Installing W3 Total Cache for WordPress and how to configure it in under 5 minutes

Many websites utilise WordPress either as a CMS or blog platform. WordPress has a huge number of plugins available, that enable you to easily create a full-featured website with a lot of neat functionality. These plugins however, can insert additional CSS and JavaScript files into your header which can hurt your site’s performance (and PageSpeed and YSlow scores).

W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing download times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration.

Step 1) Download and activate W3 Total Cache [Download W3 Total Cache here]

After activating the W3 Total Cache Plugin, you’ll notice a new section in your admin sidebar called “Performance.”

  1. Toggle All caching types
    1. On the sidebar, click on the “General Settings” sub-section.
    2. Under “General,” Check “Toggle all caching types on or off at once.
    3. Click Save all settings.
W3 Total Cache: Check the "Toggle all caching types on or off" option
W3 Total Cache: Check the “Toggle all caching types on or off” option

 

Note: W3 Total Cache will turn on all its caching features (Page Cache, Minify, Database Cache, Object Cache, Browser Cache) as well as other features you may not need (CDN, Monitoring, etc.). Uncheck CDN, Monitoring, Google Page Speed, Anonymous Tracking (and any other features) if you’re not using them.

  1. Enable Minify:
    1. Under the Minify subsection in General Settings, ensure Minify is enabled.
    2. Next, look at the option called Minify mode. Select the Auto option.
    3. Click Save all settings.
W3 Total Cache: Set Auto Mode for Minifying
W3 Total Cache: Set Auto Mode for Minifying

Note: If you make any changes to your WordPress plugins, the W3 Total Cache plugin may ask you to Empty the Cache. This is done to make sure the plugin doesn’t serve a cached version of any changed files.

  1. Configure Minify Settings:
    1. On the sidebar, click on the Minify sub-section
    2. Under HTML & XML, check Enable in the HTML minify settings. You can also enable the other options (Inline CSS/JS minification and Line break removal), but make sure to test your site to see if it breaks.
    3. Click Save all settings.
W3 Total Cache: Enable HTML & XML minification, and other options if you wish
W3 Total Cache: Enable HTML & XML minification, and other options if you wish
  1. Setting Headers and Tags:
    1. On the sidebar, click on the Browser Cache sub-section
    2. Under General, Cascading Style Sheets & JavaScript, HTML, and Media & Other Files headings enable the following:
      • Set expires header
      • Set cache control header
      • Set entity tag (eTag)
    3. Click Save all settings.
W3 Total Cache: Enable Browser Cache Options
W3 Total Cache: Enable Browser Cache Options

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