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What is Redis Cache?

February 24, 2022
What Is Redis Cache

Redis cache is one of the most popular caching tools used to speed up WordPress websites. Like WordPress, it’s open source, so it is a great option to use alongside WordPress.

However, if you are not familiar with caching in general, it can be a bit overwhelming to understand what Redis is for and how Redis cache works.

In this article, you will learn what Redis cache is and why it’s one of the most popular caching tools available today.

We’ll start with a brief explanation of caching in general and then dive deeper into how Redis cache works and how Redis Cache can be used to speed up your WordPress website.

What is Caching?

To get started, what is caching? Caching is a temporary storage mechanism that allows websites to load information faster. Instead of accessing the database directly, the website will access the cached version and pull the necessary information from the server memory.

You can learn more about WordPress and website cache in our article, Caching for WordPress.

What is Redis Cache? Redis Cache Explained

So, what is Redic cache? When it comes to Redis, Redis is short for Remote Dictionary Server. Redis is a caching system that works by temporarily storing information in a key-value data structure.

Redis cache is popular because it is available in almost all major programming languages. In addition, like WordPress, it is open source, which means it is a well-supported system that is a brilliant way to speed up your website or application without incurring a high cost.

What is Redis Used For?

Redis is used for speeding up website page load time for users. When it comes to WordPress websites, it is mainly used as a caching system to temporarily store information that would usually sit in a database. This way, it can be loaded much faster rather than having to access the database directly.

While Redis cache is primarily used as a caching system to speed up WordPress websites, Redis itself is much more powerful than that. It can also be used as a database and a message broker, but in this article, we will focus on Redis and how it is used as a caching mechanism.

Redis cache shines when used with WordPress websites as an object caching tool. Since WordPress is such a powerful and flexible Content Management System, it has lots of data objects that need to be accessed regularly.

What is Object Caching?

An object in programming terminology is an abstract data structure that the programmer defines.

For example, in WordPress, there are many objects such as Posts, Pages, or users. When using WooCommerce, you have even more objects such as Products or Orders. These objects are stored in the database and accessed multiple times while you use your WordPress website.

Object caching allows you to keep the objects in temporary memory so that you do not need to go back to the database to access the data.

How Does Redis Cache Work With Object Caching?

Since WordPress works with many types of objects, each time those objects need to be accessed, your website has to access the database to retrieve the information. Redis makes this faster by temporarily storing the retrieved data. Then, next time your website needs this information, your website can access it from the temporary storage instead of having to access it from the database.

This will significantly speed up your WordPress website since accessing your website database using SQL queries is a lot slower than accessing the needed information via the Redis object caching system.

One area where this is tremendously helpful is the WordPress admin panel. If you have thousands of posts or products, Redis object cache will help speed up your backend so that you can update your website fast.

Without Redis cache, every time you log in to your backend, you would need WordPress to access the various objects in the database. This will eventually lead to slower load times as the amount of content on your website increases.

How Does Redis Work?

So now that you know what Redis cache is and what Redis is for, we can dive a bit deeper into learning exactly how Redis cache works.

The key to understanding how Redis cache works is to know how a dictionary works in programming. A dictionary is a data structure with two linked elements — a key and a value. In short, the key is used to access the value.

How Redis cache works is by assigning the original database query as the key and then resulting data as the value. Now, the Redis system can access the resulting database call by using the key which it has stored in its built-in temporary memory.

Now, this specific database call is ready to be reaccessed as many times as needed without running the database query again. Depending on the Redis cache setup, this can stay in memory for a few hours, a few minutes, or longer.

Redis also has a built-in system to ensure the database call is up-to-date by having built-in settings that will clear the WordPress cache either when the content is updated or in specifically timed intervals.

How Do I Use Redis Cache for My Website?

Now that you know what Redis cache is, it’s important to know how to use it with your WordPress website. In short, you will need to set up the Redis cache system on the server that is hosting your website server.

While there are a lot of resources available to explain this process, unfortunately, it is not an easy task and will require some advanced server management skills.

It’s also essential to ensure that you have Redis cache setup correctly and optimized for WordPress websites. Otherwise, you can risk experiencing some unexpected behaviors on your websites, such as outdated pages or some pages not loading accurately.

When it comes to installing and setting up Redis cache, we recommend you leave this in the hands of server experts.

Get Built-In Caching With Nexcess

We know how important it is to have a fast-loading website, and we also know Redis cache — seriously, we’re pros!

That’s why here at Nexcess, we offer built-in Redis object cache with all of our fully managed WordPress hosting plans. Hosting with Nexcess means that your websites will load blazing fast and you won’t have to worry about setting up Redis correctly.

With Nexcess, you can manage all of your caching within the WordPress admin panel. If you are running a WooCommerce store, we have an advanced WooCommerce cache system enabled with our fully managed WooCommerce hosting plans.

With Nexcess’ built-in caching, the heavy lifting is done for you — we ensure the Redis cache is set up correctly so that you can focus on your business.

Try Fully Managed WordPress Hosting from Nexcess

We hope this article has helped in getting Redis cache explained, and we look forward to having you onboard one of our Nexcess plans. Try our fully managed WordPress hosting if you are looking to speed up your website. With Nexcess, you will have a blazingly fast website and save yourself lots of time and frustration.

We are experts in WordPress hosting and ensure that your WordPress website is always up to date, fast, and secure.

With our industry-leading visual comparison system and our award-winning 24/7/365 WordPress support, you can rest assured your website is working the way it should.

Plus, with our free migration service, you can get your website set up on Nexcess hassle-free.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

Rashid Ali
Rashid Ali

Rashid Ali is WordPress specialist with over 10 years of experience. He’s currently working as a Level 2 Support specialist at LearnDash where he has helped thousands of customers with their LearnDash powered websites.