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W3 Total Cache

Site speed is something that we take very seriously. In order to make sure that our site scales and sustain huge loads of traffic without crashing, we utilize the W3 Total Cache plugin. It also helps us integrate with MaxCDN. W3 Total Cache plugin is used on sites like Mashable, Matt Cutt’s blog, CSS-Tricks, and WPBeginner as well. It is recommended by popular hosts like HostGator.

It offers caching abilities like Page Cache, Database Cache, Browser Cache, Object Cache, CDN integration and more. For most beginners this just sounds like bunch of mumble jumble. So let us explain it a little bit more.

What is Page Cache?

Page cache is responsible for creating static cache pages for each page that is loaded, so it is not being dynamically loaded upon each page load. By having this enabled, you will significantly decrease your load time and server resources while improving performance. Refer to the image below to see how page cache works.

What is Page Cache?

As you can see normally when a user comes to the site, they see a WordPress page. PHP recognizes the call, goes to the MySQL Database which finds the page your user is looking for, then outputs it. This takes server resources. Having the page caching turned on, allows you to skip all that server load and show a cached copy.

What is Browser Cache?

Every time someone visits a website, your browser downloads all the images, CSS files, JavaScripts etc in a temporary folder to enhance the website experience. So when a user goes to the next page, the site will load much faster because all the static files are in their browser cache. Browser Cache option in W3 Total Cache sets a time limit on the Browser Cache. Considering you don’t change your logo every day, having static files like that cached for 24 hours does not hurt you.

CDN Integration

As we mentioned previously that W3 Total Cache integrates with CDN. We have written a whole article on why we use content delivery network (CDN) on WPBeginner.

W3 Total Cache is by far the best caching plugin that we know of. If you are looking for help setting up W3 Total Cache, then look at our step by step guide to install and setup W3 Total Cache.