SQLite Object Cache


A persistent object cache helps your site perform well. This one uses the widely available SQLite3 extension to php. Many hosting services offer it. If your hosting service does not provide memcached or redis, you may be able to use this plugin instead and get the benefit of object caching.

Caches are ubiquitous in computing, and WordPress has its own caching subsystem. Caches contain short-term copies of the results of expensive database lookups or computations, and allow software to use the copy rather than repeating the expensive operation. This plugin (like other object-caching plugins) extends WordPress’s caching subsystem to save those short-term copies from page view to page view. WordPress’s cache happens to be a memoization cache.

Without a persistent object cache, every WordPress page view must use your MariaDB or MySQL database server to retrieve everything about your site. When a user requests a page, WordPress starts from scratch and loads everything it needs from your database server. Only then can it deliver content to your user. With a persistent object cache, WordPress immediately loads much of the information it needs. This lightens the load on your database server and delivers content to your users faster.

Thanks to Till Krüss. His Redis Object Cache plugin serves as a model for this one. And thanks to Ari Stathopoulos and Jonny Harris for reviewing this. (All defects are, of course, entirely the author’s responsibility.)


  • Settings panel. Access it with Settings > Object Cache.
  • Performance statistics panel.


Installing “SQLite Object Cache” can be done either by searching for “SQLite Object Cache” via the “Plugins > Add New” screen in your WordPress dashboard, or by using the following steps:

  1. Download the plugin via WordPress.org
  2. Upload the ZIP file through the ‘Plugins > Add New > Upload’ screen in your WordPress dashboard
  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress

The plugin offers optional settings for your wp-config.php file. If you change them, deactivate the plugin first, then change them, then reactivate the plugin.

  1. WP_SQLITE_OBJECT_CACHE_DB_FILE. This is the SQLite file pathname. The default is …/wp-content/.ht.object_cache.sqlite. Use this if you want to place the SQLite cache file outside your document root.
  2. WP_SQLITE_OBJECT_CACHE_TIMEOUT. This is the SQLite timeout in milliseconds. Default: 5000.
  3. WP_SQLITE_OBJECT_CACHE_JOURNAL_MODE This is the SQLite journal mode. Default: ‘WAL’. Possible values DELETE | TRUNCATE | PERSIST | MEMORY | WAL | NONE.


Does this work with a multisite WordPress installation?

Yes. To see the Settings page, choose Settings > Object Cache from the first site, or any site, in the multisite installation.

How much faster will this make my site?

Exactly predicting each site’s speedup is not possible. Still, benchmarking results are promising. Please see this. If you run a benchmark, please let the author know by leaving a comment on that page or using the support forum.

What is SQLite?

SQLite is fast and efficient database software. It doesn’t require a separate server. Instead, it is built into php using the SQLite3 extension. SQLite programs don’t need to open network connections to send requests and wait for replies.

Does this plugin replace MariaDB or MySQL with SQLite?

No. Your MariaDB or MySQL database sql server still holds all your content. All your site’s imports, exports, backups and other database operations continue to function normally. This plugin uses SQLite simply to hold named values. For example, a value named “post|3” will hold a temporary, easy-to-retrieve cached copy of post number 3. When it needs that post, WordPress can fetch it quickly from SQLite.

Wait, what? Do I really need two different kinds of SQL database?

No, you don’t. This plugin doesn’t use SQLite as a full-fledged database server.

A persistent object cache needs some kind of storage mechanism. SQLite serves this plugin as a fast and simple key / value storage mechanism.

Some hosting providers offer scalable high-performance redis cache servers. If your provider offers redis, it is a good choice. You can use it via Redis Object Cache plugin. Sites using redis have one SQL database and another non-SQL storage scheme: redis. Other hosting providers offer memcached, which has the Memcached Object Cache.

But many hosting providers don’t offer either redis or memcached, while they do offer SQLite. This plugin enables your site to use a persistent object cache even without a separate cache server.

Is this plugin compatible with my version of MySQL or MariaDB?

