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How to Install and Setup WP Super Cache for Beginners

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How to Install and Setup WP Super Cache for Beginners

Search engines consider site speed to be an important factor search rankings. This is why at WPBeginner we try our best to improve site load speed to an optimal level. Doing that, we have noticed that caching our website helped us improve site speed as well as balancing huge spikes in traffic. We use W3 Total Cache to improve performance of our website. However, many of our readers asked us about how to install and setup WP Super Cache. Therefore in this guide, we will show you how to install and properly setup WP Super Cache.

Note: Both W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are great plugins. We highly recommend that you use one or the other depending on your needs.

First thing you need to do is install and activate WP Super Cache plugin (tutorial: how to install a WordPress plugin). Upon activation, WP Super Cache will notify you that caching is not enabled on your website at the moment.

Setting up WP Super Cache – The Easy Way

To enable cache, go to Settings » WP Super Cache. Under the Easy tab, turn Caching on and hit update status button.

Turning on Cache in WP Super Cache for WordPress

After turning on the cache, click on the test cache button to check if it is working. WP Super Cache will fetch your WordPress site twice and will compare the time stamps of both pages. If the both time stamps match then this means that caching is working on your site now.

WP Super Cache Advanced Set up

WP super cache is a powerful plugin, and it comes with many advance options. These options can further improve your site’s performance. To Set up WP Super Cache with advance options, go to Settings » WP Super Cache and click on Advanced tab.

Advance set up for WP Super Cache

Enable Caching
First check the box that says Cache hits to this website for quick access. Below that you will see three caching options. By default WP Super Cache uses PHP to serve cache files. However, using PHP to serve cache files can be resource incentive particularly on shared hosting environments. So we would like to recommend that you try using mod_rewrite to serve cache files. After that scroll down and hit the update status button to save these settings.

WP Super Cache will now show you a notification that mod_rewrite rules must be updated and possibly another notification about scheduling garbage collection. Scroll down the page, and you will see mod_rewrite rules that needs to be added. Click on Update Mod_Rewrite Rules button to update these rules. Once mod_rewrite rules are updated this section will turn green.

To resolve the notice about garbage collection, scroll down on the advance settings page to the Expiry Time & Garbage Collection section and set up a time and frequency for garbage collection of cached files on your server.

Scheduling garbage collection and setting cache expiration

Enable Compression in WP Super Cache: Compression allows WP Super Cache to serve cached files as compressed files. These files are downloaded by user browsers quickly due to their smaller size. To enable compression, simply check the box that says Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors.

Setting up CDN with WP Super Cache

Most content websites serve a lot of static files with each page request. These files are JavaScripts, images, stylesheets, etc. Unlike your WordPress posts which are dynamically generated by PHP, these files can be served using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). If you don’t know what is a CDN or why you need a CDN, then you should check out our infographic “What the Heck is a CDN“.

At WPBeginner we use MaxCDN. You can read our blueprint on Why we use MaxCDN. If you need help setting up MaxCDN, then we already have a tutorial for how to install and setup MaxCDN for WordPress. The tutorial uses W3 Total cache, but the basic concept is the same.

To setup CDN with WP Super Cache, click on the CDN tab and check the box next to Enable CDN Support option. Enter your offsite URL, which will be the url of your pullzone. For example, http://cdn.wpbeginner.com

Setting up MaxCDN with WP Super Cache

In the additional CNAMEs field enter other CNAMEs you have created for your pullzone. For example, http://cdn1.wpbeginner.com, http://cdn2.wpbeginner.com , http://cdn3.wpbeginner.com

Lastly, check the box that says Skip https URLs to avoid “mixed content” errors and save changes. Now your website is now ready to serve static content from a CDN.

Serve a Static Site with WP Super Cache

The preload mode in WP Super Cache allows you to create super cache static files for all your posts and pages and serve a static website. You may ask Why would anyone want to do that?

To conserve server resources.
To serve an old site that is not being updated anymore.
To improve site speed by serving static content only.

These were just a few reasons but there could be many more reasons and situations where you might want to completely disable PHP processes. Don’t worry your WordPress will work normally, and you will still be able to manage your content with WordPress.

Preload WP Super Cache and Serve Static Files

Refresh preload cache files options will be set to zero by default, minimum required time is at least 30 minutes. Pre-loading your entire WordPress site takes some time and consumes a lot of resources on your server. You can leave it to 0 if you do not want your static files to expire ever unless you manually refresh cache.

