See how to configure the settings and purge cache in WP Fastest Cache. It was a winner in my recent Top WordPress Caching Plugins Head-to-Head Tests and is free and easy to use.
Last Update 2/14/18 – WP Fastest Cache continues to make improvements, so I’m constantly updating this post.
Following is a screenshot of all the basics setting.
Below the screenshot are more details for settings that have options or more clarification is needed.
Plus, at the end, you’ll see how to purge the plugin’s cache.
You wouldn’t believe how many site audits I do where folks install plugins and never configure them, or even turn them on!
Preload compiles all PHP (code) and SQL (database) calls into a static HTML file for faster delivery.
Preload use rule of thumb:
- Do not use if you are also using Cloudflare.
- If not using Cloudflare:
- Less than 10k hits/day, turn on preload.
- More than 10k hits/day, don’t turn on preload.
Logged In Users
Turn this on to ensure that you are always seeing the non-cached version of your site while you are working on it.
Leave this off unless you have a separate mobile version of your site.
As of Sept 2017, Clear all Cache for the whole site is the default setting when you publish a new post. You’ll likely want to leave it set this way due to how many places your new post may display on your site, such as any type of recent post listing.
NOTE: If you notice the cache not updating properly everywhere when you add a new post, then set this to Clear All Cache
When you update an existing post, only select site elements are affected, so I recommend setting the plugin to only clear cache on them, instead of losing speed on the rest of the site.
Minify and Combine
READ this whole section before turning these elements on!!!
Minification and combining static elements can definitely speed up your site.
They can both definitely break some sites, or site functions too!!!
If you choose to use any of these settings, turn them on one at a time and test the beegeebees out of your whole site. Be sure to clear the plugin cache and your browser cache and use an incognito/private window for those tests.
There are two common places to set minification – via a local caching plugin and via a CDN like Cloudflare.
Do one or the other, not both!
The minification in most all plugins is more aggressive than Cloudflare and will generally render better speed.
The free version of WP Fastest Cache have less aggressive settings than the paid version.
The more aggressive settings are grayed out.
Combining CSS and JS will not yield as much speed improvement on HTTPS sites as it will for HTTPS sites. That’s because HTTPS takes advantage of the HTTP/2 protocol, which delivers more elements in parallel by default. As HTTP/2 improves, combining CSS and JS will become less necessary to improve speed. But we aren’t there yet.
Combining also carries the greatest risk of breaking site elements, due to so many plugins having CSS and JS elements, besides those found in just the theme. Files that don’t play well with this setting can be excluded from the combo.
So, while combining works, it may take more tweaking to get it to work well on your site.
This type of compression makes a zip version of your site elements, which the browser later explodes. It delivers up to 85% speed improvement.
But, it only works completely on Apache servers.
If you’re on Litespeed, it already has a similar function built in, called APC, which will show up in speed test results as Gzip. Adding Gzip via this plugin will speed up the elements that APC can’t do alone. Just don’t expect as drastic a speed improvement as on Apache, simply because it needs more speed help.
Gzip Use Rule of Thumb:
- Turn on for Apache servers
- Turn on for Litespeed Servers and test again for modest additional speed improvements
This setting needs to coordinate with your CDN, like Cloudflare, if you are using that.
You only want one or the other controlling what site elements the browser is told to hold. I prefer doing it at the plugin, as it is more aware of your site changes. Set CloudFlare to Respect Existing Headers.
However, Cloudflare gives you more control over how long the browser cache is held.
So, you’ll need to test these two settings to see which gives the best results for your site type, depending on how often it changes.
Definitely turn this on if you don’t use emojis in your content or comments. You’ll get a small speed improvement all over your site.
Save Your Settings
Be sure to click the blue Submit button at the bottom.
You should get a green bar notification at the top that your settings have been saved.
Purge or Delete Cache
Click the Delete Cache tab at the top.
And then click the blue Delete Cache button.
If you did turn on minification, then you will also need to delete that cache when you make a css or style change to your theme, or one of your plugins that has a style sheet updates.
I would not recommend using the Other CDN Providers setting if you use CloudFlare.
It doesn’t integrate well.
I have not tried the integration settings for MaxCDN or Photon, so can’t say how well they work or not.
WP Fastest Cache does have a premium version available. You have to download and install the free version first, and then you can upgrade from within it. There is a one-time payment per site.
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