It is very crucial to speed up your website if you are trying to compete with other sites. You may apply several methods to boost your WP site. But a perfect cache plugin will significantly affect the loading time of your site and the SEO of your website also. That’s why you should accurately follow the WP Super Cache settings to increase the performance of your website.
Cache plugins are the best effective options for reducing the load time on the server and speeding up your website. For this purpose, the WP Super Cache plugin can be an excellent choice for web professionals because it is available at free of cost. This WP plugin can slash your page load times in half without having any specialized knowledge.
Our guideline for WP Super Cache settings will help those people, who don’t want to go deep. They can perform a quick setup according to the provided screenshots. Beginners should be thankful to WP Super Cache plugin because of its simple, user-friendly interface and number of features. While most of the cache plugin comes with complicated settings and responsible for site breaks.
How WordPress serves your content?
It might be a tricky question, and the overall processing can be a bit technical. But we will describe this matter so easily to you. When users visit a page or post of your site, it involves a lot of PHP processing and database queries if you not active caching.
During traffic spikes, these things will take time and also exhaust your server resources. WordPress dynamically executes these processes. You can say that WordPress has to implement all the separate processes to load your website’s content for each visit.
In this case, the visitors cannot see your website until these processes are finished. It can take tremendous time, though computers are so fast these days. That’s where caching is a very powerful element for your WP site, and WP Super Cache exactly fixes this problem.
What is WP Super Cache plugin?
It is one kind of caching plugin which is perfect for WordPress sites. For your kind information, heavy PHP scripts on your WP site may cause the laziness. But this plugin does not rely on PHP scripts because it features static HTML files that are directly served by the Apache web server. As a result, it increases the loading speed of your WordPress site.
When you continuously add pages of content to your website, you may notice that the WordPress loading speed decreases in a high margin. So you should use a caching plugin like “WP Super Cache” to increase your site speed. It is one of the most famous plugins that can be very crucial for your website.
How does it work?
WP Super Cache uses a method something called page caching. Typically it generates a static HTML copy of your content for visitors when browsing. That’s how it turns dynamic into static to increase the speed of your website because it stores a copy of the last result of the dynamic process.
In this way, your web server does not need to execute the PHP or database queries for each visitor. It can serve up the already-finished product. This plugin helps to load the finished page much faster, and your server has to do less work significantly. This is the way WP Super Cache plugin works.
WP Super Cache Settings for Beginners
We will perform WP Super Cache installation and settings in a one by one process. The settings page of this plugin is quite simple and will be easy for the beginners. Compared to other similar plugins, it can be the most easily configured plugin. So let’s see how we can install and set up the WP Super Cache plugin.
Step 1. Download and Install
You have to download the plugin and install it before you start to use it. At first, log in to the WordPress admin area and go to the plugins tab. Then open the plugins menu and click on the “Add New” button.
Now, press the “Upload Plugin” option then move your mouse cursor to the search box. Type “WP Super Cache” in the search bar and press the Enter button of your keyboard. When you found the WP Super Cache plugin, you have to click the “Install Now” button.
Wait for a few seconds, and your plugin will be installed. The “Install Now” button should change to “Activate” button within a few seconds once the process of installation is completed. So now, click on the “Activate” button to make your plugin active.
Step 2. Configuration
In this step, you are ready to set up the plugin. You should open the WordPress dashboard panel and click on the “Settings” tab. Now choose the sub-menu of the “Settings” menu, which is labeled as “WP Super Cache.” Then you can see the WP Super Cache settings page. Perform the following settings step by step.
Step 3. Easy
Now you are on the WP Super Cache Settings page, and you will see the “Easy” tab as the first parameter. Click on it where the settings are still in the OFF position. Then update this setting just like we did at below.
Caching: – Enabling this feature is an easy way to improve the page load times. It is highly recommended to click on this radio button. By doing this, you have activated the basic page caching on your website. Now, click on the “Update Status” button so that the WP plugin will start working.
Test Cache: – After enabling the “Caching” option, you can check whether the cache has been turned on and whether the cache is working. You have to press the “Test Cache” tab below the Caching option to check the caching status. The “Test Cache” feature will collect multiple copies of your home page results and compare the timestamps.
