For a good user experience and to improve a page’s search engine ranking, the loading speed of a page is crucial. WordPress users have access to a wide range of caching plugins.

WP Super Cache and WP Total Cache are my favorite WordPress caching plugins. If configured properly, W3 total cache plugins generate excellent results. In the early days of my blogging career, I used this plugin. I had no technical skills at the time. The results are good.

With the WP Rocket Premium plugin, I am now able to improve my blog’s loading time. I would like to share my review of WP Rocket 2022 with you. The WordPress cache plugin will help you if you are a new blogger. The W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin is explained in this guide, but how is it installed and set up? 

install and configure W3 total cache plugin

The plugin is developed by Mashable’s CTO. Using in all types of high-traffic sites like Mashable, MakeUseOf, Smashing magazine, and Yoast sites.

What is W3 Total Cache?

W3 Total Cache is one of the best plugins for speeding up a blog’s loading time and performance. Google loves fast-loading blogs. By enabling this feature, your blog pages will load faster than before and you can continue using shared hosting while making your blog withstand high traffic levels without sacrificing performance.

There’s no doubt that W3 Total Cache is the best caching plugin for WordPress, as it gets the best results and has all the options needed, like minification, so it’s not just Page Cache like WP Super Cache. Users get frustrated by slow-loading blogs 80% of the time.

As thousands of blogs are with similar topics, readers will close blogs that take a long time to load. So, retaining readers is a big challenge. You can use this guide to speed up your self-hosted WordPress blog.

What are the benefits of using the W3 Total Cache plugin?

  • If configured properly, the site should perform at least 10 times better overall (Grade A in YSlow or significant improvements in Google Page Speed).
  • The “site performance” of your site affects your Google ranking
  • A second page is displayed “instantly” after the first one has been viewed (browser caching is enabled).
  • Increased visitor time on site (visitors look at more pages) and reduced page load time
  • Progressive rendering (pages appear to render immediately) and improved web server performance (sustain traffic surges)
  • Minimize HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and feed content to save up to 80% bandwidth

Which features does W3 Total Cache Plugin offer?

  • Hosting compatibility with shared, dedicated, and virtual private servers/clusters
  • Integrating the content delivery network (CDN) with the Media Library, theme files, and WordPress itself
  • Caching of pages and posts in memory or on disk (minified and compressed)
  • CSS and JavaScript are cached in memory (minified and compressed) or on the server
  • Sites (categories, tags, comments) are cached in memory or on disk
  • Search results pages (i.e. URIs with query string variables) can be cached on disk or in memory
  • Objects in a database are cached in memory or on disk
  • Minimizing posts, pages, and feeds
  • Optimization (removal of comments and whitespace) of embedded, inline, or third-party JavaScript (automatic updates)
  • MINIMIZING (combining and removing comments/whitespace) of inline, embedded, or 3rd party CSS (with automatic updates)
  • Using future expire headers and entity tags (ETags) to cache CSS, JavaScript, and HTML
  • JavaScript grouping by template (home page, post page, etc.) and embedded location management
  • Embedding JavaScript without blocking
  • Attachments can be imported directly into the Media Library (and CDN)

How to install the W3 Total cache plugin?

Installation of W3 Total cache is very simple. The plugin is available in the WordPress plugin repository. So you can use the WordPress dashboard directly.

  • Log in to your account
  • Click on Plugins > Add New
  • Search with the word W3 Total Cache in the plugin search box
  • They Click on Install button form the plugin result page, then activates it.

Global Settings to Configure Cache Plugin

With a site performance checker, you should check the blog speed before activating and configuring this plugin. My personal recommendation is to use GTmetrix to check the page loading time and its speed to set up this plugin. The first thing you should do is to see how fast this blog loads. It shows what factors and scripts are causing the blog to load more slowly.

In the case of W3 super cache (or any other WP cache plugin), you must remove that plugin first. Both can’t be used together.

Here are screenshots of my configurations. Take a look at W3 Total Cache’s settings. There are these options under the plugin column.

  • Dashboard
  • General settings
  • Page cache
  • Minify
  • Database cache
  • Object cache
  • Browser cache
  • User agent Groups
  • Referrer groups
  • CDN
  • Monitoring
  • Extensions
  • FAQ
  • Support

1. General settings

Once the plugin is installed and activated, go to WordPress blogs’ Performance > General settings page to enable all cache options you desire. The highlighted option in the image below is me. This is the only setting you should choose.

You need to enter your Cloudflare account details in the w3 total cache Cloudflare configuration option.

general settings of W3 Total cache
  • Page Cache: Enable
  • Database cache: Enable
  • Object cache: Enable
  • Browser cache: Enable

This tutorial was prepared based on any CDN configuration.

2. Page Cache Settings

First, put the tick mark here and then Save Changes. Then check the internal configuration settings with this screenshot. This is a very usual setting. Keep these settings as default. It does not mark all just follow the screenshot. Review all checkboxes and proceed to the next settings.

Page caching settings
  • Cache front page: Enable
  • Cache feeds: site, categories, tags, comments
  • Cache 404 (not found) pages: Enable
  • Do not cache pages for logged in users: Enable

3. Minify settings

All this setting is plug and play. If you are not using the CDN network, check the screenshot and setup now. Do not make any changes and leave it as it is.

minify settings

4. Database Cache

Most of the time WordPress blogs go down because of lots of database queries. This option caches queries and saves lots of resources. Must configure the feature.

database caching 855x1024 1

5. Browser Cache

This adds caching and other rules to the “.htaccess” file that this cache needs. Make sure your WordPress htaccess rules are OK. This cache handles caching rules, but for WordPress security, it’s good to tweak the rules a bit. Check your “.htaccess” file is working well here (or) check the coding is properly configured.


6. Extensions

In the recently updated version introduced new feature is Extensions enabling the feature. It offers extension enabled for a few of the WordPress themes (for Genesis Framework), plugins (Yoast SEO, Cloudflare, and Feedburner plugin). Enable these settings if you are using the plugins and theme in your blog.

These are basic settings to speed up a self-hosted WordPress blog. After this setting, first, clear your cache by clicking Performance, and then empty all caches. You must visit your browser in different browsers like Firefox, Opera, IE, Chrome in updated versions. 

I did all the settings in my blog. A few years back, I integrated my blog with Cloudflare CDN. Recently checked the loading speed of our blog on GTmetrix servers.

Page loading speed of my blog

Your site may have a problem if there is a conflict between W3 total cache and another plugin on your theme. Follow these steps to determine which plugin caused the problem:

  • Disable all plugins except W3 Total Cache
  • To clear your cache, click Performance and then empty all caches.
  • Use a different browser to check your site
  • Make sure you enable each plugin one at a time and clear your cache after you activate each plugin until you find which one is causing the issue.
  • You can temporarily switch to one of the default WordPress themes to see if any custom code in your theme interferes with caching.

Conclusion

Installing and configuration of W3 total cache is a simple setup. Hardly, it takes 10 to 15 minutes. It works great for every WordPress blog.

I think this tutorial is very helpful to WordPress bloggers.

2 Comments

  1. Actually working guide. My site loading time is 320 ms. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Adeel Sami says:

    Hello, Satish!

    Wow! Too comprehensive guide for W3TC! You so nailed it, brother!

    And I am a big fan of W3TC!

    Been using it from years and I think it is about the time to re-check the whole configuration because I don’t remember when exactly I had it installed and setup and there have been quite a few updates, so I could be missing something. 🙂

    Thanks for the whole lot of the details!

    See me often!

    ~ Adeel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *