What is Redis? Why Rocket Gives It To Customers For Free

What is Redis? Why Rocket Gives It To Customers For Free
  • 3 min read

Here at Rocket.net headquarters, we get a lot of questions about Redis. What is it? How does it work? How much does Redis cost? We’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions that we receive here and hopefully takes some of the mystery away about how Redis improves your website performance.

What Is Redis?

Before we can answer the question “What is Redis?” we need to take a quick look at WordPress itself. WordPress uses code written in PHP to generate a website. It does this by combining your posts, pages, and other content (which are stored in a database) with the images, css, javascript and other assets that are stored on the server’s disk. This means that all of the website is stored on a server’s disk. Rocket.net uses extremely performant NVMe disks and so the speed is quite good, but there are times when more is needed.

This is where Redis comes in. Redis works to take the load from the database and the resulting disk reads and writes, and moves these to the server’s memory. The server’s memory is much faster than even the fastest disks, and so the site’s speed can potentially be even faster.

How Does Redis Work?

Redis works differently than a typical database, but actually provides many of the same abilities. Redis can store many different types of data directly without the need for using SQL. This means that it is very simple to use from a developer’s standpoint. From the standpoint of a website owner, the biggest advantage of Redis is speed. Why?

Rather than storing data on disk, Redis stores data in the server’s memory. This means that reads and writes are many, many times faster than an SQL query to disk based MySQL or MariaDB databases.

Why Use Redis?

So, Redis makes a WordPress site faster, right? The answer is not quite as simple as Yes or No. Whether or not a WordPress site will benefit from using Redis depends on the site itself. Low traffic sites that are mostly static will not benefit from Redis at all.

High traffic WooCommerce sites with hundreds or thousands of products will see great gains with Redis, because complex SQL queries to disk can be replaced by simple Redis requests to memory. We’ve seen significant speed improvements on some very large WooCommerce stores when Redis was implemented.

Is Redis Free?

Redis itself is Open Source software, which means the software does not need to be purchased. Redis source code is also provided at no charge by the developers who make it.

Some Managed WordPress providers do charge to implement Redis for WordPress sites. Kinsta, for example, charges $100 per month per site to use a Redis data store.

Rocket.net does not charge for Redis. To get Redis for free on your WordPress/WooCommerce site, just ask any of Rocket’s support staff and we’ll have it set up in just a few minutes.

How Fast Is Redis?

Because Redis eliminates the need for cumbersome SQL statements and uses lightning fast system memory instead of going through the disk, it can be much, much faster than MySQL by itself. 

But rather than say “Redis is 20% faster” or “Your site will be 2x faster”, we have to acknowledge that the answer is subjective. Some sites work very well with Redis, and for some sites it just doesn’t make any difference.

How Many Requests Can Redis Handle?

To answer this question, we have to answer it in the context of WordPress and Rocket.net. Redis can handle thousands of requests per minute, but it’s still constrained by the actual website itself and the way WooCommerce is configured. Many Rocket.net customers are handling hundreds of transactions per hour with WooCommerce, a good caching plugin such as WP-Rocket, and Redis.

Is There Anything Faster Than Redis?

Yes! We’ve been working closely with the developer of the Object Cache Pro plugin for WordPress to use a new technology called Relay, which interfaces WordPress with Redis in an even faster way, making Redis capable of handling even more traffic and enabling higher speeds yet. Relay is exclusive to our Enterprise hosting products.

Our team of experts is standing by. Most website owners have switched hosting providers multiple times over the history of their site. We’re confident that you won’t look back once you make the switch to Rocket.net.

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