Setting Up and Optimizing WP Super Cache for Your Blog

It's pretty darn super.

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

WP Super Cache is one of the top caching plugins for WordPress out there. In fact, it’s been downloaded more than 2 million times! (Not sure what blog caching is? Check out this post before you proceed!)

And the volume of installations are definitely an indication of it’s success in doing what most people need and that’s why I recommending it as a caching plugin for many clients and bloggers.

In fact, I use it for many of the properties that I actively manage! Here are a few:

And many more! Those are just a few that have been optimized for use of the plugin. This includes the WordPress Theme itself, plugins, server/hosting setup, and especially the WP Super Cache plugin itself.

As a result I highly recommend that you take a look at installing this for most (if not all) blogs – and it’s definitely essential to include as an option (of the many WordPress caching options) as you do your research for the right caching plugin!

Setting Up WP Super Cache:

I’d like to take a few moments to not only walk you through installing this plugin but also provide a place where you can ask questions or get help via the comment section below. It’s not too hard of a process but there are always some installation questions that typically crop up that I hope I can help with.

1. Download it

The first step is to simply download it either via your WordPress plugin dashboard or to upload it via an FTP editor (I use these apps for uploading and downloading):

Type it in like above and hit 'Search Plugins'

It should be the first result. Go ahead and then hit install:

Install that bad boy!

Now, if you have to manually install it just head over to the page here, download it to your desktop, unzip it, and then manually use an FTP application to put it into your wp-content/plugins folder:

Go get it!

And that should be it!

2. Activate the Plugin

The next step is to simply go to your Plugins menu item in your WordPress admin panel and then Activate the plugin:

Activate it like your life depended on it.

It should automatically be setup and then in disabled mode:

You'll have to work with some of the settings.

Go ahead and jump to the admin page and you may see a few errors and/or notices.

3. Setup WP Super Cache

It is very common for people to see the following error:


Essentially the plugin cannot properly complete the installation because it can’t create the right folders and files to work properly. Typically the issue can be quickly solved by making sure that your wp-content folder has the right permissions, which to get it installed you’ll need to change it to 777.

You can either do this through a web-based interface that your hosting provider has for you or via an FTP editor application.

Here’s what it might look like via an FTP editor:

Change permissions via FTP app.

And here’s what you might have to deal with via a web-based interface (this is using Dreamhost‘s interface):

chmod wp-content folder via web interface.

Of course your web interface might look different.

Once you fix this then you’ll be able to continue setting up the system. You might also experience this issue as well:

Need some pretty permalinks!

The plugin requires that you have a pretty permalink structure for your blog content. Luckily I have the perfect blog post for you! Check this post here about the optimal permalink structure for your WordPress blog!

Set that up and you can continue on your merry way!

The next notice you might get is that WordPress has installed a new line of code into the wp-config.php file:

This is a good thing.

What WordPress is essentially doing here is adding a variable to enable caching through your WordPress blog. You don’t have to pay attention to this unless WordPress is again unable to add this line of code into your wp-config.php file. If it can’t then you’ll have to modify the permissions again of the folders/files to allow the system access to that file.

One this is good to go you will most likely be able to start setting up the system properly. Please note that many of you will also see this warning about the wp-content folder being “writeable” and that’s fine – you’ll want to revert back to chmod 755 after you finish setting up the plugin:

Fix this warning after you fully setup the plugin.

4. Adjusting Configuration

The next few steps will be entirely dependent on your server and hosting configuration and what options might be optimal for your blog.

Now, before you do anything further make sure you’ve backed up your WordPress blog! Adjusting some of these settings could “break” your blog and in some instances make it very difficult to recover! This is your fair warning! I recommend checking out these 3 ways to backup your blog!

After you’ve done that you can now proceed!

For starters, go ahead and just hit the “Easy” button and see what happens:

That was... easy.

For many you might just stop right there and for many blogs this will do just fine. Guess what, you’re done!

But, if you’re interested in getting even more performance out of your blog then you might want to adjust some of the advanced settings. Please note that every blog and hosting situation will be different and some of these will help your blog even more and some of them might actually make your blog slower!

The point here is that you’re going to want to check with your hosting provider and also experiment with the settings to find out what is the most optimal. Here are some settings that, if you can get to work well, are the most optimal:

Click for larger view.

Again, I must re-iterate that you must test and experiment to see if it works the best.

A few things that you may also have to do is adjust your .htaccess file:

Error! Must update your .htaccess file!

Once you update your .htaccess file you should see the following screen:

Green means good!

Great! You’re all set.

5. Test It

The final part of the process is to simply test out the system to make sure that everything is working. Head over to the first tab and hit Test Cache:

Timestamps don't match! Uh oh...

If you get this notice above then something is wrong! What you want to see is this:

Ding ding ding! You are a winner!

Of course, don’t forget to simply check out your site in a different browser so that it can pull the cached version of your site.

You can always check the code of your blog via your browser and you should see something at the very end of the code like this to confirm that caching is in fact working:

Yup. Working!

It should be substantially faster than before!

