Step by Step Guide On How to Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin: Beginner Guide

w3 total cache

In this article I will show you how configure W3 Total Cache Plugin for your blog performance and the follow step by step

  • Step 1: Install and activate W3 Total Cache. …
  • Step 2: Configure general settings. …
  • Step 4: Configure page cache. …
  • Step 5: Configure object cache. …
  • Step 6: Configure browser cache. ..

. Before we start the state by state guide let know what is W3 Total Cache plugin

What Is W3 Total Cache Plugin:

W3 Total Cache is the fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization pluginW3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration

Step 1: Install and activate W3 Total Cache

Get started by installing and activating W3 Total Cache. It’s a free plugin available at the wordpress plugin directory, so you can install it directly from your WordPress dashboard by going to Plugins → Add New and searching:

Add New Plugin How To Configure W3 Total Cache 300x194 - Step by Step Guide On How to Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin: Beginner Guide


Make sure that you activate the plugin. Then, move over to its configuration options by clicking on the Performance tab.

Step 2: Configure general settings

The first thing you need to configure is W3 Total Cache’s General Settings. This tab enables/disables all of the features which you’ll configure in greater detail later on:



  1. General

The first option allows you to automatically enable every W3 Total Cache feature. Unfortunately, you won’t need every single feature, so don’t touch this option.

General Settings How To Configure W3 Total Cache 300x270 - Step by Step Guide On How to Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin: Beginner Guide

General How To Configure W3 Total Cache 300x153 - Step by Step Guide On How to Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin: Beginner Guide

It also lets you enable Preview mode. In preview mode, you can test changes before deploying them to your live site. I personally don’t use Preview mode, because it’s easy to just disable the plugin if anything goes wrong

  1. Page Cache – ENABLE

This is the  most important feature of W3 Total Cache. This option will improve your site’s performance.

Definitely, Enable Page Cache. For the method, you should choose the Disk: Enhancedoption, which should be the default:

Page Cache How To Configure W3 Total Cache 300x104 - Step by Step Guide On How to Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin: Beginner Guide

  1. Minify – DISABLE

Minify can shrink your site’s code without losing any of its functionality. You definitely want to minify your code for improved page load times. BUT, CloudFlare also supports minification. So I will actually recommend using CloudFlare to minify your code instead.

Minify How To Configure W3 Total Cache 300x180 - Step by Step Guide On How to Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin: Beginner Guide

You can also follow my tutorial on how to configure cloudflare with w3 total cache plugin


  1. Database Cache – DISABLE

Your database is where all of the actual data for your posts, pages, and everything else is stored. Database Cache can improve your database’s performance and reduce the time it takes to create posts, pages, and RSS feeds.

But if you’re on shared hosting, database caching can actually slow down your site by offloading too much work to your server’s CPU.

So if you’re on budget shared hosting, I recommend leaving Database Cache Disabled. If you have a dedicated server or VPS, you can enable it.

w3 total cache

  1. Object Cache – ENABLE

Object Cache is another one that may or may not play well with shared hosting. It’s worth trying, but if you ever notice that your WordPress admin dashboard is running slowly, you may want to go back and disable this at a later date.

But for now, Enable Object Cache and choose the Disk method:


  1. Browser Cache – ENABLE

Browser Cache speeds up your site by caching static resources in your visitors’ browsers, thereby eliminating the need to constantly reload static content.

You definitely want to Enable this option:



While you will be using a CDN (CloudFlare), this is not where you will configure it. So leave CDN Disabled. You can follow my post on how to configure cloudfare with w3 total cache plugin



  1. Reverse Proxy – DISABLE

Reverse proxies are an advanced concept that generally require private hosting. Therefore, you can leave this one Disabled.


  1. Monitoring – NO ACTION

You don’t need to configure Monitoring. Just ignore it.


  1. Debug – DISABLED

Unless you’re actively trying to debug your site, you should leave all of the Debug options Disabled. They’ll only add unnecessary code to your site.


And that’s it for configuring General Settings! There may be a few additional options thrown in, but you can safely ignore anything that I didn’t mention above.

Next, you’ll need to configure each method in more detail. You can access each method’s detailed settings by clicking on the relevant option in the menu of your sidebar:


Remember – you only need to configure the options which you enabled above. So you won’t need to configure every menu item.

Step 4: Configure page cache

First, go to the Page Cache settings. Then, go through the different options on the page following these instructions. If I don’t mention a section, you can leave it as the default.

  1. General

Under General, make sure you check these boxes to enable them:

  • Cache front page
  • Cache feeds
  • Cache SSL – CloudFlare offers free SSL certificates, so you can enable this box even if you’re not currently using SSL.
  • Don’t cache pages for logged in users

You can leave everything else disabled (unchecked):


  1. Cache Preload

Fill in this section following these settings:

  • Automatically prime the page cache:Checked
  • Update interval:900 seconds
  • Pages per interval: 10
  • Sitemap URL: The actual link to your sitemap if you have one. Typically “” for most SEO plugins.
  • Preload the post cache upon publish events:Checked


You can safely leave everything else in this section as the default.

Step 5: Configure object cache

Because neither Minify nor Database Cache should be enabled, you can skip straight to the Object Cache settings.

You should be able to leave everything as the default here – just make sure that you see these numbers:

  • Default lifetime of cache objects:180 seconds
  • Garbage collection interval:3600 seconds


Step 6: Configure browser cache

This is the last method you need to configure!

  1. General

Under the General options, you need to check some additional boxes. Make sure to check all of these:

  • Set Last-Modified header: Checked
  • Set expires header:Checked
  • Set cache control header:Checked
  • Set entity tag (eTag): Checked
  • Set W3 Total Cache header:Checked
  • Enable HTTP (gzip) compression:Checked

You can leave any other options unchecked:


That is all for now don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for new update post on how to configure cloudflare with w3 total cache plugin and I am sure this post help you to configure w3 total cache plugin for your blog performance, if you have any question please comment on the comment box below


Ubong Eshiet

Author: Ubong Eshiet

Ubong Eshiet serial entrepreneur, a professional blogger and internet marketer, wordpress Developer and a passionate blogger and from Nigeria

Join over 3.000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn how to optimize your blog for search engines, find free traffic, and monetize your website.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *