Although this plugin is quite extensive in its options. Setting it up is actually quite easy. If you’re on a shared hosting environment, you can leave Database and Object Cache disabled in most cases.
Leverage Browser Cache & Reduce Server Response Time with W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache will help you get rid of the following suggestions in Pingdom & Pagespeed Insights:
- Remove query strings from static resources
- Leverage browser cache
Google Pagespeed Insights
- Reduce server response time
- Leverage browser caching
If you’re on shared hosting, you can enable page cache and browser cache. If you have a VPS or Dedicated Server, you can install additional modules into Apache and enable Opcode: Alternative PHP Cache (APC).
After you’ve enabled page cache on the General Settings page, make sure your settings replicate the settings from the image to the right (click to enlarge). These settings should be sufficient for most hosting environments, both shared and (partially) dedicated.
If you don’t have SSL enabled on your website, you can disable Cache SSL (https) requests.
Under Cache Preload, the default settings are fine. If you have a lot of posts, but you’re on a shared hosting environment, keep the pages per interval to a low value. The default of 10 should work fine for most websites. Allow your server some rest between each update interval and set it to a minimum of 300 seconds. Always make sure that your site is able to preload all your pages before it reaches Garbage collection interval.
In the Advanced Section, pay attention to the Garbage collection interval. This is set to 3600 seconds by default. For busy sites, this is fine. Keep in mind that it is a resource intensive task. So not so busy sites (on shared hosts) should make this interval longer. I set it to 86400 seconds (1 day), which should be fine for most shared hosting environments (or not so busy sites).
You will see that the default settings are accurate for most environments. After you’ve replicated the settings in the General-tab, scroll down to the other sections and make the following adjustments:
Enable disable cookies for static files under CSS & JS and Media & Other Files. Set Expires header lifetime to 86400 seconds under HTML & XML.
That’s it! W3 Total Cache should give your website the greatest boost and slice your loading times in half. Leverage Browser Caching and reduce server response time should’ve disappeared as a suggestion from Pingdom and Google Pagespeed Insights.
When you’re ready to tweak your website’s performance in-depth, move on to the next chapter.