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W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing download times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration.

The only web host agnostic WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework recommended by countless web developers and web hosts. Trusted by numerous companies like: AT&T,,,,,,,,,,,, and tens of thousands of others.

An inside look:


Improvements in search engine result page rankings, especially for mobile-friendly websites and sites that use SSL
At least 10x improvement in overall site performance (Grade A in WebPagetest or significant Google Page Speed improvements) when fully configured
Improved conversion rates and “site performance” which affect your site’s rank on
“Instant” repeat page views: browser caching
Optimized progressive render: pages start rendering quickly and can be interacted with more quickly
Reduced page load time: increased visitor time on site; visitors view more pages
Improved web server performance; sustain high traffic periods
Up to 80% bandwidth savings via minify and HTTP compression of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and feeds


Compatible with shared hosting, virtual private / dedicated servers and dedicated servers / clusters
Transparent content delivery network (CDN) management with Media Library, theme files and WordPress itself
Mobile support: respective caching of pages by referrer or groups of user agents including theme switching for groups of referrers or user agents
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support
Caching of (minified and compressed) pages and posts in memory or on disk or on (FSD) CDN (by user agent group)
Caching of (minified and compressed) CSS and JavaScript in memory, on disk or on CDN
Caching of feeds (site, categories, tags, comments, search results) in memory or on disk or on CDN
Caching of search results pages (i.e. URIs with query string variables) in memory or on disk
Caching of database objects in memory or on disk
Caching of objects in memory or on disk
Caching of fragments in memory or on disk
Minification of posts and pages and feeds
Minification of inline, embedded or 3rd party JavaScript (with automated updates)
Minification of inline, embedded or 3rd party CSS (with automated updates)
Browser caching using cache-control, future expire headers and entity tags (ETag) with “cache-busting”
JavaScript grouping by template (home page, post page etc) with embed location control
Non-blocking JavaScript embedding
Import post attachments directly into the Media Library (and CDN)
WP-CLI support for cache purging, query string updating and more
Various security features
Caching statistics for performance insights
Extension framework for customization or extensibility e.g. New Relic, Cloudflare, WPML and more
Reverse proxy integration via Nginx or Varnish

Improve the user experience for your readers without having to change WordPress, your theme, your plugins or how you produce your content.

What users have to say:

Read testimonials from W3TC users.

Press: Mentions, Tutorials & Reviews

March 2015

Make WordPress 10x Faster By W3 Total Cache + CloudFlare, Abrar Mohi Shafee

February 2015

WordPress 4.1 vs WordPress 4.0 Performance Comparison, Tim Butler

December 2014

Don’t Blog Unless You Use These 11 Tools, Neil Patel

November 2014:

10 Must Have WordPress Plugins – 2014 Edition, James George

October 2014:

The best WordPress plugins revealed by 39 WordPress enthusiasts, PSD to WordPress

September 2014:

Using New Relic to Monitor WordPress Performance, Jeff Reifman

July 2014:

40+ Essential Tips, Tools and Resources to Start a WordPress Blog, Kristi Hines

April 2014:

Configuring W3 Total Cache: An Introduction, Ahmad Awais
25+ Must-Have WordPress Plugins for 2014, Raelene Wilson

February 2014:

Best WordPress Plugins: 40 Experts Share Their Favorite WordPress Plugins, Devesh Sharma

August 2013:

12 Free WordPress Plugins That Could Make You A Better Blogger, Reginald

June 2013:

Test of WordPress Caching Plugins – W3 Total Cache vs WP Super Cache vs Quick Cache, Kim Tetzlaff

March 2013:

Top 25 Most Downloaded WordPress Plugins, Jonathan Dingman

January 2013:

Making WordPress Faster with Apache, Varnish and W3 Total Cache on Amazon AWS EC2 with CloudFront, Jeff Reifman
How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site (Quickly and Easily), Tom Ewer
The Periodic Table of WordPress Plugins, Tom Ewer
WordPress Optimization Guide

December 2012:

5 of My Favorite WordPress Plugins in 2012, Jay Hoffmann
The 25 Best WordPress Plugins Ever, Michael Garrity

November 2012:

What You Should Know About Using a CDN With WordPress, Karol Krol

October 2012:

The ManageWP Guide to Speeding Up Your WordPress Site with Plugins, Tom Ewer

September 2012:

Secrets Of High-Traffic WordPress Blogs, Siobhan McKeown
10 essential WordPress plugins, Ken Gagne

August 2012:

#114: Let’s Do Simple Stuff to Make Our Websites Faster, Chris Coyier
The Plugins I Run, Pippin Williamson
WordPress Cache: WP Super Cache vs W3 Total Cache
15 Tips to Speed Up Your Website, Armin Jalili

July 2012:

Using Liquid Web’s CDN with WordPress via W3 Total Cache, Jason Gillman Jr.
Tips for Server Admins & Website Owners, Tharun Karun
Step-by-Step guide to WordPress Optimization using W3 Total Cache,Pankaj Thakkar
Top 10 Most Essential WordPress Plugins, Must Install
W3 Total Cache Vs WP Super Cache: Best Caching Plugin?, Anil Agarwal
How to Install and Configure W3 Total Cache

June 2012:

The Meaning of Plugins and The Best WordPress Plugins, Reginald Chan
6 Essential Plugins for New WordPress Sites, Mitch Monsen

May 2012:

W3 Total Cache Settings, Jason Graham
Leverage Browser Caching with W3 Total Cache, Ian Rogers

April 2012:

