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How to set up Memcached on a WordPress-based website (tutorial)

How to set up Memcached on WordPressWordPress is indeed an amazing application, which has long since settled in the hearts of users.

With its reliable back-end, user-friendly front-end and tons of fancy themes coming out every day, it’s perhaps the best tool to start your new blog or web hosting store (or whatever other type of site you might think of) with.

However, good web solutions often come at a price. Resource usage-wise, WordPress sites have proven to be more CPU-intensive as compared to simple HTML pages or to microblogs.

No matter if you have a small-sized blog or a large, traffic-intensive portal, experts recommend that you figure out a way to cache your web content so as to save up server resources and give your visitors the ultimate on-site experience they anticipate from you.

Your WordPress environment generally will not offer caching options, so you have to pick a solution yourself.

Most free CDNs, for example, will copy and cache the static files in your website – .css files, .js files, etc.

Files, which are generated dynamically with queries to the database (like with blog posts or category pages) will not be cached, as they are created the moment a visitor wants to see them (Note: premium tiers with most CDN providers allow caching of dynamic pages).

There are also many caching plugins for WordPress around the web. However, most of them are feature-loaded, which may cause increasing and unnecessary use of resources.

This is where a dynamic caching platform like Memcached kicks in.

As a distributed memory caching system, Memcached caches only queries that are characteristic of database-driven solutions like WordPress.How to install Memcached on a WordPress site - a tutorial

Our cloud hosting platform offers native support for Memcached and you can enable Memcached for your WordPress-powered site in a few quick steps.

Before doing that, you will need to first make sure that you are using PHP 5.6 (or an older version).

Set up Memcached on Windows - select PHP version

Keep in mind that the PHP 7 series do not yet offer support for Memcached.

Here are the main steps to enabling Memcached for your WordPress-based site:

Step 1: Enable the “Memcached” option in the PHP Settings section of the Web Hosting Control Panel;

Set up Memcached on WordPress - enable extension

Step 2: Create a new Memcached instance from the Control Panel (Advanced-Memcached) using the default settings;

Set up Memcached on WordPress - create instance

Step 3: Go to the WordPress folder in the File Manager.

Locate the wp_config.php file and add the following line:

define('WP_CACHE', true);

just after

define('WP_DEBUG', false);

Set up Memcached on WordPress - wp-config file

This will enable WordPress to use caching.

Step 4: Install the WP-FFPC plugin from the WordPress admin area.

WP-FFPC is a plugin that uses system memory to cache blog posts and APCu/Memcached to store data.

It will pre-cache all your blog posts before users even go to your website.

Step 5: Activate WP-FFPC

Set up Memcached on WordPress - wp-ffpc cache plugin

Step 6: Go to Backend Settings

Step 7: Enter the path to the Memcached socket (you can find it in the Memcached section of the Control Panel) in the hostname field.

Set up Memcached on WordPress - backend settings

Step 8: Click on Save Settings.

That’s it!

Memcached is now enabled for your WordPress site.

You can test if Memcached is working fine on your site using a simple script.

This one is borrowed from here:, albeit slightly modified:

//memcached simple test
$memcache = new Memcache;
$memcache->connect('unix:///home/sys/memcached.sock', 0) or die ("Could not connect");
$key = md5('42data');  //something unique
for ($k=0; $k<5; $k++) {
$data = $memcache->get($key);
    if ($data == NULL) {
       $data = array();
       //generate an array of random stuff
       echo "expensive query";
       for ($i=0; $i<100; $i++) {
           for ($j=0; $j<10; $j++) {
               $data[$i][$j] = 42;
    } else {
       echo "cached";

it should output “expensive query” and the actual query.

When you refresh, it should just output the query.

Memcached on WordPress - website test

At the moment, Memcached is enabled by default with the Corporate and Enterprise web hosting packages and is included as an optional service with the Starter and Business plans. 

А tutorial on how to set up Varnish on a WordPress-based website will be published soon too so stay tuned. 

Originally published Monday, December 12th, 2016 at 5:33 pm, updated December 12, 2016 and is filed under How-to Tutorials.

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