To cache or not to cache?

1004 hits Updated: 07 December 2016

What is web caching?

Types of caches

Caching:  bene­fits and dis­ad­van­tages

There are many myths about caching—for example, some people believe that HTTPS does not cache web pages—but there’s a lot of ignorance about how to use caching effectively.  This article doesn’t have all the answers but it may help people learn about web caching and some of the benefits, costs and risks associated with how you use it.

A web cache (or HTTP cache) is an information technology for the temporary storage of web documents, such as HTML pages and images, to reduce bandwidth usage, server load and perceived lag.[1]  Because generating web content over the internet is both slow and expensive and, in today’s fast-paced and time-constrained world, most people’s attention span barely survives one or two seconds, one of the main purposes of caching is to improve the user experience.  Large responses for information can involve many roundtrips between the client and server which delays when they are available and when the browser can process them, and also incur data costs for the visitor.  In other words, caching helps reduce the cost involved between when the user clicks a mouse/presses a key/taps a screen and when an “event” (such as displaying a new web page) occurs.

The ability to cache and reuse previously fetched resources is a critical part of optimising for performance.  The wrong use of caching, on the other hand, can also be counter-productive as we shall discuss.


The last word about Kunena

4232 hits Updated: 18 January 2018

Latest Kunena uses your website to solicit donations to the Kunena project

Tips to protect your forum from exploitation

Removing the “Powered by Kunena” text

Some people may be curious about the title I’ve chosen for this article.  Before people become concerned about my state of mind—am I really not going to write about Kunena anymore or is this the end of my {kun´ēzē} business—I have a few words to say about recent changes in this popular Joomla extension.  There are a couple of hidden surprises in the latest versions of Kunena that may make you think twice about wanting to install them.

At the outset, you do not need to be alarmed or feel nervous that the latest version will make your websites any more vulnerable than what they currently are.  The changes in Kunena version 4.0.12 [K 4.0.12] and 5.0.2 [K 5.0.2] will not make websites any more or less secure than the previous releases.  There have been a couple of minor technical improvements—those are the facts—but there have also been changes that may upset some people:  one change, in particular, that challenges the reasons people choose Kunena in the first place!  The good news is that the “last word” in this article will help reduce those fears.


I feel sorry for Kunena

1639 hits Updated: 01 December 2016

Kunena—the project—has lost its way

I’m a pretty upbeat kind of guy and I’ve been a happy and (I hope) helpful contributor to the Kunena project since I began my involvement with it in 2009.  Kunena (actually it was its predecessor, Fireboard) was one of the main reasons that I adopted Joomla.  The original project had some wonderful guys and I had the immense privilege of meeting them and becoming friends with them.  I mention them by name:  Oliver Ratzesberger, Ron Severdia (a former member of the PLT), Louis Landry (one of the founders of Joomla who undertook the fork from Fireboard) and Matias Griese; all of these people are well-known and widely respected within the Joomla community.


The myths, folklore and hearsay about J! 3.6.0

1007 hits Updated: 24 July 2016

Joomla 3.6.0 is here.  What should we do about it?

Key points to how to build a trouble-free website

J! 3.6.0 was released about a week ago. If people have enabled the System - Joomla! Update Notification plugin (this was a new feature introduced in J! 3.5) they are probably receiving emails[1] once or twice a day advising them to upgrade to J! 3.6.0. There are three things you can do: you can ignore the emails, disable the plugin, or upgrade.

Since the announcement of J! 3.6.0 the Joomla forum has been filled with stories—mostly tales of woe—about difficulties that people have experienced. Like most people, one reads these stories to gauge the veracity of claims that people have made before taking that giant leap-of-faith and going ahead with the procedure oneself.

There are a couple of known issues but, for the most part, they are relatively insignificant.

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