Apache Traffic Server as a Reverse Proxy, Kurt Payne
Essential WordPress Plugins For Every WordPress Blog, Shashank Johri
First Steps On A Fresh WordPress Install, Alex Denning
Essential WordPress Plugins
15 Ridiculously Useful WordPress Plugins for Travel Bloggers, Adam Costa
10 plugins every new WordPress blog should have
Caching and Synthesis Managed WordPress Hosting
How to: Boost WordPress performance with W3 Total Cache and APC, Neil Turner
Supercharge WordPress Blog With Cloudflare, MaxCDN and W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache Setup for Rackspace Cloud Sites with Cloud Files, Abhishek Ghosh
11 Steps To Speed Up Your WordPress Site
Speeding Up WordPress With The W3 Total Cache Plugin
11 of Our Favorite WordPress Plugins
Leverage Browser Caching with W3 Total Cache, Ian Rogers
Speeding Up WordPress Websites, Craig Butcher
How I Increased My Blog Loading Speed by 500%
5 WordPress Plugins I Can’t Live Without – 2012 Edition, Chris Wiegman
Setting Up and Optimizing W3 Total Cache – Up to v0.9.2.4
W3 Total Cache hilft bei WordPress Optimierung

March 2012:

The Plugins and Code Behind WPForce 2.0, Jonathan Dingman
5 Must Have Plugins for WordPress Bloggers, Garet McKinley
10 Million hits a day with WordPress using a $15 server, Ewan Leith via Hacker News
High-Performance WordPress with W3 Total Cache and Nginx, Eli Van Zoeren
How To Speed Up Your WordPress Blog, Vladimir Prelovac
The Lab + W3 Total Cache, Simon
5 Powerful WordPress Plugins To Increase Sharing Of Your Articles
How I increased’s performance by an additional 20%, Eric Stolz
WordPress with W3 Total Cache on Nginx with APC , Chris Gilligan
Screencast Tuesday: Using W3 Total Cache Part 1, AJ Morris
Screencast Tuesday: Using W3 Total Cache Part 2 – Implementing a CDN, AJ Morris
A Quick Bit About WordPress Caching, Ryan Toohil
How To Find Out Which WordPress Plugins Are Making Your Site Slow, Kim Castleberry
Top 20 Plugins Used Across 30,000+ WordPress Sites, George Ortiz
10 Plugins That Will Speed Up Your WordPress Site
Using nRelate to Engage Readers & Make Money
Our Top 10 Favorite WordPress Plugins, Samir Balwani
Screencast Tuesday: Using W3 Total Cache Part 1, AJ Morris
Build the WordPress wholly stations CDN utilize the caching plugin W3TC filmed cloud
3 Tutorials For Speeding Up Your WordPress Site, McKinney Brown
WordPress SEO & Security
Supercharge WordPress, Part 3
7 Effective Ways To Make Your WordPress Blog Load Faster
WordPress Plugins to Speed Up Your Website, Edward Korcheg
CloudFlare and W3TC (Part I)
CloudFlare and W3TC (Part II)
How to speed up WordPress – my experience with slow WordPress
Make Your WordPress Site Lightning Fast, Matt Handal
Speed Up WordPress Websites
W3 Total Cache, caché y compresión para optimizar WordPress
Velocizzare WordPress, Giovanni Sacheli
21 Wicked WordPress Plugins, Garin Kilpatrick
How to fix high-CPU load in WordPress
How much (cache) is too much?, Yoav Aner
10 Must Have WordPress Plugins Of 2012 Every Blogger Should Know About, Leo Widrich
Speed up your WordPress Blog: 5 Easy Steps, Sanjib Saha
7 Tips to Test Website Speed and Decrease WordPress Load Time, Nate Devore
How I increased’s performance by an additional 20%, Eric Stolz
WordPress with W3 Total Cache on Nginx with APC, Chris Gilligan
Speed Up Your Website With The “W3 Total Cache” WordPress Plugin
WordPress W3 Total Cache Eklentisi Ayarları
9 Essential WordPress Plugins, Ed Andrea
15 Must Have WordPress Plugins for the New Blogger, Jason Mathes
10 Must Have WordPress Plugins For Your Blog
How To Speed Up Your WordPress Blog, Tom Ewer
5 Best Plug-ins for WordPress Blog, Jonathan Acabo
Easy W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin Configuration, Ian Rogers
Ideal W3 Total Cache Settings For Shared Hosting

February 2012:

Get Google Page Speed Report Via W3 Total Cache, Aayush Nagar
3 WordPress Plugins To Speed Up Your Blog, Missy Diaz
Top 5 Plugins for WordPress, Phill Fernandes
Geeking out with WordPress, CDNs, and Amazon CloudFront, Bob Morris
Top 10 Essential WordPress Plugins that Your Website Needs
How to start your own blog using WordPress
Top 10 Must Have WordPress Plugins In Your Blog, Rahul Kuntala
Improve WordPress Speed with W3 Total Cache
WordPress Plugins for 2012
How to Install Memcached and Use It with Your WordPress via W3 Total Cache on CentOS
How to reduce WordPress CPU usage using Cache and P3 plugin
Speeding up your WordPress site with MaxCDN (Advanced users), Noel Saw
Cache WordPress With W3 Total Cache, David Blane
Cache Plugin For Improving WordPress Speed, Mark Washburn
De snelheid van je website verbeteren
WordPress Plugins that Power Digital Inspiration
9 Essential WordPress Plugins To Install On Your Site
Some Other Tricks For A Speedy WordPress, Ariff Shah
5 Essential WordPress Plug-ins You Should Be Using, Caleb Wojcik
14 Free WordPress Plugins I Installed, Before Doing Anything Else
Install Memcached to speed up your WordPress site
Cara Membuat CDN dengan W3 Total Cache pada Subdomain, Hadie Danker
Top 10 WordPress Plugins To Improve a WordPress Blog, Zac Johnson
The 10 Best Plugins for Online Entreprenuers
Time to Smarten up Your WordPress Blog – 15 Must Have Plugins, Muhammad Haroon
Best WordPress SEO Plugins For Boost Your Traffic
Speed Up WordPress Load Times and Grab More VisitorsMatthew Hooper
Use a windows azure blob storage account with your wordpress blog, Gary Ewan Park
How To Find Out Which WordPress Plugins Are Making Your Site Slow
How to Install and Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin
Day 8: Speed Up your WordPress Site with W3 Total Cache
10 Ways to Improve WordPress Performance on Windows, Jess Coburn
W3 Total Cache – Accélérer votre site WordPress
WordPress on Nginx, Part 1: Preparing VPS the Debian Way, Atanu Datta
WordPress on Nginx, Part 2: vhost, MySQL & APC Configurations, Atanu Datta

