Introducing Redis: Boosting WordPress Performance and Scalability

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Maria khan
Redis is revolutionizing caching with its rapid performance and scalability. Ideal for WordPress sites with high user load requirements, it optimizes read and write operations. Whether it's small-scale cache or a full-blown backend solution for static content, Redis has you covered. Learn to harness its power for a faster, more responsive website.
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This is a guest post. The views expressed below are those of the author and may not reflect those of WP Mayor.

Are you looking to supercharge your WordPress site’s performance and scalability? Meet Redis, the advanced key-value database server that’s revolutionizing the caching landscape. With its lightning-fast performance and unmatched scalability, Redis is an ideal solution for applications with heavy read, write, or user load requirements.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Redis and show you how to configure it in WordPress. Whether you’re seeking a small-scale cache or a full-blown caching backend solution for static content like images and stylesheets, Redis has got you covered.

Use Case Scenario

Imagine that you’re an owner of an online news portal built on WordPress. Your website gets hundreds of thousands of visitors daily, and the traffic spikes during significant events or breaking news. As a result, your website experiences slow page load times due to the heavy load on the database server. This issue not only frustrates your visitors but also negatively impacts your SEO ranking, as page load speed is a crucial factor in SEO.

You decide to implement Redis, the advanced key-value database server, to supercharge your website’s performance and scalability.

What is Redis?

Redis Diagram
Redis Diagram

Redis is an open-source tool that can be used to store and retrieve data in the same database, avoiding any need for a separate database. It’s also considered to be one of the most popular caching solutions on the market. Redis uses a programming language called Lua, which runs on any operating system and allows you to extend or customize its functionality if needed. 

How Redis Works

Redis is an open-source, in-memory data structure store that functions as a database, cache, and message broker. It is designed for high performance, simplicity, and versatility, making it a popular choice for many applications.

In-Memory Data Storage

Redis primarily stores data in memory, which allows for extremely fast read and write operations. By keeping data in memory, Redis avoids disk I/O operations, making it highly responsive.

Key-Value Data Model

Redis follows a key-value data model, where each piece of data is associated with a unique key. This allows for quick retrieval of data by directly accessing the associated key.

Data Persistence

While Redis is an in-memory data store, it provides options for data persistence. It supports snapshotting, where it periodically saves the dataset to disk as a snapshot. Redis also offers an append-only file (AOF) logging mechanism that logs every write operation, allowing for data recovery in case of system failures.

Data Structures

Redis provides a rich set of data structures, such as strings, lists, sets, sorted sets, hashes, and more. These data structures enable storing and manipulating different types of data effectively.

Commands and Operations

Redis offers a wide range of commands to perform operations on the supported data structures. These commands allow you to store, retrieve, update, and delete data, as well as perform various computations and transformations.

Publish/Subscribe Messaging System

Redis includes a publish/subscribe messaging system. Clients can subscribe to specific channels and receive messages whenever a publisher sends a message to that channel. This feature enables real-time communication and event-driven architectures.

Replication and Clustering

Redis supports replication, allowing you to create multiple copies (replicas) of a Redis instance. Replication provides high availability and fault tolerance. Redis also offers clustering, which allows you to distribute data across multiple Redis nodes, providing horizontal scalability and improved performance.

Client Libraries and Language Support

Redis provides client libraries for various programming languages, making it easy to integrate Redis into applications. These libraries offer convenient APIs to interact with Redis and utilize its features.

Caching and Performance Optimization

Redis is often used as a cache to improve the performance of applications. By caching frequently accessed data in Redis, applications can reduce the load on the primary data source, such as a database. This caching mechanism significantly improves response times and overall system performance.

How WordPress works

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that simplifies website creation and management. To use WordPress, you install it on a web server, set up a database, and access the admin dashboard to customize your site.

You can choose from various themes to control the design and install plugins for added functionality. WordPress supports different content types like posts and pages. Regular maintenance, including updates and backups, ensures optimal performance and security.

Why set up Redis with WordPress

Redis and WordPress: a winning team
Redis and WordPress: a winning combination

Setting up Redis with WordPress brings several advantages to your website’s performance and scalability. Here’s why you should consider using Redis with WordPress:

Improved Performance

By using Redis as a cache, frequently accessed data such as database queries, rendered HTML, and object data can be stored in memory. This reduces the need to retrieve data from the database or execute expensive operations, resulting in faster page load times and improving overall site performance.

Reduced Database Load

WordPress heavily relies on database queries to retrieve content, settings, and other information. By caching database queries in Redis, subsequent requests for the same data can be served directly from memory, reducing the load on your database server. This can be particularly beneficial for high-traffic websites or those with resource-constrained database servers.

