This article was originally published on this site

Caching is essential for achieving high performance and scalability. Implementing the proper caching strategy right from the development phase is critical to avoid lagging APIs and sluggish page load times. Laravel is one of the most popular PHP frameworks, so implementing the optimal Laravel caching strategy is indispensable to a better user experience and greater business impact.

In this article, we’ll explore strategies for implementing and manipulating caching in Laravel. You’ll learn about how Laravel caching works, several Laravel caching queries, and how you can handle caching on Laravel apps.
You’ll get more out of this article if you already have a basic know-how of the following under your belt:

Let’s dive in!

Why Is Caching Important?
With the recent boom in internet businesses, different companies have statistics showing how website load time and low performance can heavily impact SEO, user engagement, and conversation rates without caching. And that starts with an excellent caching strategy in place.
An online study found, “1 second of load lag time would cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales per year.”
Another Google study reported, “Our research shows that if search results are slowed by even a fraction of a second, people search less (seriously: A 400ms delay leads to a 0.44 percent drop in search volume, data fans). And this impatience isn’t just limited to search: Four out of five internet users will click away if a video stalls while loading.”
A slight sluggishness on your web page load time can result in a massive impact on your users’ experience and loss of funds at large.
What Is Laravel Caching?
Laravel provides a robust and easy-to-use implementation of caching and different caching backends. With Laravel cache, you can efficiently and effectively switch between many caching engines without writing any code.
You can find the configuration of the Laravel cache within the config/cache.php folder, though you’ll likely only need the .env file to switch between different cache backends.
Laravel cache also provides many practical methods that we can use to implement different caching strategies.
Caching is an essential part of the software development process for anyone who cares more about high performance and scalability. 📈 Dive into everything you need to know about laravel caching here 🚀Click to Tweet
Laravel Cache Drivers and Comparisons
Laravel cache provides great caching backends and drivers. Depending on your use case, you can switch between them to enhance your application performance and load time.
That said, Laravel cache also provides a seamless way to create a custom backend and use it with Laravel cache, but only if the list below does not fit your use case.
We’ll talk about the list of all the backends provided by Laravel cache next.
1. File
The file driver is the default backend used by the Laravel cache when no driver is specified in the .env file.
The file backend is designed to store the cached data in an encrypted file found under storage/framework/. Laravel creates an encrypted file with the data and the cache key when new data is cached. The same happens when the user is trying to retrieve the content. Laravel cache searches through the folder for the specified key and, if found, returns the content.
Though the file backend works flawlessly and saves time installing and configuring external drivers, it can also be perfect for development. It’s faster than accessing the data from the database server directly.
To use the file driver, add the following code to your .env file:
CACHE_DRIVER=file
2. Array
The array driver is a perfect caching backend for running automated tests and is configured easily with Github Actions, Jenkins, etc.
The array backend stores the cached data in an array in PHP and does not require you to install or configure any drivers. It works perfectly for automated tests, and it’s a bit faster than the file cache backend.
To use the array driver, add the following code to your .env file:
CACHE_DRIVER=array
3. Database
When using the database driver, data is stored in memory for the current PHP process. Therefore, you need to create a database table to store the cached data. In addition, database caching improves scalability by distributing query workload from the backend to multiple frontends.
You can run this Artisan command — php artisan cache:table — to auto-generate the database schema needed by the database driver.
The database driver is used mainly in situations where you can install any software on your hosting platform.
For example, let’s say you are using a free hosting plan with limited options. For that, we’d suggest sticking with the file driver because the database driver is, in most cases, the weakest point of your application, and trying to push more data into that bottleneck is not a good idea.
To use the database driver, add the following code to your .env file:
CACHE_DRIVER=database
4. Redis
The redis driver uses the in-memory-based caching technology called Redis. Though it’s swift compared to the other cache drivers discussed above, it requires installing and configuring external technology.
To use the redis driver, add the following code to your .env file:
CACHE_DRIVER=redis
5. Memcached
Memcached is known to be the most popular in-memory-based cache-store. If you don’t mind a bit of extra server maintenance (having to install and maintain additional services), the memory-based cache drivers Memcached are great options.
Using the memcached driver requires the Memcached PECL package to be installed.
To use the memcached driver, add the following code to your .env file.
CACHE_DRIVER=memcached
The best caching driver to use and the performance of the cache driver depend on your project use case and the quantity of data to be retrieved.
Laravel Cache Usage and Methods
Laravel cache provides many valuable methods used to implement many caching strategies.
Below we’ll list and explain the different methods (categorized as per their use case):