January 2012:

Speed up WordPress with W3 Total Cache and Amazon CloudFront (CDN), Dustin
The Ultimate Quickstart Guide to Speeding Up Your WordPress Site, Matt Pilott
Speed Up WordPress with W3 Total Cache, Dave Clements
Speed Up your WordPress Site with W3 Total Cache
How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site and Reduce Your Hosting Costs
Why I Switched From Drupal to WordPress, Robert Kosara
Top 10 Best WordPress Plugins, Brian Duffy
WordPress Plug-ins
Los mejores plugins para WordPress
10 Essential Plugins for Your WordPress Blog, Jennifer Beese
10 Must-Have WordPress Plugins on Your Site
3 Must Have Free Smashing WordPress SEO Plugins For Your Blog, Kushal Biswas
Best WordPress SEO Plugins For 2012
5 Simple Tips for Making WordPress Run Faster
Tips on speeding up your WordPress site, Edward Xwu
W3 Total Cache Kurulumu
Speed Up WordPress with W3 Total Cache, Dave Clements
The Ultimate Quickstart Guide to Speeding Up Your WordPress Site, Matt Pilott
Speed up WordPress with W3 Total Cache and Amazon CloudFront (CDN)
Configure/Install MaxCDN with W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin, Mrinmay Bhattacharjee
How to Install and Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin
How to setup a CDN in WordPress using W3 Total Cache & Amazon CloudFront, Pedro Da Silva
WordPress plugin – W3 Total Cache
Using YUI Compressor with the W3 Total Cache plugin
(mt):Install APC for use with W3 Total Cache
The Perfect APC Configuration, Greg Rickaby
CloudFlare – A Review
W3 Total Cache Kurulumu ve Ayarları

December 2011:

A shout-out to my tech partners of 2011!, Jim Carroll
15 Top WordPress Plugins Of 2011, Ali Qayyum
Google Speed Online API widget integration with W3 Total Cache in WordPress, Jitendra Zaa
Modern WordPress Development for 2012, Sacha Greif
Set up W3 Total Cache with Amazon CloudFront CDN, Dave Clements
Installing & Configuring XCache for W3 Total Cache on a cPanel Server
How-To Install W3 Total Cache: Part One — What is Page Caching?, Dorie Scarlet
Must Use: W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin, Daniel Scocco
10 Best WordPress Plugins, AN Hosting
How to Install & Configure W3 Total Cache Plugin
Website Speed Part 3 – Caching WordPress, Andy Killen
WP Super Cache 1.0 Released, Jeffro
5 Must Have WordPress Plugins, Brendan
12 Essential WordPress Plugins
Measuring impact of plugins on WordPress loading, MillaN
Recommended WordPress Plugins
Recommended WordPress Plugins For Any Serious Blogger, Benny Hsu
Top 10 WordPress Plugins for 2011
Measuring impact of plugins on WordPress loading

November 2011:

10+ Best WordPress Plugins You must have to start a Blog/Website, Barnabas Reilly
5 Must Have WordPress Plugins, Abdullah Hashim
Plug ’em in: WordPress plugins I’ve completely fallen for…, Donna Brown
8 WordPress Plugins you have to Install, Alex Moss
Installing and Configuring the W3 Total Cache Plugin on WordPress
Installing CSS Tidy For WordPress W3 Total Cache Plugin, Clay Lua

October 2011:

10 WordPress Plugins Your Small Business Website Needs, October 7, 2011

September 2011:

Boost WordPress Blog Performance: Minify & CDN with W3TC, Remco
How to Reduce Bandwidth Usage and Optimize Website Performance with W3 Total Cache and Amazon CloudFront, Helge Klein
Speeding Up WordPress, Part 1: Basic W3 Total Cache Configuration and Content Delivery Network, Matt Stratton
Boost WordPress Blog Performance: Minify & CDN with W3TC
10 Free WordPress Plugins you must have

August 2011:

Matt Mullenweg: State of the Word 2011 (4:49), Matt Mullenweg
[](Increase Your Page Speed To A New Level)
7 Plugins That Every WordPress Blog Must Have, Karim Pattoki
Speeding Up Your WordPress Site With W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache Setup with CloudFlare and CDN : Complete Tutorial Guide, Abhishek Ghosh

July 2011:

Speeding Up Your Blog – Part II: WordPress & Cloudflare Integration
How Your Website Loses 7% of Potential Conversions, Bryan Eisenberg
How to Integrate Google Page Speed with W3 Total Cache, Anish
22 WordPress Plugins for Content Marketers, Brody Dorland

June 2011:

5 Types of WordPress Plugins for Real Estate Sites, Nicole Nicolay
WordPress Optimization Results: Varnish/Nginx/APC + W3 Total Cache + Amazon S3 + CloudFlare, Daniel Miessler
Case Study: WordPress, MaxCDN, CloudFlare and W3 Total Cache Integration, Ritesh Sanap

May 2011:

HOW TO: Get Google Page Speed Report Via W3 Total Cache, S.Pradeep Kumar
Optimizing WordPress with Nginx, Varnish, APC, W3 Total Cache, and Amazon S3 (With Benchmarks), Daniel Miessler
Poll: Best Caching Plugin for WordPress?, Jeff Starr
Page Speed Online has a shiny new API, Andrew Oates and Richard Rabbat
Use W3 Total Cache to Speed Up Your WordPress Site, Steve Burge

April 2011:

Setting Up and Optimizing W3 Total Cache, John Saddington
How To Configure The Various W3TC Plugin Settings For Your WordPress Blog, James Bruce
Speeding Up Your WordPress Website: 11 Ways to Improve Your Load Time, Siobhan Ambrose
Recipe for Baked WordPress, Justin Williams
WordPress + W3 Total Cache + CDN story, Mori Masako

March 2011:

WPML with W3TC for Fast and Efficient Multilingual Websites, Amir

February 2011:

Optimizing WordPress with Nginx, Varnish, W3 Total Cache, Amazon S3, and Memcached (With Benchmarks), Daniel Miessler
My WordPress site loads in 2 seconds… does yours?

