Would you like to install and configure W3 Total Cache on your WordPress website?

The W3 Total Cache caching plugin improves the speed and performance of your WordPress website.

What is W3 Total Cache?

WordPress caching plugin W3 Total Cache allows you to improve WordPress performance and speed easily.

WordPress uses PHP by default to dynamically create each page of your site when it is requested by a user.

PHP is a server-side coding language. Every request from a user increases the load on your server.

Your website’s performance, user experience, and SEO are affected by this.

With WordPress caching plugins, you can reduce this by serving a cached copy of your website instead of PHP.

What is W3 Total Cache

Installing W3 Total Cache in WordPress

Before installing W3 Total Cache, you must deactivate any other caching plugins on your website.

By doing so, you will save server resources and prevent plugin conflicts.
Then you can install and activate the W3 Total Cache plugin.

Your WordPress admin sidebar will be rearranged to include a new Performance menu item once W3 Total Cache has been activated.

The plugin’s setup wizard will launch when you click on it.

plugin's setup wizard

Click on the Next button to continue.

The first step is to turn on Page Cache. Select Test Page Cache to proceed.

turn on Page Cache

You can choose from different storage engines with W3 Total Cache.

Select the one that saves you the most time. For most shared hosting platforms, it will be the ‘Disk: Enhanced’ option.

Continue by clicking the Next button.

You will now be able to test the database cache. We recommend selecting None.

Your MySQL server will be able to fetch data more quickly than the Database cache for most small and medium-sized websites.

MySQL server will be able to fetch data

Clicking the Next button is the next step.

You will now be in the Object Cache section. W3 Total Cache uses object caching to store database queries for dynamic pages and reuse them to improve performance.

Object Cache section

You can choose None if the test result differs by just a few milliseconds.

Continue by clicking on the Next button.

To enable it, select the ‘Enabled’ option under the test results after clicking the Test Browser Cache button.

Test Browser Cache button

This option allows users’ web browsers to store a copy of the web page for a limited period of time. Web browsers can use this option to store a copy of web pages for a limited period of time.

To move on to the next step, click the next button.

Last but not least, the setup wizard will ask you to enable lazy loading for images.

WordPress now comes with a lazy loading feature for images. However, some older browsers may not be able to support it.

Using JavaScript, W3 Total Cache adds lazy loading for images, which is even faster and more efficient.

lazy loading for images

To view the dashboard for W3 Total Cache, click on the Next button after completing the setup wizard.

Advanced Caching Options in W3 Total Cache

The basic settings should work for most websites.

However, you can configure many advanced options to further enhance performance.

Here are the most important ones.

Minifying JavaScript and CSS in W3 Total Cache

Minimizing your website’s file size is what’s known as ‘minifying’.

The source code is cleaned up by removing whitespace, lines, and unnecessary characters.

Note: Please note that minifying JS and CSS files can potentially break your website.

Turn these options off if your website doesn’t look right after you enable them.

Using W3 Total Cache, you can easily minify JavaScript, CSS, and HTML source code as well. It is recommended you only minify JavaScript and CSS.

Go to Performance » Minify and scroll down to the JS section.

Minify and scroll down to the JS section

To enable it, check the box next to ‘JS minify settings.

Then scroll down to the CSS section and enable the CSS minify settings in the same way.

CSS minify settings

Then scroll down to the CSS section and enable the CSS minify settings in settings.

Enable CDN Support in W3 Total Cache

Through content delivery networks, you can further optimize your website’s performance by serving static files such as images, CSS, and JavaScript from a global network of servers.

It reduces the load on your WordPress hosting server and improves page loading speed.

W3 Total Cache comes with built-in CDN support.

Bunny.net is the best CDN solution available on the market. It is what we use for our OptinMonster website.

Your first step is to create an account on Bunny.net. You need to create a Pull Zone for your website after you sign up.

A pull zone adds a hostname to Bunny.net CDN. The static files for your website will then be served from this hostname.

Enter the name of your pull zone, followed by the domain name of your website.

You need to go to Performance » General Settings and scroll down to the CDN section after adding the pull zone.

Choose Generic Mirror as the CDN type and check the Enable box next to the CDN option.

Don’t forget to click on the Save All Changes button to save your changes.
The next step is to visit the Performance » CDN page and scroll down to the Configuration: Objects section.

The next step is to add the hostname you created earlier for your pull zone and click on the test mirror button.

When your hostname is available, W3 Total Cache will display the Test Passed message.

To save your settings, click the Save All Changes button.

Your static resources will now be served from the CDN server by W3 Total Cache.

Cloudflare’s free CDN is also compatible with W3 Total Cache.

As an alternative, you can use Sucuri, which has built-in CDN capabilities and is the best website firewall.

Troubleshooting W3 Total Cache Issues

After you have configured the W3 Total Cache correctly, it should work seamlessly in the background to improve WordPress speed and boost performance.

Sometimes, you may not see the changes you made to your website right away, or a plugin may not function properly.

The most common cause of those issues is that you are probably viewing an old cached version of your website.

WordPress can be easily fixed by clearing the cache.

Select the Purge All Caches option from the Performance menu at the top.

W3 Total Cache will clear all cached content from your website.

clear all cached content from your website

If you are still seeing the old version of your website, try clearing your browser cache as well.

This article should have helped you install and set up W3 Total Cache in WordPress.

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Alexia Barlier
A WP Life

Hi! We are A WP Life, we develop best WordPress themes and plugins for blog and websites.

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