W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin Ultimate Tutorial: Speed Up Your WP Site For Free
Would you like to install and set up W3 Total Cache on your WordPress site? So, W3 Total Cache is a popular WordPress caching plugin that can
Would you like to install and set up W3 Total Cache on your WordPress site?
So, W3 Total Cache is a popular WordPress caching plugin that can be used to speed up and improve the performance of your website.
So, we’ll show you how to install and configure W3 Total Cache on your WordPress website in this beginner’s guide.
Editor’s Note: W3 Total Cache is no longer used on our site; instead, WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin. W3 Total Cache is still a good solution that does the job.
What is W3 Total Cache?
So, W3 Total Cache is one of the best WordPress caching plugins for improving the performance and speed of your site.
When a user requests a page on your website, WordPress defaults to using PHP to generate it dynamically.
So, PHP is a programming language that runs on the server. This means that each user request puts more strain on your server. This impacts the performance, user experience, and SEO of your website.
So, by skipping PHP and serving a cached copy of your webpage, WordPress caching plugins can help you save time.
How caching works
It also makes it simple to connect your website to a CDN (content delivery network) to boost its performance even more.
Installing W3 Total Cache in WordPress
Ensure you deactivate any other caching plugins on your website before installing the W3 Total Cache plugin in WordPress. This will allow you to save server resources while also avoiding plugin conflicts.
The plugin can then be installed and activated after that. So, for more information, see our step-by-step guide to installing a WordPress plugin.
After activation, W3 Total Cache will add a new ‘Performance’ menu item to your WordPress admin sidebar. In addition, the plugin’s setup wizard will open when you click on it.
To proceed, simply click the Next button.
You’ll be asked to enable Page Cache first. Then, to continue, click the Test Page Cache button.
Configure page cache
W3 Total Cache will present you with various storage engine choices. First, you must select the option that saves you the most time. Most shared hosting platforms will use the ‘Disk: Enhanced’ option for the most part.
Click on the Next button to continue
The option to Test Database Cache will now appear. None is the best option. For most small to medium-sized websites, your MySQL server will be able to fetch data faster than the Database cache.
So, to proceed to the next step, click the Next button.
This will take you to the section on Object Cache. The plugin uses Object Caching to save and reuse database queries for dynamic pages, which improves performance.
If the difference in the test result is only a few milliseconds, you can select None.
Click on the next button to continue.
After that, select the ‘Enabled’ option under the test results after clicking the Test Browser Cache button.
This option instructs browsers to save a copy of the web page for a specified period of time. It’s much faster to load a page from your browser cache than it is to load it from your web server’s cache.
So, to proceed to the next step, click the next button.
Finally, the setup wizard will prompt you to enable lazy image loading.
WordPress now includes built-in image lazy loading. However, that feature may not be available in some older browsers.
Enable Lazy Loading
So, after that, click on the Next button to finish the setup wizard and view the W3 Total Cache dashboard.
Advanced Caching Options in W3 Total Cache
Basic settings work for most websites. However, you can configure many advanced options to further improve performance.
Let’s look at the main ones.
So, the term’minify’ refers to a technique for reducing the size of your website’s files. It removes unnecessary characters, lines, and white spaces from the source code.
Note: Reducing the size of your JS and CSS files may cause your website to break. If you enable it and your website still doesn’t look right, simply turn it off.
Simply scroll down to the JS section on the Performance » Minify page.
Enable JS minify
So, check the box next to “JS Minify Settings” to enable it.
Scroll down to the CSS section and do the same thing with the CSS minify settings.
Enable CSS minify
So, don’t forget to save your changes by clicking the “Save All Settings” button.
Enable CDN Support in W3 Total Cache
This lowers the load on your WordPress hosting server and speeds up page loading time.
W3 Total Cache includes support for a variety of CDN platforms.
Bunny.net is the best CDN solution on the market, and we recommend it. This is what our OptinMonster website looks like.
To begin, you must first create a Bunny.net account. Then, you must create a Pull Zone for your website after signing up.
Bunny CDN dashboard
The Bunny.net CDN adds a hostname to a pull zone. The static files for your website are then served using this hostname.
After that, give your pull zone a name and your website’s domain name.
Following the addition of the pullzone, go to Performance » General Settings and scroll down to the CDN section.
Select Generic Mirror as the CDN Type and check the Enable box next to the CDN option.
So, remember to click the Save All Changes button to save your changes.
After that, go to Performance » CDN and scroll down to the Configuration: Objects section.
Add CDN hostname
From here, enter the hostname for your pullzone that you created earlier and click the test mirror button.
When W3 Total Cache determines that your hostname is available, it will display the Test Passed message.
You can now save your changes by clicking the Save All Changes button.
W3 Total Cache will now use the CDN server to serve your static resources.
Cloudflare’s free CDN also works well with W3 Total Cache. So, you can also use it in conjunction with Sucuri, which is the best website firewall service with a built-in CDN.
Troubleshooting W3 Total Cache Issues
W3 Total Cache should work in the background to improve WordPress speed and performance once you’ve configured it properly.
So, you may occasionally run into issues where you don’t immediately see changes you’ve made to your website or a plugin isn’t working properly.
The most likely cause of those problems is that you are viewing an old cached version of your website.
So, this can be easily fixed by clearing the cache in WordPress.
Simply select Purge All Caches from the Performance menu at the top of the page. W3 Total Cache will clear your website’s cached content.
So, try clearing your browser cache as well if you’re still seeing the old version of your website.
And we hope you found this article useful in installing and configuring W3 Total Cache in WordPress. So, as a result, you might also be interested in our beginner’s guide to WordPress security or our comparison of the best GoDaddy alternatives that are both cheaper and more dependable.
As we’ve seen in this article, W3 Total Cache: The Complete Guide is one of the most powerful and comprehensive caching plugins available. So, you may need to consult a developer to get the most out of the W3 Total Cache configuration and advanced settings. In any case, we’ve seen the key configuration options for both a basic and advanced configuration.
So, remember that you can safely test the W3 Total Cache configuration by activating the Preview Mode if you have any doubts about activating the settings. You can deactivate it and return to the previous configuration if something goes wrong.