Since website load speed is crucial for google search result rankings, everyone is running for the best caching plugin for WordPress blog. i also researched more for finding the fastest caching plugin available in the market. Definitely the main competitors are WP Super Cache Vs W3 Total Cache. I tried both caching plugins and actually both are performing well in WordPress. But in my experience i felt W3 Total Cache performs better than WP super cache in DigitPAGE. I can say a properly configured W3 Total cache with best settings can improve your search engine rankings and Google’s PageSpeed insights.
W3 Total Cache best settings
Here just check out the Pingdom Speed test result for DigitPAGE.com home page (With WordPress 4.0.1). Now DigitPAGE is pretty faster than 85% or all the other websites in the internet with a speed of 1.26 seconds. As of now DigitPAGE dosent use any CDN networks. It was about 3 to 4 seconds load time before installing the W3 Total cache plugin. And we got much much better improvements in page load speeds. Even Digitpage running with a bunch of plugins and couple of CSS files.
What is Page cache? page cache is generating and storing a copy of all the web pages that already served. Without a cache plugin, each visitors will get the webpage after processing the request with PHP, MySQL data base, and server resources IT WILL CONSUME TIME. But if you have a cache page, then WordPress can serve static web pages without making and waiting for an sql query, of PHP.
Also cache plugins let the internet browsers to store the static contents like CSS files, Images, background images, etc.
Installing W3 Total Cache plugin
Before installing just checkout how fast is your WordPress blog loads right now, so after completing the configuration you can easily analyse the improvements. Installing W3 Total Cache for WordPress blog is pretty simple task, Go to your WordPress dashboard and hover mouse pointer on the Plugins and click on Add new. Now search for “W3 Total Cache”. And install W3 Total Cache plugin (by Frederick Townes) and activate it . With more than four million installs and 5 star rated by more than 3500 users W3TC is the choice for your WordPress blog. Make sure you have only one plugin for caching. Do not use multiple cache plugins together.
How to configure W3 total cache for best performance
Now follow the step by step guide how to configure W3 Total Cache best settings. First lets enable “Page cache” thats create cached copy of your static pages and serve it to visitors without making server loads. Just go to “General Settings” and tick on the Page Cache check box. Select Page Cache Disk Enhanced method for better speed and “Save all settings”.
Now lets enable Browser cache. In General settings, scroll down and tick on the “Browser Cache” and “Save all settings”. Now navigate to “Performance” -> “Browser cache” and tick on all the check boxes except 404 error pages. You can read it carefully and decide upon your requirements (about 25 check boxes for me) and “Save all settings”.
So all your java scripts, css files, images will cache in the visitors browser, and when the user navigate to another page, it will load faster than the first load time. hmm improved..
Time to setup “Minify”by Navigating to “General settings” and scroll down to Minify settings. Now select the Minify “Enable” check box and keep all the other minify related settings as default and “Save all settings”. Minify compress the total html, css, files sizes for fast page loads.
Other important W3 Total Cache settings
Database cache – that will cache static database queries. Usefull of your werdpress having a large MySQL database.
Object Cache – It will come handy if your site having highly dynamic contents.
CDN – Content Delivery Networks stores a cached copy of your webpages and serve to the visitors without connecting to the wordpress server. CDN providers must have server all over the world and can deliver pages more quickly from nearest server. It is definitely faster than your server.
Now you got an speed optimised with W3 Total Cache best settings. Now check out the improvements by testing your WordPress blog’s page load speed on Pingdom web tool and compare to the previous best result.