SiteGround, a large web hosting provider with solutions including WordPress hosting and WooCommerce hosting, has replaced Static Cache with a new NGINX Direct Delivery. It means that the company no longer serves images, CSS, JS files and other static content from the server memory. They use NGINX instead for direct loading of these files from the SSD.
Direct Delivery is a method for serving static content of a website using NGINX’s try_files functionality. It enables SiteGround to remove static content from the server memory while still able to serve it directly from NGINX. It by-passes the communication with the Apache web server so to say.
NGINX Direct Delivery has been deployed by SiteGround to improve browser caching and make CDN usage easier and more efficient. Most importantly, NGINX Direct Delivery would allow for the use of additional RAM space – for dynamic content caching without compromising on static content loading speed.
With the previous Static Cache set-up, SiteGround used to store quite some static files in the RAM. It did make websites load fast, but for the overall website speed it would be better to use the RAM mainly for caching dynamic content.
With NGINX Direct Delivery, SiteGround can now serve static content “blazing-fast” from the SSD. The ability to store more dynamic content in the RAM has increased SiteGround’s global dynamic-to-cache hit ratio. It means that websites using the dynamic cache option have been loaded in the fastest possible way for much more visitors than before.