Progressive Caching in Joomla 3 Is a Recipe for Disaster

There are many recipes for a disaster out there, our favorite one is the following:

  • One three-pound European white truffle.
  • Eight ripe fruits from a jellyfish tree.
  • 7 drops of fairy tears.
  • One medium sized hair from the tail of a yellow (#ffff00) unicorn.
  • One onion. Just a regular, medium sized onion.
  • A sprinkle of moon dust.
  • 2 liters of Acqua Di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani water.
  • One eighteenth century Qianlong porcelain vase.

In a pot, boil the truffle in the Acqua Di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani water (throw the empty water bottles as you won’t need them anymore). About 10 minutes from when the water begins to bubble, add the jellyfish fruits and wait until the water turns slightly red. When that happens, add the 7 drops of fairy tears. Wait exactly 10 seconds between each drop (otherwise, you will have to throw all the ingredients and start over).

Slice the onion (very thin slices) and then fry it in a pan on medium temperature. Once brown, add the unicorn hair, and stir until the mix smells like a gardenia flower. Sprinkle the moon dust over the mix, and then add the whole thing to the pot of truffles (while the latter is boiling).

Serve in the eighteenth century Qianlong porcelain vase, and, for good bad luck, break the vase (Turkish restaurant style) when serving. This recipe for a disaster serves 6 and the results are guaranteed.

Admittedly, the above recipe is a bit daunting, and can be expensive if you don’t know the right people. An easier (and possibly cheaper) alternative is to just turn on progressive caching on your high traffic Joomla site. This will ensure that your Joomla website stops working within 24 hours. The problem is the same as before, only, for some reason, it is much much worse. We are getting many clients complaining about their sites suddenly failing, only to discover the root cause of the problem is the usage of progressive caching.

By the way, in all of the websites that we have examined, none of them actually needed the features of progressive caching. In fact, the reason why progressive caching was chosen for these sites is that the admins thought that progressive caching provided better results than conservative caching, and this is because progressive caching was ordered last in the System Cache drop down (which wrongly implied that it was the best caching mechanism).

But why is progressive caching that bad?

Well, because of 2 things: 1) it floods the filesystem with files, and 2) there seems to be something wrong in the algorithm generating the cached files (we cannot confirm the latter point yet, but we know for sure that progressive caching was less destructive on Joomla 2.5). Typically, high traffic websites hosted on non-SSD drives suffer most.

So, unless you want to try a quick recipe for a disaster, steer away from Joomla’s progressive caching. Most likely you don’t need it, and, even if you do, there are much better alternatives out there. If you need to know what your options are, then just contact us. We are always ready to help, our work is professional, and our fees are affordable.

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