W3 Total Cache Settings and Configuration Guide

Page speed is an important factor in deciding the amount of traffic you get on your website, if your site loads slowly then many people will close it even before reading your content. Also, page speed helps you in SEO & Google Page Rank. This W3 Total Cache Settings Guide will help you overcome this…!!

The best WordPress plugin for this is W3 Total Cache, that caches your site to improve performance & speed. Although there is on more plugin i.e WP Super Cache but W3 Total Cache is a more advanced plugin and it even includes CDN (Content Delivery Network) integration.

W3 Total Cache to speed up WordPress

Since W3 Total Cache Setting is a bit difficult than WP Super Cache, so here is a step by step guide for W3 Total Cache settings.

How to Install W3 Total Cache

  • Go to the Plugins section in your WordPress dashboard  and click on Add New.
  • Then in the search box type “W3 Total Cache” and click on Search plugins.
  • Click Install Now on the first result and activate the plugin.
Installing W3 Total Cache

Installing W3 Total Cache

If you want to download the plugin and upload it through FTP then you can download it from here and then install it manually.

Compare Site Speed before & After W3 Total Cache Settings

To check your site speed, go to Google PageSpeed, type your URL and click on Analyse. Now you’ll see your score out of 100 before W3 Total Cache setting on your site.

Below is TrickVilla’s page speed before W3 Total Cache settings. After configuration of the plugin, we will have a look at the page speed again & see the difference. ;)

Page Speed before W3 Total Cache

TrickVilla Page Speed before W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache Settings

After installing W3 Total Cache, you’ll see Performance tab added on the left-hand menu of your WordPress dashboard. Click it to open the W3 Total Cache Settings.

It has a lot of options that may confuse you :p and if not configured properly can even stop your site from working properly. So follow the steps carefully for successful W3 Total Cache settings….

General Settings

From here you can choose whether to enable caching or not. First we’ll configure all the settings and then at the end, click on Preview to test them on the site. If everything’s fine, we’ll hit the Deploy button to make the settings live!

So for now, leave it untouched.

General Settings

General Settings

Page Cache

Enabling page cache decreases the load time of site as it decreases the server load. So click on Enable and choose Disk: Enhanced in Page Cache Method.

Page Cache

Page Cache

Minify

Minify reduces the size of your CSS and HTML files by removing line breaks, spaces and comments from the CSS files, thus delivering them faster. You just have to choose Enable against Minify and leave the rest as default.

Minify Settings

Minify Settings

Database Cache

WordPress works by sending multiple queries to your database and thus sometimes too many queries break down your server. To prevent this, enable Database Cache which saves the result of database queries preventing WordPress from looking into the database everytime.

Keep Database Cache Method to Disk, as in the screenshot.

Database Cache Settings

Database Cache Settings

 

Object Cache

Object Cache may or may not effect your page speed. So first enable it, check your page speed and then disable it and again check your page speed to find the difference. If there is no difference, better disable it.

Object Cache

Object Cache

Browser Cache

Browser Cache tells your Visitor’s Browser how long to store a particular object. Some things like images are not changed from a post frequently and so the cache can just keep the file and not download it again and again, thus saving resources & time.

So Enable it.

Browser Cache Settings

Browser Cache Settings

CDN

CDN or Content Delivery Network hosts static parts of your website on servers around the world. Thus when a visitor opens your page, he gets the static parts from a host nearby, thus decrease your server load and reducing latency. Enable if you have purchased a CDN  and choose your CDN type accordingly.

Now all other settings like Miscellaneous settings, etc. are plug and play. Try different setting and check the difference in your page speed & enable them accordingly. These things are site-specific, you may need some & you may not need others.

Page Cache Settings

Click on Page Cache on the menu bar at the top to open up the specific settings that tell how Page Cache should operate.

General

Check out the screen shot to know the recommended settings.

Page Cache General Settings

page cache general settings

Advanced, Cache Preload, Purge Policy

You can leave all these options default but if you want, you can play with them and check the difference in page speed for optimum W3 Total Cache settings.

Minify Settings

General

Tick both Rewrite URL structure and disable minify for logged in users. The latter is a personal choice though.

Minify General Settings

Minify General Settings

 

HTML & XML

Click on Enable HTML minify settings and then enable all the options except Don’t minify feeds, as in the screenshot.

Minify: HTML XML Settings

Minify: HTML XML Settings

JS

Enable it but if on deploying these settings you find any problem in your site then you can disable this. Also, you can keep other 5 check boxes unchecked.

CSS

Set it up as shown in the screen shot for best performance.

Minify Settings: CSS

Minify Settings: CSS

Database Cache Settings

In general settings click on the check box against 

Object Cache Settings

You can leave this as default or play with it and compare your page speeds for best W3 Total Cache settings.

Browser Cache Settings

See the screen shot to know the recommended general settings. Leave other settings as default.

Browser Cache: General Settings

Browser Cache: General Settings

 

We’ve completed W3 Total Cache settings…!! Go back to General Settings of W3 Total Cache & hit the Preview button to preview the changes on your site. If everything is fine, click the Deploy button to make these settings live.

General Settings

General Settings

You can check the difference in your page speed to know how important W3 Total Cache is. Our Page Speed changed from 85 to 92…!! :D

TrickVilla Page Speed after W3 Total Cache

TrickVilla Page Speed after W3 Total Cache

These were just the recommended settings that worked for me, so if some of the settings don’t work for you then play around with the other settings to get the best combination for your blog, as remember Every Blog Is Unique.

Leave your thoughts & success in W3 Total Cache settings in the comments section below ;)

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