We hope this guide helped you setup WP Super Cache on your WordPress blog. For plugin specific support, please post all your questions in the WordPress support forums for the plugin author. Read our guide on how to properly ask for WordPress support and get it.

For other feedback and questions, please leave a comment below.


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  • efiga

    Hi
    i have a little question , when using this plugin to cashe pages , the google adsense ads will be cashed too ? ,it will show the same ads ?
    thank you in advance

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Staff

      No your Google Ads will not be cached.

  • Farcas Gelu Danut

    I’m sorry for my poor English language.
    I use now WP Total Cache, CDN is Cloudflare, shared hosting.
    Specialists working at hosting company I recommend using wp super cache to replace the WPTotal Cache. What is your opinion?
    WP Total Cache internet is recommended, considered superior WP Super Cache.
    I use Google translate for this comment. Is OK?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Farcas, W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are both good plugins.

  • Nguyen Duc

    Thanks for post, but i have a problem below:
    Warning! Could not update /home/d2c45a95/public_html/wp-config.php! WPCACHEHOME must be set in config file.
    Warning! /home/d2c45a95/public_html/wp-content/advanced-cache.php does not exist or cannot be updated.

    1. If it already exists please delete the file first.
    2. Make /home/d2c45a95/public_html/wp-content writable using the chmod command through your ftp or server software. (chmod 777 /home/d2c45a95/public_html/wp-content) and refresh this page. This is only a temporary measure and you’ll have to make it read only afterwards again. (Change 777 to 755 in the previous command)
    3. Refresh this page to update /home/d2c45a95/public_html/wp-content/advanced-cache.php

    If that doesn’t work, make sure the file /home/d2c45a95/public_html/wp-content/advanced-cache.php doesn’t exist:

    1. Open /home/d2c45a95/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/advanced-cache.php$wp_cache_file in a text editor.
    2. Change the text CACHEHOME to /home/d2c45a95/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/
    3. Save the file and copy it to /home/d2c45a95/public_html/wp-content/advanced-cache.php and refresh this page.
    How to fix it, bro

  • Joe Capone

    I have Super Cache working…the contents show all of the pages in the cache. It has increased our site speed.

    the site is insuringincome.com

    For some reason, when I enter additional cnames and use http://content1.insuringincome.com,….
    Comma separated from content1-content10 (confirmed that all cnames are created in CloudFront districution)….I get a 404 error when saving.

    I have tried many different settings…nothing prevents the 404 from trying to save with additional cnames.

    Thoughts?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Please checkout WP Super Cache documentation on how to set this up.

  • Borislav

    Hi Guys!
    First sorry my English, because it is not very good!
    I use wordpress and Boozurk theme version 2.02.
    I have a little problem and i want little help!
    The problem is: when i use my phone and surfing my site, sometimes the theme not switch to mobile view and everything in my site is with wrong view.

    I also use WP super cashe plugin. When i activate the cashe and continue surf the site, then the theme not switch to mobile view and show me a desktop view of the site.

    When i deactivate WP super cashe plugin and delete the cashe the view of the site on my phone is perfect. The theme switch to mobile view.

    Is there any settings of WP super cashe plugin that i have to make, and when i make them the people who surf my site with mobile phones or tablets,
    to surf mobile view of the site, not the cashe page of desktop view.

    I hope you will understand me! Thank you!

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Borislav, it seems that your theme uses php to detect mobile users and then switches the theme. When you are using WP Super Cache, it displays the standard theme from the cache, so the part where your theme detects and displays mobile theme is not executed. Your theme’s developer can help you better in this regard, or you can also try WP Super Cache’s support tab.

  • pipdig

    Really useful, thanks! We managed to get one of our website’s loading time down from 6+ seconds to 0.8 using a combination of WP super Cache and Cloudlfare’s Rocketloader. Amazing!

  • Ali

    by using this i wen from 82 to 92 on google page speed test thanks http://www.3maniac.com

  • Thomas Frenkiel

    I wanted to use mod-rewrite for a website that has WordPress installed in a subdirectory.
    This seemed to cause a problem (only homepage was showing). What kind of thing is best to do in this case? Is there a way to use mod_rewrite on a sub directory?

    Thanks in advance.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      There could be various reasons. There could be a conflict with .htaccess file in the parent directory or a comment missing # sign in your .htaccess file. You better post in plugin’s page under support tab.

  • Shantanu

    Hi Sir ,
    Thanks for the post. I have a question , When i update or publish a post or page it does not appear on the homepage. This happens due to Wp Super Cache. Please help !

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Shantanu, you should check your wp super cache settings. If everything seems to be setup correctly then you are probably viewing a cached page from your browser.

