UPDATE: W3 Total Cache 0.9 has been released and it’s got a different interface. Do please check out Making Blogs Faster With W3 Total Cache 0.9 when you’re through reading this tutorial.
The web is agog with news that if your site has a slow loading time, your search engine ranking could be affected and despite Google’s claim that this will only affect just less than 1% of sites, most bloggers aren’t taking chances and have started running to wordpress cache plug-ins to help them achieve faster blog/site load times.
Justin Germino of Dragon Blogger tried out W3 Total Cache and the experience kind of left him burnt as he writes in “Increasing WordPress Page Load Performance Can Backfire“. Apparently neither WP-Super Cache nor W3 Total Cache works just right on his blog.
I’ve been using W3 Total Cache for months now and it’s been nothing but marvelous to me.
I must admit though that the plug-in can be quite tricky for the technologically disadvantaged but once it’s been configured as should be, it works wonders ;-).
Depending on the settings you make use of, you could experience a rough time as did Justin thus I’ve decided to share with you my W3 Total Cache configuration settings in hope that it would help you speed up your blog
Disclaimer: This tutorial are provided as it is. I shall take no responsibility for any mishap that may befall your blog/site during its implementation. The configuration settings below work just fine for me and hopefully will work for you too
HOW TO CONFIGURE W3 TOTAL CACHE IN A SHARED HOSTING ENVIRONMENT
To make this as easy to understand as possible, I’ll be making use of plenty of images so do please bear with me.
Log on to your WordPress Admin area, Click on Add New under Plug-ins and search for “W3 Total Cache” then install it. As an alternative, you might want to download it from the plug-in site.
Once you’re through with the installation, activate it and go to W3 Total Cache under Settings in your admin dashboard. From here onwards the configurations begin
Simply tick or mark as shown in the images below
Under W3 Total Cache General Settings
Note: Remember to save all your changes
Note: Since I’m using a sub domain of StrictlyOnlineBiz as my CDN, I’m using the self hosted/FTP upload option. This way you save yourself the extra cost of using a paid CDN like Amazon Cloudfront or S3 ;-).
Under W3 Total Cache Page Cache Settings
NOTE: Under the Rejected User Agents list as indicated above, copy and paste the entire list contained in this text file.
As you might have noticed, the Mobile user agents box was left blank as it created conflicts with my wordpress mobile plug-in. All the Mobile user agents were transferred to the Rejected User Agents list thus pages are not cached for mobile visitors.
Redirect mobile users to is left blank as I don’t have a separate domain for the mobile version of StrictlyOnlineBiz.
Under W3 Total Cache Minify Settings
This is what my W3 Total Cache Minify Settings look like @ the moment.
Under W3 Total Cache Database Caching Settings
Under W3 Total Cache CDN Settings
Since we are using a sub domain as our CDN, configure this section as shown below
After saving the changes, click on Test FTP Server and if everything works just fine, you’ll get this message thrown back @ you.
Advanced W3 Total Cache Settings
NOTE: Copy and paste from this text file, to fill in the wp-includes file types to upload, Theme file types to upload and File types to import fields. Save your changes when you’re through.
Once you’re through with the three stages of the CDN settings page and have saved all changes made, proceed to first stage and start uploading files by clicking on upload include files, upload theme files, upload minify files and upload custom files.
When you’re through with that, proceed to export media library to CDN (This will send all images included in your blog posts to your CDN) and import attachments into the Media library (I’m not sure about this one but I think if your blog posts have got attachments, they’ll all be sent to the CDN as well)
THAT’S ALL FOLKS! So there you have it. Once you’re done, empty all your cache, log out and start browsing pages on your site. To make sure W3 Total Cache is working, check a page twice then view the page source by right clicking on the page on selecting View Page Source in your browser. If W3 Total Cache is working just fine, you should see something like this @ the end of the source code of that page
Best of luck guys ;-)!
UPDATE: I’ve written an update to this tutorial. Do check it out @ Quick Update: Making Blogs Faster With W3 Total Cache. It promises to make your blog load an additional 10x faster ;-).