  1. put()
  2. get()
  3. many()
  4. putMany()
  5. increment()
  6. decrement()
  7. forever()
  8. forget()
  9. flush()
  10. remember()
  11. rememberForever()

Storing Cache
Storing new data in the cache is very simple using the different methods, each with several use cases.
1. Cache::put()
This method accepts three key parameters, duration, and the data to be cached.
Let’s take a look at how to use Cache::put():
Cache::put(key, data, duration)

$post = Post::find(1);

Cache::put(‘post_1’, $post, 20);

The code above will cache the post with the unique key for 20 seconds.
2. Cache::putMany()
This method stores an array of data in the cache at once with the same duration. It accepts two parameters which are data and seconds.
Let’s take a look at how to use Cache::putMany():
Cache::putMany(data, duration) // syntax

$posts = Post::all();

Cache::putMany($posts, 20);
3. Cache::remember()
This method is another excellent way to implement the cache Aside strategy. The Cache::remember() method accepts three parameters, a key, seconds, and closure used to retrieve data from the database if not found.
Let’s take a look at how to use Cache::remember():
Cache::remember(key, duration, closure) // syntax

Cache::remember(‘posts’, 20, function(){
return Post::all();
});

Laravel cache also has the Cache::rememberForever() method, which does not accept the seconds parameter and stores the data forever.
4. Cache::forever()
This method stores data in the cache server forever without specifying any duration. You can implement it with the following code:
Cache::forever(key, data)

$post = Post::find(1);

Cache::forever(‘post_1’, $post);

Retrieving Cache Data
The methods in this category retrieve data from the cache. Some of these methods can behave differently depending on if the data is found or not.
1. Cache::get()
This method retrieves data from the cache server with a specific key. You can retrieve an item by using the code below:
Cache::get(key) // syntax

$posts = Cache::get(‘posts’);
2. Cache::many()
This method is similar to Cache::putMany(). It is used to retrieve an array of cached data at once using an array of the cached keys. You can retrieve an array of cache using the following code:
Cache::many(keys) // syntax

const $keys = [
‘posts’,
post_1’,
post_2’
];

$posts = Cache::many($keys);

3. Cache::remember()
You can also use this method to retrieve cached data by checking the cache server using the key provided. If the data is stored in the cache, it will retrieve it. Otherwise, it will retrieve the data from the Database Server and cache it. This method is the same as the Cache::rememberForever() method with just an extra seconds parameter in the Cache::remember() method.
Removing Items From Cache
The methods under this category are used to remove items from the cache, grouped by functionality.
1. Cache::forget()
This method removes a single item from the cache with a specified key parameter:
Cache::forget(‘key’);
2. Cache::flush()
This method clears all the cache engines. It deletes all the items stored anywhere in the cache:
Cache::flush();
Incrementing or Decrementing Cache Values
You can adjust the values of an integer value stored in your cache by using the increment and decrement methods, respectively:
Cache::increment(‘key’);

Cache::increment(‘key’, $amount);

Cache::decrement(‘key’);

Cache::decrement(‘key’, $amount);

Laravel cache has many great methods that we have not discussed above, but the above methods are popular. You can get an overview of all the methods in the official Laravel cache documentation.
Cache Commands Explained
Laravel provides commands to make working with Laravel cache easy and fast. Below is the list of all the commands and their functionalities.