January 2011:

Caching a Dynamic Website. Does it Make a Difference for Loading Speed?
11 Important Steps to Optimize WordPress and Increase Performance, Erik Bernskiold
Speed up WordPress with the W3 Total Cache Plugin, Oliver Dale
How to Make Your Blog Load Faster than ProBlogger, Pro Blogger
WP Honors Winner, Free Plugin Category,

December 2010:

Best blog plugins
How To Make Your WordPress Blog Load Faster, John Chow
Unleash the Power of WordPress Using Plugin Combos, Paul de Wouters
Rackspace Cloud Files for WordPress, Jason Lancaster

November 2010:

Make your blog super fast with W3 Total Cache plugin, Stratos Laspas
10 WordPress Plugins I’m Thankful For (And Cannot Live Without), Sarah Gooding
Subjective Results of Installing W3 Total Cache Plugin, Cody Hatch
13 Plugins Your WordPress Site Might Need, Jon Bishop
Best WordPress Plugins that Marketers Use, Nicole Dean
WordPress Fat-Loss Diet to Speed Up & Ease Load, Erhald Bergman
10 WordPress Plugins I’m Thankful For (And Cannot Live Without), Sarah Gooding
Subjective Results of Installing W3 Total Cache Plugin, Cody Hatch
W3 Total Cache Plugin

October 2010:

20 WordPress Plugins for Successful Internet Marketers, Michael Dunlop
Failure Under Load, John Brien
W3 Total Cache and site response time (as measured by Pingdom), Paul David Olson
Overhauling WordPress Performance, Brian Egan
How to Make WordPress Run Faster, Stephen Coursen
Give Your WordPress Blog Lightning Fast Speeds With W3 Total Cache, Steven Campbell
W3 Total Cache and site response time (as measured by Pingdom), Paul David Olson
11 Ways to Make Your WordPress Site Faster and Leaner, Sarah Gooding
The Top 10 of Your Top 5 Plugins, James Huff
Integrating memcached to wordpress, Ruchira Sahan
Make WordPress Faster (on the Rackspace Cloud), Matt Temple

September 2010:

Review: W3 Total Cache [WordPress Plugin]
Plugins to Power-Up Your WordPress Installation, Afif Fattouh
Reduce Page Loading Time by 300% With W3 Total Cache, Chris Olbekson
Performance Unleashed: How To Optimize Websites For Speed, Willie Jackson
5 Best WordPress Plugins To Improve The Loading Speed Of a Blog
WordPress Fat-Loss Diet to Speed Up & Ease Load

August 2010:

WordPress Speed and Optimization Guide, Matthew Tommasi
How to configure WordPress Blogs Search Engine Friendly, Arafath Hashmi
How to Install and Setup W3 Total Cache for Beginners
20 Most Useful WordPress Plugins, Antti Kokkonen
Speed up, compress and optimise WordPress using W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache – Further optimization of the blog, Bernd Hoffmeier
W3 Total Cache Fixes Bugs, Adds Features with Update, Jonathan
The Quickest Way To Make Your Blog Load Faster, Peter Lee

July 2010:

Getting W3 Total Cache and a mobile plugin to work in WordPress, Andrea Trasatti
Improve Your WordPress Performance With W3 Total Cache, Damien Oh
Four Simple Steps For Big Gains In Page Speed, Greg Hayes
How to use Content Delivery Network on Shared Hosting for WordPress, Arafath Hashmi
How to Use Google Webmaster Tools to Diagnose and Improve WordPress Page Speed, Sarah Gooding
Caching WordPress – Preparing Your Blog For The Mainstream, Brad Ney
11 Ways to Speed Up WordPress, Cyrus Patten
How To Decrease Page Loading Time Of Your WordPress Blog By 75%, Ishan Sharma
Top 10 WordPress Plugins which I use on DailyBlogging, Mani Viswanathan
Install and Configure W3 Total Cache in 7 Easy Steps, Antti Kokkonen
How to Reduce the Loading Time of Your Blog, Rishabh Agarwal
5 WordPress Plugins You Need To Know About, James Hicks

June 2010:

Speed Up Your Wedding Photography Website in less than 5 minutes, Vid Luther
12 Ways to Improve WordPress Page Load Time, Lee Ka Hoong
Significantly Speed Up Your WordPress Blog in 9 Easy Steps, Robyn-Dale Samuda
Speed ‘Em Up: WordPress & W3 Total Cache, Andi Licious

May 2010:

Make Your Blog 10x Faster With W3 Total Cache Plug-in, Udegbunam Chukwudi
xCache v1.3.0 Now Available, Michael
Maximize WordPress and BuddyPress Performance With W3 Total Cache, Sarah Gooding
Is Your WordPress Blog Slow to Load?, Elizabeth McGee

April 2010:

WordPress Optimization: How I Reduced Page Load Time by 75%, David Kadavy
Top 10 WordPress Plugins Your Blog Should Have (Video), Dan & Jennifer
Super or Total? Money Talks But Cache Rules, Dave Thackeray
W3 Total Cache, the most comprehensive cache plugin in WordPress, Francisco Oliveros

March 2010:

Howto: Speed up WordPress sites by using Amazon Cloudfront, Niek Waarbroek
WordPress Cache Plugin Benchmarks, Chris Davies
WordPress + W3 Total Cache + MaxCDN How-To, Major Hayden

February 2010:

Blog Building: How To Dramatically Speed Up Your WordPress Site with W3 Total Cache, Nicholas Ong
WordPress + W3 Total Cache + MaxCDN How-To, Major Hayden
Utilizing W3 Total Cache, Anangga Pratama
Shared Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting, Greg Rickaby
My Thoughts on Premium Plugins, Ronald Huereca
W3 Total Cache Plugin for WordPress Eats WP Super Cache’s Lunch!, John Saddington

