Server Cache vs Browser Cache
The cache is an integral part of the internet experience, a term that we occasionally come across, with many myths surrounding it. Should I clear cache often? Will it change my settings? Will I lose my system data? What is the difference between Server Cache and Browser Cache?
Most of these exist due to our lack of understanding of one of the basic components of the networked world. Here we break all the myths, clear the air, and give you a well-rounded understanding of what a cache is and the difference between server cache and browser cache. Read on to find out what our web developers at Perth say.
What is a cache?
A cache can be considered as a storage space for temporary files used to improve performance, reduce page loading time, and create a better user experience while using a device, app, or browser. It reduces the load time by storing data like multimedia data to preload it for subsequent visits, thus cutting downtime. The cache is regularly refreshed to keep up with updated content.
Caching is, in a way, a shortcut to cut resources and make the internet experience more-time efficient. A web page may have elements like images, video, special fonts, and more. These are the kind of data that are usually stored in a cache.
Depending on where the memory is stored, there are three kinds of caches: Site cache, Server cache and browser cache. One of the most common queries we get is what is the difference between Server cache and Browser cache? Let’s look at them in detail.
What is server cache?
A server cache is a cache stored at the server end of the connection. This cache is the best method to reduce server loads. When the server receives a request, it will check the cache and serve the stored content right away. This helps in cutting down the loading time considerably. This is especially helpful for high-traffic sites to return webpages faster.
Server cache can be considered as an umbrella time for many types of caches. The most common include:
- Object cache: This kind of cache is used for quick retrieval and faster page loading for database queries.
- CDN cache: Content Delivery Network is a set of servers that are located at different geographic locations. The server that’s closest to the end-user will return cached content to load content faster.
- Opcode cache: This cache stores precompiled codes so that PHP does not have to load and parse scripts for every request.
What is a browser cache?
Browser cache, as the name suggests, exists on the user’s browser. The browser cache is stored in the user’s hard drive. A browser cache makes sure that it is not necessary to download every element of a webpage for every subsequent visit. For example, a page you frequently visit will have many elements that do not change over time, like icons and logos. It is practical to store these images from the first visit to reduce the time required for loading on later visits.
Our web developers recommend regularly clearing cache, that is, the browser cache at the end-user side. Caches are stores of memory, which means it takes up space. Since the data in it can also be outdated over time, it is practical to clear the cache regularly. Clearing cache can solve site loading and formatting issues. The downside is that your saved username and passwords will be deleted. You will need to re-enter them the next time and then save them. And no, clearing cache does not delete your system files. The process deletes temporary files stored by your browser only.
Server – It is a system or computer that stores, processes and delivers webpages to users.
Content Delivery Network – a group of servers that are geographically distributed to provide faster internet content delivery.
PHP – A general-purpose scripting language used for web development.