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What is Redis? Definition and caching benefits in 2023

What is Redis (Remote Dictionary Server)?  hero image

Redis (Remote Dictionary Server) is an in-memory database structure with multiple features that improve the availability and performance of a website. It is an open source project created by Salvatore Snfilippo in early 2009 for his technology startup.

We’ll explore the many benefits Redis has to offer in this article and how using it can help speed up your website, including WordPress.

What is Redis Object Caching?

As a whole, Redis can be used for a wide range of benefits, one of which is object caching.

According to its getting started documentation, Redis defines its technology as:

“[Providing] data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, ordered sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs, geospatial indexes, and streams. Redis has built-in replication, Lua scripts, LRU eviction, transactions, and different levels of persistence to disk, and provides high availability through Redis Sentinel and automatic partitioning with Redis Cluster.”

The main takeaway new users need to understand is that Redis is a data structure system, which organizes data in its own way to better deliver your messages, improving the performance of your website or application.

Redis supports most programming languages, such as:


Redis attracts many users due to its many benefits, some of which include:

High performance and low latency The ability to handle large data sets Clustering ability Fast data manipulation tasks

What is Redis used for?

Now that you know the definition of Redis and what some of its features are, let’s dive into why some developers prefer to use Redis as a way to improve website performance.


One of the main benefits of Redis is its speed. With data stored in memory, Redis can perform operations much faster than traditional databases. This makes it ideal for applications that need fast data retrieval and modification. Redis can handle up to 500,000 operations per second, making it suitable for even the most demanding applications.

Data Durability

Data can be backed up to disk at regular intervals, ensuring that all data stored on Redis will be protected even in the event of a server failure.

Data structures

Redis also offers a wide range of data structures, making it ideal for applications that need to process complex data. Redis supports five different data structures, including strings, hashes, lists, arrays, and ordered sets.

Built-in scripts

Redis supports built-in scripting, which allows developers to write scripts to change data structures and perform complex operations without having to write a custom application. It also makes it easy to add new features and optimize existing applications.

How can Redis help my WordPress VPS run faster?

Redis is a powerful tool that can speed up a WordPress VPS by providing an in-memory key-value store for caching data, reducing the need for database queries and enabling faster data retrieval.

It can also be used for message queues and pub/sub communication, further improving VPS performance.

Redis also reduces the number of requests to the database, which increases website speed by caching pages, objects, and database queries.

Finally, Redis caching can even store user sessions, which reduces server load and improves the user experience.

WordPress and Redis caching systems

The Redis in-memory data structure can be used to store and retrieve cached data on WordPress websites. These applications are known as WordPress Redis Caching Systems.

This caching system can store a wide variety of data and is capable of providing high-performance caching for high-traffic WordPress sites. It’s also easy to set up and manage, and is feature-rich, including data replication, high availability, and scalability.

Blogger Metrics breaks down the 3 types of caching as follows:

Server Side Caching – Caching at the server level. The NGINX FastCGI cache and Varnish page caching are two examples of server-side caching. Another example of server-side caching is object caching. WordPress Side Caching – WordPress level caching. Plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, all are examples of caching on the WordPress side. Client-side caching – Caching at the local browser level. The browser cache is an example of client-side caching.

Infographic demonstrating how website caching works.

The 8 Different Types of Caching Within WordPress

Expanding on the above information further, WordPress caching can be divided into the following sections.

Page Caching – Page caching is a technique used in web development to store web page content in a user’s browser to reduce server load and bandwidth usage. Page caching can also improve page load times, since the content does not need to be rendered each time the page is accessed. Browser Caching – Browser caching is a technique used by web browsers to store web page resources (such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, etc.) on a user’s device. This allows the browser to load resources from the cache instead of downloading them from the server. Database caching – Database caching is a technique used to improve the performance of a database by storing requested data in memory. This reduces the amount of time required to access the data in the database, resulting in faster response times. Caching can also be used to improve the scalability of a system by spreading the load across many machines. Object Caching – Object caching is the process of storing accessed data in memory for quick access, such as database query results, web page source code, or API Responses. This eliminates the need to access the source data source, which reduces latency and improves performance. Object caching can be handled in software, hardware, or a combination of both. Transient caching – Transient caching is a way of storing data in memory to reduce the amount of time and resources required to access data from a database or other data store. It is used in web applications to improve performance by reducing the amount of data that must be retrieved from the database. Transient caching can also be used to reduce the amount of time it takes to process user requests, thereby reducing network traffic. Fragment caching: Fragment caching is a caching method where specific parts of a web page, such as a single section of a page or a specific module, are stored in a cache. This helps the page load faster and reduces the number of queries sent to the database. Opcode caching – Opcode caching is a method of optimizing the performance of PHP applications by caching the compiled form of the code (opcodes) in memory such that the overhead to parse and compile the code is removed on each request. This process reduces the amount of processing time and memory required to run the application. CDN Caching: CDN (Content Delivery Network) caching is a technique for rapidly delivering web content by storing it on servers located in various geographic locations. When a user tries to access the content, the content is served from the nearest server, which reduces latency and improves the user experience.

Redis and WP-CLI

WP-CLI is a command line interface for managing WordPress sites, ideal for complex tasks and time-consuming modifications through the user interface.

This interface can be used to administer Redis by providing commands to interact with the Redis server.

Commands include:

Redis database cleanupSetting expiration timersManipulating individual keys

WP-CLI can also be used to view and change configuration settings associated with a Redis instance, allowing users to quickly make changes to their Redis configuration.

final thoughts

Redis is an impressively powerful and versatile tool that can be applied to solve a wide variety of problems. It’s fast, reliable, and easy to use, making it an ideal choice for many applications.

Whether you’re looking for a simple caching solution or a complete data store, Redis can give you the performance and scalability you need.

Overall, Redis and WordPress are a great combination for web developers and freelancers looking to build powerful and efficient WordPress websites, while maximizing speed and performance to enhance the user experience.

Additional Redis Resources

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