January 2010:

WordPress Cacheing with W3 Total Cache, Jonathan
Configuring W3 Total Cache for WordPress
WordPress load test part 2 – amendment, Erik Torsner
WordPress – Accelerate your site with W3 Total Cache, Caner Phenix

December 2009:

WordPress Plugin — Best of 4 Caching Plugins, Nicholas Ong
Speed Up Your Blog With W3 Total Cache & Amazon, Kevin McKillop
W3 Total Cache with Amazon S3 and CloudFront, Konstantin Kovshenin

November 2009:

How to Boost Ad Revenue: Speed is Your Secret Weapon, Todd Garland

October 2009:

Plugin: WordPress Caching with CDN Integration
8 Powerful WordPress Plugins You Probably Don’t Use But Should, AN Jay
Beyond Super Cache: W3 Total Cache, Matt Harzewski

September 2009:

Why is Loading So Much Faster?, Noura Yehia

August 2009:

W3 Total Cache Plugin, Dougal Campbell

July 2009:

W3 Total Cache

Who do I thank for all of this?

It’s quite difficult to recall all of the innovators that have shared their thoughts, code and experiences in the blogosphere over the years, but here are some names to get you started:

Steve Souders
Steve Clay
Ryan Grove
Nicholas Zakas
Ryan Dean
Andrei Zmievski
George Schlossnagle
Daniel Cowgill
Rasmus Lerdorf
Gopal Vijayaraghavan
Bart Vanbraban

Please reach out to all of these people and support their projects if you’re so inclined.

Deactivate and uninstall any other caching plugin you may be using. Pay special attention if you have customized the rewrite rules for fancy permalinks, have previously installed a caching plugin or have any browser caching rules as W3TC will automate management of all best practices. Also make sure wp-content/ and wp-content/uploads/ (temporarily) have 777 permissions before proceeding, e.g. in the terminal: # chmod 777 /var/www/vhosts/ using your web hosting control panel or your FTP / SSH account.
Login as an administrator to your WordPress Admin account. Using the “Add New” menu option under the “Plugins” section of the navigation, you can either search for: w3 total cache or if you’ve downloaded the plugin already, click the “Upload” link, find the .zip file you download and then click “Install Now”. Or you can unzip and FTP upload the plugin to your plugins directory (wp-content/plugins/). In either case, when done wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/ should exist.
Locate and activate the plugin on the “Plugins” page. Page caching will automatically be running in basic mode. Set the permissions of wp-content and wp-content/uploads back to 755, e.g. in the terminal: # chmod 755 /var/www/vhosts/
Now click the “Settings” link to proceed to the “General Settings” tab; in most cases, “disk enhanced” mode for page cache is a “good” starting point.
The “Compatibility mode” option found in the advanced section of the “Page Cache Settings” tab will enable functionality that optimizes the interoperablity of caching with WordPress, is disabled by default, but highly recommended. Years of testing in hundreds of thousands of installations have helped us learn how to make caching behave well with WordPress. The tradeoff is that disk enhanced page cache performance under load tests will be decreased by ~20% at scale.
Recommended: On the “Minify Settings” tab, all of the recommended settings are preset. If auto mode causes issues with your web site’s layout, switch to manual mode and use the help button to simplify discovery of your CSS and JS files and groups. Pay close attention to the method and location of your JS group embeddings. See the plugin’s FAQ for more information on usage.
Recommended: On the “Browser Cache” tab, HTTP compression is enabled by default. Make sure to enable other options to suit your goals.
Recommended: If you already have a content delivery network (CDN) provider, proceed to the “Content Delivery Network” tab and populate the fields and set your preferences. If you do not use the Media Library, you will need to import your images etc into the default locations. Use the Media Library Import Tool on the “Content Delivery Network” tab to perform this task. If you do not have a CDN provider, you can still improve your site’s performance using the “Self-hosted” method. On your own server, create a subdomain and matching DNS Zone record; e.g. and configure FTP options on the “Content Delivery Network” tab accordingly. Be sure to FTP upload the appropriate files, using the available upload buttons.
Optional: On the “Database Cache” tab, the recommended settings are preset. If using a shared hosting account use the “disk” method with caution, the response time of the disk may not be fast enough, so this option is disabled by default. Try object caching instead for shared hosting.
Optional: On the “Object Cache” tab, all of the recommended settings are preset. If using a shared hosting account use the “disk” method with caution, the response time of the disk may not be fast enough, so this option is disabled by default. Test this option with and without database cache to ensure that it provides a performance increase.
Optional: On the “User Agent Groups” tab, specify any user agents, like mobile phones if a mobile theme is used.

Why does speed matter?

Search engines like Google, measure and factor in the speed of web sites in their ranking algorithm. When they recommend a site they want to make sure users find what they’re looking for quickly. So in effect you and Google should have the same objective.

Speed is among the most significant success factors web sites face. In fact, your site’s speed directly affects your income (revenue) — it’s a fact. Some high traffic sites conducted research and uncovered the following: +500 ms (speed decrease) -> -20% traffic loss [1] +400 ms (speed decrease) -> -5-9% full-page traffic loss (visitor left before the page finished loading) [2] +100 ms (speed decrease) -> -1% sales loss [1]

A thousandth of a second is not a long time, yet the impact is quite significant. Even if you’re not a large company (or just hope to become one), a loss is still a loss. However, there is a solution to this problem, take advantage.

Many of the other consequences of poor performance were discovered more than a decade ago:

Lower perceived credibility (Fogg et al. 2001)
Lower perceived quality (Bouch, Kuchinsky, and Bhatti 2000)
Increased user frustration (Ceaparu et al. 2004)
Increased blood pressure (Scheirer et al. 2002)
Reduced flow rates (Novak, Hoffman, and Yung 200)
Reduced conversion rates (Akamai 2007)
Increased exit rates (Nielsen 2000)
Are perceived as less interesting (Ramsay, Barbesi, and Preece 1998)
Are perceived as less attractive (Skadberg and Kimmel 2004)

There are a number of resources that have been documenting the role of performance in success on the web, W3 Total Cache exists to give you a framework to tune your application or site without having to do years of research.

