Table of Contents

To make your WordPress website faster, implementing page caching should be at the top of your list. There are many page caching plugins available, but we will discuss installing and configuring the Breeze caching plugin in this article.


Tip

Caching is the process of storing your frequently used website's data in memory temporarily so that it can load faster for your visitors when the same resource is requested the next time.

What is Breeze

Breeze is a free, user-friendly, simple yet powerful WordPress caching plugin developed by Cloudways. It aims to optimize your WordPress website and reduce the load time of the web pages to create a good user experience. A fast website can help improve search engine position, reduce bounce rate, and increase conversion rate. It is an easy-to-use plugin and supports Content Delivery Network (CDN) integration and Varnish cache.

It is the default WordPress caching plugin at Cloudways; however, it is also available in the WordPress plugins repository to be used with another hosting. You can unlock the true potential of the Breeze plugin with Cloudways hosting as there are unique integrations and Varnish support.

Benefits and Features of Breeze

Breeze plugin offers top-notch caching performance and is fully equipped with the best features set, including:

  • Built-in Varnish server-level caching support.

  • CDN integration support.

  • Gzip compression

  • File-level caching

  • Browser caching

  • Code minification and combination

  • Database optimization

  • Control to exclude particular URLs, JS files, and CSS files from caching.

All in all, Breeze is a very fast and effective plugin, and it is free. It outperforms many other premium caching plugins and improves the website's overall user experience.

Breeze Compatibility

Breeze is built considering the needs of Cloudways customers; therefore, it is 100% compatible with the Cloudways Platform. Moreover, It is fully compatible with WordPress, WooCommerce, and Multisite applications.

It comes pre-installed with Cloudways-optimized WordPress, WooCommerce, and Multisite applications. By default, it is activated and configured with default settings. However, Breeze settings are highly customizable, but the default settings also work best and provide optimal performance.

How to Install Breeze Plugin

To reiterate, the Breeze plugin is pre-installed with Cloudways-optimized WordPress, WooCommerce, and Multisite applications. Here's the process of installing the Breeze plugin from scratch.

Important

We don't recommend using any other page caching plugin alongside Breeze to avoid conflict.

Prerequisites

Here are a few prerequisites before installing Breeze.

  1. WordPress application version 4.5 or higher.

  2. PHP version 7 or higher.

Log in to your WordPress application using your credentials. Your application login credentials are available on the Cloudways Platform.

  1. Go to Plugins > Add New.

  2. Search for the Breeze plugin.

  3. Next, click Install Now.

  4. Finally, click Activate.

That's it! The Breeze plugin is successfully installed and activated.

How to Configure Breeze Plugin

As mentioned earlier, all settings are pre-configured with Cloudways-optimized WordPress applications; however, the information mentioned in this section can be helpful to you to verify and update existing settings if needed.

First of all, navigate to Breeze settings by clicking Settings > Breeze.

Basic Options

  1. Cache System — Turn caching on and off from here. It is a primary cache that will build the internal and static caches for the WordPress websites. We recommend turning this on in all cases.

  2. Purge Cache After — It purges the internal cache after the defined time. By default, it is set to 1440 minutes (one day). You can change this duration to suit your cache purge requirements.

  3. Gzip Compression — It helps to reduce the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript file sizes from the server-end. The server will compress the content before sending them to the client-side web browser via the network. This process produces fewer and faster HTTP requests. Therefore, we advise that you keep the Gzip Compression option enabled.

  4. Browser Cache — Enable this to add expire headers to control the web browser caching at the client-end. This will ask browsers to request a file from a server or fetch it from the browser's cache.

  5. Lazy Load Images — It is a set of techniques that defers the loading of images on a webpage to a later point in time when those images are actually needed and visible on the screen instead of loading the entire page's images all at once. It helps to improve the load time of the webpage and is achieved using JavaScript libraries.

    Native Browser Lazy Load — Native Lazy Loading of Images is handled at the browser level using HTML attributes instead of JavaScript libraries. This feature will be visible when you check the Lazy Load Images. All browsers do not currently support native Lazy Loading. Learn which browsers support Native Lazy Loading.

  6. Cross-origin Safe Links — You expose your website to performance and security issues when you create an external link to a page on a different website using the target="_blank" attribute. The Cross-origin Safe Links option applies "noopener noreferrer" to links with target"_blank" attributes to avoid these issues.

