Switching from Memcache to the Memcached Extension

How one little “d” led to big performance improvements and stability for VIP customers

We’ve made changes to our object cache that have had a significant impact on our WordPress VIP Platform

By switching from the memcache PHP extension to the memcached extension, we’ve been able to deliver a performance bump for our customer base—without them lifting a development finger.

That small but mighty addition of a little “d” had quite the effect in our efforts to deliver the most stable and performant digital experiences on the web. 

The value of Memcached

Memcached caches data and objects in RAM to reduce the number of times an external data source (such as a database or API) must be read. 

Our switch to the memecached extension presents greater opportunities for optimizing object caching

In particular, the Memcached PHP extension allows running multiple cache key lookups within one network request via getMulti(). This can drastically reduce the number of round-trip network requests being made between PHP and the Memcached servers. At the same time, the performance of Core WordPress has also been improving based on internal usage of wp_cache_get_multiple(), helping it take advantage of this functionality.

These enhancements stack to provide significant performance improvements for WordPress VIP customers

Each WordPress environment is provisioned with memcached, offering an opportunity to cache repetitive or expensive computations in memory to improve performance. 

Speed makes all the difference in a digital experience

As a result of this change, we saw a dramatic 20% improvement in loadtimes for our customers—a real boon for them and their customers.

Why is this so important? According to Google research cited by HubSpot, when loading times increase from one to three seconds, “the probability of a bounce (the visitor leaving right away) increases by 32 percent. If the page takes five seconds to load, the probability of a bounce rises by 90 percent.”

Another reason page speed matters: It can make or break your brand’s reputation. If your web pages take forever to load, you’ll look unprofessional and your website won’t be the most reliable source of information or deliver a great shopping experience.

All of this is why we’re committing to making WordPress VIP sites not only the most stable but also the swiftest on the web

Thank you, little “d.” 


Stephen Edde

Product Marketing Manager, WordPress VIP

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