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Caching for Static and Dynamic Content

Since each user's experience is unique, dynamic content is more challenging to cache and can only be provided to several users simultaneously. However, with the correct tools, storing dynamic content is feasible. One can classify the data provided by a web server as either static or dynamic.

Static Content

Delivering static content to a user does not need any kind of processing or generation from the content provider. In this system, a single file is used to store all of the data on the web server, and then that file is served to all of the users. A CDN for static content was initially intended to cache and deliver a website's static content solely.

Images, movies, CSS files, JavaScript files, Pdf, etc., are typical content types that are typically static but not necessarily. Static pages can also be created by a static site generator, which creates a website as static files. Static content is sent quickly because the server is not required to perform any processing.

Dynamic Content

On the other hand, the server creates dynamic content at the time of each request. This process typically involves multiple database searches and extensive code processing. Many elements, including the user's actions and geography, can influence the content presented. For instance, a user might see a somewhat changed page depending on whether or not they are signed into the website, regardless of whether they have chosen specific options when browsing the site, whether they have interacted with any advertising material, and so on.

Dynamic Content Caching

WordPress, Shopify, Magento, and Drupal are just a few popular CMS used to create websites today. Whenever a user requests, CMS systems create new webpages, making the website appear "dynamic" even if the content hasn't changed.

Likewise, identical input to an API request may yield the same results. Because of this, caching this information can prevent the server from having to generate it repeatedly.

Caching dynamic content entails making a request that creates the expected result, which could be an HTML webpage, a picture, JSON, etc. Once the results have been written to a file or cached in memory, they will be provided in response to each subsequent request till they expire or are deleted. When the time limit is reached, or a purging incident happens, the server is instructed to produce the content and save it once again as a static file. By storing copies of frequently accessed files, caching may speed up page loads and reduce the strain on servers.

Many optimizing WordPress plugins save their cache on a similar server as the central server.

How is static content cached?

When content is provided on the web, the cache often stores a copy of the static file, such as a picture, so that it can be returned to the user more rapidly the following time. Static material could be stored in browser caches and served through CDNs indefinitely so long as it is still being accessed. Since static material doesn't evolve, it's possible to reuse the same file multiple times without affecting the quality.

How can you speed up dynamic websites using Edge Side Includes (ESI)?

It's not uncommon for a significant portion of an active web page's content to remain constant for all viewers, while only specific aspects on the webpage are dynamic. Unfortunately, this results in many redundant HTML codes for every active page. Edge Side Includes (ESI) is a markup language that determines where dynamic content displays on a webpage, and a consortium of firms created it to address this inefficiency. (Even though some content delivery networks use it, ESI isn't officially recognized by the W3C.)

While the remainder of the page could be cached, content marked with an ESI tag must be loaded from an external source. When only a subset of the page needs to be created dynamically for every user, and the rest can be cached, the website loads significantly faster. Productivity gains are possible if ESI is used in tandem with Uploadcare.

Caching Dynamic Content on a CDN

Each platform has its unique way of caching dynamic content via a CDN. Still, they all have a foundation in a group of technologies known as Dynamic Site Acceleration (DSA).

With the Uploadcare Smarty Content Delivery Network (CDN), you can speed your applications’ delivery through the CDN's Points of Presence (PoPs) spreaded worldwide.

The HTTP requests and replies to your site could be altered, new replies generated, and parallel queries made using these bespoke serverless services. Site tasks could be executed by Uploadcare workers depending on a wide range of inputs, including user intervention, device type, geolocation, time of day, third-party APIs, and more.

It means you may use the CDN to develop and serve dynamic content to your customers. This procedure could be optimized by combining serverless operations with ESI tags.

Websites can benefit significantly from caching active material, especially entire pages since it can reduce loading speed and allow for more concurrent users. It is the first line of defense against sluggish server performance, and in most circumstances, it can be installed rapidly and with little effort.