Using Redis with WordPress

What is Redis and What Can You Do With It in WordPress?

Are you looking for a way to significantly speed up your WordPress website? If so, you are not alone. every website owner is looking to improve their site’s performance, and one of the best ways to do it is to use Redis.

A REmote DIctionary Server, or Redis, is a very fast in-memory database that can manipulate high-level data types. This is something that is impossible, or very difficult in most databases today. It gives Redis a unique advantage that can significantly boost performance.

Today I will cover what Redis is and how you can use it in WordPress.

What Is Redis And How Is It Used in WordPress?

Redis is a NoSQL database that is typically called a data structure server. This is because its core data types are similar to those found in programming languages. These include strings, hashes, sets, and more.

It also has a variety of other tools like geolocation, approximate counting, and even stream processing.

Due to its toolset, Redis is a perfect database choice for Rapid Application Development (RAD). However, when it comes to WordPress, it is typically used for caching, or more specifically, Object Caching.

And this is exactly how Redis can speed up your WordPress website, so let’s cover caching in more detail.


When it comes to WordPress, the main use of Redis is for caching. It is by far the fastest caching solution available on the platform, but before I can explain what makes Redis so good at caching, let’s go over a quick overview of traditional caching.

Traditional Caching

The main purpose of caching is to help load pages faster. This is accomplished by storing data that is frequently accessed. Here’s a quick overview:

When a visitor accesses a website, the visitor’s device must connect with the database and request the necessary information for the page to load. This means that a request is made to the database for such information.

The more visitors, the more queries, and that means people will begin waiting to receive their content as traffic rises. And yes, this is why websites get really slow or stop working when there are high traffic events, like a store getting a PlayStation 5 in stock.

Caching solves this issue by storing the data that most visitors will access. For example, most visitors may load your homepage first. Thus, the home page might be cached because it is accessed so frequently.

However, caching still sends inquiries into the database. You just don’t have to go as far, thus, it can still get slowed down.

The good news is that Redis avoids this problem completely.

Redis As A Caching Solution in WordPress

Redis is an in-memory database, or in other words, the data it uses is stored within the server’s RAM. This completely eliminates the queries made to the database, thus significantly speeding up your website.

On average, a website using Redis for caching will load 10% to 30% faster as long as the memory fits on the Ram.

Though, there is a major problem with Redis. The amount of data it can handle is limited. This isn’t as huge an issue as it sounds. In most cases, a standard blog will never run into an issue using Redis.

This is because Redis is aware of the problem and has built-in ways to mitigate it.

The main way is through its data expiration and eviction policies. Each piece of data can be marked with a Time To Live (TTL). This can range from seconds to days. Once that time passed, the data will be removed.

This helps keep the amount of data stored minimal, which makes your website less likely to ever exceed what Redis can utilize outside of extremely high traffic windows.

But to be fair, that is a problem every database faces.

And for these reasons, Redis is considered the best caching solution available in the WordPress space.


Should I Use Redis In Conjunction of MySQL in WordPress?


Redis works best when it is used alongside MySQL, at least where WordPress is concerned. Its primary use is to handle caching requests, which as we explored, it does a terrific job at doing.

It is worth noting that it is possible to use Redis as your main database, but this really depends on if your web hosting company supports Redis or not. but even then, it would only be ideal for smaller websites that won’t receive much traffic.

Can It Work With Other Databases Besides MySQL?

Yup, you are not limited to just MySQL. Another popular choice in the WordPress community is MariaDB, and Redis works very well with it as a caching solution. In most cases, there should be nothing stopping you from using Redis with another database.

The only limiting factor is if your web hosting company supports Redis and the other database in question.

Is Using Redis in WordPress Beginner Friendly?

Without a doubt, setting up Redis caching in WordPress is very easy.

Like most things in WordPress, one of the easiest ways to do it is by just using a plugin. It will do most of the work for you, as long as your web host supports Redis.

There are actually quite a few plugins you can use to accomplish it.

After the initial setup, there isn’t much more you need to do. It pretty much runs itself. That said, you can make tweaks and changes to better suit your website, and this is where Redis starts to become less user-friendly.

However, I argue that it is only challenging due to a lack of resources. Redis isn’t mainstream just yet, thus unlike MySQL, you won’t find a nearly endless supply of tutorials, tips, or tricks. However, based on its current rise in popularity, that will change.

TL;DR: It’s easy to set up Redis, but customizing it for your website might require a bit of elbow grease and coding knowledge.

Is Redis A Good Choice For eCommerce Sites?

Online stores are more likely to lose customers when the site is loading products to display. As such, Redis can significantly speed up your website, which in turn means that customers will be less likely to leave the online store or have time to think about it.

There is no denying that eCommerce has a lot of moving parts, and caching is an invaluable tool to make them work. You can cache recently viewed products, location-based recommendations, inventory updates, and much more.

As a result, customers see the most relevant items faster than ever before, which keeps them in your store. And most importantly, increases the chance of making a sale.

So yes, I would say Redis is a great choice for any eCommerce-focused website.

Does Redis Have Applications Outside of Caching?

Redis has a lot of applications outside of caching, but they are not usually important within WordPress.

One of the biggest benefits of Redis is its use of Pub/Sub functionality. This makes it ideal for real-time messaging applications and live streaming events. Another interesting application is that it is suited for leaderboards in games.

As it can quickly update a leaderboard once a player has achieved a new score.

Some other users include machine learning, geospatial (like drive time in a GPS), real-time analytics, and much more. Again, most of these features are used outside of the WordPress space, but that may change as the database becomes more popular.

Speed Up Your WordPress Website With Redis

There are a ton of ways to speed up your WordPress site, and one thing you will find on every list is to use a caching solution. It just so happens that Redis is the best caching solution available in WordPress.

With it, you can increase page speed to help to improve the visitor experience. And perhaps even more importantly, you can improve your SEO rankings, after all, speed is a very important factor that Google tracks.

Start using Redis today to speed up your WordPress website.

Have you noticed a significant decrease in loading times since switching to Redis? Was Redis easy to set up in WordPress?

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