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WordPress Plugin: You Must Have This Installed

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W3-Total-Cache is the must have plugin for those who are serious about improving the load speed of their blog. It’s free…it’s easy to set-up and it could knock up to 2 seconds off your blog loading time.

View my latest video in my ‘improve your blog speed’ series. It shows you exactly how to set-up the W3-Total-Cache plugin:

[flashvideo file=http://c455454.r54.cf2.rackcdn.com/w3-total-cache.mp4 image=https://www.webuildyourblog.com/images/super-fast-blog.gif width=550 height=441 /]

Previous posts in this series:

Are You A Plugaholic?

Simple Speed Plugins Your Business Blog Needs

You Are Losing Customers If You Don’t Do This

Blog Speed: How To Measure It

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35 Responses to WordPress Plugin: You Must Have This Installed

  1. Karen March 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    I’m currently using WP Super Cache to speed my blog up and it’s working nicely, would you say that W3 Total Cache is better or about the same?

    • Andrew March 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

      Hi Karen,

      I moved from WP Super Cache to W3 Total Cache and yes…I did see an improvement.

      The bigger benefit was the set-up for a CDN (next video!) was much easier using W3 Total Cache than super cache.

      If you do decide to change…there are some rules you have to follow to uninstall super-cache properly.


      • Karen March 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

        Thanks Andrew, I must look in to this now, thanks for the advice, much appreciated 😉

        • Andrew March 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm #


          Please let us know how you get on.


      • Kimberly Castleberry March 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

        Yeah seriously, Super Cache makes me incredibly mad at it every time I have to uninstall it. There should NOT be that kind of requirement for a user to remove a plugin. I understand wanting to prevent accidental removal but we don’t need to take it back to the server level. That’s reason #203 to switch to w3totalcache from super cache!

        • Andrew March 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm #


          Yeah I found that rather weird (and frustrating!).


          • Jym June 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

            Helpful stuff Andy, I’ve been wondering how to configure Total Cache properly for some time.

            I’m having problems with it though, and I think it’s because of previously running Super Cache. Following up the last few comments, how best to clean the Super Cache residue from my dashboard?


  2. Kimberly Castleberry March 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Andrew ….

    Hmmm…. I just left the prior reply and the subscribers magnet optin-in-comment-form has engaged… and I was prepping to leave another more direct comment and it has dropped the font size in the comment text box to about 6pixels. I need a magnifying glass. Looks like a CSS bleedover from somewhere. I know Jabin indicated problems with that particular feature on thesis in a support ticket I had open with him.

    Now back to my question… have you had any issues with w3totalcache since the 3.1 upgrade. There’s a HIGH volume of “broken” reports at the moment. I actually haven’t observed it so much “broken” as that I don’t think its fully caching everything and its definitely not playing nice with 2 of my plugins but I blame that on those 2 plugins. The number of total reports on the repository page is certainly reason for concern (and observing that Frederick has not yet updated it for wp 3.1 support). Any thoughts to add?

    • Andrew March 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm #


      Thanks for letting me know about the font size issue.

      Re: Total Cache and WP 3.1

      I never upgrade to ‘x.x’ versions of WP. I always wait until ‘x.x.1’ at least. That way bugs and plugins have normally been resolved.


      • Ari Herzog March 9, 2011 at 12:48 am #

        Must? Must install? What a way to bait people into clicking what you suggest is a necessity.

        I once had a caching plugin installed, and then I used a .htaccess script instead. I wonder which is better.

        • Andrew March 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm #


          Did you not like the title? I thought it was quite good!

          I have a .htaccess script as well as the caching plugin.


  3. Delena Silverfox March 8, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    Wow! Even though I don’t currently use plug-ins (free WP account right now) this was still immensely helpful showing a bit more about navigating around the Dashboard and a few of the quirks. For example, I didn’t know about how weird Super Cache was!

    Thanks again,

    • Andrew March 8, 2011 at 8:39 am #


      Are you thinking of making the move acorss to WordPress.org?


  4. Alex March 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Hello Andrew,

    I know that Mitch had a problem with this plugin, I think it would have been cool if you have also showed your readers how to determine if the plugins works(I think there is a message that this page was cached or something).

    By the way, why did you choose rackspace as your cdn ?

    • Andrew March 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm #


      Yeah – good point made.

      Re: Why RackSpace?

      Reputation, reliability and cost – all good.


  5. Extreme John March 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    There was a time that I used a cache plugin but I didn’t care for how it effected a few of my widgets and plugins so I removed it.

    I have a site re-design coming up, maybe a little super cache can get in the mix.

    • Andrew March 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm #


      It might be worthwhile – the faster the better!

      I wish my site would load in under a second!


  6. Debbie March 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    Just wanted to say Thank You Andrew for keeping us up on all the little things that can make a big difference. Got to love these little plug-ins.
    Thanks again for sharing with us and helping the speed of our blogs. You are very much appreciated.

    • Andrew March 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

      You are welcome, Debbie.


  7. Webmaster Blog March 9, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    I think it is good for web design and photography niche bloggers . Because it is very hard to open big showcase collections but this Cache plugin help to load page more faster after 1st time .

    • Andrew March 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      It does help if you have many images…my next video will help photography niche bloggers even more as I go through the process of using a CDN.


  8. Ken March 9, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    I’ve been using the super cache plugin and have had some problems with it before in the past so I will have to give this W3-Total-Cache a try. It is extremely important for a website to load quickly even to the point that it can affect a person’s search engine rankings so thanks for doing a post about this. I also recently read a post that another way to increase your page load time is by disabling gravatar. I’ve heard that this can make a huge difference. I’m going to try that along with the plugin you recommended. Thanks Andrew.

    • Andrew March 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm #


      I like seeing gravatars so I’m not ging to remove them here. In my testing they didn’t come up as slowijng my site down.

      Let us know how you get on.


  9. Ron Logan March 9, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Installed this, it’s great. Would definitely recommend.

    • Andrew March 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

      Thanks, Ron for the support. I really appreciate it.


  10. Kimi March 10, 2011 at 5:06 am #


    I totally vote for this plugin 100%

    After trying so many cache plugins, I had found some issues, one too complicated to deactivate, one I was not sure help, and this one works for me!

    Love the plugin and recommend to everyone.

    Thanks for the lovely video review!

    • Andrew March 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Great, Kimi. Glad you approve.


  11. Tony March 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Thank you about your video.

  12. Doug Eikermann March 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm #


    Thanks for the great video. I found your site through the Facebook Club. I’m sometimes reluctant to use new plugins, and this sort of tutorial gives me the confidence to go ahead with the installation. I’ve shared the link you sent on Facebook.

    Thanks again,
    Doug Eikermann

    • Andrew March 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

      Thanks, Doug.

      Today was my first turn in the FB club.

      Great to know people do ‘like’ and come over and read what people share.

      Thanks again for coming across and commenting.


  13. Andrew June 25, 2011 at 7:47 am #


    If you go to the wp-super-cache plugin page there are instructions to remove the plugin in a step by step way.


  14. Sandy Halliday February 12, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Hey Andrew, I installed the W3 Super Cache on my blog but it was not compatible with the PopupDomination plugin so I have had to disable it.

    I wanted to try out the PopupDomination to see if it would increase my optins and it has.

    I have had more optins from that than from the optin form in my sidebar but I am wondering if my loading times are going to cause me loss of visitors.

    • Andrew February 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm #


      I think you have 2 options:

      1. Contact PopupDomination and ask them when it will work with W3 Total Cache


      2. Try Wp Super Cache. Might be worth asking PopupDomination if it works with that plugin, first!



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