SiteGround has just launched an update to its popular NGINX based SuperCacher for WordPress Users. The SuperCacher will now notify you whether your website is Dynamically Cached, as well as allowing you to test specific URLs as well.
We suspect that the change from their Varnish based SuperCacher to NGINX (pronounced "Engine X") caused a few issues for some of their customers. Indeed, we spent some time with their Senior Supervisor, Daniel Kanchev, when it was first released, to work out the best configuration for WordPress users as the results were not as expected due to a conflict with W3 Total Cache, although this was quickly resolved.
The conflict with W3 Total Cache
If you used our W3 Total Cache settings with the old Varnish SuperCacher, you would have noted that "Page Cache" was enabled via W3 Total Cache. With the new NGINX based SuperCacher, you can no longer do this as it caches your pages without the "X-Cache-Enabled: True" header. This header is needed by the SuperCacher, and without it, the SuperCacher will not work. We suspect similar problems might be seen with other caching plugins.
The good new is that the new NGINX SuperCacher now does the Page Caching as well, so W3 Total Cache is no longer needed.
The above information is quite technical for the average user, and as a result, might cause some confusion resulting in users not getting the most out of their hosting or even believing that SiteGround is slower than it is.
To help their customers, SiteGround now issues a notice within the WordPress dashboard if the Caching is not working correctly, and also allows users to check specific pages. If there is a problem, then the user is alerted and can seek help from the SiteGround support team.
So Let's Look at the Changes
There are two new features as summarized below:
1. Notification for New Users
When the plugin is activated in WordPress, you will receive notification in the admin. area if the website is not being cached by the SuperCacher. The notice will read:
SG CachePress: Your website http://www.yourdomain.com is not cached! Make sure the Dynamic Cache is enabled in the SuperCache tool in cPanel. Click here to hide this notice.
You can see a screenshot of the notice below (image via SiteGround Blog):
2. Ability to Test whether your URLs are Cached
The second feature is the ability to test whether specific URLs are cached. It should be noted that the URL's in the SuperCacher are only cached for a limited amount of time and therefore you may find that some less frequently cached pages are not cached (until you visit them).
This feature is useful if you want to exclude pages specifically from being cached, such as shopping carts, profile pages, etc. There is already in an option within the SuperCacher plugin to specifically exclude further pages if required, and this tool works well to make sure everything is working as you expect.
A screenshot of the URL checker is below:
For new users with a fresh WordPress install activating the SuperCacher is easy. You just need to activate the SG CachePress plugin (automatically installed if WordPress installed via SiteGround installer), ensuring the Dynamic Cache and Memcached settings are toggled to "on." Then in your cPanel under the SuperCacher settings, you do the same. SuperCacher can be setup in minutes.
However, the new features will help new users and those who transfer websites to SiteGround to get up and running smoothly and with as little fuss as possible.
If you are interested in signing up with SiteGround, you can get 60 percent off with our special offer for The Webmaster readers. You can also see how the SuperCacher compares with W3 Total Cache here (the tutorial contains speed test comparisons). Finally, you can find links to our SiteGround reviews in the sidebar, as well as a link to further news articles.