Yes. It does not require any specific database server version.

Is this plugin compatible with my version of redis or memcached?

It does not use either. Please do not use this plugin if you have access to redis or memcached. Instead, use the Redis Object Cache or Memcached Object Cache plugin.

Why not use the site’s main MariaDB or MySql database server for the object cache?

In WordPress, as in many web frameworks, your database server is a performance bottleneck. Using some other mechanism for the object cache avoids adding to your database workload. Web servers serve pages using multiple php processes, and each process handles its own SQLite workload while updating a shared database file. That spreads the object-cache workload out over many processes rather than centralizing it.

Do I have to back up the data in SQLite?

No. It’s a cache, and everything in it is ephemeral. When WordPress cannot find what it needs in the cache, it simply recomputes it or refetches it from the database.

To avoid backing up SQLite files, tell your backup plugin to skip the files named *.sqlite, *.sqlite-wal, and *.sqlite-shm.

This plugin automatically suppresses backing up your SQLite data when you use the Updraft Plus, BackWPUp, or WP STAGING plugins. The Duplicator plugin does not offer an automated way to suppress copying those files.

If you use some other backup or cloning plugin, please let the author know by creating a support topic.

If I already have another persistent object cache, can I use this one?

No. You only need one persistent object cache, and WordPress only supports one.

If I operate a scaled-up load-balanced installation, can I use this?

No. If you have more than one web server this doesn’t work correctly. If you operate at that scale, use redis or some other cache server. (If you aren’t sure whether you have a load-balanced installation, you almost certainly do not.)

Can I use this with the Performance Lab plugin?

Yes, but you must activate this plugin first before you activate Performance Lab. And, you must deactivate Performance Lab before deactivating this plugin last.

The Performance Lab plugin offers some advanced and experimental ways of making your site faster. One of its features uses object-cache initialization code to start tracking performance. So there’s a required order of activation if you want both to work.

How can I use this object cache to make my plugin or theme code run faster?

Use transients to store your cacheable data. WordPress’s Transient API uses persistent object caching if it’s available, and the MariaDB or MySQL database when it isn’t. The Metadata API and Options API also use persistent object caching.

How does this work?

This plugin uses a WordPress drop-in to extend the functionality of the WP_Cache class. When you activate the plugin it creates the dropin file .../wp-content/object-cache.php. Upon deactivation, it removes that file and the cached data.

Where does the plugin store the cached data?

It’s in your site’s wp_content directory, in the file named .ht.object-cache.sqlite. That file’s name has the .ht. prefix to prevent your web server from allowing it to be downloaded. SQLite also sometimes uses the files named .ht.object-cache.sqlite-shm and .ht.object-cache.sqlite-wal, so you may see any of those files.

On Linux and other UNIX-derived operating systems, you must give the command ls -a to see files when their names begin with a dot.

I want to store my cached data in a more secure place. How do I do that?

Putting your .sqlite files outside your site’s document root is good security practice. This is how you do it. If you define the constant WP_SQLITE_OBJECT_CACHE_DB_FILE in wp_config.php the plugin uses that for sqlite’s file pathname instead. For example, if wp-config.php contains this line

define( 'WP_SQLITE_OBJECT_CACHE_DB_FILE', '/tmp/mysite-object-cache.sqlite' );

your object cache data goes into the /tmp folder in a file named mysite-object-cache.sqlite.

You can also define WP_CACHE_KEY_SALT to be a text string. Continuing the example, this line

define( 'WP_CACHE_KEY_SALT', 'qrstuv' );

causes your object cache data to go into the /tmp folder in a file named mysite-object-cache.qrstuv.sqlite.

I sometimes get timeout errors from SQLite. How can I fix them?

Some sites occasionally generate error messages looking like this one:

Unable to execute statement: database is locked in /var/www/wp-content/object-cache.php:1234

This can happen if your server places your WordPress files on network-attached storage (that is, on a network drive). To solve this, store your cached data on a locally attached drive. See the question about storing your data in a more secure place.