Sign Up For the Newsletter

Want to know how we increased our traffic over 1000%?
Join 20,000+ others who get our weekly newsletter with insider WordPress tips!


Subscribe Now

Clear Laravel Cache
This command is used to clear the Laravel cache before it even expires using the terminal/console. For example, you can run the following command:
php artisan cache:clear
Clear Route-Cache
This command is used to clear the route cache of your Laravel application. For example, run the following command to clear your route cache:
php artisan config:cache
Clear Compiled View Files
This command is used to clear the compiled view files of your Laravel application. You can achieve it with the following command:
php artisan view:clear
Database Table
When using the database driver, you need to create a database schema called cache to store the cache data. You may also use the Artisan command to generate a migration with the proper schema:
php artisan cache:table
Laravel Caching Strategies
Depending on your application use case and data structure, several different cache strategies are likely available to you. You can even create a custom strategy to fit your needs. Below we’ll go over the list of popular caching strategies you can implement in your Laravel project.
writeThrough
In the writeThrough strategy, the cache server sits between the requests and the database server, making every write operation go through the cache server before going to the Database Server. Thus, the writeThrough caching strategy is similar to the readThrough strategy.
You can implement this strategy with the Laravel cache with the following code:
public function writeThrough($key, $data, $minutes) {
$cacheData = Cache::put($key, $data, $minutes)

// Database Server is called from(after) the Cache Server.
$this->storeToDB($cachedData)
return $cacheData
}

private function storeToDB($data){
Database::create($data)
return true
}
writeBack (writeBehind)
This strategy is a more advanced way of implementing the writeThrough strategy by adding writing operations delays.
You can also call this the writeBehind strategy because of the delay in time applied to the cache server before writing the data to the database server.
You can implement this strategy with the Laravel cache with the following code:
$durationToFlush = 1; // (in minute)
$tempDataToFlush = [];

public function writeBack($key, $data, $minutes){
return $this->writeThrough($key, $data, $minutes);
}

public function writeThrough($key, $data, $minutes) {
$cacheData = Cache::put($key, $data, $minutes);
$this->storeForUpdates($cacheData);
return $cacheData;
}

// Stores new data to temp Array for updating
private function storeForUpdates($data){
$tempData = {};
$tempData[‘duration’] = this.getMinutesInMilli();
$tempData[‘data’] = data;
array_push($tempDataToFlush, data);
}

// Converts minutes to millisecond
private function getMinutesInMilli(){
$currentDate = now();
$futureDate = Carbon(Carbon::now()->timestamp + $this->durationToFlush * 60000)
return $futureDate->timestamp
}

// Calls to update the Database Server.
public function updateDatabaseServer(){
if($this->tempDataToFlush){
foreach($this->tempDataToFlush as $index => $obj){
if($obj->duration timestamp){
if(Database::create($obj->data)){
array_splice($this->tempDataToFlush, $index, 1);
}
}
}
}
}
The writeBack method calls to the writeThrough method, which stores the data to the cache server and a temporary array to be pushed later to the database server using the updateDatabaseServer method. You can set up a CronJob to update the database server every five minutes.
writeAround
This strategy allows all the write operations to go directly to the database server without updating the cache server — only during the read operations is the cache server updated.
Assuming a user wants to create a new Article, the Article stores directly to the database server. When the user wants to read the Article‘s content for the first time, the Article is retrieved from the database server and updates the cache server for subsequent requests.
You can implement this strategy with the Laravel cache with the following code:
public function writeAround($data) {
$storedData = Database::create($data);
return $storedData;
}

public function readOperation($key, $minutes){
$cacheData = Cache::remember($key, $minutes, function() {
return Article::all();
})
return $cacheData;
}

Cache Aside (Lazy Loading)
The database is sitting aside in this strategy, and the application requests data from the cache server first. Then, if there’s a hit (found), the data is returned to the client. Otherwise, if there’s a miss (not found), the database server requests the data and updates the cache server for subsequent requests.

