Guide For Dummies: How To Setup Your WordPress W3 Total Cache Correctly?

W3 Total Cache is one of the world’s most renown cache plugin for WordPress and you are probably finding the best setup guide for WordPress W3 Total Cache right?

Before that, let’s see what W3 Total Cache actually is and how it functions. It provides close to everything you would need to make your website load blazing fast but most of the time, these settings could be very misguiding and complicated for bloggers and even new website developers. 

In this guide, I am going to try my best to provide you a step by step guide in setting up your W3 Total Cache. This post is a little lengthy but trust me, it will definitely worth your time especially when you are going to get the best setting for your W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin. 

Here’s the slide which I had created thanks to SlideShare (for those who want to avoid reading the wall of text) ~ Enjoy!


Setup guide for WordPress W3 Total Cache

Firstly, head over to the plugin page and search for W3 Total Cache. Very easy and very straight forward right? 

Setting up your W3 Total Cache the right way

Plugin cache will help website to load faster.
The famous W3 Total Cache setting tab 

1. You should be able to see a new tab labelled as Performance on the left side of the screen on your WordPress dashboard. Click on that.

2. Next, you will see the Dashboard for W3TC and this gives you a general outlook of the plugin. You see the option to select General Settings and select that. General Settings works as a master switch for W3TC. You can enable or disable a certain option with just one click of the button.

3. On the General Settings page, scroll down a little and you will see Page Cache.

Page Cache: Enable

Page cache method: Disk: Enhanced

You do not need to press save at the moment. I will explain to you after this on why I rather save later than now.

4. Scroll down more and you will see the Minify option.

Minify: Enable

Minify mode: Manual

Minify cache method: Disk

HTML minifier: Default

JS minifier: JSMin (default)

CSS minifier: Default

5. Next is Database Cache option.

Database Cache: Enable

Database Cache Method: Disk

6. Scroll down a little to Object Cache.

Object Cache: Enable

Object Cache Method: Disk

7. To the next option, Browser Cache.

Browser Cache: Enable

8. For CDN settings, you may disable it first.

The right setup guide for WordPress W3 Total Cache can boost website loading speed
Setting up W3TC plugin could be time consuming but it will make your website load at blazing speed 

9. Reserve Proxy disable, Cloudflare settings disable, monitoring disable, miscellaneous disable and debug disable all. Now, you may save all your settings. After saving it, W3TC will ask you if you would like to clear the cache which you can select yes. The reason to save once you have done the whole page is to avoid inconvenience. You may save one by one but it is totally a time consuming process.

10. Select Page Cache on the left of the screen.

You should enable cache front page, cache feeds, cache SSL and don’t cache pages for logged in users.

Cache Preload: Enable automatic prime

Update interval: 907

Page per interval: 7

Sitemap: (change your domain to your own site name)

Save all settings and you may ignore the rest of the options on that page.

11. Select Minify button on the left.

Enable rewrite URL structure and for HTML minify settings, select enable, inline CSS minification, inline JS minification and line break removal.

As for JS minify settings, select enable, before (combine), after (minify) and before (combine). Enable preserved comment and line break as well.

As for CSS minify settings, select enable, preserved comment and line break removal.

Go for save all settings again and clear the cache.

12. Now, select Database Cache button on the left

Enable don’t cache queries and save the setting.

13. You can exclude Object Cache as nothing needed to change there. Select Browser Cache instead.

Under General, enable everything except do not process 404 errors.

Under CSS & JS, enable all the options there. The only changes you need to do is change the value of expires header lifetime to 31536000 seconds.

Under HTML & XML, enable everything as well.

Under Media & Other Files, enable everything and set the value of expires header lifetime to 31536000 seconds.

Finally, save all settings and clear cache if needed. 


You can basically forget the rest of the options for now. These settings should serve you well with or without a Content Delivery Network. You will notice your site gets loaded up faster than usual. Remember to clear all the cache at least once to make everything stays for good.

And for the record, I have tested these settings on various websites now and all of them are giving them very good response time. Certainly hope this works well for you as well and good luck.

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