W3 Total Cache Plugin for WordPress Eats WP Super Cache’s Lunch!

***UPDATE***

Please check out this post on how to setup W3 Total Cache! Also, check out this post on setting up WP Super Cache!

I still love W3TC but have changed my usage and my installation settings.

***UPDATE Done***

I’m freaking loving this new caching plugin for WordPress: W3 Total Cache.

In fact, the thing pretty much annihilates WP Super Cache. I mean, there really is no comparison. After doing some significant A/B testing, W3 Total Cache ate WP Super’s lunch.

Although you can read pretty much everything about the plugin and it’s vast advantages on the plugin page, here’s one of the biggest ones for me: Amazon S3 integration.

I’ve essentially been able to trade 2 plugins for 1: Amazon S3 Plugin and WP Super Cache are now replaced by W3 Total Cache.

For me that’s huge because I want the fastest loading blogs ever created (plugins create “bloat” and can typically slow down a blog).

But it’s not just a 1-for-2 sale, W3 Total Cache ups the bar with Memcache use:

Love it.

So far I’m super impressed and I can honestly say that I’m not going back. Here are some other great reads if you’re interested in considering the switch. Please note that a lot of reviews have been posted early in the plugins life; it’s now a much more mature product.

But, don’t take my word for it. Give it a spin and see for yourself.

  • Jonathan Dingman

    Just for clarification, the author of the plugin is the same person as the CTO of Mashable. That’s largely the reason it was developed in the first place, for mashable.com

    Just wanted to clarify :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jonathanj Jonathan

    I've tried them both, and I guess since I didn't notice much of a difference.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/w3edge Frederick Townes

      Was W3TC fully configured? How were you testing?

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jonathanj Jonathan

        Fully configured? I just activated it. Is there anything else I need to do?

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/w3edge Frederick Townes

          Of course! :) There's no plugin that automatically makes your site perfect. Turn on disk enhanced page cache, configure minify settings and definitely set up a CDN.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jonathanj Jonathan

            Well, makes sense.. lol

            When I figure out what minify is all about I guess I will learn how to configure it. Oh yeah, I guess I'll have to learn what CDN is too.

            :)

            • http://intensedebate.com/people/w3edge Frederick Townes

              Read the FAQ tab in the plugin settings area.

          • Fabio Moro

            It appears, as of today, that 2 put of the three are enabled out of the box. The CDN is not set up. Once I know what that is, then I will explore that. It sounds like some kind of secondary host.

  • Brent Ozar

    I've since removed W3 Total Cache. I get much, much better results with DB Cache Reloaded, which caches database queries rather than pages. Since most queries are reused across lots of pages, you get much more acceleration.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/w3edge Frederick Townes

      Did you actually use the database caching in W3TC? The only database caching plugin with a more advanced algorithm is HyberDB (used by WordPress.com).

      • Brent Ozar

        No, it wasn’t working at the time I was doing my testing.
        My recent post More Free SQL Server DBA Training Videos Online

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/w3edge Frederick Townes

          Give another go if you will. You should immediately see files being written to wp-content/w3tc/dbcache/ if permissions etc are ok. De-activating / Reactivating is a good test.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WKevinG WKevinG

    Is this appropriate for casual bloggers? For small biz sites? Just trying to get a feel for the complexity of setup. In reading some of the links you "quote" it seems that it is more for VPS and not shared hosting. Is that correct? As always, thanks for the great info. I always learn lots when I read your posts!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/w3edge Frederick Townes

      Yes. Shared hosting providers vary greatly, but I’ve seen users on godaddy.com to bluehost.com swear by it. In some cases your account will be so under powered (too many users, that you cannot use the DB Cache for example, but disk enhanced mode of the page cache + minify + CDN is what users really need anyway to “unlock” the speed with a shared hosting account.