6. Additional Features

You may have some advanced needs for your blog and WP Super Cache has them for you! Some of you have a mobile version of your blog and so you’ll want to enable mobile-ready engagement with your blog with this setting in Advanced:


Also, some of you may want to use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) in tandem with the caching system and that’s fine too.

It’s a somewhat advanced section that I may cover in more detail later but if you’re even at this point of needing one then you probably already have the technical chops to get it installed already. 99 out of 100 bloggers (actually, more than this) will never really need a CDN.

But, I’ve created a tutorial here on how to install a CDN on a WordPress blog just in case. You’ll be able to use this blog post to help you add a CDN to WP Super Cache.

Whew! I hope this overview and installation walk through was helpful!

As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments and let me know if you need help getting it setup! It’s a great solution and should serve you, your blog, and your readers well!

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

  • Benny

    Wow so in depth! I did install this last month after reading about others using it. I ran into some memory exceeds problem but fixed that with my host. That may be a common problem too as I found when I was Googling how to fix it.

    Is there any need to “delete cached pages” at any time?

    Happy Easter John!

    • John Saddington

      perhaps if you’re having trouble seeing a change that you’ve made in your system or theme.

      or if you’ve deleted content and it’s still showing up.

  • Marco Lee

    As we speak of cache and plugins for the past days I revisited a site that has a review of most common plugins. though it was kind of old I think it was still helpful. (

    From there I installed Hyper Cache by Satollo and DB cache reloaded. It was doing good. Also DB cache reloaded wasn’t recently updated and found people who says also says that it was broken I uninstalled it.

    I tried W3 Total Cache but it was eating up disk space. Learned from Satollo that double plugins weren’t really having any advantage so I decided to just go with one. I stayed with Hyper Cache.

    Just earlier I was thinking of changing plugins cause I noticed that my site was having slow load times. I searched for some reviews with wp super cache. It’s pretty ok with ups and downs.

    I decided to go with Quick Cache. Thanks for the write up. I might consider Wp super cache but would just experiment with Quick Cache for a while.

    • John Saddington

      it’s definitely not good to have two or more at the same time unless you know what you’re doing.

  • Cris Ferreira

    John, wow, what a great tutorial this is. I wanted to test a caching plugin for a while, but I didn’t know where to begin. Thanks for providing such a detailed guide.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing cris!

  • Jeremy Myers

    I tried W3 Cache in the past. I did not like it. It should be called W3 Crash. Anyway, I think I will try WP Super Cache, and post my results here.

    Thanks for the helpful guide.

    • Jeremy Myers

      Not bad. My load time was cut in half. Is that possible?

      • John Saddington

        it’s very possible.

  • Charles Flemming

    I’ve been using WP Super Cache for awhile and it does appear to speed things up.

    One difficulty surfaced, interestingly enough, when I first converted my blog to Standard Theme. I couldn’t the CSS changes I was making to show up. After a couple of hours of frustration, I realized it was Super Cache. I experimented with deleting the cache. Then with turning cache off. Then I discovered I simply didn’t have any of the recommended advanced settings on, one of which was:

    Don’t cache pages for known users. (Recommended)

    Turned it on, and haven’t looked back since.

    • John Saddington

      ;) awesome!

  • QOT

    We have been on super cache for several years and it is an amazing caching plugin. This an excellent tutorial for those getting started with it. It is must have for any wordpress blog.

    • John Saddington

      it’s a good plugin to use at first… and stay with for quite some time!

  • Adam

    Thanks John. I have been wanting to add a cache plugin, but was waiting for you to hit on the subject. I knew you would eventually.

    Thanks for the great resource.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing adam!

  • Joe Chavez

    Brilliance as always, John.

    Thanks for this. Looking forward to Part Deux! :-)

    • John Saddington

      ;) part 2 is posted!

  • Andy Allen

    Again….rockin’ post John. I’ll join the resounding redundancy of THANK YOU’s. I didn’t really feel my site took too long to load, but after slammin’ this bad boy on the site I couldn’t believe the noticeable difference in load time.

    Simple install…no crashing…happy me!

    • John Saddington


      that’s awesome! congrats on this one!

  • Zack Vernal

    Wow! I had no idea about this before now! After reading this I am definitely going to implement this tonight! Thanks

  • Greg

    John, anything you recommend I am on! Went right through your post, tabbed and clicked exactly the way you show it. Works perfectly. Awesomeness!!

    • John Saddington

      great! glad it worked!

  • cory

    thanks so much for this! it works perfectly on my site. Question though- is there anything to say that caching will affect website statistics results?

    • John Saddington

      it shouldn’t affect negatively your stats.

  • Bob

    Bob, I read your post with interest as I am weighing up staying with WP Super Cache or moving to WP Total Cache. I know there are big debates online between which one is faster.

    I then noticed that you have a link at the bottom of your WP Super Cache article – this one – which goes to an article on how to set up CDN with a caching plugin.

    I was quite surprised to read that in that article you state that you use WP Total Cache for your sites and your CDN and that it is your favourite cache plugin.

    I was about to apply for a static ip address for my bluehost blog until I read about cdns and it looks like buying cdn space will speed up my site more than a static ip address. So I began searching online for info on WP caching plugins and cdns.

