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How to Set Up W3 Total Cache Wordpress Plugin

How to Set Up W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin in 2015

We all know that site speed is a part of site optimization and SEO, and it is the most important topic for a webmaster. We also know that all the fast loading websites use caching to boost their performance. A caching enabled site can perform 300% faster than a website without caching. How caching work? Caching delivers a static version of site’s static files (ie. CSS, Javascripts, Images, Audio files, etc.) to visitors without requesting from the database.

You can easily enable caching on your self hosted WordPress website by using a caching plugin. So today, we are going to discuss on how to configure the most popular caching plugin, W3 Total Cache for optimal performance. Xyloor.com is also powered by W3TC and it’s a free plugin. W3 Total cache plugin offers all the powerful features that are needed to optimize a website.

The plugin is compatible with the shared, VPS and dedicated hosting servers. To setup the plugin, first you need to check your site’s Google Page Insights and Gtmetrix scores. Also check your site speed by using ‘Webpagetest‘ and ‘Website speed test‘. Let’s get started:

How to install W3 Total Cache Plugin

Uninstall your old cache plugin if you are using. Now go to ‘Plugins’ and select ‘Add New’ section in admin dashboard, and type ‘W3 Total cache’ in the search box and click Enter. In the plugin search result find the W3 Total cache and click on install button, it will ask you for your confirmation to install this plugin, click Ok. You can also install the plugin via the cPanel file Uploader or FTP client. After installing this plugin, activate it.

General Settings in W3 total cache

In General Settings enable all these options listed below, and use ‘Page cache’ method: ‘Disk: Enhanced’. But select ‘Disk’ cache method in Minify, Database and Object Cache. If you are using VPS or Dedicated server, then select Opcode: Alternative PHP Cache (APC) for Dedicated/VPS server.

  • Page Cache
    • Page cache method: Disk: Enhanced
  • Minify
    • Minify mode: Manual
    • Minify cache method: Disk
    • HTML minifier: Default
    • JS minifier: JSMin (Default)
    • CSS minifier: CSS Tidy
  • Database Cache
    • Page cache method: Disk
  • Object Cache
    • Page cache method: Disk
  • Browser cache
  • CDN (If using a CDN)

Page Cache Settings in W3 total cache

  • General
    • Cache front page.
    • Cache feeds: site, categories, tags, comments. Enable Cache SSL (https) requests.
    • Cache requests only for www.domain.com site address.
    • Cache 404 (not found) pages
    • Don’t cache pages for logged in users

Minify settings in W3 total cache

  • General
    • Rewrite URL structure
  • HTML & XML
    • HTMLminify settings:
      • Enable
      • Inline CSS minification
      • Inline JS minification
      • Line break removal
  • JS
    • JS minify settings
  • CSS
    • CSSminify settings:
      • Enable
      • Remove unnecessary backslashes
      • Compress colors
      • Compress font-weight

Database Cache in W3 total cache

  • Don’t cache queries for logged in users

Browser Cache Setting in W3 total cache

  • For General, CSS & JS, HTML & XML and Media & Other Files
    • Set Last-Modified header
    • Set expires header
    • Set cache control header
    • Set entity tag (eTag)
    • Set W3 Total Cache header
    • Enable HTTP (gzip) compression

After activating all these recommended W3 Total Cache options, you can feel improvements on your site. Now check your site’s performance by using site speed testing tools that are detailed in the first paragraph of this Article. You can see the difference between ‘site without W3 Total Cache’ and ‘site with W3 Total Cache with Recommended options activated’.

About Raj Markam

Raj has been a technical writer, author and blogger. He loves to write about Latest Technologies, Gadgets, Mobile, How To’s, etc and insights of the Technology World. Raj has over 10 years of experience in the Internet & mobile ecosystem .

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  • Hi Raj,

    Nice post. I thought that W3 total cache would be the best solutions to
    decrease my website’s load time. But everything went opposite.

    Before installing it my website’s load time was 7.59s which has now reached
    to 8.31s. Any idea what happened wrong?

    • Hello Denial, Sorry for my late reply. Can you send me your wordpress site link. Keep in mind, If you are using too much plugins then your site will load slow its common problem and some plugin combination can also cause slow site speed. have you finished all the task listed in this article?

      • Thanks for your reply Raj.
        I simply removed W3 total from my website. Now everything is fine.