WordPress W3 Total Cache plugin has been designed to optimize website performance. The plugin’s main purpose is to help improving your site’s overall load time. In this guide, I will show the absolute WordPress W3 Total Cache settings used by 50,000 users so far!
We’ve been using it for this blog and a few other websites. It just proved to be the perfect plugin to speed up my WordPress sites. I use this WordPress W3 Total Cache settings with CloudFlare and MaxCDN (which integrates with it) in conjunction with BlueHost’s hosting.
According to research, A whopping 47% of site visitors are likely to abandon a page that takes more than 2 seconds to load. It’s really important to know how to optimize WordPress performance.
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Your page loading time ultimately dictates how user-friendly your website is. This alone is influencing site visitors to either stick around for a long time or abandon your site forever.
How To Install
W3 Total Cache Plugin ?
WordPress W3 Total Cache plugin not only improves your websites speed; It also do the following:
- Reduces the download time of your page.
- Caches the site’s data for faster loading time.
- Can be integrated with content delivery network (MaxCDN).
Installing The WordPress W3 Total Cache Plugin is an easy task. It just takes a few seconds to do. You can follow the following steps to install the plugin on your WordPress site.
- Login to your WordPress Admin Dashboard.
- Head to ‘Plugins’ down the menu, Then Click on ‘Add new’.
- In the search field, type in ‘W3 Total Cache’ and hit ’Install’
- After installing the plugin, click on ‘Activate’.
If your WordPress theme supports pre-installed WordPress W3 Total Cache plugin, You will just need to activate it. On your dashboard menu, select ‘Installed Plugins’ and ‘Activate’ your plugin.
You can also manually install W3 Total Cache plugin by downloading its Zip file and uploading it to your website. You can get the files from WordPress.org Public Repository.
How To Configure WordPress W3 Total Cache Settings?
Now, You should have successfully installed & activated W3 Total Cache plugin. It’s time to start configuring the W3 Total Cache settings accordingly for achieving the best results.
Before getting started with configuring the WordPress W3 Total Cache Settings, I would recommend performing a quick website speed test for your website. This will help you to know where we currently are and what we’re aiming at.
W3 Total Cache General Settings:
The first configuration to be done is in “General Settings“. This will allow you to enable and disable other advanced settings which will be later configured. Please follow the steps below:
- Go to Performance > General Settings.
- Enable Page cache > Page Cache Method ‘Disk: Enhanced’.
- Enable Minify > choose ‘Auto’ for Minify mode > select ‘Disk’ for Minify cache method.
- Enable Database Cache > select ‘Disk’ as Database Cache method.
- Enable Browser Cache
- Click on ‘Save All Settings’ once after you finish.
- Enable Google Page Speed Dashboard Widget: Here is how Google Page Speed Insights look like in your WordPress plugin “Dashboard”. To Enable it, You will need to add an API.
W3 Total Cache Page Cache:
This is the most important setting on the W3 Total Cache Plugin. This setting alone has a major influence on your site’s performance. For this settings page, Check on all the settings below:
- Cache front page.
- Cache feeds, sites, categories, tags, comments.
- Cache 404(not found) pages.
- Don’t Cache pages for logged in users.
- Click on ‘Save all settings’ to effect the changes done
W3 Total Cache Minify Settings:
Minify compresses your site’s code prompting faster page load time. Despite the minification, Your site’s functionality is preserved.
- Enable Rewrite URL structure.
- Click on save all Settings to effect the settings.
W3 Total Cache Database Cache Settings:
This feature contains all data on your site such as posts, pages and images. Enabling this feature in general settings allows for better site performance while reducing the time taken to create posts or pages and RSS feeds. For further configuration,
- Check Do not Cache Settings for logged in users
- Save all settings to effect the changes done
W3 Total Cache Browser Cache Settings:
Browser cache allows for caching of static resources of your site in browsers. This speeds up the overall page load time. Check all the following options:
- Set Last-Modified header
- Set expires header
- Set cache control header
- Set entity tag (Etag)
- Set W3 Total Cache Header
- Enable HTTP (gzip) compression
- Don’t set cookies for static files
- Click on Save all settings
Enabling W3TC Extension:
W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin works – as well – with other extensions on your website. This way it guarantees to acheive the best performance.
By clicking on the extension menu tab, You will be able to activate other extensions such as:
- Yoast SEO
- Genesis Framework
- Google AMP
- Google FeedbBurner
- & more!
In there, You will need to activate the extensions you want. Then, You can proceed to configure each extension on its own. This all depends on which plugins/themes you’re using for your site.
At this point, I would recommend that your run an additional speed test. You should be able to notice a decreased page load time compared to the previous one.
W3 Total Cache plugin provides allows you to boost the performance of your WordPress site in a matter of seconds. A fast loading site complements other functions on your site such as Search Engine Optimization. If you’re a newbie getting started, This is a must-activate extension after installing WordPress on your site.
Over To You:
WordPress W3 Total Cache settings are not only self-functional but also complementary to other plugins and configurations on your site. Instead of being an additional plugin that slows down your site, W3 Total Cache boosts your sites speed even on large sites of Megabyte size.
The plugin basically guarantees reduced page loading time. And this encourages visitors to remain on your site. And accordingly, Search Engines like Google will read this and rank your website even higher.
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If this article was helpful, be sure to let me know in the comments below. Feel free to ask or peruse through the other articles on my site for more WordPress Tips and Configuration Guides.