Storing PHP objects (or simpler data types like arrays) in caches always requires some kind of transformation. You need a way of encoding/decoding data so that it can be stored and loaded properly. In most languages, this process is known as object serialization. PHP provides a mechanism for this out of the box, but in this article we'll also look at igbinary as a drop-in replacement for the default serializer. We also compare the results to object transcoding based on JSON, which is not really an object serialization mechanism but commonly used as a data chache structure which has its own benefits and drawbacks.