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How to Install and Setup W3 Total Cache for Beginners

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By Editorial Staff

WPBeginner Pingdom November 21st

We often get compliments from users on how fast our site loads. Everyone wants to know the secret behind a fast loading WordPress site. Aside from good web hosting and well-coded plugins, you have to make sure that you’re using proper caching and have a CDN (content delivery network). For our setup, we use a plugin called W3 Total Cache. Due to a high volume of request, we have decided to create a step by step guide on how to install and setup W3 Total Cache for beginners.

In this article, we will show you how to install W3 Total Cache and set it up properly to maximize the benefits. We will also show you how to combine W3 Total Cache wit ha CDN service to make your site load even faster.

Before you begin, we highly recommend that you check performance of your site by using Google Page Speed and Pingdom Tools. This will give you a before and after comparison.

Below is the screenshot of our Pingdom results:

Lets get started with our setup of W3 Total Cache.

What is W3 Total Cache?

W3 Total Cache is the fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization plugin. Trusted by many popular sites including: AT&T, Mashable, Smashing Magazine, WPBeginner, and millions others. W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

Installing W3 Total Cache in WordPress

Before you install W3 Total Cache, you need to make sure that you uninstall all other caching plugins (for example WP Super Cache). If you do not do this prior to installing, the plugin will have issues upon activation.

We have a very thorough guide explaining how to install a WordPress plugin which you can follow. Or you can follow the brief guide below:

Go to your WordPress admin panel and click on Plugins

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