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Caching Web Sites With PEAR Cache
Improve site performance with a PHP-driven cache

| Traffic Jam |

Think of today's Web as a freeway, ferrying cars of all shapes and sizes to their destinations. Zoom in a few factors, and focus on the red Ferrari travelling north at high speed. Notice how it's able to dodge and swerve past its larger brethren because of its small size and efficient design. Then take a look at the large black truck a few kilometres behind it, slowly lumbering forward with its load of cut-price refrigerators. Notice how slowly it's travelling, and how its monstrous size hinders its ability to take advantages of changes in the traffic flow.

More often than not, today's Web sites more closely resemble the big black truck crawling along the freeway than the little red Ferrari zipping through traffic. This is a natural consequence of the bells and whistles - sophisticated interfaces, streaming media, dynamically-generated content - increasingly sported by Web sites in their attempts to attract and retain visitors. As sites become more content-rich, as their reliance on dynamic data sources increases, as more and more requests come in per minute, it's only natural that the first casualty be the performance of the system.

Fortunately, it's not all doom and gloom. By "caching" certain sections of your Web site, you can reduce the load on your server, significantly improve application response times and make your users happier. Over the course of this article, I'm going to use PEAR's Cache class to show you how.


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