Page speed is important for a better user experience and also for SEO. In WordPress, there are many cache plugins available.
But out of all of them, WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache (W3TC) are my favorite. The major difference between these two plugin is: Super cache is easy to configure where as W3TC has too many options & you need to configure extensively.
I have heard a lot of good things about the W3 Total Cache plugin.
It’s a lot like WP Super Cache, but with more options. In particular, if you are planning on using a CDN, the W3 Total Cache plugin is really great.
To speed up loading time, I’m using MaxCDN on my blog network. To supplement this, I also tested out the W3 Total Cache plugin.
This test was performed on my WordPress hosting blog.
How To Install W3 Total Cache
Search for “W3 Total Cache” from the “Add new plugin” section in the WordPress dashboard. Or you can download the plugin from here and manually upload it to your server.
- If you are new to WordPress, this guide will help you install a plugin: How To Install A WordPress Plugin.
Note: Make sure to uninstall the WP Super Cache plugin or any other WordPress cache plugin.
How To Configure W3 Total Cache
The setup options in W3 Total Cache are much more advanced than those in WP Super Cache. But don’t get confused! I’ll show you how I’ve set it up on my blog, and you can review and copy the settings for your own site.
Once you have installed and activated W3 Total Cache, go to Performance > General and enable everything you want to cache. Later on, you can make changes to individual settings and fine tune your W3TC configuration.
When you are done, click on “Save all settings”.
After making changes, click on “Preview” to check if everything is OK. If everything looks good, click on “Deploy” to make these settings live.
Refer to the image:
By default, all of the essential settings are checked. Review them, and move on to the next setting.
But if you are not using a CDN, you might want to disable “Automatically upload modified files”.
One cool thing about W3 Total Cache is the support for extensions.
How To Integrate Google Page Speed with W3 Total Cache
Earlier I wrote about how to configure W3 Total Cache and also a little about Google Page Speed.
The latest version of W3 Total Cache allows you to integrate with Google Page Speed to see the performance of your site. The faster your site is, the better it is for search engine ranking.
In this guide, I will be sharing how to enable Google Page Speed inside of W3 Total Cache.
I’m assuming you have installed the W3 Total Cache plugin. If you want to know why you should install it right now, W3 Total Cache is a powerful caching plugin for WordPress which helps in loading your site faster.
Once you have installed W3 Total Cache, go to the plugin settings and click on the tab “Miscellaneous”.
Click on “Enable Google Page Speed dashboard widget”.
You need to enter a Page Speed API to enable this feature.
How to get a Google Page Speed API?
Go to the Google API homepage and login with your Google ID. Look for the option “Page Speed Online API” and switch it ON.
Now click on the “API Access” tab on the left sidebar and you will see your API key.
(Important: Don’t share your API key with anyone else.)
Copy the Google API key to the W3 Total Cache settings and click on “Save”. It might take some time to see the result on your dashboard.
This is a very useful feature and will help you to see how your site is performing along with actions you can take to speed up your website.
How To Uninstall W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin
At times, due to hosting compatibility issues or non-compatibility with other plugins, W3 Total Cache can act weird. In these instances, it’s important to uninstall W3 total cache to make sure it’s not creating issues.
It’s also important to uninstall it correctly, or you will have even more issues in the future.
sometimes, W3 Total Cache interacts strangely with another current plugin, and you might get weird issues like 404 errors or your entire blog might be redirected to Install.php.
A possible solution to this problem is to uninstall W3 Total Cache.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how you can remove the W3 Total Cache plugin manually.
- First, delete all cache and deactivate the W3 Total Cache plugin.
- Delete the W3 Total Cache plugin from the Wp-content/plugins folder.
- Remove this line from Wp-config file – (define(‘WP_CACHE’, true) )
- Delete advanced-cache.php, db.php, wp-total-cache-config.php, and delete the entire w3tc folder from the Wp-content folder.
- Check the .htaccess file; if you see any code added by W3 Total Cache, remove it.
Many options in this plugin are plug and play. If you follow this tutorial, you should have no problems setting it up.
Using a cache plugin in addition to a CDN will help dramatically decrease the load time of your website. And a faster site means a better ranking and a better user experience. If you aren’t caching and using a CDN, you need to start doing that today.
Do let us know: Which caching plugin are you using? Share your experience in the comments below!
More about W3 Total Cache:
- How To Integrate W3TC with Google Page Speed
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