Support » Plugin: W3 Total Cache » Help for w3-total-cache – is it setup properly ? Why is server crashing ?

  • I’m a business owner and not a developer. We have 20,000 page WP site which had recently added W3 Total Cache web cache plugins recommended by an SEO company and installed by our developers. I don’t think our developers are familiar with this plugin as they appear not to have used in an earlier install.

    Our developers are not server savvy, by their own admission and have not done sites in excess of 100 pages. But I did not think this would be a big deal. Not long after the web cache was installed the server crept to a halt ( 500 server error ). Not sure if it was connected but over 80,000 files were held in the cache folder, which our administrator ditched.

    Being concerned, I asked our server administrators what to do, and this is what they said :

    “There are alternatives to cache for wordpress. I was researching that this can actually work against the purpose. There are solutions such as varnish cache, which are installed at a server level (meaning we would need to install and configure this, versus the developer ) which can take the server load from maxing out with 15 concurrent users on wordpress, to allowing 1000s of users with no effect on performance. Part of the problem appears to be the wordpress setup, it doesn’t perform as well as it used to.” ( That is the initial setup )

    Our server administrator continues to empty the cache folder until a solution can be found.

    I have full confidence in the Amazon Elastic server as the administrators host very large clients, including banks.

    What should our developers be looking for to make sure the plug-in is correctly configured? What do you suspect?

    We’re happy to have a paid review, but will that necessarily reveal the issues to be fixed.

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  • I am having the same problem. A week after installing W3TC my server has now started serving 500 internal server error pages whilst I am in the dashboard. This is due to the space in gigs that is being taken up (I think because of W3TC). I would love to be able to use another caching plugin but unfortunately my site uses Woocommerce and W3TC seems to be the only caching plugin that plays nicely with this setup.

    It’s a shame as I love the degree of caching control W3TC offers. I did have to remove the plugin from a previous setup (about 2 years ago) due to the fact that no cached files were being removed. Looking at the recent changes and reviews it seemed like this problem had been rectified hence me installing it again but it seems like (for me at least) there are still some issues.

    I have had my garbage collection interval set for 3600 secs which I have now reduced to 1800 to see if that helps. Any other pointers would be appreciated.

    @g-olly – great to see you join the discussion. Let’s hope we can get some valued inputs

    To give some perspective, I have engaged two teams [ 1 x dev ; 1 x seo / dev support ]. These teams build approx. 60-70 WP sites per month combined , so there is a lot of experience and they are confused by the issue.

    The 2nd team has asked to see the error logs, and they say they can easily identify the problem then [ we’ll see ].

    Our server administrator and the dev teams do not think it is related to the server in any way.

    …some further inputs from others would be most welcome to pinpoint this.

    Hi @whitey123, yes, unfortunately though due to the nature of caching plugins, specific website and server set-ups means a fix for one might not work on another, etc.

    I came into work this morning to find the server at critical level – disk usage wise. I decided to remove the plugin completely for now, so that it doesn’t end up crashing the server.

    I could not for the life of me figure out what was taking up the space. But as I was removing the plugin (you need to go in and manually delete many of the files and directories to completely remove), I came across the object cache. I tried emptying this using first the plugin – timed out; then using cpanel – would not complete; I have had to login via ftp and delete these files – it started around 2 hours ago and it is still going!!

    I will update as and when I have more information.

    Our developers had asked for the server error logs to identify the problem.

    My server administrator came back with this answer :

    The log files are not going to show anything worthwhile. This is the issue we were experiencing.

    There is a limited number of inodes on a server, and it had used up the total amount allowed for the server, and as such gave the same error as the disk drive being full. Deleting the cache reduced the number of used inodes on the server.

    The above blog has people talking about some solutions, many people deciding not to continue with w3 cache anymore.

    …. I think is an important thread which deserves some inputs as to where and how to deal with this. Really, do our WP develop sub contractors [ 24 persons x 60 websites per month ] need to ditch the plug-in in favour of something else. This is an important issue I feel.

    Thoughts ?

    Without the experience or time to keep trying to sort out this issue I have reluctantly decided to go with WP Super Cache. It does not have the same level of control but (for me at least, when Woocommerce is deactivated – trying to sort out this problem at the moment) it works without the massive strain on my server.

    Having looked at the thread that you linked to Whitey123 it seems as if that might well have been the problem that I was experiencing to. Hopefully someone has an answer to this issue (apart from turning off database and object cache) to help make this plugin workable with some set-ups.

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