion, edge caching is a powerful tool for optimizing website performance, particularly for those with a global reach. Storing content closer to users at edge servers reduces latency, improves load times, and enhances overall user experience. Leveraging edge caching, websites can efficiently serve content to users worldwide, ensuring fast and reliable access regardless of geographical location.

Author Bio

Rajiv R.

Rajiv Ray is an experienced professional in web hosting with 20 years of expertise. He's well-known for his deep understanding of the industry and has made valuable contributions to the success of many projects throughout his career. He is highly experienced in server management, security protocols, and new technologies. Recognized for his dedication and innovative solutions, he continues to play a crucial role in the ever-changing world of web hosting.

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