Why do I get errors when I use WP-CLI to administer my site?

Sometimes WP-CLI commands issued from a shell run with a different user from the web server. This plugin creates one or more object-cache files. An object-cache file may not be readable or writeable by the web server if it was created by the wp-cli user. Or the other way around.

On Linux, you can run your WP-CLI shell commands like this: sudo -u www-data wp config list This ensures they run with the same user as the web server.

What do the Statistics mean?

Please read this.

Is there a joke somewhere in this?

Q: What are the two hardest things to get right in computer science?

  1. Caching things.
  2. Naming things.
  3. Coping with off-by-one errors.

Seriously, the core of WordPress has already worked out, over years of development and millions of sites, how to cache things and name them. This plugin simply extends that mechanism to make those things persistent.

I have another question

Please look for more questions and answers here. Or ask your question in the support forum.


Marso 11, 2023 1 reply
Thanks Ollie for this great plugin! I use this in conjunction with your other plugin Index WP MySQL For Speed and have installed these on quite a lot of websites with great success. Each and every one has increased speed. It is faster and it feels faster and that's all the client cares about 🎉
Pebrero 26, 2023
I have tested a lot of plugins. And so far this has given me the best results.I can't believe it!Also I like the way the developers explained this plugin. How he decribed things and referenced work of others.I say Bravo! 🙂
Pebrero 15, 2023 2 replies
Very lightweight and works, but I don't know if it's this plugin, or something else that's refreshing the Site Health Plugin to rescan every day or less.
Enero 24, 2023
This is the plugin, the community of shared-hosting users have waited for without even knowing it. Thanks to @ollijones the plugin author for making this possible and also for tagging it a community-plugin and doing friendly support here on the forum as well. Great!
Read all 6 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“SQLite Object Cache” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“SQLite Object Cache” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “SQLite Object Cache” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Sanitize the WP_CACHE_KEY_SALT value.
  • Avoid using up all the RAM when reporting on many statistics.


  • Fix exception-handling bug.
  • In the size display on the Statistics panel, summarize repetitive WooCommerce cache groups.


  • Implement wp_cache_flush_runtime() correctly.


  • Better exception handling.
  • More secure storage of database files.


  • Switch from MEMORY to WAL for SQLite’s journaling mode.
  • Implement some wp-config.php settings:

    WP_SQLITE_OBJECT_CACHE_DB_FILE. sqlite file pathname. Default: …/wp-content/.ht.object_cache.sqlite .

    WP_SQLITE_OBJECT_CACHE_TIMEOUT SQLite timeout. Default: 5000 milliseconds.

    WP_SQLITE_OBJECT_CACHE_JOURNAL_MODE Default: ‘WAL’. Possible values DELETE | TRUNCATE | PERSIST | MEMORY | WAL | NONE. See https://www.sqlite.org/pragma.html#pragma_journal_mode


  • Increase the SQLite wait timeout from 0.5sec to 5.0sec, trying to deal with rare long wait to perform an SQLite operation. #10.
  • Switch SQLite’s journaling mode from MEMORY to WAL trying to reduce contention between readers and writers.
  • Show p1 first-percentile and p99 99th-percentile times in the Statistics panel along with p5, median, mean, p95.
  • Add wp-config.php settings for timeout and journaliing mode along with filename.
  • Test with WordPress 5.5, the earliest version that does not require the obsolete mysql extension.
  • Change performance logging from time-based to random sampling to reduce overhead.
  • Fix a race condition upserting cached values under load in pre-3.24 SQLite.
  • Show availability of the space-saving igbinary serialization on dashboard panels.

This application of SQLite puts its concurrency-handling code to the test.


  1. Use .ht.object-cache.sqlite for cached data to prevent downloading it via the web server.
  2. Add support for the WP_SQLITE_OBJECT_CACHE_DB_FILE constant.
  3. It’s possible for the sqlite cache file to become corrupt if a server process crashes. When detecting that kind of situation, the plugin now deletes and rebuilds it.


First release