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Optimizing Design: Cache and Reuse

Cache is a temporary storage area on your computer. By taking advantage of caching you can increase the speed of your page loads.


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Use Cache

ache is a small temporary storage area of the hard drive where browsers keep files while they display them. Any file that is in the cache can be displayed repeatedly without being downloaded again and again.

The disk cache is a more permanent storage area. It holds images that will be used from session to session, even after you've exited your browser. When a browser accesses a page for which it has cached files, it doesn't need to transfer those files again over the Internet; it simply pulls them from the disk cache and redisplays them. This cache works well for people who visit the same pages frequently.



The memory cache stores files during a single browser session. It stores the most recently used images and can redisplay them almost instantly. Memory cache can be very useful if you know how to take advantage of it.

For example, if you use a title graphic on the first page of your web site, it will be loaded in the memory cache the first time that page is viewed. If you want to use the same graphic on a subsequent page, it will already be in the cache and the next page will not have to wait for it to download. Reusing graphic elements as part of your site make good design sense, brings a feeling of consistency—and speeds up your pages.

Page 1            Page 2
Common images for both
pages (circled in blue)
Using the same background image or menu graphic on more than one page are others way to take advantage of caching. Any time you can reuse a graphic on another page of your Web site you are retrieving it from the cache. The more graphics you can reuse the faster the pages will load.

Take advantage of cache—and create a consistent look and feel—by incorporating a core set of the same graphic elements across your site; they will download once and display instantly on each page thereafter.



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