      • Shantanu

        Thank You , So Much for the Help! :) My Blog now has a Rocking Speed.

        Thanks Once again!

  • Muhammad Waqas Baig

    Hi, I have tried settings you recommended but there is not speed improvements. Can you please guide me further. I used GTMetrix and here is my blog
    http://www.pakfocus.com

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      The server load and responsiveness is an important factor in site-speed. Leverage browser caching and try to minimize loading external scripts or images.

  • Sandra

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the great blog. I just found it and I am definitely saving this one in my favorites! Keep up the good work.

    Here’s my question:

    When I try to access the WP Super Cache Settings I get the following message:

    Permalink Structure Error

    A custom url or permalink structure is required for this plugin to work correctly. Please go to the Permalinks Options Page to configure your permalinks.

    I used these 2 methods to access the Settings:

    1. Plugins -> WP Super Cache -> Settings
    2. Settings -> WP Super Cache

    But I still get the error message.

    How can I access the Settings to install the plugin?

    Your help would be greatly appreciated,
    Sandra

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      WP Super Cache requires that you use custom permalinks. We have a guide on how to enable custom permalinks or SEO friendly URL structure. Basically what you need to do is go to Settings » Permalinks and choose a custom link structure for your articles.

  • george

    hi ,

    i tried to use w3 total cache in my website as in all websites it was suggested as the best , but when i put in my site http://www.foodintolerance.gr everything went wrong!!!! i had a white blank screen everywhere site and admin panel , lost my mind until my provider had to make some changes to the .htaccess. i would recommend really big attention . will i have the same problems with the super cache for beginners??
    thank you

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Yes you might have faced similar or some other problems with WPSuper-Cache as well. We understand that it is a bit complicated for beginners to setup a caching plugin. That’s why we have this step by step guide. As for blank screen we have some tips on how to fix WordPress white screen of death.

  • Romeo Rjas

    Can I use WP super cache for wp blog that host on VPS? My friend said that WP super cache can cause some problem when it’s installed in wp site on VPS hosted. Thank you

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      yes you can.

  • Tomé Mendes

    Hi there,

    I used W3 Total Cache in the past, but for some reason I started having problems with it. Maybe the reason was a miss-configuration of the Plugin.

    Anyway, I decided to allocate all the images and files of my website in a subdomain like files.domain.tld

    So now I just want to know something. After applying this steps to my website it will create a cache of the main content of my domain. Posts, Categories, etc…

    What about the files in the subdomain, how can I reduce load time of them? Should I apply CloudFlare only on the subdomain or whole website?

    The website is: http://www.ridfick.com (if possible take a look of what can be done)

    Thanks

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      The plugin will create a cache of your page content. However, browser caching won’t be setup properly because you have media files in a subdomain.

      We don’t use cloudflare, so baring that in mind it would make sense to apply it to the whole site.

  • Qasim

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for this great tutorial, I am just confused on WP super cache CDN settings. Do you need a CDN network like MaxCDN to be used with WP super cache or WP CDN works alone, where you will get the CNAMEs URLs. Also do you recommend using the plugin with cloudflare.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      The whole purpose of having CDNs is to utilize third-party cloud servers to reduce the load on your main server. Simply creating cname records on your main server won’t do much good. We don’t use Cloudflare, but you can if you like.

  • Abdullah Salisu

    I don’t av any cache plugin installed on my blog. that explains why my blog load’s slow.
    Now i know. WP Super Cache is gonne be my next plugin to install on my blog…

    Thanks and kudos to the ceo.

  • Robert Anderson

    Hi Guys thanks for the plugin but its way out of my league to install. It does show me just how much I have to learn . I keep all your emails so I wll have a go at this once I gain a bit more know-how. Keep up the great work lads.
    Robert

  • Suresh Khanal

    Hi Geremy,

    I did everything except CDN, but whenever I enable WP Super Cache, the post content is not displayed. It displays only the title and comments. If I disable caching everything is fine again. I’m troubled with this problem and could not find any solution yet.

  • Jeremy Myers

    I love WP Super Cache. I use pretty much the same settings you do to get my blog to load in less than 2 seconds. Still working on getting it down to less than 1 second, but that requires further tweaks…

  • Edward Black

    Maybe you can describe in a few sentences, what the difference between WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache is?

    I use W3 Total Cache since my first WP-Project and it works ok. I started with only the basic settings and later I installed server modules like memcache… but a thing that never worked for me is the minification of css. It breaks every theme I ever used.

    Edward