    The problem is setting up a caching plugin to work with cdns and from what I can make out it looks like WP Total Cache is easier to set up to work with a cdn like Amazon Cloudfront than the WP Super Cache plugin.

    Do you have any thoughts on this?

    Thank you.

    • John Saddington

      are you talking to me? who’s… “bob”…?

  • Bob

    Oops, I have lost it… I am talking to myself now John… lol…

    This is what happens when you get up at 9AM, sit all day in front of the PC and only realise it is late when lots of Californians start logging on…

    I meant that question for you John and for anyone else interested…

    I am going for a cup of tea and a lie down.

    • John Saddington

      do you really need all that speed right now? what is your current blog’s traffic? are you on a shared server?

      • Bob

        Yes, I am on a shared server John… I am based in the UK but my server is bluehost in the US.

        I went with bluehost as it has a dedicated wordpress install and they update their servers pretty quick. There really was not any web hoster in the UK offering the similar.

        I also wanted to target a global audience, but I am noticing lag on viewing my pages here in the UK. I assume that is because of the hops it takes to reach my bluehost server from the UK.

        I assume that someone in the US, with less hops to reach it, would get a faster response.

        • John Saddington

          you’re right about that. a cdn could help provide that world-wide reach, for sure.

  • Gregory

    Hello i want to setup expire headers via the plugin,can i do that?

  • Boyd Carter

    Hello John,
    I came over to your site from WPCandy and am so glad that I did. I had installed W3 Total Cache, which improved my load-times from BlueHost on a dedicated IP, but I hadn’t implemented the CDN; it seemed too complicated. I was at WPCandy to get better instructions for implementing a self-hosted CDN. Brian mentioned your name and provided a link to your W3 total cache page. After reading that, I was convinced that I didn’t have the skills needed to implement W3, took your advice and came over here. I will implement wp super cache today. My primary purpose in writing this note is to compliment you on your writing skills and on the way you clearly convey just the right amount of information. Well done! and thanks for doing what you do. I’ve subscribed to your email RSS and look forward to reading more of your blog. Boyd Carter

    • John Saddington


      thanks so much! i really appreciate it. i love what i do and i love helping others get there as well!

      thanks for subscribing and enjoy!

  • derek

    I use the landing sites plugin in on a lot of my sites. What it does is if someone lets say types in Short Wave Radios in Google and clicks on my link it would say

    Hey you came from google lookingfor short wave radios, here are some posts associated with that and it would grab a few posts that i have on short wave radios.

    I found with super cache it often would not work, specially if the user has been to my site before as it picked up his old search

    any thoughts or alternative plugins to that?

    • John Saddington

      huh. honestly i’m not sure…

      • derek

        its good i found another plugin called greet box, its newer then my old one and it supports cache

        • John Saddington


  • elroy81

    This is great!

    Ive been using W3 Cache but had no end of problems with it. Used your guide and my site is flying!


    • John Saddington

      awesome! that’s what i like to hear!

  • Jeremy Myers

    Can you write a bit about the “Preload” option in this plugin? Is it a good or bad idea?

    • John Saddington

      it’s a good feature. it’ll take some time, but have the system walk through all your pages and get them prepped for users and search engines.

  • Andrew

    Hi John,

    Been trying cache solutions and even though i already had wp super cache setup wanted to research how others had set it up and their advice. Hence I’m on your website! Great guide, advice and well written. I think the only thing for me now to explore is CDN, but that is for another day.

    All the best


    • John Saddington

      sure thing andrew! let me know if you have any questions.

  • Andrew

    Hi John,

    I have an unrelated question if you don’t mind. The bar you’ve got setup next to the comments to tweet, share, stumble etc. Can you please tell me what the plugin is called sir?



    • John Saddington


      that’s actually built right into my theme…!

      • Andrew

        Hi John,

        Cheers for getting back to me with the details. Nice theme.

        All the best


        • John Saddington

          sure thing andrew!

  • Kyle

    Thank you for your excellent articles on caching. I had installed W3 Total Cache but it was too complicated for me. Your tutorials showed me that WP Super Cache is the best choice with my limited knowledge.

    • John Saddington

      awesome kyle! it should serve you well.

  • Rene

    Oh oh…how to fix this?:

    **************DELETED COMMENT*****************

    gave away his database info. whoops!

    • John Saddington

      um… you just shared your username and password to your database… that is not good.

      • Rene

        As administrator maybe you can remove it? I Have sent you and email about the same tpoic :(

        What a way to expose my own idiocy…

        • John Saddington


  • Mark

    Hi John,

    I have had this running for about a week and I thought it was working as I noticed a slight increase in page loading time (I thought) but I have just checked my page via the browser (inspect page) and I see that I get a message “page not cached by WP super cache. check your settings page” I have checked all of the settings and all seem ok and there are no error messages on the plugin page and I have followed all of your above advise.
    any ideas what may be causing this?

    • John Saddington

      hmm. what is your server/hosting environment?

  • Mark

    Hi John,

    I think I’ve cracked it, looks like you have to log out.. one of your recommended settings “don’t cache pages for known user” so being logged in I guess picks me up as a known user. and doesn’t cache the page..

    • John Saddington

      good one. ;)

    • Yachter

      I was stumped by this “not cached error” as well. I already had a closing tag in my theme so that wasn’t it like some other posters. Just logging out sorted it out, thanks!

      • John Saddington

        sweet! great stuff.

  • Tony Alicea

    This was super helpful, John! Thanks for all you do!

    • John Saddington

      sure thing tony! glad it worked!

  • Lisa

    This was really helpful. I have one problem since I install WP Super Cache I get Weird characters showing on blog. I don’t know how to fix it? I very new to this. Do you know how to fix this problem?

    • John Saddington

      your .htaccess perms could be messed up.

      try adding this:

      php_flag zlib.output_compression off

      • Lisa

        Where in .htaccess do I add php_flag zlib.output_compression off? When I untick Compress pages it seems like it works then the weird characters don’t come up.

        • John Saddington

          uncompressing pages option works as well. you can add that to the top though. experiment…!

          you can also put this on wp-config:

          ini_set(‘zlib.output_compression’, 0);

  • Zimbrul

    Can I ask you a question: for a average blog on a shared platform which is the best: wp super-cache or W3 Total cache? None of these seem to speed up significantly my blog.
    Off topic: your website is full of interesting stuff and I read it with pleasure.
    Keep up the good work!


    • John Saddington

      i’d think super cache to start off with. have you set it up properly?

  • zimbrul

    I think I did it but still my home page takes ages to load…not sure why. Yslow gives me a B score which is good but the overall impression is that the page is not loading fast.

    • John Saddington

      hmm. how many plugins are you using? what is your hosting provider?

      • zimbrul

        Hi John,
        Currently I’ve got 32 plugins active and my hosting provider is Siteground(shared hosting).
        As I said I cannot see any increase in speed as a result of using Wp Super Cache. “Page Speed” gives me a score of 68/100 which is quite bad taking into account there are not too many elements on the page I’d say.

        • John Saddington

          that is a lot of plugins… consider getting rid of more than half.

  • Gustav

    What’s your opinion on using the CloudFlare program along with say the Super Cache plugin. I added it on a couple of sites and did notice some improvement. They also claim to help with attacks, etc.

    • John Saddington

      i personally haven’t tried it but i’ve “heard” of some great results.

  • Keith Davis

    Great tutorial John
    Looks as though you have covered everything. LOL
    Looking forward to installing, configuring and reporting back.

    • John Saddington

      how did it go?

  • Andre Lefebvre

    Hi John,

    Echoing the comments about your pedagogical skills, thanks!

    I have installed both W3TC and SuperCache and tried both. With W3tc I used their Minify option as well. Following your recommendations for settings, I’ve also experimented and brought the site speed rating from 67% to 90%, and Yslow at 88%.

    The site: and it is hosted with BlueHost. I actually built the site for a client of mine. A membership website using WishList, 17 plugins (down from 27) and 9 widgets.

    I also tried using WP-Minify instead of their embedded Minify option. Not much better results. But despite the ratings I get ( both the site and the admin panel were missing some punch in serving the pages.

    After going over your settings again, and seeing I only had disk options and no opcode or CDN (what’s that anyway… still can’t figure out what to do where with what and setup in what coding tags) I then went to Supercache and set up the way you suggest, however I get 76% speed and 70% Yslow. Serving isn’t much better either. I’ve been at this for a week and a half trying to optimize this site and my brain is turning into clam chowder…

    What am I doing wrong, should I use other plugins to complement Supercache? Or W3TC?

    Much appreciated,


    • John Saddington

      do you really need much more? what are your symptoms of slowdown?

  • Daniel

    John! This helped a lot, thanks!
    I applied the advanced settings and my page loads 4sconds faster now!
    Overall it’s still slow though… I’m launching the site in 2 days. Maybe you could take a brief look at it and let me know if there are any other speed-improvements I could do?

    • John Saddington


      a lot of your challenges might be server related… what’s your hosting solution?

  • Andre Lefebvre

    Hi John,

    Being that this new Google rule changed the game, speed is a premium. So I tried to get the site to be as quick as possible to surf between pages, posts, menus, etc.

    Today I took out Supercache, as it seemed to slow down the site so much it would take close to a minute to load at times, maybe more. Also doing the speed tests at, it would time out, waiting to load the site (!).

    So I reactivated W3TC and signed up for CloudFlare and so far it seems to be faster. I’ll give it a week and report back if anything changes. BlueHost (my hosting) keeps blaming WordPress and bad written plugins for their throttling us more than an hour over the past 24 hours. Yet they can never help, so they say. But sometimes an agent will take time and be helpful.

    Thanks John!

    • John Saddington

      sure thing andre!

  • Andre Lefebvre

    Hi John,

    Here is my latest post on Frederick Townes WordPress support page. He had a “simple” solution that made a great difference!

    Hope this helps someone!



    • John Saddington

      cool! i should add memory updates to this post. thanks andre! i have 500mb… ;)

  • Andre Lefebvre

    And for those how may wonder and don’t have time to jump to the post and search for the info, here is what Frederick suggested I do to improve performance after I installed W3TC.

    “…for example you could add the following line to the top of .htaccess: php_value memory_limit 72M”

    I did and it greatly helped, but I upped the value to 128M and it was better. I even tried 256M, but then I kept getting a 500 Internal Server Error. So 128M it is! (btw, that site is hosted with BlueHost).

    Of course, your mileage may vary…

    Hope this helps!



    • John Saddington

      thanks andre for the help to our community!

  • Andre Lefebvre

    Glad to help! We all need each other… :O)

    • John Saddington

      for serious!

  • Swamykant

    Cool Article. But I want t know whether this is better than W3 Total Cache :)

    • John Saddington

      i wrote a review of w3 total… and i mentioned that probably wp super is better for shared environments (in general).

  • Andre Lefebvre

    Hi John,

    BTW, I installed SuperCache due to W3TC being a bit overkill for my abilities and needs. However, after enabling and going through the settings, when I View Page Source on my site, I get this at the bottom of the pages:

    Not sure why it’s not caching when in fact it’s enabled… Any idea?



    • John Saddington

      are you logged in when you see it?

  • Renji

    Hi John,

    Should I install WP Super Cache and WP Minify together or just W3 Total Cache? Which would be better?

    • John Saddington

      what is your server/hosting setup?

  • Chris Langille

    I would so love to use WP Supercache but the last time I tried installing it, I broke my site. Luckily I backed up right before so I was able to recover.

    I think I’m too green for this yet.

    Awesome post though bud

    • John Saddington

      sure thing. did you try it again?

      • Chris Langille

        Dude I’m afraid to.

        I would seriously pay someone to set it up for me.

        • John Saddington

          do you feel like you need it right now?

          • Chris Langille

            That’s a good question. I’ve been averaging around 100 visitors per day for the past few weeks and I have 21 plugins (9 of which are Tentblogger plugins).

            I usually put a light-weight .jpg in each post, and haven’t done a lot with video, although I do embed from YouTube/Vimeo frequently.

            I guess my content isn’t all that “heavy”, but with 21 plugins, my “back-end” probably is right? I’ve already eliminated several plugins that weren’t necessary but the rest I consider important.

            I don’t know if I’m on shared hosting or not though. My host is Omnis (cloud Linux package)

            I guess the honest answer is no, but for page load purposes alone, I think it might be time.


            • John Saddington

              keep it!

              • Chris Langille

                I finally configured WP Super Cache properly, and I’m also using CloudFlare’s free plan, and my site is straight ballin’

                I did a speed check on

                Thanks for your info and help as always dude!

              • Chris Langille

                Update: WP Super Cache was somehow messing up my RSS feed, so I have since disabled it until I figure out why.

                Have you heard of any issues/resolutions to this problem?

                Later bud

                • John Saddington

                  hmm. shouldn’t mess anything up. did you clear the cache?

                  • Chris Langille

                    Yeah, I tried everything. I “pinged” my feed through Feedburner, and also did a “Re-Sync” which didn’t work either, but the second I disabled WPSuperCache, I re-pinged my feed, and magically the 2 posts that weren’t showing up, appeared immidiately.


                  • Chris Langille

                    Do you mean clearing the cache from within the plugin? (clearing the plugins cache), or clearing my browsers cache?

                    Thanks buddy

                    • John Saddington


  • Greg

    After many attempts and dramatic failures to install W3 Total Cache,I decided to install Super Cache.
    It went very easily and now at least I have a styable cache system

    I shall stay away from total cache and all the pains it caused.It actually was not easy to uninstall either
    Great tutorial and thanks

    • John Saddington

      sure thing greg!

  • Michael

    Hey John :)

    I tried W3 Total cache for one hour and found that it causes an overhead to me so uninstalled it and installed super cache. However, when I scroll down to the bottom of the “Advanced” tab, I get this warning:

    Warning! /home/*****/public_html/ is writable. Please make it readonly after your page is generated as this is a security risk.

    So, what do you think is the problem?

    • John Saddington

      well, the writeable thing you can fix. it would be interesting to see your overall config.

  • Oier

    Both your post and the plugin are fantastic!

    With your config recommendations, our homepage loading time has gone from an average of 8 seconds to less than 2.

    Many thanks for your great posts, John!

    • John Saddington

      congrats! this is news that I love to hear!

  • klipang

    thanks to your share, now my blog is very fast with wp super cache

    • John Saddington


  • Ebulueme John

    Thanx for this wonderful piece of information…

    • John Saddington

      sure thing bro!

  • John L Bradfield

    I’m having a strange problem that I don’t know how to fix:

    I’m using the WordPress 2011 Theme on one of my blogs.

    After I installed Wp Super Cache and activated it, when I return to the “Installed Plugins” page it shows up as a blank page — I can’t see anything.

    The site still loads just fine but I can’t seem to access the plugins page. What’s going on and how do I fix it?

    My other blog uses a different theme and it’s just fine. Great plugin!

