Website performance is critical to a successful website. Page loading time affects both user loyalty and whether your website obtains a higher search engine ranking. Before activating and configuring W3 Total Cache on your website, we strongly recommend that you test your website performance using Pingdom Tools or Google’s PageSpeed Insight. After configuring W3 Total Cache, you can check your website’s performance again and compare it with the earlier results.
Here are some reasons why you should consider optimizing the performance of your website:
- Decreases page loading time. You can thus provide your visitors with a more convenient experience.
- Increases search engine ranking.
- Decreases the load on your hosting server.
- Getting started
- Configuring page caching
- Configuring content delivery network (CDN)
- Known issues with W3 Total Cache
- Getting help
If you are a developer, make sure that the W3 Total Cache plugin is activated.
Make sure that the WPML Multilingual CMS, WPML String Translation, WPML Translation Management, and WPML Media Translation plugins are activated.
If you are a website owner working with a developer, please ask the developer to go over these settings for you.
You can activate W3 Total Cache on your website by navigating to Plugins → Add New and search for W3 Total Cache. Click the Install button. Once W3 Total Cache is installed, click the Activate button.
Caching plays a major role in boosting the performance of your website, as it reduces both the bandwidth used to load the page and server load. This is accomplished by temporarily storing content from previous requests in order to serve subsequent requests. To enable page caching using W3 Total Cache, follow these steps:
- From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Performance → General Settings and find the Page Cache section. Enable the Page Cache option and, for the Page Cache Method, select Disk: Enhanced. Then click on the Save all settings button.
- To tweak the page caching behavior, navigate to Performance → Page Cache. You can see that the page is divided into five main sections.
a- In the General section, we recommend using those settings shown in the screenshot that follows. Once you have applied these settings, click on the Save all settings button.
b- In the Aliases, Cache Preload, and Purge Policy: Page Cache and Advanced sections, we recommend retaining the default settings.
To enable CSS and JS minification using W3 Total Cache, follow these steps:
- From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Performance → General Settings, and find the Minify section. Enable the Minify option, and then set the Minify mode to Auto and the Minify Cache Method to Memcached. Click on the Save all settings button.
- To tweak the minification settings, navigate to Performance → Minify. You can see that the page is divided into five main sections.
a- We recommend that you retain the default settings in the General section. Simply click on the Save all settings button.
b- Similarly, in the HTML & XML section, we recommend that you retain the default settings.
c- In the JS section, enable the JS minify settings and choose the Combine only option. Click on the Save all settings button.
d- In the CSS section, check the following three options:
- Preserved comment removal (not applied when combine only is active)
- Line break removal (not applied when combine only is active)
Click on the Save all settings button.
- We recommend that you retain the default settings in the Advanced
- You should now receive notification messages from W3 Total Cache to empty the cache. Click on the Empty the page cache and Empty the minify cache buttons.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers distributed in different locations to deliver the content of your website to your users based on their location. Configuring and running CDN on your website reduces page loading time and thus enhances your website performance. Specifically, a CDN stores a cached version of your website’s static content in different geographical locations such that the nearest server for each user fulfills his or her requests, thereby reducing page loading time.
To configure the CDN using W3 Total Cache, follow these steps:
- Navigate to Performance → CDN. In the General section, we recommend that you retain all default settings. Click on the Save all settings button.
If you see the notification message that follows, click on the unsuccessful transfer queue button and process the remaining queue.
- In the configuration section, fill in your CDN details. Please choose the Enabled (always use ssl) option for SSL support. Click Save all settings.
- We recommend that you retain the default settings in the Advanced section.
In case you need help using W3 Total Cache with WPML, visit WPML’s support forum.