There is no doubt that, W3 Total cache is the best WordPress caching plugin. There are thousands of WordPress website’s performance optimized by W3 Total cache, but unfortunately Most of us especially newbies don’t know the proper configurations of W3 Total cache for best performance.
If you decide to go with W3 Total cache, I am sure that, You have made a good choice. Today, Through this article, I will show you the best configuration of W3 Total cache.
First of all, You will have to install W3 Total cache to your WordPress. It’s a free plugin by Frederick Townes (Senior Technical Adviser – Mashable). Actually, He has done an excellent job in W3 Total Cache which is utilized by most popular websites. Now, Lets Install W3 Total Cache to your WordPress.
Install W3 Total Cache
In order to Install W3 Total cache, you will have to Login your WordPress dashboard. Once you login, No go to, Plugins > Add New like below the screenshot.
After doing that, You will redirected to Plugin Installation page like below the screenshot:
Now, In the search box, type W3 Total Cache and hit Search plugins. After that, you will see search results like below the screenshot:
Now, Click on Install Now text and make sure that the author name is displayed correctly like above the screenshot. Hurray! You have successfully installed W3 Total Cache to your WordPress.
In the next, WordPress will ask you to activate the Plugin, Simply Click on Activate Plugin, That’s all.
W3 Total Cache is now activated. Now you can see a menu tab under settings called “performance”. That’s mean W3 total cache successfully installed and activated, It’s time to configure it to increase your WordPress performance. To do so, Continue reading…
How To Properly Configure W3 Total Cache
In this tutorial, We are going to share the settings we are currently using. This setting will increase your blog loading time and performance. To measure the improvements, I recommend you to check your website performance through the Pingdom Speed test tool and Google Page Speed analyzer.
Now Lets begin the configuration…
The primary setting page of W3 Total Cache is General settings. To go there, Visit, Performance>General Settings.
Oh, One more thing, I’d like to share, If you are using WordPress SEO by yoast then you should install WordPress SEO Extension for W3 Total Cache, Then you will get some advance Benefits and W3 Total Cache will not prevent any settings of WordPress SEO by Yoast.
To activate This feature, You will have to install WordPress SEO extension by clicking “Click here” Button from the top of the notification message. The message will appear like below:
This is the main page of W3 Total Cache to configure most of the settings.
Recommended W3 Total Cache Settings:
- Page Cache: Enable
- Page Cache Method: Disk Enhanced
- Minify: Enable
- Minify Cache Method: Disk (Disk is best for shared hosting solution)
- HTML minifier: Default
- JS minifier: JSMin (default)
- CSS minifier: Default
- Database Cache: Enable (Database caching can easily decrease the server response time and Basic system process including Feed Creation etc. But, Database Caching is only recommended while Object caching is not possible.)
- Database Cache Method: Disk (Disk Is perfect for share hosting)
- Object Cache: Enable
- Object Cache Method: Disk (For shared Hosting disk is recommended)
- Browser Cache: Enable
Ignore This section If you don’t want to Use CDN and If you want to use CDN like MaxCDN, then You should hear your CDN Company like this MaxCDN guide.)
- Ignore This Section
- Insert your license key if you have paid for W3 Total Cache premium version.
This is an important section to optimize your WordPress performance. You should follow the instructions carefully to optimize your WordPress performance for maximum speed.
- Cache front page: Enable
- Cache feeds: site, categories, tags, comments: Enable
- Cache SSL (https) request: enable it if you are using SSL service, That’s mean If you also want to cache your site’s https protocol, And if you haven’t been using an SSL, you should disable this.
- Cache URLs with query string variables: Disable (not recommended in many cases)
- Cache 404 (not found) page: Disable
- Cache request only for
- Don’t cache page for logged in users: Enable
- Don’t cache for following user roles: Ignore this
- Automatically prime the page cache: Enable
- Update interval: Mine is 1800 seconds
- Pages per interval: 10 is default, You can increase the number If your hosting resource is strong enough. For standard shared hosting 10 is standard.
- Sitemap URL: Insert your blog’s XML sitemap URL
- Preload the post cache upon publish events: enable
- Enable the following types: Front Page, Post page, Blog feed
- Specify the feed types to purge: enable “rss2.0”
- Purge limit: 10
- Additional pages: Ignore
- Purge sitemaps: put the following line: ([a-z0-9-]*?)sitemap([a-z0-9-]*)?.xml
- Ignore this section because the default settings are perfect to optimize your blog performance. So, In Advanced section you don’t need to do anything.
- Rewrite URL structure: Enable
- Disable minify for logged in user: Leave Uncheck
- Minify error notification: Disable (You can also choose Admin notification from the dropdown menu to get notified, when W3 total cache found any minification error.)
HTML & XML
- HTML minify Settings: This is a one of the best settings for your website, If it’s possible to enable. Because, For some website and some reason, By enabling HTML and XML minify, It can break down your website layout. So, First Enable it and check, if your site break visually, Then you should leave HTML & XML minify unchecked. And If you have enabled HTML and CSS minification, The also follow the sub HTML & XML minify settings:
- Inline CSS minification: Enable
- Inline JS minification: Enable
- Don’t minify feed: Enable this only when you don’t want to minify your blog feed. It doesn’t matter, If you are using the Feedburner feed service. It’s recommended that, You enable this.
- Line break removal: Enable (By enabling this option, W3 Total Cache will remove the unusual lines from HTML and XML)
- Ignored comment stems: Ignore this setting or leave default value unchanged.
- JS Minify Settings: Enable only, If it doesn’t break your site visually, However, We have this setting enabled.
- Operation in areas: Enable minify and choose Non-blocking using “async”1 from “embed type” drop down menu.
- Preserve comment removal: Leave unchecked
- Line break removal: leave unchecked
- CSS minify settings: Enable
- Combine only: Leave Unchecked
- Preserve comment removal: Leave unchecked
- Line break removal: Enable (By enabling line break removal, W3 Total Cache will remove all unnecessary lines from your WordPress CSS file)
- @import handling: Select none
You don’t need to do anything here, Because the default settings are quite good for your WordPress performance.
If, Database caching isn’t possible, then Object caching can dramatically increase your WordPress blog performance. There are many reasons, You shouldn’t use database cache. One of the best reasons is most of the hosting company, recommends their customers to ignore database cache settings. Though, Here in this article, I haven’t used database caching.
Actually, There is a few settings in object cache section. And most likely you don’t have to make any changes in database caching. Here I have attached a screenshot of the current configuration of this blog.
We are now in one of the most important section of W3TC. Most of the performance settings can be found here for greater score in major web performance testing service. Here are the best settings for the W3TC Browser cache to improve your blog performance and gain a greater score in web performance testing service as well.
- Set Last-Modified header: Enable
- Set expires header: Enable
- Set cache control header: Enable
- Set entity tag (etag): Enable
- Set W3 Total Cache header: Leave unchecked
- Enable HTTP(gzip) compression: Enabled (By enabling this, W3TC will compress your file size, So then it will serve quickly to your audience).
- Prevent caching of objects after settings change: Enable
- Prevent caching exception list: Leave blank
- Don’t set cookies for static files: Enable
- Do not process 404 errors for static objects with WordPress: Leave Unchecked
- 404 error exception list: Leave default value
Actually, After completing the general settings section, You don’t need to do anything with CSS & JS, HTML & XML, Media & Other files section. Because while you are configuring General Settings, the other sections will automatically take care of itself. With our free WordPress installation and Optimization service, These are the default settings for W3TC we enable.
If you are reading this line, Then you have just finished the basic and best configuration for W3TC. Now, Empty All Caches by hovering mouse to the performance tab at the top WordPress bar. There is a menu called “Empty All Caches” inside the performance tab. Click There to delete all caches generated by W3 Total Cache.
Once you have cleared all caches, Now check your WordPress performance through Web Performance test service. You will see some amazing score in these sites.
Anyway, You should always hear what, your hosting company recommend. Alternatively, You can use any other caching plugin instead of W3 Total cache. There are a couple of WordPress caching plugin available out there. WP Super cache and WP Fastest Cache are best alternative of W3 Total Cache.
Hey Wait, Your WordPress optimization not yet finished. There are lots of settings and things you will have to apply to your blog for the maximum performance of your WordPress and Caching is a one of these settings. If you are interested to learn more about your WordPress performance & Optimization, You are most likely to subscribe to our newsletter to get latest WP Optimization tips and tricks.
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