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Everything You Want to Know About Caching

Published on 11 May 17

As internet users, we all get very frustrated with images that seem to take long to load, buffering videos, and pages that get stuck while loading. It is a lot quicker to load content from cache than it is to fetch the same resource from an originating server. It speeds up loading of resources, decreases server load, reduces latency, and cuts down bandwidth related costs.

What is a Cache?

A web or browser cache is a location on your computer where files are stored temporarily. The locally cached files include documents such as html files, JavaScript scripts, CSS style sheets, multimedia content as well as graphic images, all of which make up a website. HTTP headers issue instructions to the browser on how to cache websites. There are some headers to set and often, they will overlap. Here are some cache headers that you will probably need to consider:

Everything You Want to Know About Caching - Image 1
  • ETag
  • Last-Modified
  • If-None-Match
  • If-Modified-Since
  • Expires
  • Cache-Control
  • Date

Yes, they are quite a few. So, let us dive right in.