  7. Cache Logged-in Users — Enable cache for WordPress standard user roles, such as Administrator, Editor, Author, and Contributor.

After updating the settings, click Save Changes.

File Optimization

File optimization refers to minifying HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files to reduce the total page size and page load time. Breeze plugin also allows minifying inline CSS and JavaScript.


Important

Please note that minification sometimes affects the functionality of your website; therefore, we recommend you to test it first on your staging website before using it on your live site. If a specific file type minification causes issues, you can turn off the corresponding minification under File Optimization.

HTML Settings

  1. HTML Minify — Minifying HTML removes whitespace and comments to reduce the size.

CSS Settings

  1. CSS Minify — Minify CSS removes whitespace and comments to reduce the file size.

    Font — Sometimes, the text is not visible when the website is loading because the font is still downloading. To avoid such issues, you can use a technique to display text using the alternate font (fallback font) while the actual font is downloading. This feature will be visible when you check the CSS minification and only works for CSS minification and CSS Group options.

  2. Include Inline CSS — It removes whitespace and creates separate cache files for inline CSS.

  3. Combine CSS — It merges all your minified files into a single file, reducing HTTP requests.

  4. Exclude CSS — Enter the URLs of CSS files you wish to exclude from minification and grouping.

JS Settings

  1. JS Minify — Minify JavaScript removes whitespace and comments to reduce the file size.

  2. Combine JS — It merges all your minified files into a single file to reduce HTTP requests.

  3. Include Inline JS — It removes whitespace and creates a separate cache file for inline JS.

  4. Exclude JS — Enter the URLs of JS files you wish to exclude from minification and grouping.

  5. Move JS Files to Footer — This feature allows moving the JavaScript files placed at the header section by the WordPress Template or Plugins to the footer section during the minification process. It is an excellent practice to have a better load time. Please add the URL of the original files instead of minified files' URLs.

  6. JS Files With Deferred Loading — It will force the client-side web browser to execute a specific JavaScript file after full phrasing of the entire HTML content of the page. Please add the URL of the original files instead of minified files' URLs.

  7. Delay JS Inline Scripts — It delays a load of inline JS scripts to minimize the load time for users and speed testing tools. It is identical to the Lazy Loading concept, where the inline JS scripts will appear when users interact with the website. You can add specific keywords to identify the inline JavaScript to be delayed.

Finally, click Save Changes.

Preload

  1. Preload Webfont — It loads your specified font early when the website's loading instead of loading it at the end to improve the user experience. Add the local font URL or the URL for the CSS file that loads only fonts. Use WOFF formats fonts for the best performance. Do not preload the whole website CSS file, as it will slow down your website. Also, do not add Google Fonts links as those already use preload.

  2. Preload Links — When users hover the mouse over links for more than 150ms, the system instantly creates the cache in advance. As a result, the page loads quickly when the user clicks the link. This feature doesn't cache the entire next page on hover. Instead, it caches the request to deliver a slight boost in site speed. The URLs you define in the Never Cache these URLs option will be excluded from preload.

After updating the settings, click Save Changes.

Advanced Options

  1. Never Cache URLs — You can specify URLs of pages or posts to exclude from the plugin's internal cache. If Varnish is enabled on your server, we suggest excluding the URLs from the Varnish as well.

2. Cache Query Strings

The query string is a part of a link (in other words, URL) attached at its end. It assigns the values to the defined set of parameters that helps to identify particular actions or content based on the data being passed.

Here is an example of a typical link containing a query string. In this example, the question mark (?) separates the base URL from the query strings. "name" is a parameter, and "foo" is the value.

http://example.com/page/?name=foo

Ignored Query Strings

Breeze does not cache query strings by default. Therefore, it ignores the links with query string and serves the standard cache file for all the parameters available below:

URL 1: example.com/services/?utm_medium=socialmedia
URL 2: example.com/services/?utm_medium=blog

Here, both URLs will receive one standard caching file, such as:
example.com/services/

