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Tuto: How to install and configure the W3 Total Cache plugin on your WordPress blog

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We often receive compliments from users on the speed of loading our sites. Everyone wants to know the secret behind a WordPress site that loads quickly. Aside from a good web host and a well-coded plugin, you need to make sure that you are using proper caching.

In our configuration, we use the plugin W3 Total Cache.

Due to a high volume of demand, we decided to create a step by step guide on how to install and configure the W3 Total Cache plugin.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install W3 Total Cache and configure it correctly to maximize the benefits.

Before you begin, we strongly recommend that you check the performance of your site by using Google Page Speed and Pingdom Tools . This will give you a before and after comparison of the loading speed of your site.

  W3-Total-Cover Image

What is W3 Total Cache?

W3 Total Cache is the fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization plugin. Trusted by many popular sites including: AT&T, Mashable, Smashing Magazine, and millions more. W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing the performance of your server, caching all aspects of your site, reducing download times

Installing WordPress plugin W3 Total Cache

Before installing W3 Total Cache, you must uninstall all other caching plugins (E.g. WP Super Cache). If you don't do this first, you will experience issues activating it.

Log into your WordPress admin panel as Administrator, using syntax that looks like this:

http://votredomaine.com/wp-login.php

W3-Total-Cache-Identification

In the left menu bar, hover your mouse over the menu Extensions". In the menu that appears, select the option " Add "

 W3-Total-Cache-installler-plugin

Locate the search box on the "Install Extensions" screen and type "W3 Total Cache", Then click on the button "Search for Plugins"

W3-Total-Cache-Search-Plugin

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In the results, locate the plugin named “W3 Total Cache. "

W3-Total-Cache-Search-Results-plugin

Click on the link " Install now " to install the plugin as in the image below.

 W3-Total-Cache-install

At the end of the installation you can directly activate your plugin on the screen that will be displayed by clicking on "Activate the Plugin" or go click "Installed extensions" Search for the plugin in the list and click Enable below the name of your plugin.

 W3-Total-Cache-Activate Plugin

 Settings and configuration of the W3 Total Cache plugin

W3 Total Cache is a very powerful plugin that has tons of options. It could be a good thing or a bad thing, for those who know how to use these options. For most newbie bloggers using WordPress, these options could be quite difficult and confusing.

We will visit each of these options in detail, so that you can properly configure W3 Total Cache. Let's start with the general settings (General Settings).

general settings

You can go to the General Settings page by clicking on the menu button performance in your WordPress admin panel. This is where you will configure the basic parameters of the plugin. Make sure you're on the general settings page.

What is the "Page cache?" "

The first option you see on this page is the "Cache page". It is responsible for creating static pages in the cache for each page that is loaded, so that it will not be loaded dynamically each time it loads.

By using this option, you will considerably decrease the loading time of your pages. Refer to the image below to see how the "page cache" works:

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page Cache

As you can normally see when a user arrives on your site, WordPress runs PHP scripts and MySQL queries from the database to find the requested page. Then PHP analyzes the data and generates a page. This process uses the resources of the server.

If you enable "Page Cache", this will allow you to decrease the load on the server and just show a copy of the cached page when the user requests that page again.

For shared hosting that most beginners use, the method Disk: Enhanced is highly recommended. You should also enable the checkbox " Page Cache and save the settings by clicking the button "Save All Settings".

W3-Total-Cache-Cache-Page

For most people, that's all you need to do with setting up the "Page Cache". Since this guide is intended for novice users, we will therefore not discuss the advanced “page cache” settings because the default options are sufficient.

We will also pass Section "Minify", "Databases Cache", et "Cache object". The reason is simple: all servers provide optimal results with these settings.

In the next option we will talk about the "Browser Cache".

What is the browser cache?

Every time a user visits a website, their browser downloads all images, CSS, JavaScript, and other static files to a temporary folder to improve the user experience. That way when the same user is still accessing that page, it loads much faster because all the static files are in the browser cache.

The option "Browser cache" of W3 Total Cache sets a time limit for the browser cache.

Considering that you don't change your logo every day, having static files like it in cache for 24 hours doesn't hurt you. Just activate the checkbox "Browser cache". Under the browser cache option and click on button " Save all settings" page (in French).

Once you've done that, then go visit "Browser Cache" By going on Performance »Browser Cache for more settings.

W3-Total-Cache-Results-Browser cache

You will see the following screen appear:

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W3-Total-Cache-Results-browser-cache-2

As you can see in the image above, we have checked almost everything except for 404 errors. Then save the settings by clicking on the button " Save all settings" page (in French).

Here is! your plugin W3 Total Cache has been well configured. This tutorial is finished! We hope that this one will help you to configure the W3 Total Cache plugin on your WordPress sites.

For more information on configuring the CDN, we recommend the following tutorial: How to configure Cloudflare on your WordPress blog.

If you think that we have forgotten some important details, please leave us your comments in our section reserved for them.

This article features 3 comments

  1. Hello,

    I find this tutorial very interesting, on the other hand I do not have the same configuration on my WP which means that I cannot do this installation of W3 total cache. I do not understand.
    Thanks for your help

  2. Thank you! I tested the method.
    My blog speed improved from 60% to 72%. Is it possible that it is going in the 100% or approaching it.
    Here are the problems that Page Speed ​​wonder fix for mobile:

    - Eliminate JavaScript and CSS codes that block the display of content above the waterline
    - Exploit browser caching
    - Allow compression
    - Optimize images
    - View the steps to resolve the problem
    - Reduce the size of JavaScript resources
    - the steps to resolve the problem
    - Reduce the size of CSS resources

    For ordis, speed is of 70%. it asks me:
    To correct :
    Optimizing images
    Show troubleshooting steps
    Eliminate JavaScript and CSS codes that block the display of content above the waterline
    Show troubleshooting steps
    To be corrected if necessary:
    Harnessing the browser caching
    Show troubleshooting steps
    Show visible content first
    Show troubleshooting steps
    Reduce the size of JavaScript resources
    Show troubleshooting steps
    Reduce the size of CSS resources
    Show troubleshooting steps
    Allow compression.

    What do you think? Is it normal all these errors to 70-72%?
    Do you have any other tips for the W3 Total Cache?

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