How To Speed Up Your WordPress Blog With W3 Total Cache (W3TC)

How To Properly Configure W3 Total Cache For a Faster Blog Performance

Who doesn’t love a speedy blog? I know everybody do, that’s why we look for ways to make our blog as fast as possible. Some blogs can be sometimes frustrating when not taken care of properly and it will definitely drive most of your targeted traffic away if the issue is not taken care of, Right?

w3 total cache speed

Let’s go further with our discussion shall we! Too much of plugins can cause your blog to perform poorly, right? When your blog is slow because of plugins, damaged databases tables or something else, it puts pressure on your server and discomfort other bloggers/ website owners sharing that same server with you. With this process, your hosting provider will have no option but to tell you to migrate or look for a new provider if you don’t have the money for migration ;) But you can prevent all this hassle with just the help of one free little plugin called “W3 Total Cache”

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Okay you ask me why “W3 Total Cache” and not “WP Super Cache”? I love W3TC because it has more options and features to make a wordpress blog run faster and that’s my opinion but what’s your opinion?

I am not trying to change your views on your preferred caching plugin because all works well on any wordpress blog (depending on your view). Today, I am just going to talk about W3TC and how to set it up.

How To Setup And Configure W3TC (W3 Total Cache)

If you have not used W3TC before, you can easily download it at wordpress.org directory or you can easily download it with this link and install

Remember: Disable all caching plug-in before installing the W3TC plug-in so conflicts won’t come between other plugins :)

If you have installed it, follow the below process carefully

Please also note that I will not be going as far as preaching how it works, I am just going to put out a comprehensive way to set it up. Any other question you’d like to ask, just use the comment box below and I’ll explain to you more on your question.

Enabling The Functions

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1. If you have installed the W3TC check your admin panel and see the “Performance” Section and click it.

2. Click “General Settings” – this is where we are going to activate all our settings

3. On the “General setting” page, the first step you’ll see is “General” leave it the way it is and jump to the next step Which is “Page Cache” and configure it like this:

Page cache: Click to check the Enable box

Page cache method: This should be “Disk: Enhanced” and click “Save all settings” [See Image below]

w3tc-1

4. Next stop is the “Minify” – I’ll advice you to leave it disabled. If you must know why; It crashes most servers and most hosting providers recommend it off but hey! you can try it or ask your provider if they allow it.

5. Database cache – Most bloggers using the W3TC do turn this feature off because most servers don’t need it but what advice I’ll give to you is, turn it on and study your server load, if your server is doing fine then you are good to go

The settings:

Database Cache: Click to check the Enable box

Database Cache Method: Disk

Now click “Save all settings [See image below]

w3 total cache settings

6. Object Cache – If you are using a highly dynamic site then this option is well suited for you. It’s being used mostly by bloggers with complex database. So I’ll just slide this step. :D

7. Browser Cache – This part is also important because it reduces server load and also decrease response time.

The Setting:

Browser Cache: Click to check the Enable box

8. CDN – This is one of the best options so far and I so much love it. What it does is it reduces your load time and make your blog speed increased by 3x it normal speed.

The Settings:

CDN: Click to check the Enable box

CDN Type: If you subscribe to a CDN network, you should choose it below but if you are using a self hosted CDN you should leave it default.

If you’re thinking of a premium CDN, I’ll advice you to choose either MaxCDN or Amazon Cloudfront

9. We are skipping the “Reverse Proxy” and moving to “Network Performance & Security powered by CloudFlare” – My hosting provider gave all its users CloudFlare. So I activated mine through my Cpanel but you can learn more and how to activate your CloudFlare from Nwosu Mavtrevor’s post.

Now that we have enabled all the main and important features, let’s move on to how we can set them up properly. Shall we

Setting Up The Function

On our first round, we enabled all its exciting features right? Now we are going to setup the functions of the exciting features. So are you ready for the main event? If yes! Let’s go guyz…

1. Go to the “Performance” list by the left and click “Page Cache” are you there? Now the only option you’re allowed or should I say “need” to tick are:

A. Cache front page

B. Cache feeds: site, categories, tags, comments and

C. Don’t cache pages for logged in users… Others should be the way they were.

2. Browser Cache – In this section, you should check all boxes except for “Do not process 404 errors for static objects with WordPress” and Disable cookies for static files

w3 total cache settings properly

3. Jump all steps and go to CDN – In the CDN area, scroll down to “Configuration”. Now properly enable it by following the image below.