Enhanced Scalability

Redis can help improve the scalability of your WordPress site. By offloading some of the load from the database server to Redis, you can handle more concurrent users and traffic without compromising performance. This is especially useful in scenarios where a single database server might become a bottleneck.

Object Caching

Redis can be used as an object cache in WordPress, allowing you to store frequently accessed PHP objects and data in memory. This can speed up the execution of complex queries, expensive calculations, and expensive function calls, enhancing the responsiveness of your site.

Full-Page Caching

Redis can also be used for full-page caching in WordPress. Instead of generating each page dynamically on every request, Redis can store rendered HTML pages, which can be served to users directly. This significantly reduces the server load and improves the response time for static content.

In summary, setting up Redis with WordPress offers improved performance, reduced database load, enhanced scalability, and caching capabilities. By leveraging Redis’s in-memory storage and fast operations, you can optimize your WordPress site’s speed, handle higher traffic volumes, and provide a more responsive user experience.

Installing PHP Redis Cache on CyberPanel

PHP Redis Cache daemon can be easily installed if you are using CyberPanel, a simple, fast, and open-source control panel for cloud hosting. Don’t have CyperPanel installed on your server yet? You can easily install CyberPanel on your server, click here to see how.

Before using Redis on your PHP site you need to create the site in CyberPanel, also make sure to note the PHP version you select while creating the site because we will use this version to install the Redis PHP Cache extension later.

Create a new website

Creating a website is so simple on CyberPanel that anyone can do it. Creating a website is only 4 steps procedure.

Login to your CyberPanel Dashboard

Redis CyberPanel Dashboard

Click on Websites -> Create Website from the left-hand side menu

REdis CyberPanel overview

Enter all the relevant information, and make sure to note down which php you are entering here.

Redis setup website details

Click on “Create Website”

Redis setup site details

Install PHP Redis Cache on CyberPanel

Installing Redis on CyberPanel is really very easy and it only involves a couple of steps. So let us go through them.

Login to your CyberPanel dashboard

CyberPanel Dashboard

Click on “Manage Services” -> “Applications” from the left-hand side menu

Redis managed sidebar

Click on “Install” in front of “Redis”

Redis install menu

Install Redis PHP Extension

Before you can do PHP programming with Redis, you need to install Redis PHP Extension which will communicate with the Redis daemon we just installed above

Login to SSH using Bitvise and open the command prompt

Bitvise setup panel

Enter the following command and make sure to enter your php after lsphp that you have selected while creating your website

apt-get install lsphp74-redis -y
install code 1

Now you have to enter a command that will restart php so it could read the extension configuration

killall lsphp
killall lsphp

Navigate to your site’s file manager using CyberPanel

File manager for CyberPanel

Create a file “redis.php” in public_html

create redis php

Open the code mirror of your new file. Enter the following code and click save.

<?Php 
   //Connecting to Redis server on localhost 
   $redis = new Redis(); 
   $redis->connect('127.0.0.1', 6379); 
   echo "Connection to server successfully"; 
   //store data in the Redis list 
   $redis->lpush("tutorial-list", "Redis"); 
   $redis->lpush("tutorial-list", "MongoDB"); 
   $redis->lpush("tutorial-list", "Mysql");  
   
   // Get the stored data and print it 
   $arList = $redis->lrange("tutorial-list", 0 ,5); 
   echo "Stored string in redis:: "; 
   print_r($arList); 
?>
redis php file

Open your PHP file in the browser and you will see that your code is communicating with the Redis daemon.

Communication Successful

Open your SSH and enter the command prompt and enter the command

Redis-CLI monitor
Redis-CLI monitor

and it will show your data. You can also check it again in the browser

Post-installation Expectations

After implementing Redis, you should notice a substantial improvement in your website’s performance. Page load times should be faster, and the load on the database server should be significantly reduced. As a result, your website should now handle more concurrent users and traffic without compromising performance.

Your visitors will naturally be happier with the improved speed and responsiveness, and your SEO ranking should improve due to the faster page load times. Redis will have effectively supercharged your WordPress site’s performance and scalability.

Real Data Possabilities

Here are some realistic improvements you could expect to see in the performance statistics, as reported by a tool like GTmetrix:

Page Load Time

With Redis caching database queries, rendered HTML, and PHP objects, you might see a decrease in your page load time. If your page load time was originally 5 seconds, a well-implemented Redis setup might reduce this to around 2 seconds or even less, depending on the complexity and size of your web pages.

Total Page Size

Redis itself might not directly affect the total page size, as it is more about how quickly data can be accessed rather than reducing the data size. However, faster data access can allow for more efficient data handling and loading, which can indirectly lead to an optimized page size. For instance, if you have a proper object caching setup, some parts of your site might not need to be loaded at all for returning visitors.

