What is Varnish Cache? – Explained

Like I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, I’ve been a blogger for quite some time now. Around a year and a half ago, a friend and I started discussing about creating our own website. After some deliberation, we settled on a WordPress powered website. But the choice of hosting was still not clear.

Being in the web domain & hosting industry, I suggested we opt for varnish cache enabled hosting service so that the website’s growth in future can be handled easily without constant upgradation. If you too are clueless, like she was about what Varnish Cache is, this article will help you understand the wonder called Varnish Cache.

Let us begin by understanding, what is varnish cache.

Varnish Cache is a robust web accelerator that allows, content-rich dynamic websites to endure high traffic. It enables web pages to load faster, by as much as 1000%. Thus, the average waiting time for a page to load is drastically reduced.

Now that we have an idea of what Varnish Cache is, let’s try to understand the inner workings of varnish cache.

Usually, whenever a user requests data from a website, the data is received by the user by the common request-response practice. Here the browser of the user and the web server of the hosted website converse. Once the server receives the browser’s request, it decodes the request, understands, collects and assembles the required resources and, finally sends the data back to the browser. It follows this procedure for every single request.

If you’re an e-commerce website or a website dealing with heavy traffic, chances are your website will become slow as the passing and retrieval process takes times. This is where Varnish Cache comes into the picture.

As you can see in the above figure, Varnish Cache is placed right in the middle of the browser i.e the client and the web server. Now everytime a browser requests some data, Varnish Cache saves a copy of the requested information, so the next time someone requests for it the data is delivered right from Varnish. This procedure saves the time it takes to go to the server and fetch the data once again. With time more data is cached in the varnish and this enables the users to access data easily and in less time than usual.

This directly takes us to the benefits and why you should use Varnish Cache.

  1. Varnish Cache boosts the speed of your content-rich website.
  2. Quick load speed aids in enhancing user-experience and customer retention.
  3. Your web server can handle the website traffic efficiently with increased and seamless performance.
  4. In case of server failure, your website still continues to be up by delivering cached content.
  5. You no longer need to upgrade your existing hosting package every now and then, as it can keep up with high traffic. This, in turn, makes your website scalable.
  6. Blazing website speed ensure that your website makes it to the search engines and is visible.
  7. Varnish also reduces the number of servers required. Not only do you save spending more but also reduce the carbon footprint. Eco-friendly isn’t it? 🙂

After I had finished explaining varnish cache to my friend in this detail you know what happened next, don’t you? Yes, you guessed it right! We chose the hosting which had varnish enabled in it. Since I’m associated with ResellerClub and RC is one of the few providers who provide varnish, we decided to host our website with them. However, the only confusion was to choose between Shared Hosting and Cloud Hosting. Eventually, we settled on Cloud Hosting for added reliability and easy scalability.

It’s over a year, since the launch of our website and as predicted we do get a lot of traffic on it. And I’m glad we’ve not had any issues so far!

Hope this post has answered your question on what is varnish cache. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments box below. Till then adios!

About H. Fatima

H. FatimaIn the days of yore, H. Fatima used to be an Engineer by profession and Writer by passion until she started pursuing full time writing. Her blog is a collection of short vignettes, stories and poems. She mostly writes what she deeply perceives and analyzes. It is her way of unwinding. Her interests include writing, reading (an avid reader), listening to various genres of music, volunteering and watching movies.

H. Fatima

H. Fatima

In the days of yore, H. Fatima used to be an Engineer by profession and Writer by passion until she started pursuing full time writing. Her blog is a collection of short vignettes, stories and poems. She mostly writes what she deeply perceives and analyzes. It is her way of unwinding. Her interests include writing, reading (an avid reader), listening to various genres of music, volunteering and watching movies.