    • John L Bradfield

      I’m having a strange problem that I don’t know how to fix:

      I’m using the WordPress 2011 Theme on one of my blogs.

      After I installed Wp Super Cache and activated it, when I return to the “Installed Plugins” page it shows up as a blank page — I can’t see anything.

      This is what my .htaccess file looks like:

      #BEGIN WordPress

      RewriteEngine On
      RewriteBase /
      RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
      RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

      # END WordPress

      The site still loads just fine but I can’t seem to access the plugins page. What’s going on and how do I fix it?

      My other blog uses a different theme and it’s just fine. Great plugin!

      • John Saddington

        hmm. seems to be some permission issues.. or refreshing. you have the newest version? check their help forums… they are pretty good.

        • Joseph

          Now I have this in my .htaccess as well as the mod_rewite script. Should I remove this piece and keep the mod-rewrite rules or does it not matter do you think?

  • Jeet Dholakia

    a very well written article, really very helpful to me.
    Thank you.
    i switched to WP Super Cache From W3TC

    • John Saddington

      good for you!

  • Ali

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the detailed article. I installed WP Super Cache and and the ‘Cache Tester’ give an OK. But I don’t see any difference between Online Page Speed (by Google) before and after installing the plugin. Does it indicate anything?

    • John Saddington

      give it a bit.

  • Joseph

    I’ve just been pretty much ordered by my Host to install this plugin because of the MySQL CPU usage my site is running at.

    Hopefully this article will help me out. This is new territory for me and have no clue what half of it means.

    • John Saddington

      eww. that stinks that you should be required…

      • Joseph

        Yeah it is a bit but I suppose I could do with it anyway being as I have so much dynamic content.

        Unfortunately though, I can not use WP Super Cache along with WP Minify to it’s fullest potential on my site because of the .js codes built into my theme. I can not compress the theme anymore otherwise the .js codes will not work so my page speed will have to stay as it is for now.

        • John Saddington

          hmm. sadness. what about w3 total cache?

          • Joseph

            I’m unsure really because after reading various articles it seems that W3TC may be too much or not worth it because of the size of the site. I’m trying to get the right balance but it’s such a ballache. I’m spending more time optimising at the moment than I am with content.

            I’ve noticed that W3TC uses a bit of power as well and that’s something that I am trying to avoid.

            • John Saddington

              you’re right about that. you need a more custom setup for w3

  • caparros

    Muchisimas gracias, desde hace un año y medio uso wp super cache y no lo habia configurado con tanta rapides, un saludo de tu web amiga sigue asi con estos tutoriales, magnifico.

    • John Saddington

      awesome! thanks so much!

  • haki

    Thanks for this great tutorial. I’ve a problem: Not working on IE 9 with “compress pages” option. Do you have any solution?

    • John Saddington

      hmm. don’t use ie9?

  • Paul

    Many thanks for this post. I found an improvement with the default settings but the advanced set up was worth the effort as the results are amazing.

    • John Saddington

      awesome! well done!

  • Sheshnath

    Thanks a lot really helped me as I am new to wordpress…!!

    • John Saddington

      sure thing sheshnath!

  • BigGeek

    I just wanted to say thank you for covering WP SuperCache and helping me get it working for my new blog – – it’s made a huge difference.

    Thank You!

    • John Saddington

      awesome! glad it’s working!

  • juan

    great post! does it also take care of compressing files to speed up the loading? do you recommend to add some other plugin for that? (gzip?) Thanks a bunch for writing so good content!

  • Jamie (@va_grown)

    This was SO helpful! Thanks for taking the time! I THINK it worked. :)

    • John Saddington

      sweet! awesome!

  • Bruce

    In looking into this plugin further I have come across this on WordPress.
    Particularly in changing the permissions.

    The dangers of 777:
    “This provides an avenue for someone to gain access to your files by hijacking basically any process on your server, this also includes any other users on your machine. So you should think carefully about modifying permissions on your machine. I’ve never come across anything that needed more than 767, so when you see 777 ask why its necessary.”


    “The worst that can happen as a result of using 777 permissions on a folder or even a file, is that if a malicious cracker or entity is able to upload a devious file or modify a current file to execute code, they will have complete control over your blog, including having your database information and password.”

    So the outcome would be get a work around, as it states further down; “Contact the Plugin author or your server support and request a workaround.”

    So I ask…to your knowledge, or any body elses’, is this really necessary to change the permissions?
    Or am I looking into this too much?

    Would love the features of cacheing, but do not want to compromise on security for my blog

    Is there other security measures known off that can prevent what was stated on WP?

    Opinions appreciated…

    • John Saddington

      you may have to do this for a second to get access to the .htaccess. i then tell you to revert. did you read that?

  • Clay

    Thank you so much for this instructional post! I have two questions – I have installed this plugin and it works without error and I am able to see the following at the bottom of my code:

    However, I have ran the GTmetrix and Google Page Speed tests and both state that I should enable compression and leverage browser caching. WP Super Cache has only been installed for a couple of hours, but (1) shouldn’t both speed tests recognize that I have satisfied both suggestions with WP Super Cache or am I way off? My index.php page took 8-12 seconds to load before the plugin was installed and configured (per your post instructions) and it is still taking the same amount of time to load with IE and Firefox. (2) How long will it take before I see faster results?

