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How to setup W3 Total Cache Plugin on WordPress

Learn how to setup W3 Total Cache Plugin on WordPress. W3 Total Cache is the best cache plugin supporting a wide range of caching rules.

Learn how to setup W3 Total Cache Plugin on WordPress. W3 Total Cache is the best cache plugin supporting a wide range of caching rules.

Fortunately, there are many popular cache plugins available from the WordPress plugin repository. They add support to various caching rules on your WordPress website.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we are using W3 Total Cache plugin. W3 Total Cache is one of the quickest cache plugin and the most complete. It gives a par excellent WordPress performance optimization. By using W3 Total Cache, you can improve the user experience of your website. It further optimizes your server execution, caching each part of your web page, reducing the download time and giving transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

Installing W3 Total Cache

At Cloudways platform, we already have a W3 Total Cache plugin pre-installed on WordPress, but if you have used any other platform first, you need to deactivate all caching plugins then install and activate W3 Total Cache plugin. Sometimes the plugin will have issues upon activation.

Go to Plugin >> Add New and search W3 Total Cache plugin. after successfully find you will install and activate the plugin.

W3 Cache Plugin

Settings and Configuration of W3 Total Cache

Here are the following sections of the W3 Total Cache plugin:

  1. General
  2. Page Cache
  3. Minify
  4. Database cache
  5. Object Cache
  6. Browser Cache
  7. Reverse Proxy (Varnish)
  8. Monitoring
  9. Licensing
  10. Debug
  11. Import/Export Settings

Locate W3 Total Cache

Go to the plugin section and find the W3 Total Cache plugin and click “Settings.”



In this option you can toggle all types of caching to enable or disable, you can also see the preview mode that can be used to see the site with W3TC before going live with it.

W3 Cache Plugin

Page Cache

Page cache is responsible for creating cache static pages for each page that is loaded; it is not dynamically loaded upon each page load. While choose the enable option, you will significantly result in decreasing your load time. Refer to the image below to see how you can allow.

W3 Cache Plugin


By using this option you can allows minification of your CSS, JS, and static pages. Refer to the image below to see how you can enable.

W3 Cache Plugin

Database cache

Database caching decreases the server load by caching SQL queries. When we began utilizing this, it appeared to put a lot of burden on our server. You need to try it out and you can see how it affects your website load time.

w3 cache plugin

Object Cache

By using this option, you can reduce server load time and decrease response time by using the cache available in site visitor’s web browser. Cloudways acquired Redis on their servers a while back. We recommend keeping Object Caching setting off in W3TC as it doesn’t support Redis.

To utilize Redis object caching, See this tutorial.


Content Delivery Networks have become successful, especially for websites that get traffic from everywhere around the world. CDNs, like MaxCDN and Cloudflare are not only popular, but you can easily integrate them with your WordPress site as well through the W3TC module.

w3 cache plugin

Reverse Proxy

Cloudways servers comes with pre-default Varnish cache. Varnish is a great cache that caches the whole content (that covers both dynamic and static content of your website) as well as serves that content to returning and even new users. This cache speeds up the HTTP asks for and sits before Apache (web server).

While using W3TC the Reverse Proxy setting is used to purge the Varnish cache whenever you make an update to your website. It is extremely suggested to keep it enabled or else you would need to purge Varnish manually each time.

proxy w3 plugin wordpress


If you use New Relic, make sure New Relic may not be installed on this server. The good news is it is not needed as Cloudways servers comes with a built-in New Relic account that you can reach under the Server Management -> Monitoring -> Application.



In this section, you need to add your license key, the one you receive after purchase.



Under this tab, you will find some options like Google page speed dashboard, verify rewrite rules and some more.



Complete information about every cache will be affixed in (publicly available) HTML comments in the page’s source code. Execution in this mode won’t be optimal, can be utilized sparingly and disable when they are not being used.


Import/Export Settings

While using this tab, you can easily export all your settings and import the settings into your other websites.


Final Words

I hope you have successfully followed the process without any issues. If you need to clarify anything or would like to contribute to the conversation, please leave a comment below.

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Saud Razzak is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WordPress Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating a buzz, spread the knowledge, educate the people about WordPress in the WordPress Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can contact him via email at m.saud(at)

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