Why is W3 Total Cache better than other caching solutions?

It’s a complete framework. Most cache plugins available do a great job at achieving a couple of performance aims. Our plugin remedies numerous performance reducing aspects of any web site going far beyond merely reducing CPU usage (load) and bandwidth consumption for HTML pages alone. Equally important, the plugin requires no theme modifications, modifications to your .htaccess (mod_rewrite rules) or programming compromises to get started. Most importantly, it’s the only plugin designed to optimize all practical hosting environments small or large. The options are many and setup is easy.

I’ve never heard of any of this stuff; my site is fine, no one complains about the speed. Why should I install this?

Rarely do readers take the time to complain. They typically just stop browsing earlier than you’d prefer and may not return altogether. This is the only plugin specifically designed to make sure that all aspects of your site are as fast as possible. Google is placing more emphasis on the speed of a site as a factor in rankings; this plugin helps with that too.

It’s in every web site owner’s best interest is to make sure that the performance of your site is not hindering its success.

Which WordPress versions are supported?

To use all features in the suite, a minimum of version WordPress 2.8 with PHP 5.3 is required. Earlier versions will benefit from our Media Library Importer to get them back on the upgrade path and into a CDN of their choosing.

Why doesn’t minify work for me?

Great question. W3 Total Cache uses several open source tools to attempt to combine and optimize CSS, JavaScript and HTML etc. Unfortunately some trial and error is required on the part of developers is required to make sure that their code can be successfully minified with the various libraries W3 Total Cache supports. Even still, if developers do test their code thoroughly, they cannot be sure that interoperability with other code your site may have. This fault does not lie with any single party here, because there are thousands of plugins and theme combinations that a given site can have, there are millions of possible combinations of CSS, JavaScript etc.

A good rule of thumb is to try auto mode, work with a developer to identify the code that is not compatible and start with combine only mode (the safest optimization) and increase the optimization to the point just before functionality (JavaScript) or user interface / layout (CSS) breaks in your site.

We’re always working to make this more simple and straight forward in future releases, but this is not an undertaking we can realize on our own. When you find a plugin, theme or file that is not compatible with minification reach out to the developer and ask them either to provide a minified version with their distribution or otherwise make sure their code is minification-friendly.

Who do you recommend as a CDN (Content Delivery Network) provider?

That depends on how you use your site and where most of your readers read your site (regionally). Here’s a short list:

MaxCDN, Discount Coupon Code
Amazon Cloudfront
Verizon Digital Media Services (formerly EdgeCast)
MediaTemple TrueSpeed (formerly ProCDN)
Rackspace Cloud Files
Limelight Networks
Akamai / Cotendo

What about comments? Does the plugin slow down the rate at which comments appear?

On the contrary, as with any other action a user can perform on a site, faster performance will encourage more of it. The cache is so quickly rebuilt in memory that it’s no trouble to show visitors the most current version of a post that’s experiencing Digg, Slashdot, Drudge Report, Yahoo Buzz or Twitter effect.

Will the plugin interfere with other plugins or widgets?

No, on the contrary if you use the minify settings you will improve their performance by several times.

Does this plugin work with WordPress in network mode?

Indeed it does.

Does this plugin work with BuddyPress (bbPress)?


Will this plugin speed up WP Admin?

Yes, indirectly – if you have a lot of bloggers working with you, you will find that it feels like you have a server dedicated only to WP Admin once this plugin is enabled; the result, increased productivity.

Which web servers do you support?

We are aware of no incompatibilities with apache 1.3+, nginx 0.7+, IIS 5+ or litespeed 4.0.2+. If there’s a web server you feel we should be actively testing (e.g. lighttpd), we’re interested in hearing.

Is this plugin server cluster and load balancer friendly?

Yes, built from the ground up with scale and current hosting paradigms in mind.

What is the purpose of the “Media Library Import” tool and how do I use it?

The media library import tool is for old or “messy” WordPress installations that have attachments (images etc in posts or pages) scattered about the web server or “hot linked” to 3rd party sites instead of properly using the media library.

The tool will scan your posts and pages for the cases above and copy them to your media library, update your posts to use the link addresses and produce a .htaccess file containing the list of of permanent redirects, so search engines can find the files in their new location.

You should backup your database before performing this operation.

How do I find the JS and CSS to optimize (minify) them with this plugin?

Use the “Help” button available on the Minify settings tab. Once open, the tool will look for and populate the CSS and JS files used in each template of the site for the active theme. To then add a file to the minify settings, click the checkbox next to that file. The embed location of JS files can also be specified to improve page render performance. Minify settings for all installed themes can be managed from the tool as well by selecting the theme from the drop down menu. Once done configuring minify settings, click the apply and close button, then save settings in the Minify settings tab.

I don’t understand what a CDN has to do with caching, that’s completely different, no?

Technically no, a CDN is a high performance cache that stores static assets (your theme files, media library etc) in various locations throughout the world in order to provide low latency access to them by readers in those regions.

How do I use an Origin Pull (Mirror) CDN?

Login to your CDN providers control panel or account management area. Following any set up steps they provide, create a new “pull zone” or “bucket” for your site’s domain name. If there’s a set up wizard or any troubleshooting tips your provider offers, be sure to review them. In the CDN tab of the plugin, enter the hostname your CDN provider provided in the “replace site’s hostname with” field. You should always do a quick check by opening a test file from the CDN hostname, e.g. Troubleshoot with your CDN provider until this test is successful.

Now go to the General tab and click the checkbox and save the settings to enable CDN functionality and empty the cache for the changes to take effect.

How do I configure Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) or Amazon CloudFront as my CDN?

