W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin review and quick settings to make your website or blog faster. The official W3 cache plugin can be found here.
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In this article I will explain how the W3 Total Cache plugin has enhanced my WordPress website and blog’s performance. I do use some other very good WordPress plugins that you may also be interested in.
No doubt you will want to know a few things about the W3 plugin.
Here are some FAQ’s to get you started.
W3 Cache Quick Fire Review Questions
1. Does the plugin work and will it make my website load faster for SEO?
Yes it does and yes it will.
2. Is the total cache plugin easy to configure?
Yes and no, don’t worry, I will show you the quick settings and which ones will help you straight away. I say “no” only because it is trial and error with the Minify settings.
3. Will the W3 plugin break my website?
It can cause display problems if you use the wrong settings in the Minify or Page cache areas. (I will explain which ones to set first safely).
4. Would you recommend the plugin to friends?
Yes, totally. I use the W3 Total Cache plugin on all of my 13 WordPress websites. I use the free version for your information.
5. How fast does your website load?
Please feel free to enter my domain name into the GT Metrix speed test for the latest score.
My latest website performance score as of April 2017 is:
I do not use a CDN (content delivery network) as my website does not have enough traffic to warrant it. I have used Amazon Cloud Flare but it didn’t make much difference to my performance.
Quick Settings for W3 Total Cache Plugin
First off, run a performance check at GT Metrix, if you do not have green numbers over 80% then install the W3 plugin. Some themes are already made for speed. Especially Iconic theme.
Please find below the settings I would make to speed up my website:
Navigate to General Settings in the Performance menu:
Put a tick in the following boxes to start with ONLY:
Further W3 Cache Settings to Make
Now that you have ticked those boxes only, run another speed check. You should see an improvement in performance. Please note, if your website does not look right when you refresh the page, untick “Page Cache”. The theme will revert to normal. If you are unsure about any of this please contact me.
You should see a dramatic change in your website’s speed.
If not, please proceed to make the following safe changes.
Navigate to Browser Cache in the left hand menu under Performance. You will see a lot of boxes unticked. Tick them all like below:
Now run another speed check. There should be more speed improvements made.
These next set of instructions relate to Minify. This means the HTML, JS and CSS will be minified. This can cause your theme to display incorrectly. There is a warning that appears on this section of the plugin. If you make changes in the Minify section, be sure to check the website a few times on a different browser.
Below are the recommended settings for Minify, try them out, if your theme goes wrong, untick the options:
Run another speed test and see the difference!
W3 Total Cache Plugin Review Summary
So, in summary the W3 WordPress cache plugin does work and is very good in my opinion. It took a bit of getting used to but I followed a tutorial to get the best settings possible for my website.
I will re-iterate the point that Minify may cause your theme to display incorrectly but this is easily fixed so do not panic.
Make sure you check your website after making any changes and ensure you purge all of the caches. This can be found by navigating to the admin menu at the top of your screen to Performance then Purge All Caches.
My rating for this excellent and popular cache plugin: 9/10
If you would like any further advice on this plugin or would like me to test you website for performance, please let me know.
Thanks for reading my article on the W3 Total Cache performance plugin.
For further in depth knowledge around speeding up a WordPress website you may be interested in this article by Tung Tran: 22 Tips To Speed Up Your WordPress Site
If you are looking for a new WordPress cool theme, you may be interested in visiting Theme Forest*.