Cache-Control

Description

Good caching policies is one of performance’s best friends, and it can be your new best friend too. Get friendly with intermediary and browser caches by taking control over your WordPress powered website’s HTTP Cache-Control headers.

This is not a caching plugin in itself, but will enable you to leverage existing standard compliant caching systems better. You can set different policies for different kinds of pages to suite your website’s needs. The Cache-Control for WordPress plugin allows you to set different policies for shared/intermediary and private caches. The plugin sets some sensible defaults for a medium traffic blog that publishes an update or two per week.

You can safely set long Cache-Control times as the max-age values is lowered automatically before a scheduled post is about to be published.

Private pages (logged in users, the admin interface, etc.) will not be cached.

The plugin has extensive documentation.

Installation

  1. Upload the plugin files to the /wp-content/plugins/cache-control directory, or install the plugin through the WordPress plugins screen directly.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ screen in WordPress
  3. Use the Settings->Cache-Control screen to configure the plugin

Optionally, also setup mod_cache in Apache or some kind of reverse proxy like Varnish or Nginx to improve your WordPress site’s loading performance.

FAQ

Installation Instructions
  1. Upload the plugin files to the /wp-content/plugins/cache-control directory, or install the plugin through the WordPress plugins screen directly.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ screen in WordPress
  3. Use the Settings->Cache-Control screen to configure the plugin

Optionally, also setup mod_cache in Apache or some kind of reverse proxy like Varnish or Nginx to improve your WordPress site’s loading performance.

What are Cache-Control headers and how do I use them?

Please refer to RFC 2616 Section 13. If you’re unfamiliar with this header, you’ll want to disable this plugin until you’ve read up on caching in general. Apache’s caching guide is a great resource to get better acquainted with caching. This plugin should be used with great care as it breaks assumptions set by WordPress core and most plugin authors that every page will be regenerated for every request.

How do I test my new HTTP headers?

You can use your web browser’s developer tools, or a web utility for inspecting headers like Redbot.

What Cache-Control headers fields can I set?

These fields can be configured individually:

  • max-age
  • s-maxage
  • stale-if-error
  • stale-while-revalidate

Alternatively, uncacheable pages are served with no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate.

Does this plugin cache and serve static content?

No, but it tells caching reverse proxies like Apache’s mod_cache, Varnish, Squid, that it’s okay to cache the content generated by WordPress for the specified intervals you define in the header.

What about non-public pages like the admin interface? Preview pages? Logged in users?

These pages are always set as non-cacheable. Whether caches respect this is up to their configuration. By default, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Can I serve stale content while revalidating asynchronously?

Yes, the stale-if-error and stale-while-revalidate headers from RFC 5861 are supported. Please verify with your reverse proxy, content distribution network (CDN), or web accelerator whether RFC 5861 is supported there too. Setting the headers doesn’t help when your deployment doesn’t support them.

Can I control the cacheability of Atom and RSS feeds?

Yes, there is a separate setting for feeds. It’s recommended to set it to a few hours to preserve device battery and network bandwidth on users’ devices even if your site is updated very frequently.

What about dynamic content?

Caching means pages will be static (non-changing) in caches that store them. Dynamic themes that modify page content will generate one variant that is served to all users for as long as a cache consider the response “fresh”. You can use client-side scripting to make some elements (ad banners, recent posts, etc.) update more frequently than the rest of the page.

Is this incompatible with other plugins?

Any plugin that require dynamic content will be negatively affected. For example, many anti-comment spam plugins will not work when served statically from a cache. Make sure to test every feature on your website after enabling caching. Plugins that produce texts, images, ads, and the like will produce one output and potentially have that served to all users until the cache expires.

Reviews

This is an absolute necessity!

I don’t know why I didn’t use this plugin before rather than fighting with my server includes files and htaccess. With this plugin taking care of the pages generated by WordPress I can concentrate on static files like images, js and css.

Thank you so much!

Control de cache for html content

This is not a plugin like W3 Total Cache. It help you to configure properly the HTML header’s so the content can be cached correctly. It help me a lot to cache the html content with cloudflare.

Read all 3 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Cache-Control” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

Translate “Cache-Control” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

2.2.0

  • New feature: Set stale-if-error and stale-while-revalidate fields. (RFC 5861)
  • Change: A s-maxage value is no longer set by default.
  • More extensive plugin documentation.

2.1.2

  • Resolved a problem where sticky posts could make the front page and archives uncacheable.

2.1.1

  • New feature: New filter hooks for more direct control of the Cache-Control header. See HACKING. (Thanks to Ross Featherstone.)
  • Password protected posts are no longer cached after being unlocked.

2.0.2

  • Resolved a compatibility issue for non-English locales.

2.0.1

  • Resolved a problem with unbuffered output during redirect handling.

2.0.0

  • New feature: Enable caching of HTTP 301 Moved Permanently redirects (1 day by default).
  • New feature: Stale posts (no comments and not modified) optionally multiplied by months since last activity (equal to max-age × years).
  • WordPress core bug work-around: Add body message to HTTP redirects (fix for mod_cache).

1.2

  • Resolved a problem that made author pages uncacheable.

1.1

  • Reduce caching max-age when a scheduled post is imminent.
  • Pagination factor limited to an upper value of ten times the base cache time.

1.0

  • Added individual control for search result pages, 404 Not Found responses, and attachment pages.

0.9

  • Initial public release.

0.7

  • Here be dragons.