First create an S3 account (unless using origin pull); it may take several hours for your account credentials to be functional. Next, you need to obtain your “Access key ID” and “Secret key” from the “Access Credentials” section of the “Security Credentials” page of “My Account.” Make sure the status is “active.” Next, make sure that “Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)” is the selected “CDN type” on the “General Settings” tab, then save the changes. Now on the “Content Delivery Network Settings” tab enter your “Access key,” “Secret key” and enter a name (avoid special characters and spaces) for your bucket in the “Create a bucket” field by clicking the button of the same name. If using an existing bucket simply specify the bucket name in the “Bucket” field. Click the “Test S3 Upload” button and make sure that the test is successful, if not check your settings and try again. Save your settings.

Unless you wish to use CloudFront, you’re almost done, skip to the next paragraph if you’re using CloudFront. Go to the “General Settings” tab and click the “Enable” checkbox and save the settings to enable CDN functionality. Empty the cache for the changes to take effect. If preview mode is active you will need to “deploy” your changes for them to take effect.

To use CloudFront, perform all of the steps above, except select the “Amazon CloudFront” “CDN type” in the “Content Delivery Network” section of the “General Settings” tab. When creating a new bucket, the distribution ID will automatically be populated. Otherwise, proceed to the AWS Management Console and create a new distribution: select the S3 Bucket you created earlier as the “Origin,” enter a CNAME if you wish to add one or more to your DNS Zone. Make sure that “Distribution Status” is enabled and “State” is deployed. Now on “Content Delivery Network” tab of the plugin, copy the subdomain found in the AWS Management Console and enter the CNAME used for the distribution in the “CNAME” field.

You may optionally, specify up to 10 hostnames to use rather than the default hostname, doing so will improve the render performance of your site’s pages. Additional hostnames should also be specified in the settings for the distribution you’re using in the AWS Management Console.

Now go to the General tab and click the “Enable” checkbox and save the settings to enable CDN functionality and empty the cache for the changes to take effect. If preview mode is active you will need to “deploy” your changes for them to take effect.

How do I configure Rackspace Cloud Files as my CDN?

First create an account. Next, in the “Content Delivery Network” section of the “General Settings” tab, select Rackspace Cloud Files as the “CDN Type.” Now, in the “Configuration” section of the “Content Delivery Network” tab, enter the “Username” and “API key” associated with your account (found in the API Access section of the rackspace cloud control panel) in the respective fields. Next enter a name for the container to use (avoid special characters and spaces). If the operation is successful, the container’s ID will automatically appear in the “Replace site’s hostname with” field. You may optionally, specify the container name and container ID of an existing container if you wish. Click the “Test Cloud Files Upload” button and make sure that the test is successful, if not check your settings and try again. Save your settings. You’re now ready to export your media library, theme and any other files to the CDN.

You may optionally, specify up to 10 hostnames to use rather than the default hostname, doing so will improve the render performance of your site’s pages.

Now go to the General tab and click the “Enable” checkbox and save the settings to enable CDN functionality and empty the cache for the changes to take effect. If preview mode is active you will need to “deploy” your changes for them to take effect.

What is the purpose of the “modify attachment URLs” button?

If the domain name of your site has changed, this tool is useful in updating your posts and pages to use the current addresses. For example, if your site used to be, and you decided to change it to, the result would either be many “broken” images or many unnecessary redirects (which slow down the visitor’s browsing experience). You can use this tool to correct this and similar cases. Correcting the URLs of your images also allows the plugin to do a better job of determining which images are actually hosted with the CDN.

As always, it never hurts to back up your database first.

Is this plugin comptatible with TDO Mini Forms?

Captcha and recaptcha will work fine, however you will need to prevent any pages with forms from being cached. Add the page’s URI to the “Never cache the following pages” box on the Page Cache Settings tab.

Is this plugin comptatible with GD Star Rating?

Yes. Follow these steps:

Enable dynamic loading of ratings by checking GD Star Rating -> Settings -> Features “Cache support option”
If Database cache enabled in W3 Total Cache add wp_gdsr to “Ignored query stems” field in the Database Cache settings tab, otherwise ratings will not updated after voting
Empty all caches

I see garbage characters instead of the normal web site, what’s going on here?

If a theme or it’s files use the call php_flush() or function flush() that will interfere with the plugins normal operation; making the plugin send cached files before essential operations have finished. The flush() call is no longer necessary and should be removed.

How do I cache only the home page?

Add /.+ to page cache “Never cache the following pages” option on the page cache settings tab.

I’m getting blank pages or 500 error codes when trying to upgrade on WordPress in network mode

First, make sure the plugin is not active (disabled) network-wide. Then make sure it’s deactivated network-wide. Now you should be able to successful upgrade without breaking your site.

A notification about file owner appears along with an FTP form, how can I resolve this?

The plugin uses WordPress FileSystem functionality to write to files. It checks if the file owner, file owner group of created files match process owner. If this is not the case it cannot write or modify files.

Typically, you should tell your web host about the permission issue and they should be able to resolve it.

You can however try adding define(‘FS_METHOD’, ‘direct’); to wp-config.php to circumvent the file and folder checks.

This is too good to be true, how can I test the results?

You will be able to see it instantly on each page load, but for tangible metrics, consider the following tools:

Google Page Speed
DynaTrace (formerly Gomez) Performance Test

I don’t have time to deal with this, but I know I need it. Will you help me?

Yes! Please reach out to us and we’ll get you acclimated so you can “set it and forget it.”

Install the plugin to read the full FAQ on the plugins FAQ tab.

