PHP Class to Cache Remote Content by URL

While developing the NextGEN Facebook OG plugin for WordPress, which adds social buttons from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. to content and pages (along with several other features), I found the response time from these websites to be disappointing at times. When speed testing the pages of my websites, the JavaScript and images from these social elements would sometimes be a significant part of the total page load time. You can’t really save a copy of these files and serve them yourself, because they are frequently updated. You could create a cronjob to update them on a regular basis, but the maintenance of this can be cumbersome (as you add or remove files, etc.). It’s much easier to use a PHP method that caches and refreshes the remote files, and translate the URL at the same time. For example, something like:

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Beautify Query Strings with Rewrites

Sometimes I’ll work on something just to see what it looks like when it’s done. I guess this Apache rewrite might be something like that — I wanted to change the WordPress search query from /?s=value to /s/value, just to make the URL look a little prettier. :) There are probably a few ways to do this, and if you’d like to share some alternatives, feel free to post a comment.

There are two parts to this problem; The first, executing a search query from an /s/value URL, is easily addressed by a rewrite and proxy command. The second problem — how to rewrite a regular search query, but not a proxied search query — is a little tricker. I decided to add an htproxy hostname to my domain with an IP of 127.0.0.1. Then in a rewrite condition, I check for the htproxy hostname, and skip the rewrite if it’s a proxied request. The htproxy hostname must be included in the website’s Apache config as a ServerAlias.

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