You can implement this strategy with the Laravel cache with the following code:
public function lazyLoadingStrategy($key, $minutes, $callback) {
if (Cache::has($key)) {
$data = Cache::get($key);
return $data;
} else {
// Database Server is called outside the Cache Server.
$data = $callback();
Cache::set($key, $data, $minutes);
return $data;
}
}
The code above shows the implementation of the cache Aside Strategy, which is equivalent to implementing the Cache::remember method.
Read Through
This strategy is the direct opposite of the cache Aside Strategy. In this strategy, the cache Server sits between the Client Request and the Database Server.
Requests go directly to the cache server, and the cache server is responsible for retrieving the data from the database server if not found in the cache server.
You can implement this strategy with the Laravel cache with the following code:
public function readThrough($key, $minutes) {
$data = Cache::find($key, $minutes);
return $data;
}

private function find($key, $minutes){
if(Cache::has($key);){
return Cache::get($key);
}

// Database Server is called from the Cache Server.
$DBdata = Database::find($key);
Cache:put($key, $DBdata, $minutes);
return $DBdata;
}
There you have it! We’ve now discussed a few popular caching strategies for your next Laravel application. Remember, you can even use a custom caching strategy that best suits your project requirements.
Caching the UI Part of a Laravel App
Caching the UI of our Laravel App is a concept known as Full Page cache FPC. The term refers to the process of caching the HTML response from an application.
It’s excellent for applications where the dynamic HTML data doesn’t change frequently. You can cache the HTML response for a faster overall response and rendering of the HTML.
We can implement FPC with the following line of code:
class ArticlesController extends Controller {
public function index() {
if ( Cache::has(‘articles_index’) ) {
return Cache::get(‘articles_index’);
} else {
$news = News::all();
$cachedData = view(‘articles.index’)->with(‘articles’, $news)->render();
Cache::put(‘articles_index’, $cachedData);
return $cachedData;
}
}
}
At first glance, you might have noticed that we check if that articles_index page already exists in our cache server. Then we return the page by rendering it with Laravel’s view() and render() methods.
Otherwise, we render the page and store the output in our cache server for subsequent requests before returning the rendered page to the browser.
Build a Laravel App
Now we’re going to apply what we’ve learned so far by creating a new Laravel project and implementing Laravel cache.
If you haven’t used Laravel, you can read through what Laravel is and peek at our list of excellent Laravel tutorials to get started.
Setting Up Laravel
First, we’re going to create a fresh Laravel instance using the below command. You can look up the official documentation for more.
Open your console and navigate to where you store your PHP projects before running the commands below. Make sure to have Composer installed and configured correctly.
composer create-project laravel/laravel fast-blog-app

// Change directory to current Laravel installation
cd fast-blog-app

// Start Laravel development server.
php artisan serve

Configuring and Seeding the Database
Next, we will set up our database, create a new Article model, and seed 500 fake data points for testing.
Open your database client and create a new database. We’ll do the same with the name fast_blog_app_db and then fill up our .env file with the database credentials:
DB_CONNECTION=mysql
DB_HOST=127.0.0.1
DB_PORT=3306
DB_DATABASE=fast_blog_app_db
DB_USERNAME=//DB USERNAME HERE
DB_PASSWORD=//DB PASSWORD HERE

