W3 Total Cache
[resolved] I need to speed up my WP site! Advice for a noob! (10 posts)

  1. sadhaka
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I really want to speed up my WordPress site (3.4.2), by using an appropriate plugin and also to get my head round using a CDN.

    Now I see this plugin W3 Total Cache, and apparently it will help me do all this, but I also see forlorn enquiries like this post (now closed):


    .. saying the plugin isn't being updated (I see it was last updated on 26 August 2011), and I also see what look like significant problems using it in conjunction with a CDN, like this one:


    So, can anyone help me and advise me what to do? Do I need a plugin to interface with a CDN? Will a CDN deliver the speed increase on its own?

    I realise this is a kind of noob question, but I'd be grateful for any pointers or links that would give me some up-to-date advice about how to speed up my kinda slow WordPress site.

    Thanks in advance.


  2. bheadrick
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Maybe the plugin isn't being updated because it's already rock solid.

    I've been using it for ages, and I've had some minor issues with it here and there, but I think it's way better than anything else out there.

    You'll see the biggest performance improvement with page caching, which significantly reduces the number of sql queries. If you do a speed test from pingdom.com, that's the "wait time" portion.

    Next, is browser caching - this ensures that static resources like images and css files don't have to get downloaded over and over again.

    Minification and combining reduces the file size of the css, js, and html, and reduces the number of total files that have to be downloaded from the server at any point, which further reduces load delays.

    It really depends on how image-heavy your site is as to whether you'll see a significant improvement by using a CDN, but it will definitely help. You pretty much just need a plugin to interface with a CDN so that the files (images /css/etc) on your site are pointing to the CDN.

    Cloudflare is free and some CDN-like qualities, but Amazon Cloudfront is quite a bit more manageable and will probably give you better performance benefit.

  3. rick4him
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Do you need a plug in to interact with your CDN if you're using WT3C? I was under the impression the option was already there to use your CDN.

  4. bheadrick
    Posted 3 years ago #

    yeah, W3TC works with many CDN's I was reading that as a question of do you need a plugin for a CDN where W3TC would be one of the plugins you can use.

    W3TC makes it very easy to interface with a CDN. I've only used CloudFront personally, but once you've signed up and added your api credentials, it's really straightforward. Just make sure you select the Pull option on the general page, otherwise you have to tell it to upload files and wait for those files to be uploaded. Plus you would get charged for s3 storage as well as the cdn transfers.

  5. sadhaka
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Just so I'm clear about this - am I right in thinking that this plugin is still useful if you don't have a CDN set up yet?

    And presumably it's OK to integrate a CDN later without much trouble?

  6. sadhaka
    Posted 3 years ago #

    It also occurs to me that I'm running WP version 3.4.2 - does anyone know if that presents a problem? I see it's listed as "Compatible up to: 3.2.1" ... ?

  7. bheadrick
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I've got several sites on 3.4.2 with this plugin with no major issues. Yes, you will see a dramatic increase in performance without the need of a CDN, but Amazon CloudFront has no setup fees and only costs like $0.12/GB of bandwidth.

  8. sadhaka
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks for that info. I think you've allayed my fears and I'll be installing it. Will check out Cloudfront as well. Thanks again.

  9. rrhobbs
    Posted 3 years ago #

    works well with MaxCDN too

  10. Willie Jackson
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi all-

    Looks like the main concerns here have been addressed, but for the record (we make W3TC):

    • @sadhaka:W3TC isn't in the least bit abandoned, and you can see Frederick (the creator) in that thread dispelling rumorsā€”development on the plugin literally takes place every day.
    • @bheadrick: Thanks for chiming in here and for using W3TC.
    • @rick4him: CDN is completely optional, your understanding is correct.

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