Fixed security issue by protecting configuration data by adding .php to relevant files
Fixed security issue with the creation of dot folders that could be abused
Fixed handling HTTP compression for uncached pages
Fixed handling of .svgz files
Added expiration headers to webP images
Added support for Microsoft Azure’s latest API
Added ability to cache WP Admin. Recommended setting, is off. (Improved WP Admin performance with object caching enabled)
Added HTTP/2 Push support for minified files
Added option management support for wp-cli
Improved handling of uncompressed minified files
Improved handling of purging of modified pages / posts
Improved compatibility with Rackspace Cloud Files
Improved initial CDN configuration reliability
Improved reliability of object caching
Improved PHP 7.0 compatibility
Improved PHP 4.3 compatibility
Improved HTTP/2 support
Improved CSS embed handling
Improved reliability of object cache, transients now fallback to database
Improved handling of cached http compressed objects

Fixed missing namespace, which caused issues with other implementations of Google APIs
Fixed handling Cloudflare zone list being incomplete for users with many zones
Added extension to support Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Added notification for users that are still using PHP 5.2 (end of life in 2011)
Improved default settings
Improved compatibility with Yoast SEO sitemap caching
Improved compatability with Jetpack
Improved directory handling on IIS
Improved backwards compatibility for 3rd party implementations against legacy W3TC functions


Fixed XSS vulnerability
Fixed issues with dismissing overlays
Fixed handling of tilde in URLs
Fixed issue with HTTP compression header when using mfunc calls
Fixed cache ID issue with minify in network mode
Fixed rare issue of caching empty document when some PHP errors occur in themes or plugins
Fixed caching of query strings
Added support for APCu Opcode Cache
Added support for Redis
Added support for Google Drive
Added support for Amazon S3-compatible stroage services
Added support for PECL memcached
Added support for srcset elements
Added support for Rackspace CDN Origin Pull
Added support for minification of external fonts
Added support for WOFF2 font format
Added support for FTPS (FTP-SSL, S-FTP)
Added YUI Compressor’s PHP Port of the CSS minifier
Added Narcissus’ JS minifier
Added purge of parent page when attachments are added or updated
Added Highwinds CDN provider
Added “Validate Timestamps” option for compatible opcode caches functions like apc.stat are enabled
Added Full Site Delivery for Pro subscribers
Added HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) support
Added a sample extension for developers to reference
Added Rackspace Cloud Files Multi-Region Support
Added more support for exclusions to database cache
Added more optionality to minifiers
Added WPML Performance Extension
Added use of namespace which creates mininum dependency on version PHP 5.3
Improved PHP 5.6 compatibility
Improved PHP 7 compatibility
Improved performance menu in admin bar, including purging of specific cache engines and more
Improved SSL interoperability
Improved reliablity of test buttons
Improved nomenclature of caching files for higher cache hit rates
Improved nginx compatibility
Improved WP CLI support
Improved Cloudflare compatibility (now using latest APIs), Cloudflare must be re-authorized
Improved AWS API compatibility (now using latest APIs)
Improved Rackspace Cloud Files compatibility (now using latest APIs)
Improved page cache purge for extensions like cloudflare and other reverse proxy use cases
Improved extension framework functionality
Improved compatibility of headers like ETag and content encoding
Improved template fragment caching
Improved notifications, warnings and errors
Improved moble user agents detection
Improved security with nonces and form elements
Improved security throughout the codebase
Improved detail of debug messages
Improved Amazon SNS security (validation)
Improved minify’s ability to match script tags without type attribute


Fixed undefined w3tc_button_link
Fixed support and other form submissions
Fixed extension enabled key error
Fixed Test CDN errors
Fixed trailing slashes in custom wp content path and Minify
Fixed WP_PLUGIN_DIR not being available when object-cache.php is loaded and W3TC constant not set
Fixed Minify Auto and restructuring of JS code placement on page
Fixed remove / replace drop in file on plugins page
Fixed false positive check for legacy code
Fixed deprecated wpdb escape
Fixed Fragment Caching and APC anomalies
Fixed cached configs causing 500 error on interrupted file writes
Fixed readfile errors on servers with the functionality disabled
Fixed false positives for license key verification
Fixed debug information not printed on cached pages
Fixed backwards compatibility and flushing and added doing it wrong notification
Fixed “Prevent caching of objects after settings change”
Fixed “Use late init” being shown as enabled with Disc:Enhanced
Fixed missing param in APC cache method declaration
Fixed user roles property not begin an array
Fixed adding empty Vary header
Fixed notice on failed upgrade licencing check
Fixed Database Cache description text
Fixed duplicate bb10 agents
Fixed settings link in Minify Auto notification
Fixed notice with undefined constant
Fixed nginx configuration and Referrer, User Groups setting
Fixed Genesis settings and Suhosin field name limit error
Fixed Genesis and Fragment Caching (caching categories etc)
Fixed CDN being enabled when creating NetDNA / MaxCDN pull zone
Fixed NewRelic related notice in compatibility popup
Fixed trailing slash issue in filename to url conversion
Fixed issue with wp in subdirectory and relative minimal manual urls
Fixed issue with widget styling
Fixed issue with Purge All button action
Fixed issue with exporting of settings
Fixed issue with plugin interferring with preview theme
Fixed issue with malformed config files
Added caching of list of posts pages (tags, categories etc) to Genesis extension a long with flush it checkbox
Added typecasting on expiration time in object cache drop-in
Added capability check for save options
Added FeedBurner extension
Added woff support to Browser Cache
Added new CloudFlare IPs
Added support for WordPress defined charset and collate in CDN queue table creation
Added WordPress SEO by Yoast extension
Added *.less to CDN theme uploads and MIME
Added default settings for MaxCDN Pull Zone creation
Added call to change MaxCDN canonical header setting to match plugin setting
Added one button default pull zone creation to MaxCDN without refresh
Added MaxCDN authorization validation
Added whitelist IPs notification for MaxCDN
Added support for use of existing zones without refresh
Added new mime types
Added support for separate domains for frontend and admin backend
Added CloudFlare as an extension
Added nofollow to blogroll links
Added DEV mode support to PRO version
Added EDGE MODE functionality
Improved wrapper functions in plugins.php for plugin / theme authors
Improved reliability of NetDNA / MaxCDN API calls by using WP HTTP and not cURL
Improved Fragment Caching debug information
Improved preview mode, removed query string requirement
Improved FAQ structure
Improved empty minify/pgcache cache notification when using CDN
Improved default settings for MaxCDN zone creation
Improved CDN queue performance
Improved blogmap url sanitation
Improved MaxCDN automatic zone creation process
Improved license key saving and Pro mode activation on Pro license purchases
Updated EDGE MODE: Full site mirroring support for MaxCDN
Updated translations

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