Varnish and caching plugin?

Three questions regarding caching:

  1. I am new to Cloudways. How do I initiate or start using Varnish? Do I need to install something?

  2. Varnish is a server side caching technology. So, why do we still need a caching plugin?

  3. If we do need one, which caching plugin is the best to go with Varnish instead of Breeze? I would like to avoid Breeze because it has bad reviews (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w8ZwI-a1Ww ).

  1. Go to “Manage Services” in your server. Find Varnish on the list and ensure it’s enabled. Then, go to “Application Settings” in your actual application. Find Varnish and ensure Varnish is enabled. Don’t forget to visit the “Varnish Settings” tab and ensure any exclusion rules you need are set.

  2. A caching plugin for WordPress is still recommended to cache the content that WordPress generates. Sometimes the server needs to call on WordPress for content (ie, the required content is missing from Varnish) In this case, if you have a WP cache set up then your cached files can be passed on quickly without the server having to work hard to regenerate the page.

  3. Are there better caching plugins than Breeze? Probably. Though, you shouldn’t write it off because of one video. I use Breeze across 20-ish sites (only about 7 of these are actually on Cloudways). For me Breeze works really well, it never causes any drama or clashes, and I always have great performance with it. I haven’t watched the video you linked (I intend to when I have some extra time).

Hi @carolchunghk

Welcome to Cloudways.

To answer your questions.

The varnish cache is installed and enabled on all the servers by default that you launch through Cloudways. In order to use Varnish caching on your website, you need to install a plugin that establishes communication between website assets and the Varnish on the server.

Breeze is our in house built plugin that is lightweight and free to use with features that are easy to setup, the issues addressed in the video like minification, grouping and exclusion are already being addressed.

If you have a highly complex and dynamic website that requires you to individually add rules for scripts , CSS, CDN etc. then it makes sense to look for a paid caching plugin like WPRocket or a free plugin like W3TC.

For anything less complex, I would recommend you to test Breeze for better compatibility with our hosting servers.

Thanks!