You should see a sound output if the plugin is working correctly. When everything seemed green, it should be fine. If you found errors, it doesn’t mean that the plugin is not working. You should try tweaking the miscellaneous settings, specifically the “compress pages” and “cache rebuild” option if your test cache fails.
Step 4. Advanced
You should check the advanced options if you want to increase your WordPress load time more and more. Make sure you backup your website first to experiment with these options.
This important section involves the options to change your caching method, advanced settings, and miscellaneous. You pretty much need to check a box to configure most of the advanced settings. We are explaining the choice of settings from the advanced section. You can check these following settings.
Caching: – Enable this feature for quick access to your website. If you approve this option, it will automatically turn on the advanced caching settings.
Cache Delivery Method: – You will get a “Simple” mode choice which is recommended and easiest for non-programmers. It uses PHP itself to deliver the cached files.
While the “Expert” mode is faster than simple mode because it uses Apache’s mod_rewrite feature to serve “Supercached” static HTML files. You should use the simple method if you feel uncomfortable with editing PHP files. The “Simple” mode is just fine for most of the websites.
- We suggest enabling the “Don’t cache pages for known users” feature. If you enable this option, it doesn’t show cached pages for regular visitors who have been on your website before. It can be a good option as regular visitors want to see new content. In this system, WordPress will dynamically generate pages for people who are logged in. So you should check this option.
- You may enable the “Don’t cache pages with GET parameters” option. This feature doesn’t cache pages which are different for each user. So it depends on you, whether you want to use it or not.
Typically, it is a “Gzip Compression” item in GTmetrix or Pingdom. Enable GZIP compression may provide an extra small speed boost. You should look for noticeable formatting errors after enabling this. If you found any errors, immediately disable it. Otherwise, enable this feature. Click the box to “Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors” option.
- Don’t enable the “Cache HTTP headers with page content” feature. It can make the cached pages faster. But it also uses PHP file delivery, which is slower instead of static file delivery. You may enable it if you use plugins that send extra headers, otherwise, disable it.
- Always allow the “Cache rebuild” option. Generally, it shows the cached page if a new file is in the process of being generated. This file can be called super cache files and serve static HTML files for new users.
- Enabling the “304 not modified browser caching” option can prevent updating the cache on ‘tag’ pages. It can boost the load times for recurring visitors. So, you should check the box for “304 Not Modified browser caching” to enable this setting.
- You may enable the “Make known users anonymous” option because it shows cached pages for regular visitors. It caches for everyone and counters the earlier setting “don’t cache pages for known users.”
- Check the box of “Enable dynamic caching” option. It allows the caching for dynamic content, which is changing.
- Make sure to enable the “Mobile device support” feature. It can cache mobile pages if you are using a mobile device plugin like WPtouch or mobile theme. This option generates cache files for mobile users.
- Try to disable “Remove UTF8/blog charset support from .htaccess file” option. It should fix the issues when you see weird characters or punctuation that looks incorrect on your website.
- Give a tick to the “Clear all cache files” option. While a post or page is updated or published, this feature helps to clear the cache files. It also makes sure the new content is now showing.
- “Extra homepage checks”- this feature is pretty similar to the previous setting. If you have a blogroll, it makes sure your newest blog posts will be shown on the homepage. You also can apply this feature to dynamic content on your website’s homepage. So you can enable the “Extra homepage checks” option for homepage caching.
- If you have lots of comments, then you should enable this “Only refresh current page when comments made” feature. Don’t refresh all the cache to do this because the readers want to see the latest content.
- You have to disable the “List the newest cached pages on this page” option as it shows which pages have been cached.
- Never try to enable the “Coarse file locking” option. It might slow down your website.
- Enable this “Late init” function to present the cached files after loading WordPress. This feature allows the content to stay dynamic. It also can fix the error of “super cache dynamic page” option.
Cache location: – You don’t have to change the “Cache location” field. The default path is fine and no need to change the path.
Expiry Time & Garbage Collection: – In this section, you can set the time and frequency for garbage collection from cache files on your server. You also may leave the settings by default, as it is appropriately placed at 1800 seconds. Your cache should be deleted and renewed if you set the time here in seconds.
- In the “Cache Timeout” field, you should set 3,600 seconds, which is suitable for most of the websites. On the other hand, high traffic websites can lower this to 1,800 seconds. It’s the frequency that the cached pages expire and should throw away. The users may don’t see the cached version if it is too slow. While it can consume a lot of CPU if it is too fast. Set the “Timer” at 600 seconds, which is best.
- The “Clock” option should be set to 00:00 HH: MM and select “Once Hourly” in the Interval box.
Accepted Filenames & Rejected URIs: – When you scroll down the Advanced Settings page, you will reach to this section. Here you can specify the pages that you don’t want to cache. This feature is mostly used by excluding eCommerce pages or pages that are updated very frequently. You can make your settings according to your wishes in this section.
You will also get a section below that is labeled as “Add here strings (not a filename).” You should enter here the URL slug for the page that’s having issues.
Rejected user agents: – This feature can prevent user agents from seeing the cached pages. Search engines like Googlebot and Bingbot are the most common user agents.
You can also add here the entire list of mobile user agents if you are using WPtouch.
Lock Down: – You should click on the “Enable Lock Down” option for preparing your server for an expected spike in traffic. New comments will not refresh the cached static files on a post if you use the “Lock Down” feature. It will help to prevent your site from crashing. If you notice traffic skyrocketing, then you should enable this because it will save on server resources.
Directly cached files: – You may add here a specific page which will get a high spike in traffic.
Fix configuration: – This feature can restore the default WP Super Cache settings.
Now, you have to click the “Update Status” button to save these changes when all the areas are checked.
Step 5. CDN
The CDN connection is a handy feature if your site is visited from not only in the country where the server or hosting is located. This feature hosts your large website files from multiple data centers around the world. So it reduces the geographic distance between the visitor and your server.
This CDN (Content Delivery Network) service has to connect with your plugin separately. There are plenty of CDN services available on the Internet, such as StackPath or Cloudflare. You need to take these services to enable the CDN feature in WP Super Cache settings.
This plugin offers an option to install a CDN on the CDN menu. In this section, you can select the “Enable CDN Support” feature. After that, you have to provide the Site URL and Off-site URL to use this feature properly. You may save the settings for CDN just like the screenshot that we have provided.
Step 6. Contents
The expired cached pages of your site will be deleted, and they would not put stress on your server as long you set the “Cache Timeout” appropriately in the Advanced settings option. You may make changes to CSS or JS when working on site and then you see a cached version. Deleting the cache should fix the issue in this purpose.
The “Contents” menu displays the statistics of pages in the cache. Here you can delete the cached pages separately. You should use the “Regenerate cache stats” button because the cache statistics cannot be generated in automatic mode. In this way, you can do this by manually clearing your cache.
Delete Expired: – If you click this button, it will delete the cache that has expired lifetime.
Delete Cache: – In case you see the old cached versions of your pages, this option can refresh the cache.
Delete Cache On All Blogs: – When you press this button, it deletes the entire cache on the site.
Step 7. Preload
It is a refresh when the cached pages are refreshed in one go and all cleared. You should enable this feature because it can improve both the website and indexing speed. But there is an issue that preload consumes a lot of server resources which may put stress on your server and makes your website slow.
The “Refresh preloaded cache files every” field is by default set to 600 minutes. If you don’t want the static files to expire unless you manually refresh the cache, you should leave it to 0 minutes. You also can increase this number if it is putting stress on your server and if you are using shared hosting.
This feature can create a lot more files. You may create here a cache immediately without waiting for a visit to all the pages. If necessary, you can automate the procedure. You have to change the settings to “All” in the “Preload” tab. Then give tick on all the options below such as “Preload mode,” “Preload tags,” and “Send me a status email,” etc.
Step 8. Plugins
You may skip this section or leave everything as is if you use the Bad Behavior plugin, WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin, or WPtouch plugin. You would enable compatibly for those in this case.
Step 9. Debug
We do not advise to make any changes to this section if everything goes well. By specifying your IP in the appropriate field, you may enable the debugging mode.
Also, you can enable here the “Check of the front page every 5 minutes” feature. The key text has to be added in the column of “Front page text” field. It should be a phrase or word which is contained only on the front page.
Now you have the basic knowledge of WP Super Cache settings and configurations. You don’t have to worry about the loading speed of your site if you can adequately use this cache plugin.