Requests

The number of requests made to your server might decrease, especially for returning visitors. Instead of making numerous requests to your database for each visitor, cached data can be served directly from Redis. This could reduce the number of requests significantly.

YSlow Score and PageSpeed Score

By reducing the load time and the number of requests, Redis can help to improve your YSlow and PageSpeed scores. If your original YSlow score was 70%, a well-implemented Redis setup might improve this to around 80-90%. Similarly, if your original PageSpeed score was around 70%, you might see this increase to around 85-90% after implementing Redis.

Remember, these are just estimates and the actual results can vary based on various factors such as your original site performance, server specifications, the complexity of your site, the traffic on your site, and how well Redis has been implemented and configured.

Conclusion

In conclusion, configuring Redis in WordPress can greatly enhance the performance and scalability of your website. By using Redis as a cache, frequently accessed data can be stored in memory, reducing the need to retrieve data from the database and resulting in faster page load times. Redis can cache database queries, PHP objects, and even entire rendered HTML pages, reducing the load on your database server and improving overall site responsiveness.

By following these steps in this tutorial, you can successfully configure Redis in WordPress and harness its power to improve the speed, scalability, and responsiveness of your website. Enjoy the benefits of faster page loads and more efficient use of server resources with Redis caching.

FAQ

What is Redis and how does it boost WordPress performance and scalability?

Redis is an open-source, in-memory data structure store that can function as a database, cache, and message broker. By using Redis as a cache for a WordPress site, frequently accessed data such as database queries, rendered HTML, and object data can be stored in memory. This reduces the need to retrieve data from the database, resulting in faster page load times, thus boosting the site’s performance. Additionally, by offloading some of the database server load to Redis, your WordPress site can handle more concurrent users and traffic, enhancing its scalability.

How does Redis work with WordPress?

Redis works with WordPress by storing the frequently accessed data in its in-memory data store. This data includes database queries, PHP objects, and rendered HTML pages. When a user requests a page, instead of querying the database or rendering the page dynamically every time, the system retrieves the cached data from Redis. This significantly reduces the load on the database server and speeds up the page load time.

How can I set up Redis with my WordPress site?

Setting up Redis with WordPress requires several steps, which include installing the Redis daemon on your server (you can do this easily using a hosting control panel like CyberPanel), creating a new website in CyberPanel, installing the Redis PHP Cache extension for your chosen PHP version using SSH, and then configuring your WordPress site to connect to the Redis server.

What are the key benefits of using Redis with WordPress?

Redis offers several advantages when used with WordPress:

  • Improved Performance: caches frequently accessed data, reducing the need to retrieve it from the database, which leads to faster page load times.
  • Reduced Database Load: By caching database queries, reduces the load on your database server, which can be particularly beneficial for high-traffic websites.
  • Enhanced Scalability: handles more concurrent users and traffic without compromising performance, thus improving the scalability of your WordPress site.
  • Caching Capabilities: can be used for object caching and full-page caching in WordPress, speeding up the execution of complex queries and the delivery of static content.

Are there any downsides to using Redis with WordPress?

While Redis brings several performance benefits, it’s not without potential downsides. Redis requires careful configuration and management to ensure it’s effectively boosting your site’s performance. Redis stores data in memory, which is faster but also more volatile than disk storage. If not correctly configured, you might face data loss in case of a system crash or power outage. However, Redis does provide data persistence features to mitigate these risks. Additionally, if your WordPress site doesn’t have heavy traffic or isn’t database-intensive, the performance improvement might not be significant enough to warrant the additional complexity of managing Redis.

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2 Responses

  1. This article is a great introduction to Redis and its benefits for boosting WordPress performance and scalability. I appreciate the clear explanation of how Redis works and its key features like in-memory data storage, key-value data model, and data persistence.

    The use case scenario provided with the online news portal example was relatable and highlighted how Redis can significantly improve page load times and user experience, especially for high-traffic websites like mine.

    The step-by-step guide on setting up Redis with WordPress using CyberPanel was well-detailed and easy to follow. I’m excited to try implementing Redis as a cache for my WordPress site, and I’m hopeful that it will lead to improved performance and reduced database load.

    I also found the section on post-installation expectations and the realistic improvements one can expect to see quite helpful. It’s always good to have an idea of the potential impact before making such changes.

    Overall, this article has provided valuable insights into Redis and its benefits for WordPress sites. Thanks to the author, Maria Khan, for putting together this informative piece.

    1. Hello Selmir, thank you for taking the time to let us know Maria hit all the pain points. I have to agree that it is a well written , informative article.

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