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cdn control panel

click to enlarge

Remember that you can replace what you see in the above image with your premium configuration. (This is just an example)

4. Click “Save all settings” and empty page cache.

w3 total cache settings

Now we have successfully configured our W3 Total Cache (W3TC) successfully without any problems. Now tell me how fast your blog has become? Did your blog change in speed or not? Please let us know by using the comment box below

Remember This: Now that you have successfully configured your W3TC it is advisable to do a backup of it so in case you face any server crash or you unknowingly press the reset button, you can easily go back and upload the settings.

How do you do the backup setting? Simple! Simply go to “General Settings” >>> Scroll down to the end and you’ll see “Import/ Export Settings” [See image below]

w3 total cache settings

In the “Export configuration” Click download and you’re completely done…

Wow!!! I have finally taken care of this topic and to be honest, I am so glad I did because it has been requested by a fellow blogger and most of my readers :D

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Do you have question that you are not cleared about that you’d want me to finalize? then do use the comment box below and drop them and I’ll respond with an answer to my best of knowledge :)

Do you find the post interesting and would love to throw me a comment or thought? Then please do by using the comment box below. Remember that your comments and thoughts are highly welcomed and appreciated.

Do you like the post or was the post helpful? Then kindly click the like button, share us and recommend us to friends because you’ll never know which of your friends is finding it difficult to set up his or her own W3TC. And do not forget to subscribe to our feed for your latest updates on the go.

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Comments

  1. says

    Now i must say this is a super piece of article, and i totally agree with your choice of W3TC because while W3 Super Cache is easy to configure which to me is basically the reason for its popularity around the web, W3 Total Cache produces better results though more difficult to configure, but if you get it right you will enjoy it more.

    Thanks for the mention as well, CloudFlare will help you speed up your blog and you know how much search engines love fast loading sites….

    • says

      Hello Nwosu,
      Exactly, W3TC is hard to setup but it prove effective on the other hand and i’ll suggest and advice any blogger to use it.
      You really did a good job on your cloudflare tutorial.

  2. says

    My experience with w3 total cache has been that a high expiry time is just fine. This is because when a post is updated, it is purged from the cache. So, I can leave the expiry time in a day or more, and it has no negative effect on my site.
    Thanks for sharing the post!

    • says

      Yeah… W3TC have that super cache that makes it more user friendly and faster browsing experience. and as you said; the daily purge is one great thinking. thanks for the comment Evan and have a great weekend.

  3. Emmanuel says

    According to alexa my blog is really slow and that actually tempted me to change my theme.
    But now as alexa is saying my blog is slow tools.pingdom.com is saying it’s fast.

    I am obviously going to try the plugin.

    • says

      Hello Emmanuel,
      Alexa is not 100% accurate but to prevent yourself from future hazard it is best to put a caching plugin as fast as possible. Thanks for the comment and have a good weekend ahead…

  4. says

    Thanks for the step-by-step guide to make the most of the W3 Total Cache plugin, Babanature. You mentioned about CloudFlare in the “Network Performance & Secuirty”, which my hosting (Hostgator) also provides, but does it work along with the self-hosted CDN that you wrote about in one of your previous posts? And, I also read somewhere that if you use CloudFlare, your Google Analytic stats are affected. Is that true? If we use CloudFlare, then we don’t need CDN, right? Sorry, too many questions; just trying to get the hang of the subject – too technical for me. ;)

    • says

      Hello Harleena,
      Cloudflare is also a CDN network and if you already have it and activated it, no need for any other CDN configuration. Cloudflare works greatly if configured properly… Cloudflare have not affected me or my clients Google analytic in anyway and to be honest with you it is one of the best free option your hosting provider would give out ;) . I guess you’re using wp super cache right? If you have not activated your cloudflare, it is wise to activate yours and study it for any weird turnups. Thanks for the comment and do have a great weekend ahead my friend

  5. says

    Thanks Babanaute for this tutorial. Some tutorial I found on other sites are out dated so they are no longer supportive. Thanks Man :)

  6. says

    I used W3T Cache some time back but its settings are so complicated that finally I settled with WP Super Cache. The later too is really nice for wordpress blog.

    You have really done great job by explaining it settings and helping to configure it correctly. Some images are presented smaller and I wish if you could display a larger version of these images.

    Thanks once again.

