How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website with a Caching Plugin

If you’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to improve your SEO strategy with a faster website. One way to speed up your WordPress website is to use a caching plugin. Here, I’ll show you how to install and configure the free W3 Total Cache plugin.

First, make sure you have the basics covered. Your plugins and WordPress should be current and your website should be technically sound. If you’re not maintaining your website on a regular basis, don’t put it off— get help.

Establish a Performance Baseline

Let’s start by measuring the speed of your website with this free website speed test. Write down the results so that you can refer to them later.

Pingdom Speed Test

Installing W3 Total Cache

To begin with the installation of W3 Total Cache, log into your WordPress dashboard with an admin-level account. Make sure you do not have any other caching plugins installed. Then, make a backup of your entire site, or better yet, install the plugin on a copy of your website running on a test server first.

Then…

  1. Go to “Plugins” -> “Add New”
  2. Search for “W3 Total Cache”
  3. “Install Now”…

Install W3 Total Cache

After the plugin has been installed, “Activate Plugin”…

Activate W3 Total Cache

Configuring W3 TOTAL CACHE

Now that the plugin has been installed, it’s time to configure it.

Page Cache

  1. Go to: “Performance” -> “General Settings” -> “Page cache”
  2. For “Page cache:” Check “Enable”
  3. For “Page cache method:” make sure it’s “Disk: Enhanced”
  4. “Save all settings”…

W3 Total Cache Page Cache Settings

Minify

  1. Go to “Performance” -> “General Settings” -> “Minify”
  2. For “Minify:” Check “Enable”
  3. For all other settings, leave as is (see screenshot below)
  4. “Save all settings”…

W3 Total Cache Minify Settings

Browser Cache

  1. Go to “Performance” -> “General Settings” -> “Browser Cache”
  2. For “Browser Cache:” Check “Enable”
  3. “Save all settings”…

W3 Total Cache Browser Cache

Yoast SEO Plugin

And finally, if you are using the Yoast SEO Plugin (formerly WordPress SEO by Yoast)…

  1. Go to “Performance” -> “Extensions”
  2. Activate…

W3 Total Cache Yoast

Get Your Speed On!

Chances are you’ll see an immediate improvement, but just to be sure, head back to Pingdom, and test again. See a difference?

Wanna Go Faster?

Hopefully, your WordPress website is running faster now. In a future post, I’ll show you how to use W3 Total Cache with a CDN (Content Delivery Network), to make your website even faster.

Is your WordPress website not converting like it should? Stop the madness and let me help. From new custom websites, to complete makeovers, to monthly maintenance. Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields marked with an asterisk.


*