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.
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.
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. 😉
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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check out the screen shot to know the recommended 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.
Tick both Rewrite URL structure and disable minify for logged in users. The latter is a personal choice though.
HTML & XML
Click on Enable HTML minify settings and then enable all the options except Don’t minify feeds, as in the screenshot.
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.
Set it up as shown in the screen shot for best performance.
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.
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.
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…!! 😀
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 😉