      • http://studiod.tv Kevin Gilbert

        Thanks for the info. Is there a guide or are there tips anywhere specific to proper config, or best practice config for those on shared hosting? I’ve got quite a few clients using shared hosting and I’d love to help them maximize their performance with this.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/w3edge Frederick Townes

    Thanks John, I appreciate the positive feedback. There are more goodies coming for AWS CDN functionality in the next release.

    Meanwhile, I'm going to begin posting some tips on my blog with practical use cases for everyday bloggers to help them speed up their themes.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SynapticLight Phillip Gibb

    well then, I will have to use it :)
    I mean if it is as awesome as you say
    hmmm – and the fact that you mentioned Amazon S3, hmmm, something I need to seriously consider
    My recent post StandardTheme Testing

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  • Dougal

    The W3 Total Cache plugin has continued to work well for me. I'm using Memcache for local caching, and Amazon S3 as the CDN for my static files. It definitely helps keep the load on my web server down, and Frederick continues to make improvements.

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  • http://www.organizedthemes.com Bill Robbins

    The biggest change for me using this plugin came from switching from Amazon’s basic S3 to using Amazon’s Cloud Front. It cut my page loads from around 2 seconds to 1 according to Pingdom.com.

  • http://instantcdn.asia Chan InstantCDN.Asia

    W3 Total Cache Works Very Well! It takes less than 15 minutes for me to install and figure out how it works.

  • http://jymtarrant.com Jym

    So if I’m running W3 Total, i no longer need WP Super Cache then? Or is there some advantage in having both running?

    Cheers!

    • John

      i would choose one. we’re now back on super cache since we’ve changed our server setup.

      • http://jymtarrant.com Jym

        Thanks!

        Since I don’t know much about setting them up, I’ll stick with Super Cache which seems to be easier straight out of the box.

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  • Joyeria en plata

    It definitely helps keep the load on my web server down, and Frederick continues to make improvements.

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  • Arison

    Thanks for these tips. I have a large number of WordPress sites running on a dedicated server – about 200 and it is really starting to get a bit slow now. The server is always in swap (the equivalent of virtual memory on Windows), which is not good.

  • http://www.top10films.co.uk Dan

    I’ve just installed it on my site – http://www.top10films.co.uk – after suffering from slow speeds on a shared hosting account. Can anyone tell me if the site is running at a good speed for them? It doesn’t seem to have improved for me.

  • http://www.whatsthebigidea.com David Radovanovic

    Anyone available to configure an already installed instance?

  • http://www.whoisyourlawyer.com Robert Scott Lawrence

    I absolutely agree.

    I’ve been using WP Supercache for a year and it was taking WAAAAAAAAAAAY too long to load on a regular basis, even on a dedicated IP and with a Rackspace CDN. I swapped it out for W3 Total Cache last night, and now my site goes click-BOOM — instant loading.

    The only thing that really is a complete and total drag is that if you are only enough of a tech-head to be dangerous (like me), then uninstalling WP Supercache is a time consuming pain. The step-by-step guides that pop up on a Google search are not intuitive, but assume you know what you’re doing fiddling around in the back-end in the file manager on cPanel or elsewhere. The W3 gurus should post a guide for the un-install of competing cache plugins for dummies. Without saying “dummies”, of course, since that would violate the Whatever You Want to Know for Dummies copyright.

  • http://noa.al MIO

    Hello
    we are using W3 Total Cache, we have a vps, and when i set the MEMCHACED options at the w3tc for page cache , i dont see any page uploaded at the PGCache at the w3tc folder..

    This is for db, object cache etc, have i done smth wrong ?

  • http://oceanofweb.com Atul@OceanOfWeb

    I think question is still not clear.
    Which plugin sud we use SuperCache or Total Cache?

    ATUL

  • Sunil Sheoran

    Great plugin, realy powerful, I use it for all my wordpress sites.

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  • Nurul Imam

    why ?

    Works!
    Broken :(
    Not enough data

    30 people say it works.
    140 people say it’s broken.

  • James

    Defo increased ma sites page load speed…now using 2 vps -one in us and other in nl and a geo mod and now i have a home made CDN…google says my page is faster than 87% of other sites….haha