Caching speeds up your site by showing static content instead of the dynamic content. W3 Total Cache is a plugin. However, unlike other plugins, it isn't an install-and-go kind of plugin. You have to set it up step by step. Your site will be very fast to load when all these settings have been enabled.
This article shows you how setup and use the WordPress W3 Total Cache.
Installing and Activating W3 Total Cache
To get started, log in to your WordPress site, navigate to the plugins tab, click Add New then search for W3 Total Cache.
Click install then activate.
Select the plugins configuration options and click on performance.
Configuring and Using W3 Total Cache Plugin
We start by configuring the general settings tab. The order is as follows;
By clicking the checkbox, you automatically enable every W3 Total Cache feature. However, since you won't be needing all of them, it's not advisable you use this option. You can also enable the preview mode by clicking on enable. The mode lets you test changes before letting them go online.
- Page cache
A page cache is a potent option. By enabling it, your sites speed is bound to increase. Therefore click enable and make sure that for the method, you choose Disk: Enhanced option.
By enabling minify, your code shrinks without losing its functionality (CSS and JS files will be reduced). This helps to improve page load times. Click Enable. Leave the rest of the minify settings in their default settings.
- Opcode Cache
If enabled, with each file request, the cache is refreshed to the latest version. Leave it at its default setting.
- Database cache
If you enable database cache, your database performance improves and reduce the time it takes to create posts. Unfortunately, if you are on shared hosting, it works against you by overworking your servers CPU. Therefore it’s recommended you leave it disabled unless you have a dedicated server or VPS.
- Object Cache
The object cache reduces the time taken to load some familiar things. Just like the database cache, if you are on shared hosting, it might slow you down. You may enable it but if you feel that the admin dashboard is loading sluggishly, turn it off.
- Browser Cache
It makes your site faster by utilising your visitor’s browser cache. Therefore, enable it and save.
If you are by chance, using a content delivery network, you may activate and choose the CDN of your choice.
- Reverse Proxy
A reverse proxy takes the job of handling requests before WordPress does, it generally requires private hosting so you can leave it disabled.
Leave settings as default.
- Fragment Cache
You have to upgrade to the pro version to use the fragment cache. It helps you reduce the time taken to load common operations.
This setting caters for some of the settings that do not have a significant impact on your site. They include; Page rate, file locking and tracking usage.
This option is for developers; ONLY activate it whenever you are trying to find a bug in your site. The reason for leaving it disabled is that when you activate it, it adds unnecessary code to your site.
- Import/Export Settings
You should use this setting in case you want to import the settings for the plugin from another site, or you want to save the settings so that you can use them on another site.
Click preview at the general tab to see if your site is responding positively to the new settings. If it looks good, you can now click deploy.
We have gone through all the settings of the W3 Total Cache plugin. We can preview our setting to see how they affect our site before saving the settings. With this article, you have the power to transform your website and increase how your sites load by installing and configuring WP Total Cache plugin.
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