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w3 total cache

WordPress is the most popular open-source platform that lets you integrate with various plugins and tools. With millions of active installations, the W3 Total Cache for optimization is the most used one. Unlike other plugins, this one gives complete control over your site’s caching configuration. W3 Total Cache settings for WordPress are simple to configure and highly recommended for professional bloggers.

Apart from maintaining your WordPress website and web hosting, you need to make sure that you use proper CDN and caching for your site.

When you speed up your website, it makes your visitors happy, improves your sales and conversion rate. When you configure W3 Total Cache Settings for your WordPress blog, you’ll be able to improve your site’s speed drastically.

If you are planning to launch a blog on WordPress, get started it with Bluehost at just $3.95/month, and get a free domain and a free SSL certificate. Want to know more about Bluehost? Read the full reviews here.

Let’s get started!

1. What is the W3 Total Cache?

It is the fastest WordPress performance optimization plugin. Furthermore, it not only improves the user experience of your WordPress blog but also server performance. Also, it reduces the download time and provides transparent CDN integration.

It improves search engine result page ranks especially for websites and mobile-friendly sites that use SSL. With the configuration of the plugin, the pages start rendering quickly as it gives access to easy integration.

It helps to sustain high traffic periods and that is an advantage for SEO. It manages up to 80% of bandwidth savings via compression and minification.

Bad practices for SEO can also hurt your ranking. It’s important to frame an SEO policy that’ll help your site to rank better.

2. How to Install and Setup W3 Total Cache Settings for Your WordPress Blog?

You need to install the plugin to get started. It’s a free plugin and is easily available in the plugin directory of WordPress. Once you login into your site, go to the dashboard area.

Now, find the plugin section and the ‘add a new‘ option. Search for the plugin and make sure that you activate the plugin. Now, go to the configuration section and choose the performance tab.

w3 total cache settings for wordpress

i. Configure W3 Total Cache

The first thing that you’ll need to configure is the general setting of the plugin. This tab helps to enable and disable all the features that you’ll configure in detail when you use the plugin on the site later on.

  • General

This option allows you to enable every W3 Total Cache feature. It’s the best option for complete optimization of your blog site. But, most people don’t opt for this option as every feature is not usable for the site.

This feature lets you enable the preview mode. You’ll be able to test changes before you deploy them into your live site.

  • Page cache: Enable

It’s important to enable this feature as it’ll improve your website performance. Choose the Disk Enhanced option, which is generally the default option in the plugin.

  • Minify: Disable/Enable

Minify feature can shrink the code of your site without losing any functionality. It improves the page load speed which gives your site good exposure in the web space.

You can use enable minify to decrease the file sizes for better performance. If you are using other plugins for the compression of files, then you can disable it.

  • Object cache: Enable

You can enable the feature with shared hosting. But, if your dashboard or blog is running slow, you always have an option to disable it. Enable the object cache and choose the disk method.

  • CDN: Disable

Keep the CDN disabled as it’s best to configure it at a later stage. Most people choose to configure it with the use of Cloudflare. Again, this depends on your WordPress blog site’s requirements.

  • Browser cache: Enable

It helps to speed up your blog by caching the static resources in your page visitor’s browser. The feature eliminates the need to reload the need for static content on the site. Enable this option for better performance.

  • Reverse proxy and debug: Disable

This feature requires an advanced private hosting option so leave this disabled as it will not affect your site. Unless you are making any changes or debugging your site, you should leave this option disabled. This would add unnecessary codes to your site so it can be confusing.

ii. Configure the Page Cache

Now, go to the page cache settings and go through different options on the page.

  • General settings

Under the general settings, you can enable the cache font page, cache feeds, and cache SSL. Everything else on the page can be left disabled.

  • Cache preload settings

Enable the Automatically prime the page cache feature and update interval to 900 seconds. Enable pages per interval to 10 and enable the preload post cache upon publish events. Leave everything else as a default option on your page.

  • Configure object cache

Leave everything default in this settings but you need to set 180 seconds for the default life of cache objects. Garbage collection interval should be set to 3600 seconds.

iii. Configure the Browser Cache

This is the last setting option that you’ll configure in your plugin. Using the general option, you need to enable some additional boxes. Use ‘Checked’ in all the below options that start with set:

  • Last modifier header
  • Cache control header
  • Expires header
  • Entity tag
  • W3 total cache header
  • Enable HTTP compression

iv. Import and export settings

If you need to replicate the W3 Cache Settings you have on your current server, click on the download option that creates the file containing the current and active settings of the plugin.

Then upload it to another server using the import option. You need to utilize the same configurations on the other server. This option can be used as a backup for your settings on the site.

v. Miscellaneous settings

W3 Total Cache offers other settings that can be configured as well. If you wish to display a Google page speed dashboard in the WordPress blog, then you need to input the page speed API key.

You’ll also get an option to display the page speed rating in the menu bar for each page on your WordPress website. If you need to troubleshoot an issue on your website, then use the debug menu that lets you disable specific caching layering and optimize the settings.

If you notice any visual glitch on your site, enable the debug mode for the minify option. This will insert the HTML comments into your webpage’s source code and that’ll help you to troubleshoot.

3. Final Thoughts

Before you start with the installation process to optimize your WordPress site, you need to document the performance of your site. Get a better perspective to know about the speed and features by using different WordPress tools.

Deactivate and uninstall all the other cache plugins that you are currently using for your site. Other plugins may have some customization options and that will interfere with the W3 Total Cache plugin option.

The plugin will automate all your cache settings to improve your site’s consistency. W3 Total Cache is packed with settings and features. Integrate and download it on your blog site to maximize its features. 

Finally, if you want to know more about WordPress, please read our WordPress Beginner’s Guide.

About the Author:

Sudhir Bhushan is a Tech & Social enthusiast. He is also a Web Entrepreneur by Profession and loves to write about the latest trends on Social Media & SEO. You may also follow him on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

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