WordPress W3 Total Cache Configuration for Optimal PerformanceApril 10, 2016

As you know, at Cloudways performance is our obsession. We carefully craft every deployed application to make best use of all caching layers (specially varnish) for optimal performance.

If you completely override our deployment with you application files, chances are that you will override all that work.

Here we are listing the steps to rebuild that optimal configuration for WordPress W3 Total Cache plugin.

It basically relates to the following sections of the W3 Total Cache plugin:

1. Page Cache

2. Database cache

3. Object Cache

4. Browser Cache

5. Reverse Proxy (Varnish)

Rest of the available sections will not be modified.

Step 1: Login to WordPress admin area

WP login

Login to the WordPress admin area of the site with your credentials.

Step 2: Get into Plugins Section


On the left bar click on “Plugins“.

Step 3: Locate W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache

Locate the W3 Total Cache plugin and click “Settings” to start the configuration (if W3 Total Cache isn’t installed, then click “Add New” at the top and search for W3 Total Cache and install it before proceeding).

NOTE: These settings are applicable for the  latest W3TC version 0.9.5. If you are not running the latest, you can easily update it from the WordPress admin or with the following WP CLI command “wp plugin update w3-total-cache” executed in your application web root.

Step 4: Configuration of Page Cache

Check “Enable” > Select “Disk:Enhanced” from the drop down menu > Save all settings.

Step 5: Configuration of Database Cache

Check “Enable” > Select “Memcached” from the drop down menu > Save all settings.

Step 6: Configuration of Object Cache & Browser Cache

1) Object Cache: Check “Enable” > Select “Alternative PHP Cache (APC / APCu)” from drop down menu > Save all settings.

2) Browser Cache: Check “Enable” > Save all settings.

Step 7: Configuration of Reverse Proxy (Varnish)

Check “Enable varnish cache purging“.

For non SSL protected websites, add your application URL (e.g.:wordpress-1828-XXX-XXXXX.cloudwaysapps.com) under the “Varnish servers” section and click on the “Save all settings” button.

W3 Total Cache Server Settings

If you are using an SSL certificate on your website, you need to append port number “8080” at the end of your application URL (e.g. wordpress-1828-XXX-XXXXX.cloudwaysapps.com:8080) and then save the settings.

And that will be it! The W3 Total Cache is now correctly configured according to Cloudways recommended settings.

10 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    This article needs to be updated.

    See the new settings here: http://www.cloudways.com/blog/how-to-use-w3-total-cache-wordpress/

  2. Umesh Joshi says:


    1. http://www.cloudways.com/blog/how-to-use-w3-total-cache-wordpress/
    2. http://support.cloudways.com/wordpress-w3-total-cache-configuration-for-optimal-performance/

    Your guide for optimal performance does not state any db cache settings that you have stated in the other article. So should we enable the db cache? sure?

    Many Thanks

  3. Paul Thompson says:

    This KB article is worthless without a notation indicating it’s most-recently-updated date. Same goes for all support articles – only listing the original publication of update articles is pointless and very problematic.

  4. Luke Marshall says:

    I can’t seem to select anything other than the shared server options which most of this article doesn’t use ??

  5. Dan says:

    Did you try to use Redis with W3 Total Cache?

  6. LUSH-IM says:

    If I don’t want to use W3 Total Cache, I would have problems and conficts if I I woud use the Comet Cachet?
    I also noticed that although I unistalled the W3 there still are some files of the plugin and Cloudways on my …/wp-content/ directory..
    Pls advice

    • Cloudways says:

      You can use any plugin that you want. We deploy W3 Total Cache cause it works fine with our stack, Comet Cache may work well too but we haven’t tried. About removing W3 Total Cache you need to delete advanced-cache.php, db.php, wp-total-cache-config.php, and delete the entire w3tc folder from the Wp-content folder.

      Cloudways Team

  7. […] Follow the Cloudways guide to configure W3 Total Cache. […]

  8. […] WordPress W3 Total Cache Configuration for Optimal Performance […]

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