If you have a website, you may have realized that WordPress loading speed decreases as you continue adding pages of content to your site. Heavy PHP scripts on your WordPress may cause the sluggishness. Fortunately, this problem can be solved by WP Super Cache plugin. The plugin features static html files that are served by the Apache web server without relying on PHP scripts. The result is an increase in loading speed on your WordPress website.
In this tutorial, we will teach you how to install and configure WP Super Cache plugin.
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- WordPress Version 3.8.2
- Super Cache Version: 1.4
- A hosting environment
Step 1: Download and Install WP Super Cache
Before you start, you need to download the plugin and install it on WordPress. By default, WordPress features an inbuilt plugin manager, so the process of installation is stress-free and may take a couple of minutes.
These steps will help you install WP Super Cache plugin successfully.
First, log in to the admin area on your WordPress at the link below: yourdomain.com/wp-admin. Include your domain name in the link.
On the menu, go to Plugins tab then click the Add New button.
Now, on the Search Plugins, type WP Super Cache and click the Enter button:
Locate WP Super Cache. Hit the Install button.
Once the process of installation is done, click Activate Plugin button.
It is important to ensure all other plugins are disabled. To do this, go to the Plugins section and click Deactivate button as shown below:
Step 2: Plugin Configuration
By default, the cache feature is usually turned off, so start by enabling it to begin the configuration process of WP Super Cache Plugin. WordPress contains tons of features be complicated at the time. For this reason, we will stick to the recommended settings.
To configure the plugin, follow the steps below:
Go to your menu and click the Settings tab then select WP Super Cache.
You should see the Easy tab in your settings page. Click on it and select Caching On as your recommended settings then click the Update Status button:
To check the caching status, you need to use the Test Cache tab below. This process will collect multiple copies of your home page results and compare timestamps. If the plugin is working correctly, you should see the output below:
WP Super Cache plugin stores static files that are kept as PHP or HTML files on your web server. To refresh the cached pages when there is an update, click the Delete Cache button. This process should recache your pages automatically.
The Settings page is divided into several tabs as follows; Easy, Advanced, Contents, Plugins, CDN and Debug. The Easy tab is the most sought by most users, but you can optimize your site performance further by adjusting the advanced settings.
If you want to increase your WordPress load time further, you can check the advanced options. The section involves options to change your Caching Method, Advanced settings, and Miscellaneous. Be sure to experiment with these options first, but ensure you backup your website first.
Then enable the following settings:
Cache hits to this website for quick access
Enabling this option will automatically turn on the advanced caching settings.
Use mod_rewrite to serve cache files
This option is available in Apache. With this option enabled, Apache settings will be automatically executed when someone visits your site. This process is fast since it doesn’t rely on PHP processes.
In case you run into an error when running this process, it is likely that the option mod_rewrite may be deactivated on your web server. If you encounter such a problem, check the box Use PHP to serve cache files. This feature helps to create additional html pages with the help of PHP on your system. The process may not be fast like the previous one but it yields good results.
Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors
This option helps to cut on the size of your system files.
These options are shown below
Once the following areas are checked, click the Update Status button to save these changes.
You should see a long yellow box with a lot of information.
These details are for your web server's .htaccess file. Scroll down and click the Update Mod_Rewrite Rules button.
A green box with some message will pop up that shows that .htaccess file has been successfully updated and your WordPress Plugin is enabled.
Now you’re done with the Advanced tab.
Now that WP Super Cache plugin is fully installed and configured on your optimized website, you should begin to see an improvement in your site’s load time. If course, load time may also be affected by other factors - mainly the quality of your hosting service. You might be able to significantly improve load time by simply switching to another WordPress Hosting Provider who uses more advanced hardware etc.