Next, we’ll run the following command to create the migration and the Article model simultaneously:
php artisan make:model Article -m
Open the newly created migration found database/migrations/xxx-create-articles-xxx.php and paste in the following code:
<?php
use IlluminateSupportFacadesSchema;
use IlluminateDatabaseSchemaBlueprint;
use IlluminateDatabaseMigrationsMigration;
class CreateArticlesTable extends Migration
{
/**
* Run the migrations.
*
* @return void
*/
public function up()
{
Schema::create(‘articles’, function (Blueprint $table) {
$table->id();
$table->string(‘title’);
$table->text(‘description’);
$table->timestamps();
});
}
/**
* Reverse the migrations.
*
* @return void
*/
public function down()
{
Schema::dropIfExists(‘articles’);
}
}
Next, run the command below to create a new seeder:
php artisan make:seeder ArticleSeeder
Open the newly created seeder file found in database/seeders/ArticleSeeder.php and paste in the following code:
<?php
namespace DatabaseSeeders;
use AppModelsArticle;
use IlluminateDatabaseSeeder;
class ArticleSeeder extends Seeder
{
/**
* Run the database seeds.
*
* @return void
*/
public function run()
{
Article::factory()->count(500)->create();
}
}
Open the DatabaseSeeder.php file in the same directory and add the following code:
<?php
namespace DatabaseSeeders;
use IlluminateDatabaseSeeder;
class DatabaseSeeder extends Seeder
{
/**
* Seed the application’s database.
*
* @return void
*/
public function run()
{
$this->call(ArticleSeeder::class);
}
}
Next, run the command below to create a new factory:
php artisan make:factory ArticleFactory
Open the newly built factory file found in database/factories/ArticleFactory.php and paste in the following code:
<?php
namespace DatabaseFactories;
use AppModelsArticle;
use IlluminateDatabaseEloquentFactoriesFactory;
class ArticleFactory extends Factory
{
/**
* The name of the factory’s corresponding model.
*
* @var string
*/
protected $model = Article::class;
/**
* Define the model’s default state.
*
* @return array
*/
public function definition()
{
return [
‘title’ => $this->faker->text(),
‘description’ => $this->faker->paragraph(20)
];
}
}
Now, run the command below to migrate our newly created schema and also seed our fake data for testing:
php artisan migrate –seed
Creating the Article Controller
Next, we will create our controller and set up our routes to handle our request and retrieve data using the above model.
Run the following command to create a new ArticlesController inside the app/Http/Controllers folder:
php artisan make:controller ArticlesController –resource
Open the file and add the following code to the class:
// Returns all 500 articles with Caching
public function index() {
return Cache::remember(‘articles’, 60, function () {
return Article::all();
});
}

// Returns all 500 without Caching
public function allWithoutCache() {
return Article::all();
}
After that, open the api.php file found inside the routes/ folder and paste in the following code to create an endpoint we can call to retrieve our data:
Route::get(‘/articles’, ‘[email protected]‘);

Route::get(‘/articles/withoutcache’, ‘[email protected]‘);
Testing the Performance
Lastly, we will test the performance of our app’s response with or without the implementation of the Laravel cache.
This screenshot shows the response time of the API with cache implemented:
A screenshot of the Laravel API response time with cache implemented.Laravel API response time with cache.
The following screenshot shows the response time of the API without cache implemented — note that the response time has increased over the cached instance by over 5,000%:
A screenshot of the Laravel API response time without cache implemented.Laravel API response time without cache.
Have a solid grasp of web development and laravel, but want to learn more about laravel caching and how you can implement it? ✅ This post is for you 👇Click to Tweet
Summary
We’ve explored various strategies for implementing and manipulating Laravel caching by building a new project, benchmarking its responses, and comparing the results.
You’ve also learned how to use the different Laravel caching drivers and methods. In addition, we implemented different caching strategies to help you figure out which one might be right for you.
For more Laravel, explore our hand-picked selection of the best laravel tutorials. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced Laravel developer, there’s something for everyone in there!
If you still have questions about Laravel caching, please let us know in the comments section.

Save time, costs and maximize site performance with:

  • Instant help from WordPress hosting experts, 24/7.
  • Cloudflare Enterprise integration.
  • Global audience reach with 28 data centers worldwide.
  • Optimization with our built-in Application Performance Monitoring.

All of that and much more, in one plan with no long-term contracts, assisted migrations, and a 30-day-money-back-guarantee. Check out our plans or talk to sales to find the plan that’s right for you.