    • says

      Hello Suresh,
      The images are actually larger than it seem. Try clicking the image to enlarge it. i made the image that size to save load time ;) . thanks for your wonderful comments and do have a lovely weekend ahead

    • says

      Hello Vishal,
      I also disabled my minify because of the way it renders my theme. If you’re having some problem with minify, i’ll advice you to disable it

      • says

        I tried again and solved the Problem, It was css option in the minify setting which was causing the problem..my theme uses Google Fonts so placed my Fonts css on minify settings where it says don’t minify these css..

  7. Bello says

    Hey bro,
    You really did one hell of a “over killing” in this post. i actually removed the plugin and go for wp super cache because it is easy to implement and does not require any skills. with this your post, i can revert and try it one last time and see how it goes. Thanks for the great steps and do have a good day bro

    • says

      Really? well if you don’t know the right step that’s how it’ll be. But now that i have put out the setting, it will work swiftly. just take a try and tell me out it goes. you too bro, do have a lovely weekend…

  8. says

    Hey great Tutorial Bro. I am using total w3cache and I realize now that just installing is one simple thing but setting it up perfectly is all different game. thanks a lot for sharing bookmarking and instantly going back to check my configuration.

    • says

      Hello Nagaraju,
      Really! then you must have enabled some settings your server don’t like. Take a looke at the settings i’ve shown and apply it and see if it still give the same sign as before…

  9. says

    Hey Babanature,

    Well, this is a plug-in that I do not use. It’s done nothing but mess my blog up. I hate how you have to be a master scientist just to understand how to set the darn thing up.

    I used another one but still had problems so my hosting service had me connect with CloudFlare. They told me that it really does the same thing without all the headache and hassle so I can’t say I’ve had any problems with it up to now.

    I know this type of plug-in is important for all the reasons you listed so I’m not sure if it just didn’t like Thesis or I’m an idiot and couldn’t get all the settings right. Whichever it was I’m good now.

    Thanks for the walk through though. I could have used that last year.

    ~Adrienne

    • says

      Hello Adrienne,
      ahahah… Really! I guess that’s what the plugin does. Once you set the plugin wrongly, it will surely corrupt your whole blogs theme.
      I am also using cloudflare on my blog and it is really working perfectly and i like how it been integrated. Why i really had this plugin is because of the 500 error and heavy process usage my blogs get even with cloudflare but since i installed the plugin, my process and CPU usage as drop drastically. W3TC is truly one good plugin for me.
      Maybe someday you might consider using one of this cache plugin again and see how it goes ;) Thanks for your sincere comment Adrienne…

  10. says

    HI Babanature,

    Great share!

    I know when I used it for the first time, my technical know was thrown out of the window, whole blog was undergoing abnormal behavior, then I uninstalled it but after few days again tried it and then it worked superb, couldn’t figure out the reasons.

    Now I’m using the old version and I’m bit wary to upgrade it thinking it might break the current setup, will surely try to upgrade soon.

    Thanks for this great share, couldn;t make it to your blog because of some of the projects I’ve been working on through freelancer.

    Have a great week ahead.

    Sapna

    • says

      Hello Sapna,
      I’d say glad to know that you are also using the plugin. the W3TC is one great caching plugin that is so hard to configure but once you get the trick behind it, it will be one useful tool to use. you should try the latest version soon and see how it goes and if it goes anything goes wrong, you can always revert back using your backup file ;) Thanks for the comment and stay safe…

    • says

      It depends on your taste Samuel. But W3 total Cache is more advance when you compare it with WP super cache. Like i say in the post, it all depend on your choice…

  11. says

    Although I know that W3TC is the best. But I can suggest a very potent combination, if you use db cache reloaded fix along with wp-super cache it will make your blog have wings. I don’t know why but this combination is damn awesome. Do try it bro :D

    • says

      Hello Aditya,
      W3TC is one awesome plugin that i just can’t leave now because it has all the features and more fun you’ll ever need. All the same thanks for that suggestion.

  12. says

    Hi, I am hoping you can point me in a direction. I did every step and it worked . . . almost. AT the end I had a message to transfer files to the cdn and I did. Everything went over except my Genesis theme. So, my website is a mess now. Help ???

  13. says

    hi babanature. please am strick in changing the link colors of my mobile press after going through your post on how to change it. please can you direct me on how to trace those link in cpanel and edit them?

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