Modern web applications have to be fast and responsive. A nice user friendly design no longer suffices, as users become more and more impatient. Visitors compare the speed of your website with the speed of Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc. Every millisecond delay in delivering a webpage will cost you visitors and business. Ask yourself: would you rather look for something on a slow page or on a fast page? Of course you would prefer the fast one! We look at three methods to increase the speed of your website on IIS.
Speed of WebPages matter. Nowadays, even search engines incorporate the speed of your site into its search rank. In this context, speed means low latency and high responsiveness. It does not mean scaling to many users. Caching is one of the best optimization techniques for this case. Caching can occur at every step of the request/response cycle: at the user side, the web server or in your PHP application. In this article we are going to have a look at three caching options available with PHP applications running on IIS web servers:
- With HTTP headers, you can control whether and how long requesting clients or intermediate proxies can cache. The advantage of this option is that during later access, no new requests are sent to the server, and therefore, no server resources or bandwidth is required.
- With the IIS Output Cache, frequently requested files are kept directly in the working memory and are issued upon request. Access to the file system is no longer necessary; PHP scripts and database access are no longer performed.
- The WinCache PHP Extension speeds up the execution of PHP scripts. WinCache caches the Opcodes of the compiled PHP scripts and reduces execution time as well as the number of accesses to the file system.
We are going to explore all three options in the sections that follow.
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