Best W3 Total Cache Settings- Boost Your WordPress Website Pagespeed

Hello Friends, In this blog post I will be discussing about W3 Total Cache and how you can increase your website speed by configuring W3 Total Cache properly. W3TC is an awesome plugin but most of the WordPress bloggers (both professional as well as beginners) find it little complicated and tricky to set up as compared to other speed optimization plugins.

If configured properly this can supercharge your blog speed but if configured incorrectly then this can even break your blog completely. So to help you I have  decided to write this “How to Guide on W3TC” . I will also share screenshots  so that you can configure W3TC easily. But before starting the tutorial let me tell you in brief about W3 Total Cache and why it is the better than other speed optimization plugin in the market?

What Is W3 Total Cache?

There are many WordPress Plugins for speed optimization like Super Cache, Hyper Cache, Quick Cache, Fastest Cache and so on but no one can come close to W3 Total cache. W3 Total Cache is a powerful speed optimization plugin which not only improves your website speed but also saves your bandwidth to a large extent. Increase in website speed leads to higher rankings in Search engines, higher conversion rate, provides customer satisfaction and most importantly it will help in reducing bounce rate on your blog.

Important Features Of W3 Total Cache Plugin:

  • Compatible with shared web hosting,vps web hosting and dedicated hosting
  • Minification of CSS,HTML and JavaScript
  • Minification of posts and pages and feeds
  • Content delivery network support.
  • Add EXpiresHeaders And Etags On Your Blog
  • Page Cache
  • Database Cache
  • Browser Cache
  • Object Cache

Also Check: 5 Best WordPress SEO Plugins

Why W3 Total Cache Is Better Than Other Speed Optimization Plugins?

W3 Total Cache is recommended by popular web hosting companies like Bluehost, Hostgator, JustHost,Dreamhost,Godaddy and many more.  Yoast, StudioPress, WPBeginner, John Chow,Mashable, CSS-Tricks are some of the  popular WordPress blogs which are using W3TC on their blogs.

I have also been using W3 Total Cache Plugin on Affiliate Nova from last 7-8 months and in my opinion W3TC is best in the business.You just need to set up it properly and it will supercharge your blog speed.  So If you want to improve your website speed then I would recommend you to Install W3 Total Cache on your blog.

Increase WordPress Speed By Using Best W3 Total Cache Settings
Increase WordPress Speed By Using Best W3 Total Cache Settings


Note: Before you begin, please make sure that you are not using another Cache plugin on your blog as W3 Total Cache is not compatible with other cache plugins like Super Cache,HyperCache etc. For checking your website speed performance I recommend GTMetrix or Pingdom.  Alright without wasting any time let’s start the tutorial.

How To Install And Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin Properly?

  • Step 1: Install W3 Total Cache Plugin

First of all you will have to install W3 Total Cache Plugin on your blog. You can install it in 2 ways i.e. through ftp or directly from dashboard. It is completely up to you which method you want to use for installing this plugin. For the sake of this tutorial I will install this plugin directly from dashboard.

Go to WordPress Admin Panel Dashboard and right-click on Add New under Plugin Section. Search W3 Total Cache and Install It. You will see an image like this.


  • Step2 : Activate W3 Total Cache Plugin

After installing activate W3 Total Cache Plugin. Again repeating please delete any other cache plugin before activating W3TC or it will not work properly.


  • Step 3: Enabling Basic Settings Of  W3TC Plugin

For enabling & configuring W3TC plugin on your blog you will have to go to Performance Menu and then you have to click on General settings tab.  If you want to test W3 Total cache on your blog then enable Preview mode.

w3 total cache settings

  •     Enable Page Cache: Page cache helps in decreasing the response time on website. So Enable Page Cache and choose “Disk: Enhanced” method of Page cache.

w3 total cache settings

  •  Enable Minify:  By doing minification you will decrease the size and number of CSS, HTML and JS files on your blog. This is one of the most difficult part of W3TC. If some of your plugins or themes are breaking after enabling Minify then use auto method. Even after using auto mode your theme is breaking then simply disable minify.


  •    Enable Database Cache:  Database caching helps in reducing post, page and feed creation time.


  •    Enable Object Cache and Browser Cache

Object cache also helps in increasing website performance (especially for dynamic websites) and browser cache helps in reducing server load and decreases response time by using site visitor browser cache.

 Note: Enable object cache only if there are more than 700-800 blog posts on your blog. If you have less posts then no need of enabling it.

best w3 total cache settings

  •     CDN: Only enable this if you are using CDN such as MAxCDN,Amazon Cloudfront,AT&T etc.

CDN Settings for W3 Total Cache Plugin

  •    Network Performance and Security performance by Cloudflare : If you are using Cloudflare then only enable it else disable it. Please remember if you are using cloudflare minification then don’t use W3TC minfication.

That’s it these were the basic settings which you must enable for running W3 Total Cache Settings. Leave everything unchecked.  Now comes the hard part i.e.  configuring advanced settings of W3 Total Cache.

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Advanced Settings For W3 Total Cache Plugin

Page Cache- Advanced Settings (Under Performance menu click on Page Cache )

  • Enable Cache Front Page
  • Enable  Cache feeds: site, categories, tags, comments
  • Enable  Cache SSL (https) requests
  • Enable  Cache 404 (not found) pages
  • Enable  Cache requests only for localhost site address
  • Enable  Don’t cache pages for logged in users
  • Enable  Don’t cache pages for following user roles-> Click Administrator
  • Save Settings.