    Thanks again,

    • John Saddington

      have you tried again today?

      • Clay

        Hi John,
        I ran the GTmetrix and Google Page Speed tests again today (3 days after installing the WP Super Cache plugin) and I’m still showing the same results as before. Any suggestions?

        Thanks again!

      • Clay

        2nd update:
        I deactivated WP Super Cache and installed WP Total Cache. Results improved dramatically from 68% to 90%. I’m still puzzled as to why the results didn’t improve with WP Super Cache.

        Thank you for the instructional posts for each!


  • Joseph

    Good day,

    I followed your advice and used this process to help me with the installation. I just want to say thank you for that.

    May I ask about your availability to possibly make some checks on my site to ensure it is optimised fully please.

    • John Saddington

      i currently don’t have time to do this, unfortunately!

  • Joseph

    No problem. I looked at your business card page and it stated that you were available so I must have just missed the boat!

    Thanks for responding so promptly ;)

    • John Saddington

      sweet! enjoy!

  • Cam Collins

    Thanks for the information. I use W3 Total Cache for the sites I have more server control over, but for my sites on shared servers (e.g. GoDaddy), this is a “super” simple plug-in.

    • John Saddington

      yup. agree!

  • Adrian

    Hi John,

    I was just wondering if you’ve heard anything about BackWPup? I have done a little reading and to me it appears like it might be a good free option.

    Any opinions?

    ps…Chrome wouldn’t allow me to to click into the name or email fields of this reply form. I could click into the URL and tab back up.

  • Adrian

    oops…sorry John wrong blog post

  • nikhil

    Hi John,

    The pages do not match! Timestamps differ or were not found!

    I am stuck here. I tried the three things given there. Still no use. Please help me

    • John Saddington

      gah! screenshot?

      • nikhil

        Here is the link to the screenshot:

        Also, when i change the permissions of .htaccess to 644, in the advanced tab I get the “Cannot update .htaccess” message in a yellow box like:

        But if the .htaccess permission is set to 777, I don’t get any such message. Its normal then.

        Please help me regarding this.

      • nikhil

        Hey got it fixed! anyways thnks! :)

        • John Saddington


        • Aditya

          hey nikhil i am having the same problem please tell me how you have fixed it?

  • Joann

    Thanks, I just installed this SuperCache plugin. Tested in Page Speed online at google, it went from 80 to 90. Thanks a lot.

    • John Saddington

      whoot! great job joann!

  • Encik Bukit Besi

    Hi John, I am writing from Malaysia. Actually regarding about Wp Super Cache setting which is The pages do not match! Timestamps differ or were not found! is there any solution or ideas to solve this problem?

    I am noob and had tried to figure it out myself, unfortunately I can’t do anything. Hopefully, you can help me. Thanks

    • John Saddington

      hmm. do you have your perms right on your .htaccess?

  • NetStuffed

    This is the best caching plugin I have tried and which really made a difference on the loading time of my blog. :)

    It actually works and it’s pretty simple to setup.

  • EzInsider

    This is a great tutorial – many thanks for the post. I tried W3 Total Cache initially but didn’t realise the performance benefits due to the reasons you outlined in another post. The setup steps here made setting up caching a breeze. Cheers.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing man!

  • Randy

    I am a newbe to wordpress, i would like to know why, when i make changes to my site some of the things do not apear, i have to delate cache in WP Super Cache Settings before they apear.


  • Solo Backpacker

    Thanks Dude, It helped me lot to configure this plugin on my blog. result is still awaited.

  • Shasha

    Is there any good difference between W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache?

  • Sergio Felix

    Never tried WP Super Cache before… going to give it a whirl and see what happens, thanks for the amazing break down!


  • Ben

    How should we upgrade WordPress super cache without breaking a blog? should we un install the old version and re install the new version ?

    Or a simple next next process how we use for plugin upgradation will do .

  • Momentum

    I have installed WP Super Cache yesterday because I was not happy with the load testing results from Basically running the free test on loadimpact completely crashed my site with response times of 40s.

    Then I have installed WP Super Cache and additional Apache moduls and after that everything is much better. I did some performance testing through the command line from one of my other servers and I am able to get around 90 requests per second.

    With this command you can also test the number of requests: ab -n 1000 -c 20 | grep ‘Requests per second’

    But be aware: Only run this if you have WP Super Cache installed. If not change the parameters to -n 10 and -c 1

    Anyway, I think some caching should be built into WordPress by default. This was a huge blind spot for me and I regret that I have not tried this earlier.

  • Ratnakar

    I tried setting up this plugin , but it doesn’t seem to work fine. I configured it as per your guidelines, but still it didn’t succeeded. Am I doing any thing wrong ?

  • Perfektion

    You may want to advise the more beginner WordPress users to change the permissions back from 777. Those permissions should never have to be used on a webserver :)

    • John Saddington

      apparently you don’t read very comprehensively because i already mentioned this.

  • Phil

    I can confirm, a great guide for WPSC!

