CloudFlare W3 Total Cache configuration
CDN

W3 Total Cache Settings with CloudFlare Guide

With the seamless integration of a CDN and faster loading time, W3 Total Cache helps you optimize your WordPress website to help you gain a better user experience. If you are going to use this plugin then you must ensure that other caching plugins have been removed. This is to minimize conflicts which arise when you try to use two different caching plugins. If you are using CloudFlare CDN, you will be required to complete a CloudFlare W3 Total Cache configuration to make sure that the plugin works as expected. While the default settings will promise a good performance for your website, you can go through the Settings to optimize the working of the plugin for your website.

Extensions

Begin by visiting the Extensions tab you will see a number of extensions that you may want to activate for W3TC. By activating CloudFlare your general and advanced settings will be updated to include CloudFlare and will help you in the CloudFlare W3 Total Cache configuration. This will make it easy for you to work on the General Settings and Advanced Settings later. Enable CloudFlare, enter your email address with your CloudFlare account, key in your API key, enter your domain name, Pick the security level as low and for Rocket Loader keep it Automatic. And choose Full under CloudFlare SSL is you have a valid SSL.

While these are basic settings, you can login to your CLoudFlare account and change the settings according to your website’s requirements.

General Settings

The general settings is available under the Performance menu in the admin panel.

Preview Mode

Every website owner will agree that they need to preview the settings before their users can see the changes. You should know how your website will look if you change certain settings so use the Preview mode while making the changes and once you disable it your settings will go public. The advantage is to be able to see what your website will look like before you release the changes.

Page Cache

Enable Page cache and choose the cache method as ‘Disk: Enhanced’.

Minify

CloudFlare users must keep it disabled because CloudFlare does the work for it.

Opcode Cache

This comes with W3TC Pro. Ignore it.

Database Cache

Keep it disabled because you are using CloudFlare CDN

Object Cache

Click on Enable and choose the Object Cache Method as Disk. Check the page loading speeds by enabling and disabling this to check for loading time. Some WP blog or website owners complain of slower page loading with object cache enabled.

Browser Cache

Enable this to increase the speed of your page loading.

CDN

CloudFlare helps you deal with CDN effectively in a different extension. Ignore CDN and CDN type.

Reverse Proxy

Reverse Proxy is helpful for websites because it retrieves resources from several servers. Keep this section unchecked and proceed to the next.

Network Performance and Security powered by CloudFlare

Leave the settings to the default. This option will be available only if you have activated CloudFlare from the Extensions tab.

Fragment Cache

This option is available for pro users only.

Monitoring

This part depends on signing up for a third party service called New Relic which allows you to check the stats for your website and server. Ignore this is you are not a New Relic user.

Licensing

This allows you to enter the license key for W3TC if you are using a pro version.

Debug

Enable it only when you need to troubleshoot a problem on your website. For all other times, keep this disabled to keep your page loading time quicker.

Import/Export Settings

This section allows you to import or export your settings of your CloudFlare W3 Total Cache configuration. It is always advisable to back up your settings before you proceed to make any changes. This will ensure that you have a backup available if you do not like the new settings.

Advanced Settings

Page Cache

This enables swiftness in the loading time of your page by caching your content. It improves user experience and allows you to cater to a larger traffic.

  • Cache Posts Page
  • Don’t Cache Front Page
  • Cache Feeds
  • Cache SSL requests
  • Cache 404 pages
  • Don’t cache pages for logged in users

Remember to check the box next to cache SSL requests if you are using SSL and if you do not want the administrators, editors and other logged in users to see cached pages then check the box next to Don’t cache pages for logged following user roles and choose the roles for which the pages should not be cached.

Under Advanced Settings of Page cache, make sure that you Enable Compatibility mode to prevent any errors. Leave everything else in the Advanced section as is.

Minify

The best way to use Minification is to leave CloudFlare to do all the work. Keep it disabled so that CloudFlare does the job of minifying to meet your website’s needs adequately.

Database Cache

For most of our readers, we have found that it is best if Database Cache is left as it is. You will notice that the install tab recommends this too. If you are on a budget hosting server there is a chance that database caching may slow down your website too. Since you are using CloudFlare CDN, make no changes to the settings

Object Cache

WordPress already has an option by default that does Object Caching for you. This section is best left as it is. The install tab recommends leaving it to default.

Browser Cache

Enable Browser Cache and heck the first six options which are:

  • Set last-modified header
  • Set cache control header
  • Set expires header
  • Set entity tag
  • Enable HTTP (gzip) compression
  • Set W3 total cache header

Leave the rest as it is for best results.

Conclusion

These are the CloudFlare W3 Total Cache configuration details that you will require when setting up the W3TC plugin. A lot of settings can be handled from your CloudFlare account as well but to make sure that the plugin works effectively with CloudFlare CDN, you must make sure that these settings are in place.

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