Cache Preload:

  • Enable automatically prime the page cache.
  • Set Update interval as 907 seconds
  • Set Pages Per Interval as 15
  • Enter your sitemap url in sitemap section.
  • Check “Preload the post cache upon publish events.”
  • Save Settings

Minfy- Advanced Settings (Under Performance menu click on Minify )

  • Enable  Rewrite URL structure
  • Enable  Disable minify for logged in users
  • Minify error notification: Both Admin & email Notification
  • Save All Settings

Minify- HTML and XML Section

  • Enable Html Minify Settings
  • Enable Inline JS minification
  • Enable Inline CSS minification
  • Enable Line break removal
  • Find and add the urls of JS files one by one in the CSS minification box. Don’t add Google Adsense JS File here or your ad will not be displayed properly.
  • Save All Settings

Minify- JS

  • Enable Preserved comment removal (not applied when combine only is active)
  • Enable Line break removal (not safe, not applied when combine only is active)
  • Save All Settings

Minify- CS

  • Enable CSS Minify Settings
  • Enable  Preserved comment removal (not applied when combine only is active)
  • Enable  Line break removal (not applied when combine only is active)
  • Import Handling= Process
  • Find and add the urls of CSS files one by one in the CSS minification box.
  • Save All Settings

Minify Settings for W3 Total Cache Plugin

Advanced Settings for Database Cache : No need to play with advanced settings leave them as default.

Advanced Settings for Object Cache : No need to play with advanced settings leave them as default.

W3 Total cache Advanced  settings for Browser cache

  • Genreal Settings:Browser Cache
  • Enable Set Last-Modified header
  • Enable Set expires header
  • Enable Set cache control header
  • Enable Set entity tag (eTag)
  • Enable Set W3 Total Cache header
  • Enable HTTP (gzip) compression
  • Enable Don’t set cookies for static files
  • Enable Do not process 404 errors for static objects with WordPress
  • Save All Settings


CSS/JS Settings:Browser Cache

  • Enable  Set Last-Modified header
  • Enable Set expires header
  • Enable Set cache control header
  • Enable Set entity tag (ETag)
  • Enable HTTP (gzip) compression
  • Enable Disable cookies for static files
  • Save All Settings


HTML And XML- Browser Cache Advanced Settings

  • Enable Set Last-Modified header
  • Enable Set expires header
  • Enable Set cache control header
  • Enable Set entity tag (ETag)
  • Enable Set W3 Total Cache header
  • Enable HTTP (gzip) compression
  • Save All Settings
  • w3-total-cache-advanced-settings

Media And Other Files- Browser Cache Advanced Settings

  • Enable Set Last-Modified Header
  • EnableSet expires header –>Expires Header lifetime “31536000 seconds”
  • EnableSet cache control header ->cache with max-age
  • EnableSet entity tag (ETag)
  • EnableSet W3 Total Cache header
  • Enable HTTP (gzip) compression
  • Enable Disable cookies for static files


How To Test Whether W3 Total Cache is working properly on your blog?

To check whether W3 Total Cache Plugin is working or not you will have to first clear your browser cookies and then you will have to right-click on your webpage and select view source code. If W3 Total Cache is configured properly then at the end of file you will see the following lines which is automatically generated by W3TC.


That’s it friends. These are the exact W3 Total Cache settings which I am using here at Affiliate Nova. If you configure W3 Total Cache on your blog using this tutorial then do share your experience with me via comments. 

  • Thanks a lot, one of the better w3 cache tutorials around, helped me a lot.

  • Thank you for this tutorial. I followed your direction, however, when I check my site with view source code (after emptying my browser cache), I do not have the text that shows that w3tc is set up properly. I would appreciate your help. Thank you.

    • Deepak Singh says:

      I would love to help you mate,but please share your website url and in future please use your real name while commenting. Cheers !!

  • Dear Thanks for Great Tips… i have used above settings and got good results… But sometime Images are unable to load by default we need to make re-refresh to get images… is there any idea what might be the issue.. ?

    • Deepak Panwar says:

      I just checked your website and noticed that all the images on homepage are loading fine.

  • Great tutorial, Deepak!

    I’m using Thesis framework (which has its own minify), and even the Minify settings from this tutorial works fine for me!


    You have just improved my website speed (I can really see the difference).

    Thank you!

  • Divya Gupta says:

    Hi Deepak,

    I wrote to you earlier on a good job done on the explanation here. Reaching out to you now because I seem to be in a fix with this plugin. I followed the steps exactly like you said and for the most part it worked fine but then it crashed.

    I had registered on Cloudflare for a CDN and when I read your post again, it said that if the site is crashing or if we are using cloudflare then we should simple disable the minify option. I did that and the site still crashed.

    Do you have any suggestions for what I can do to fix the problem. Currently the plugin is deactivated


  • Thank you, this is very helpful and detailed contents for beginners like me. I have installed this plugin and configured as you shown in details. But after this, it is not showing images on any page. Kindly write me soon.

  • Hello,

    I use W3TC into my project but its showing Optimize CSS Delivery into google mobile speed. I want to remove so how can i remove it.

    Can any help me how to fix it?


  • Hi,

    Thanks for your good wall-through.

    Do you know if W3TC is excluding any client cookies by default (login cookies or something like that) ?

  • thanks for the complete tutorial. I use w3 total cache and use cloudflare too. So, this article is very helpful for beginners like me

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