    I just installed it (since w3 Total Cache was interacting with a plugin i got developed for my website) and i lost 2 seconds of loading time! Big success!

    Thank you once more John! (ps. i put the Garbage timer on 3600 seconds, that part of the plugin you missed to mention; even tho, great work!)

  • duketanson

    Hi John,
    Great post. Just a quick one for those of us learning the ropes. Do you know if caching with wp super cache affects images in a slider like easing slider? I’m using that slider on mysite and not sure how it will affect it.

    • John Saddington

      it could, but i haven’t tested it so I wouldn’t know. Have you checked the forums or support for the plugin?

  • Justin Lewis (@justinlewissays)

    I use the plugin “Wishlist Member” and want to make my members experience really fast.

    So I disabled “Don’t cache pages for known users.” and the site loads remarkably fast for my members, especially on pages they’ve visited once before.

    But, the settings say it’s recommended.

    What do you think I should do?

    note: I tried to post this comment like 4 times and it kept failing :(

    • John Saddington

      hmm. sorry about the commenting issue!

      member plugins are a bit wonky with caching… each have specific needs and issues.

  • Duke Tanson

    I’ve followed the steps in this blog and it couldn’t have been any easier. Thanks a lot John. One thing that others might be wondering is that the post didn’t cover things that could be done in the other tabs like preload, plugins, debug.

  • anand

    I have activated multi site , i have problem when clearing the cache on sub-domain.This is an error “Caching has been disabled on this blog on the Network Admin Sites page.” plz any one help

    Thanks in advance

  • Lori

    Hi John,
    I’m a new wordpress user, and have NO IDEA what I am doing! Creating my site & template using Artisteer. So far, I have a basic framework but need to fill in the content. I was noticing my homepage kept timing out. Initial Google PageSpeed score was 73/100, and grades were F A D F F X.

    After some random uninformed searching, I found the W3 Total Cache plugin, and your article on it. Even though I am on a shared host, I figured I’d try it anyway. While I don’t understand ANYTHING I’m doing, I checked the boxes your article said to check. I also reloaded the images I was using by saving under Photoshop’s “Save for Web” feature, since image optimization was rated poorly. These two together got my scores up to 87/100 and B A A D B X. However, my “medium priority” task on PageSpeed still said I needed to Leverage Browser Caching. Since I didn’t know what else to do, I remembered that you recommended WP Super Cache as easier-to-use for noobs and shared hosts.

    Deactivated W3TC, activated WPSC, followed the instructions in your article above. PageSpeed score is unchanged, and still says I need to Leverage Browser Caching. WebPageTest scores dropped to B A F D F X. Scores that fell when I switched to WPSC: Compress Transfer (A to F), Cache Static Content (B to F).

    Your articles suggest testing different features, but I feel like I’m wandering in the dark. Why is PageSpeed still giving me the Caching suggestion after trying two caching plugins? Why did my scores drop when I switched from W3 to WP? Any insight you may have would be greatly appreciated.

  • Qaiser

    I installed wp super cache on my blog with more than 17000 posts and start getting crashed once everyday. I dont know why. Can anybody help?

    • John

      is it trying to pre-cache?

  • Aditya

    hello john !!!
    please help me out i am facing this problem since its installation
    The pages do not match! Time stamps differ or were not found!
    and also i cant see in the bottom of page code to verify is it working or not?

  • Carlos

    Error appeared. Cache Tester
    Test your cached website by clicking the test button below.

    Fetching to prime cache: OK

    Fetching first copy of FAILED

    Fetching second copy of FAILED
    what should I do?

  • Md Noor

    Good tutorial… but bro. today I encountered one problem: when I open wp supercache option page it shows not found page.. Why such happens? Any suggestions for this issue?
    Thanks !!!

  • Lynn

    this is so detailed. I benefited as a beginner and easily understand it. Thanks for your help!

    • John


  • Serioux

    I knew that without a CDN and other options besides ‘Disk Enhanced’, the W3 Total Cache plugin wasn’t used at his full potential, but my page speed grade was ‘A’ according to GTmetrix. After reading this post i decided to delete it and install WP Super Cache, but it seems that there’s no improvement at all. My page speed grade is ‘B’ or ‘C’ (sometimes) like it was when i didn’t have any cache plugin installed.

  • myklfdMike FD

    Hi John, Mate this post is really impressive – appreciate the effort!!!

    I got the WPCACHEHOME must be set in config file. error message, and changed the permissions to 777 but made no difference.

    I looked at their instructions and went through the process, but am a bit confused because you have to delete advanced-cache.php at the start, then at the end refresh the page to update advanced-cache.php?? Hard to follow the logic – or am I missing something here.

    Any ideas John,


    Mike FD

    • John

      that would most likely be done via FTP.

      • Mike FD

        Thanks for your reply John – I can handle C Panel but FTP is a bit of a mystery. I used filezilla but couldn’t find the file they talk about. Tried to the extent of my knowledge but not good enough – is there a resource you can point me to that gives me some directions please.


        Mike FD

  • War Julian by War Julian

    Worked like a charm! Thanks so much for this John.

    • John