Description

Query Strings

Google Analytics and Ads

  • utm_source

  • utm_medium

  • utm_campaign

  • utm_expid

  • utm_term

  • utm_content

  • campaignid

  • adgroupid

  • adid

  • gclid

  • _ga

Matomo

  • mtm_medium

  • mtm_campaign

  • mtm_keyword

  • mtm_cid

  • mtm_content

Piwik Pro

  • pk_source

  • pk_medium

  • pk_campaign

  • pk_keyword

  • pk_cid

  • pk_content

Facebook

  • fb_action_ids

  • fb_action_types

  • fb_source

  • fbclid

Age Verify Plugin

  • age-verified

Autoptimize

  • ao_noptimize

AMP

  • usqp

Cookie Notice

  • cn-reloaded

ShareASale

  • sscid

Google DoubleClick

  • gclsrc

Google Web Stories

  • _gl

Mailchimp

  • mc_cid

  • mc_eid

Bronto

  • _bta_tid

  • _bta_c

Listrak

  • trk_contact

  • trk_msg

  • trk_module

  • trk_sid

GoDataFeed

  • gdfms

  • gdftrk

  • gdffi

Klaviyo

  • _ke

Springbot

  • redirect_log_mongo_id

  • redirect_mongo_id

  • sb_referer_host

Marin

  • mkwid

  • pcrid

Adobe Advertising Cloud

  • ef_id

Adobe Analytics

  • s_kwcid

Microsoft Advertising

  • msclkid

Dotdigital

  • dm_i

Pinterest

  • epik

  • pp

Include Query Strings in Caching

If you want to enable caching for a few specific query strings, you need to define those in the Cache Query Strings available under the Advanced Options.

For instance, you wish to cache the "country" query string.

http://example.com/page/?country=germany

Here, "country" is the parameter, and "germany" is its value. Therefore, in Cache Query Strings, add "country".

Breeze will generate a dedicated cache file against each value the parameter country receives in a URL. If multiple parameters in a URL with at least one of your defined parameters is present, the page will be cached.

Dedicated Caching for Few Query Strings

Breeze serves a dedicated cache file for the following query string parameters.

  • lang

  • permalink_name

  • lp-variation-id

URL 1: example.com/services/?lang=english
URL 2: example.com/about-us/?lang=german

Here, both URLs will have dedicated caching file for their parameter/value pairs:
?lang=english
?lang=german

3. Disable Emoji — Disable the loading of emoji libraries and CSS by default in WordPress to reduce HTTP requests.

After updating the settings, click Save Changes.

Database Options

Your WordPress application gathers a lot of information as time passes. Unfortunately, some information is unnecessary, taking up space in your database, such as post revisions, auto-drafted content, trashed content, comments from trash and spam, trackbacks & pingbacks, and transients. Therefore, it is essential to remove unwanted data to keep the database lightweight and clean.

The Database Options by Breeze allows you to optimize your database and remove unnecessary data from your database that reduces the database size and improves overall website performance.

Important

It is crucial to backup your application and the database before optimizing it.

  1. It allows you to clean all the thrashed pages and posts at once. Simply check Clean All and click Clean Now.

  2. Here, pick and select the items you wish to clean and optimize. Once selected, click Optimize.

CDN

Breeze offers support for Content Delivery Networks (CDN). Instead of using the CDN providers' plugins, you can use Breeze to integrate the CDN. Here's how you can integrate your CDN.

Tip

Breeze supports CloudwaysCDN and offers 1-click integration, so you don't have to manually integrate it.

  1. Activate CDN — Enable this to make CDN effective on your website.

  2. CDN CNAME — Specify the URL of CDN that you are using or planning to use with your WordPress website. If you have some pages on HTTP and some on HTTPS, you should begin the URL with a double slash '//' (e.g.,//www.domain.com).

  3. CDN Content — Enter the directories for which you wish CDN to serve content.

  4. Exclude Content — You can exclude directories or file types (static content such as images/CSS/JS) from CDN.

  5. Relative Path — We recommend that you keep this option enabled. This will enable the relative path for your website.

Finally, click Save Changes.

Important

Breeze doesn’t support any Push CDN services, but it is fully compatible with Pull CDN services such as CloudwaysCDN, MaxCDN, KeyCDN, Amazon CloudFront, etc.

Varnish

Breeze offerings include Varnish Cache configuration to make your website robust. You don't require any modification here as all the settings are pre-configured.

  1. Auto Purge Varnish — We recommend that you keep this option enabled at all times to automatically purge Varnish cache on actions like publishing new blog posts, pages, and comments.

