New feature cache options for Incapsula CDN

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Cache options for Incapsula CDN

I do write a few articles about website optimizations, how you can speed your website and run it faster, in most cases you can be ok using just normal browser cache, but some websites with lots of resources that needs downloaded at each visit its best to pass them through a CDN network. Doing so it will first reduce the load on your web server or for some of you on your shared hosting account, but at the same time, it will reduce the download time for your visitors. Since using a CDN will always use the closest server to them, this will get you a better user experience and will increase your website visits.

OK, back to us, I was saying that you can go by using normal browser cache, but using a CDN to cache everything I believe its better, however not all CDN’s offer great support and ease control over your cached objects. Incapsula CDN has introduced new cache options for every users to use, true that some may require upgrade but some important ones are still there and working.

What is new?

Completely new section for Performance containing the following cache options:

  • Ability to disable cache completely and also set aggressiveness (cool for static websites!)
  • Advanced caching rules
  • Content optimization
  • Advance settings

Caching mode

Incapsula has been nice enough to add now the option to aggressively cache content based on some specific rules made, for static content this is really great. You also have the option to change from:

  • Disable caching
  • Static only caching
  • Static+Dynamic
  • Aggressive caching

I remember before you only had the option to disable caching and wait for 5-10 minutes before you can enable it back again and this would then purge the cache.

The aggressive option however is welcomed, I’m currently using it for this site and working nicely. What I still see this as an issue is that they still don’t allow free users to purge specific resource from cache. I mean purging the entire cache would create more bandwidth usage for incapsula, meaning more bandwidth to pay for ISP providers or datacenter, but anyway, not my call here, just me rambling about. See below

how it looks now:

Caching mode

Caching mode


Advance caching rules

This option I believe is entirely new and only available for paid customers only, it allows you to create specific page caching, important for dynamic content where you don’t wish to cache them. Can’t give more details here as I’m not currently able to test them but here’s how the options look:

Advance cache rules

Advance cache rules

Content optimization

It includes resource validation for caching, minifying options like Javascript, CSS and HTML along with (upgrade options only) JPEG and PNG compression.

You also have two major options, meaning Compression on the fly and TCP Pre-pooling. Now why did I say two major ones? Compression is good but not always needed, some webserver compress their objects already by default so you can reduce overheads by disabling compression over an already compressed content.

The other one is TCP Pre-pooling, for those who do not know is similar to keep-alive connection in Webserver, but this by maintaining a few active connection for the time the session is active. See below how it looks:

Content Optimization

Content Optimization

Advance Settings

Lastly we have the advance settings that are there to let Incapsula know that we still want it to follow the no-cache and max-age headers:

  • Comply to no-cache and maxage headers
  • Comply to Vary: User-Agent

Meaning that if we want custom cache options with no-cache or max-age headers, we can set them on our web server using a .htaccess file and we can then set the cached options ourselves. For now I decided to use the aggressive options with a specific cached time. Should be working nicely 🙂

That’s it for today, will see you again next time with a new article.

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