On WP Super Cache

Everyone’s been talking about WP Super Cache, the new WordPress plugin based off the old WP-Cache 2. By storing static copies of your posts for a predetermined amount of time (then refreshing them after they expire), it reduces server load by a huge margin, which hopefully keeps your site from going down if you get “Dugg.”

It’s a great idea, but I’m not about to install it yet. As it says on the website, “dynamic content such as that within the sidebar, will only refresh when the cached pages are refreshed.” That, of course will cause major problems with some plugins. It’s hard to explain why those plugins won’t work, but I can give you some examples.

Basically plugins that need to run PHP routines on every pageload. Plugins like Share This would work fine, because they always output the same HTML. Popularity Contest is a great plugin that is widely used across the blogosphere, but I can’t imagine it being possible for it to work with WP Super Cache.

Interestingly, Holy Shmoly (where the WP Super Cache download is located) is running the caching plugin…yet there is a “popular posts” list in the sidebar. Does Popularity Contest somehow work with WP Super Cache…or is the list just a static part of the template? I don’t see how Popularity Contest could work with Super Cache, as it counts the number of post views as they happen. The original WP-Cache 2 had a feature to make part of a page dynamic… Does Super Cache have that ability as well?

On the up side, WP Super Cache makes your blog wicked fast. In the past few days, there were a few blogs using the caching plugin on the Digg front page. They stayed up, and ran reasonably fast. Now that the worst part of the Digg Effect is over, they run a lot faster than a normal WP installation.

I like the idea of caching this blog, but I’m not about to do it unless I can keep Popularity Contest.

  • http://ocaoimh.ie/ Donncha O Caoimh

    Page counters really need to be implemented with a Javascript counter instead of counting by PHP. My own counter used to work completely through PHP but then I had to filter out the search engines so I changed it to use Javascript.

    That has the neat side effect of working when the page itself is cached as a html file!

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com Matt

    I use Google Analytics for most of my statistics (which is JavaScript). I use Popularity Contest on my archives page (which gets a bit of traffic).

  • http://omninoggin.com Thaya Kareeson

    I’ve taken Donncha’s suggestion on using Javascript to count the pages instead of PHP and made Popularity Contest work with WP-Super-Cache.  Please take a look at my post (where you can get the cache-able Popularity Contest code).

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com Matt

    That’s interesting… I’ll have to try this out sometime.

    I’ve always used Google Analytics for my stats, but for awhile I used Popularity Contest in tandem because it had the ability to automatically generate a list of the most popular posts, which could be included in my sidebar (and Archives page).

    I’ll have a closer look at this soon, and maybe write-up a post about it.

  • http://omninoggin.com/ Thaya Kareeson

    Matt,Thank you for your interest.  Please let me know if you run into any difficulties.  Most likely the difficulty is probably my fault for not considering a certain platform or corner case.Thaya