  2. Varnish Server — This is the default pre-installed Varnish server IP address of Cloudways servers.

  3. Purge Varnish Cache — You can also manually purge the entire cache instantly by pressing this button.

Finally, click Save Changes.

Tools

You can import and export your Breeze configurations using the WordPress Admin Panel or WordPress Command Line Interface (CLI).

1. WordPress Admin Panel

Export Configurations

If you want to export your Breeze settings, click Download Settings. The configurations will be downloaded in a .json file on your local computer.

Import Configurations

Similarly, if you already have Breeze settings in the .json file, you can import them by clicking Choose File and navigating to the file available on your local computer. Next, click Upload File and Import Settings.

2. WordPress CLI

You can also import and export Breeze settings using the WordPress Command Line Interface (CLI).

Export Configurations

First of all, connect to your server remotely using SSH.

To export your Breeze configurations, execute the following command. The configurations will be downloaded in a .json file at the default path "wp-content/uploads/breeze-export".

wp breeze export

You can also define the path where you want the breeze configurations to be exported by adding an extra parameter "--file-path". Be sure to replace your_export_path with the desired path.

wp breeze export --file-path=your_export_path

If you are using a WordPress Multisite and want to export your Breeze configurations of the network or specific subsite, you can execute the following command. But, first, be sure to replace your_parameter with the correct parameter defined below.

wp breeze export --level=your_parameter

Parameters

  • --level=network — It will export the Breeze configurations found in the Multisite network.

  • --level=1 or --level=2 (and so on…) — It will export the Breeze configurations of the specific subsite with the defined ID.

  • --file-path=your_export_path — It will allow you to define the path where you want the breeze configurations to be exported.

When the file is successfully exported, you can also download it to your local computer using SFTP.

Import Configurations

Similarly, if you already have Breeze settings in the .json file, you can first upload it to your server using SFTP and import it using the following command. Again, make sure to replace your_export_path with the correct file path. You can also use any external path (valid URL) outside your server to import configurations.

wp breeze import --file-path=your_export_path

If you use a WordPress Multisite and want to import your Breeze configurations for the network or specific subsite, you can execute the following command. But, first, be sure to replace your_parameter with the correct parameter defined below.

wp breeze import --level=your_parameter --file-path=your_export_path

Parameters

  • --level=network — It will export the Breeze configurations found in the Multisite network.

  • --level=1 or --level=2 (and so on…) — It will export the Breeze configurations of the specific subsite with the defined ID.

  • --file-path=your_export_path — It will allow you to define the path where you want the breeze configurations to be exported. You can also use any external path (valid URL) outside your server to import configurations.

Purge Breeze Cache

By default, Breeze WordPress Cache Plugin purges cache (including plugin's internal and Varnish cache) after one day (you can change this value in Basic Options).

1. WordPress Admin Panel

If you want to purge the plugin's internal and Varnish cache manually, you can do so from the Breeze tab in the top bar, as shown below.

2. WordPress CLI

You can also purge the Breeze cache using the WordPress Command Line Interface (CLI).

First of all, connect to your server remotely using SSH.

To purge the Breeze cache, execute the following command. Be sure to replace your_parameter with the correct parameter defined below.

wp breeze purge --cache=your_parameter

Parameters

  • --cache=all — It will purge the plugin's internal and Varnish cache.

  • --cache=varnish — It will only purge the Varnish cache.

  • --cache=local — It will only purge the plugin's internal cache.

If you are using a WordPress Multisite and want to purge the Breeze cache of the network or specific subsite, you can execute the following command. But, first, be sure to replace your_parameter with the correct parameter defined below.

wp breeze purge --cache=your_parameter --level=your_parameter

Parameters

  • --cache=all — It will purge the plugin's internal and Varnish cache.

  • --cache=varnish — It will only purge the plugin's internal and Varnish cache.

  • --cache=local — It will only purge the plugin's internal cache.

  • --level=network — It will purge the Breeze cache of the Multisite network.

  • --level=1 or --level=2 (and so on…) — It will purge the Breeze cache of the specific subsite with the defined ID.

Breeze WordPress CLI Help Command

The following command allows you to explore all the options available for Breeze Management in the WordPress CLI.

wp breeze help

That's it! We hope this tutorial was helpful. If you need any help, then feel free to search your query on Cloudways Support Center or contact us via chat (Need a Hand > Send us a Message). Alternatively, you can also create a support ticket.

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