Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.
The plugin, itself, is nice. It's big and could be made more intuitive/user-friendly, but it is nice. I would not, however, install it prior to a site being completely developed and ready for launch, as all the caching and latent files even when disabled going on during development can become a real nightmare. Better to install it after the fact so pinpointing what it is about the plugin messing something up can be more easily isolated then disabled. And even then, be prepared for yourself or someone on staff to have to dedicate a considerable amount of time learning the things' in-and-outs.
This is not to say that waiting for a site to be fully developed and dedicating the requisite time to the plugin will alleviate all worries, because it will not. In fact, W3TC is currently causing mixed content warnings and breaking SSL pages on our site even though we have "Disable CDN on SSL pages" enabled in Performance-->CDN-->Advanced. How to solve this, I don't know. Neither does MaxCDN (our CDN provider). I'd like to know, but..
which brings me to why this review is 3 and not 4 stars:
We purchased the $150 Plugin Configuration and Theme Optimization package from these guys, then immediately decided we wanted to try WP Supercache before committing to such a massive plugin. An email received from Willie after the purchase was replied to, stating what our intentions were and that a refund needed to be processed since no work had commenced. A string of emails then ensued, wherein Willie, without actually saying so, gave every implication that no refund would be tendered until and unless he approved of why we wanted to try a different caching plugin. Being obviously unacceptable (if not surreal), the situation was bottom-lined for Willie and emphasis was placed on the expectation of an immediate refund. He replied, thanking us for the explanation given. 4 or 5 days passed from that point -- no refund was made.
...More time passes, and as often happens in the website business, we were more pleased with the former plugin than with the latter (even though WP Supercache was not breaking SSL pages), so we re-installed W3TC. Good news for W3TC, right? So Willie was again contacted, letting him know that we would in fact be committing to W3TC and to respond letting us know if he'd still like to perform the configuration and theme optimization. And, if not, when we could expect our now-very-late refund.... nothing. Nada. We can't get this dood to respond to anything. Days go by -- absolutely no communication. More days go by. Nothing.
Once again: it's a good plugin so long as you learn it; there are still caveats to that, however, as initially described in the opening paragraph. But as far as giving them money for anything, I would indeed, and at this point, have to strongly advise against it. In fact, these people have very little time left to respond to our correspondence(s) before we have no other option but to initiate a charge-back.
I am willing to change the given rating, up or down, depending on what happens next.
As an aside: I have yet to ask in the plugin's support forum about the SSL page issue we're having for 2 reasons: 1.) if this goes the way it looks like it is, we won't be using the plugin -- ergo, SSL pages problem solved; and 2.) after looking over the support forum, they do not appear all that responsive there, either. Time is money: I have to at this point conclude that I have wasted quite enough of both on what has been, and have every reason to believe would continue to be, an amateurish and woefully unrefined understanding of customer service and support.
The plugin is clearly one of the best, but the service is very poor. We paid W3 Edge $450 (it gets considerably more expensive than the plugin's dashboard suggests) to give our server the full performance tune-up. They promised a 1-week turnaround, but it's been 22 days now, and they haven't done very much at all. When our server went down while they were working on it, they simply disappeared. After I sent them about one email per day for a week, asking for a status update, they finally told me the server had stopped working. I got the server back up in a few hours, and now it's a waiting game again.
As I said, very poor service.
We are not happy.
As above, its a mighty powerful plugin, but the Empty hostname error is still to be resolved :(
[Topic decapped - please do not yell here]
have used this plugin for a number of sites and while it does the job there is one aspect that is a strong negative.
For some reason this plugin generates tens if not hundreds of thousands of files on the server that has caused me some grief with my hosting service (Bluehost) to the point where they advised they may have to disable my account.
What I find particularly troublesome is that there is no mention in the plugin settings or the documentation that this proliferation of files may occur. Nor is there any mention of which settings may trigger this. It wasn't until Bluehost notified me of the problem that I was aware of this issue.
Due to these issues I have deleted the plugin from all the websites I maintain.
NOTE TO DEVELOPER:
I think it would be in everyones best interest if you clearly identified which settings caused this problem and also put warnings in the plugin settings screen so that this problem can be avoided. It really does tarnish what otherwise is an excellent plugin.
So, this program worked in most things I needed but I ended up having to also install WP Minify to minify and disable yours altogether. In my site when I set your minify to auto it made my mobile responsive menu appear and when I set it to manual and changed settings, all the speed analysis sites showed no increase (where on auto it was significant) but when WP Minify I was able to just exclude my responsive css and everything is working fine. I tried excluding it in your minify settings and it never seemed to either exclude the page or when it did the site gained no speed increase via minify.. Just letting you know.
I've spent quite a bit of time playing with site optimisation tools and plugins, from Cloudflare and WP Minify etc. I normally use WP SuperCache but I have tried W3TC on a number of occasions, and each time I end up deactivating it.
One of the problems at the moment is that the Cloudflare part does not seem to be working, it keeps saying it cannot connect the API (and yes, I've been through the work-arounds and checked that I put in my domain correctly). I have been reading a few support threads on this issue and there doesn't seem to be a work-around.
The other thing that annoyed me are the contast messages that appear in the panel. The main issue, however, is that after installing this plugin my site speed tests had me dropping a couple of %!
In the end I reinstalled WP Super Cache and the official Cloudflare plugin.
Auto minify is not working..
already many people noticed.. and the admins know it i think
The plugin seems to speed up my site when working properly. But breaks the site often, usually within a day or two from working nicely.
I'm assuming conflicting with other plugins or my theme, very hard to setup and configure for my site. However, I'm still running it with only a few modules enabled.
Try it at your own risk.
The preload does not work in 0.9.2.8 and the error messages about it conflict.
W3TC states on the Page Cache set up page on my site that "It appears Page Cache URL rewriting is not working".
I set the preload down to 10 seconds with a limit of 3 pages/run and the page_enhanced directory never moved. Nothing was preloaded. I even tried setting permissions for wp-content, cache and page_enhanced to 777 and nothing happened either.
The details for the test that gave the messgage "It appears Page Cache URL rewriting is not working" is based on a test page http://www.mydomainname.com/wordpress/w3tc_rewrite_test
The results state "The plugin made a request to http://www.mydomainname.com/wordpress/w3tc_rewrite_test but received:
Operation timed out after 5000 milliseconds with 0 bytes received instead of "OK" response."
HOWEVER when I put the URL http://www.mydomainname.com/wordpress/w3tc_rewrite_test in a web browser it returns the "OK" response.
It would appear that URL rewriting IS working in my domain but that W3TC does not see it for preload.
This should be an urgent fix as cache preload is a must for keeping your users on your site and making sure that Google crawls your site.
Last 2 versions of this plugin has caused problems with a few of my sites. Blocking responsive sliders from not showing on the page at all. Disable W3 and no problem. Last version update Version 0.9.2.7 completely messes up theme styling and formatting. Disable the plugin and again no problems. Also from what i read there seems to be a lot of hoops to jump through to completely uninstall this plugin from your site when it should be a simple deactivate and delete procedure...
It's too bad I have to look for another caching option as everything was going great until the last 2 updates.
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