WordPress Core Contributor Konstantin Kovshenin has released a new page caching plugin called Surge. Searching the WordPress plugin directory, you will find hundreds of caching and cache purging plugins, but this one stands out from competitors in that it requires no configuration. The plugin starts working as soon as it’s activated, and there are no options.
What kind of performance improvements can you expect with Surge activated? Kovshenin’s tests indicate that WordPress site performance on cheap hosting can be significantly improved with the plugin:
Surge stores cache files on the filesystem, leveraging the Linux kernel page cache for efficient in-memory caching and invalidation. In various load tests, Surge has shown to easily handle 1000-2500 requests per second at 100 concurrent, on a cheap single-core virtual server with only 1 GB of memory. That’s over 70x faster than a stock WordPress install with a default theme and no plugins.
Kovshenin built Surge because he could not find a suitable plugin to work well Sail, the CLI tool he has been developing for deploying WordPress apps to DigitalOcean.
“The biggest blocker for me was the configuration, screen after screen after screen, the amount of hoops I had to jump through just to get things working,” he said. “And sure, there are on-screen guides and wizards, video tutorials, hundreds of documentation articles, but all I wanted was a page caching plugin, not a rocket (no pun intended). I had to roll my own.”
In the interest of simplicity, Surge doesn’t even come with a “clear cache” button. Kovshenin said the plugin will automatically invalidate cached entries on various different events, such as when content is updated. He said you can toggle the plugin off and on if for some reason you need to clear the page cache.
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