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WordPress: Speed up your Website using W3 Total Cache

TheW3 Total Cache pluginis an add-on for WordPress websites that reduces page loading times and increases the speed of viewing a WordPress website. It improves a website's performance by enhancing the efficiency of how the website is accessed from the iPagedatabase where the website is stored. This is due to the plugin creating a "cache" of your website or a copy of the original website that is converted into a format that is more easily displayed by a web browser.

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How to Install W3 Total Cache

The W3 Total Cache plugin is automatically included in newer versions of WordPress. If you do not have the plugin, you can install it the same way that you would install any other plugin. See WordPress: How to Install a Plugin.

How to Activate W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is active by default for every new WordPress installation. If you do not have W3 Total Cache activated, you can activate it the same way you would any other plugin.

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Plugins.
  3. Go to Installed Plugins.
  4. Click Activate for W3 Total Cache.

How to Configure W3 Total Cache

WP Essential customers already have W3 Total Cache preconfigured using settings recommended by iPage. If you do not have a WP Essential account, iPage still provides an easy way for you configure W3 Total Cache. Use the following steps to manually configure W3 Total Cache to iPage's recommended settings:

Important:W3 Total Cache cannot be configured on Windows Servers.

  1. Download iPage's W3 Total Cache configuration file: w3-total-cache-config.zip.
  2. Extract w3.php from the zip file by using decompression software (such as 7zip, WinRar or Winzip).
  3. Log into your WordPress Dashboard.
  4. Go to Performance.
  5. Go to General Settings.
  6. Scroll down to Import / Export Settings.
  7. Click Choose File for Important Configuration.
  8. Locate and select the w3.php file you had extracted earlier.
  9. Click Upload.

W3 Total Cache will now begin working to make your website load faster. You can further fine-tune the plugin's settings by going to Performance inside of your WordPress Dashboard.

Learn more about W3 Total Cache by visiting their official site.

Want to learn more about WordPress?

WordPress Tutorial Videos: To help you easily grasp the basics of creating a WordPress website, iPage has created several free tutorial videos. These videos were designed to be followed in order, but you are welcome to view whichever one best suites your needs.

You can always check out WordPress.org and browse their codex or online help forums.

Why does W3 Total Cache not seem to be speeding up my website?

W3 Total Cache is not guaranteed to incease the load time of a website because it is subject to numerous factors. Adding complex content to your site will prevent you from gaining the full benefits of W3 Total Cache. Some examples of complex content include:

  • Calendar plugins (has to calculate date and time)
  • Plugins that randomly suggest posts (has to calculate which posts are suggested)
  • AJAX heavy content (AJAX loads and displays new website content without reloading the page)
  • Code that generates certain MySQL queries that are impossible to cache (such as modifying a customer's profile)

The simpler your website is, the more benefit it will receive from W3 Total Cache.

Important: W3 Total Cache will not work while the default permalink settings are used.

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