The Best Setting for W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is one of the best caching plugin, unfortunately a lot of people are intimidated by the complex setting. This article will guide you to do that.

Cache is a temporary snapshot of your site. Instead of loading from database everytime someone visits, it serves that instead.

W3 Total Cache is my favorite caching plugins in WordPress. It is aggressive, effective, and customizable.

Most reviewers say that the Setting page looks intimidating, which is true. But you don’t have to understand what each setting does because there is 1 configuration that should fit for almost all WordPress sites. We will take a look below.

NOTE: This guide assumes you are on default setting. If you have changed something, go to Performance > General, then scroll to the very bottom and there is “Restore Default Settings” button.

Performance > General Settings

  1. Page Cache – tick “Enable”  
  2. Miscellaneous – untick “Enable Google Page Speed dashboard widget”
  3. Miscellaneous – tick “Optimize disk enhanced page”
W3 Total Cache – General Settings

Performance > Page Cache

  1. General – tick “Cache feeds: site, categories, tags, comments”.
  2. General – tick “Don’t cache pages for following user roles” then tick “Admin”, “Editor”, and “Author”. If you use WooCommerce, tick “Shop Manager” too.
  3. Cache Preload – (optional) change Update Interval to fit your needs. If your site rarely change, set to 86400 seconds (24 hour).
  4. Cache Preload – put in Sitemap URL, if you use Jetpack or SEO plugin, it should be in  https://yoursite.com/sitemap.xml. Try opening the URL to make sure it exists.
  5. Advanced – tick “Compatibility mode”.
W3 Total Cache – Page Cache

Performance > Browser Cache

  • General – tick “Set expires header”.
  • General – tick “Set cache control header”.
  • General – tick “Set W3 Total Cache header”
W3 Total Cache – Browser Cache

That’s all, simple right? It still has tons of settings, but we can leave that by default.


Conclusion

W3 Total Cache is one of the top caching plugin. A lot of people are afraid of misconfiguration due to how complex it is. By following the steps above, you will see that you don’t need to touch most settings to use it optimally.

Are you using W3 Total Cache? Feel free to share your experience or extra tips 🙂

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Henner Setyono
A web developer who mainly build custom theme for WordPress since 2013. Young enough to never had to deal with using Table as layout.
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