How to Install and Configure W3Total Cache WordPress Plugin?

Installing a caching plugin is the most effective way to accelerate the page loading speed of WordPress websites. For WordPress, many caching plugins are available, such as W3 Total CacheWP Super CacheWP Fastest Cache, etc.
Out of these plugins, we have used the W3 Total Cache plugin to demonstrate, via the steps listed below, how to install and configure the W3 Total Cache plugin to maximize the caching benefits –

1. Log in to the WordPress dashboard.

2. Navigate to the Plugins menu and click on Add New.

Add New Plugin

3. On the next page, search W3 Total Cache, and you will see the list of WordPress cache plugins.

Select Plugin

4. Click on Install Now button for W3 Cache Plugin.

Install Plugin

5. Once the W3 Cache Plugin is installed, click on Activate button to enable it.

Activate Plugin

6. Go to Plugins → Installed Plugins and click on W3 Cache Plugin Settings.

Plugin Settings

On the next screen, you'll see various cache settings to be configured. 

8. Page Cache option will create and store a static version of visited pages on your server so that it can be served immediately to the browsers. 

9. Check the checkbox to enable this option. 

10. In the Page Cache Method drop-down menu, select the Disk: Enhanced option and click on the Save all settings button.

Save Settings

  • Minify option will minify (compress) HTML, CSS, and Javascript files.
    It is the process of removing all unnecessary characters from the source code without changing its functionality. 

11. Change the settings as shown in the following image, and click on Save all settings button.

Purge Cache

12. Enable Database Cache to save the data retrieved from the WordPress database.

13. In the Database Cache Method drop-down menu, select Disk and click the Save all settings button.

Database Cache

14. Enable Object Cache to reduce the execution time for common operations.

15. In the Object Cache Method drop-down menu, select the Disk option and click on Save all settings.

Object Cache

  • Browser Cache reduces the server load and decreases the response time by using the cache available in the site visitor's web browser. 

16. Change the settings as shown in the image below and click on Save all settings.

Browser Cache

  • CDN (Content Delivery Network) is an extensive distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers on the internet. It is an interconnected system of internet computers that rapidly provides web content to numerous users by duplicating it on multiple servers.

  • To integrate CDN with your WordPress website, refer to our knowledgebase article. If you are not using CDN, you might want to disable Automatically uploading modified files.


17. Now, we'll configure Minify settings further. 

18. Go to Performance → Minify.


19. In the General setting tab, enable Rewrite URL structure, leave the other settings intact and click on Save all settings.

Rewrite Settings

20. In the HTML & XML tab, enable HTML minify settings as shown in the image below and click on Save all settings.

HTML Minify

21. In the JS tab, configure JS minify settings as shown in the following image -

JS Minify

22. In JS file management, select your theme, click the Add a script button, and specify the Javascript file path to mention the main Javascript files.

23. You can put your theme Js files in the correct order at one more advanced level.

Note that the incorrect order may cause improper website render. Also, there is no way around going through each Js file.

JS Minification

24. In CSS, enable the CSS minify settings; leave other settings intact. 

25. Under CSS file management, click on Add a style sheet button and specify the path of your CSS files.
      You need to view your HTML source for your actual list of stylesheet URLs.

26. Once all the CSS files are added, click Save all settings.

CSS Minification
27. Tweak the Page Cache settings from Performance -> Page Cache.

Page Cache

28. Tweak Browser Cache settings from Performance -> Browser cache.

Browser Cache

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