Configuring W3 Total Cache: An Introduction

By | September 14, 2015

The page speed of an optimized website scaled for high traffic is a phrase which a developer often hears from the moment they enter the industry. There is a lot of discussion about these topics, and rightly so!

In this tutorial, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the topics that are often discussed – especially caching – and how it can not only benefit our site, but how to configure our WordPress installation to achieve the best results possible.

Here are several reasons that we will be looking into caching:

  1. User Experience. If your site loads faster, your visitors stay happy, your conversions increase, extended number of page views compliment the engagement as well as the increased revenue in case of RPM based ads.
  2. Search Engine Experience. Sites that load quickly are ranked higher by all search engines. Google has especially mentioned that if your site is optimized and scaled to load faster, then you can expect high SERP rankings.

In the last series, we looked at how to configure your WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast for providing solid SEO. In the article, we discussed about the importance of page speed and how it impacts your ranking. From there, I’ve received a number of questions about various caching plugins, as well as the best way to configure them.

So in this article, we’re going to take a look at W3 Total Cache and how to provide an optimal configure for our website.

Specifically, we’re going to take a look at the following points:

  1. What is caching?
  2. Why should we use the W3 Total Cache plugin?
  3. What does the W3 Total Cache plugin offer?
  4. How are we going to configure W3 Total Cache?

With that said, let’s take a look.

What Is Caching?

According to Wikipedia:

In computer science, a cache is a component that transparently stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster. The data that is stored within a cache might be values that have been computed earlier or duplicates of original valu