How to Enable Caching in WordPress with WP Super Cache

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Caching is an integral part of your WordPress blog or e-commerce site if you are running an online store. It allows you to serve a pre-generated static page to your visitors instead of loading fresh content from the server as well as the necessary resources to render it. This takes away a heavy load from your server and provides great user experience by speeding up your website. In this article, I will show you how you can enable caching in WordPress with the WP Super Cache plugin.

What is WP Super Cache?

WP Super Cache is the official caching plugin for WordPress. This plugin has one of the simplest configurations yet it provides the best caching for WordPress.

Benefits of Super Cache Caching

  • Generate Static HTML files for a specific period and serve to the visitors
  • Cache website resources and increase your page load speed significantly
  • Reduce processing of heavy PHP scripts by caching web pages
  • Options to serve cached pages to users who are not logged in, users who have not left a comment on your blog or even users who have not viewed a password protected post

WP Super Cache Installation

OPTION 1

screenshot showing how to search for the WP Super Cache plugin in the WordPress plugins menu

 

  • Go to Plugins > Add New from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Enter “WP Super Cache” in the Search box.
  • Find the one developed by Automattic.
  • Click Install Now and Activate.

OPTION 2

  • Download the WP Super Cache plugin on your computer.
  • Go to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Click Choose file and select the zip copy of the plugin from your computer.
  • Click Install Now and Activate.

Once the plugin is installed WordPress will automatically create an AMP version of each web page for Googlebot to index the next time it comes to crawl your website.

WP Super Cache Configurations

Once you have installed the plugin you will need to configure some options in the settings (Settings > WP Super Cache > Advanced).

For most users, these should be the default configurations (I’m also using the same configurations at the moment):

screenshot showing the cache, cache delivery method, miscellaneous and advanced configuration sections of wp super cache plugin

  • Check “Enable Caching”
  • Check “Simple Cache Delivery Method” (This uses PHP caching which is almost as fast as the Expert option that uses the Apache mod_rewrite module. Unlike the Expert option this method doesn’t require modifications to your .htaccess file)
  • Check “Don’t cache pages for known users” (e.g. This prevents logged-in users from viewing cached content)
  • Check “Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors”
  • Check “Cache rebuild. Serve a supercache file to anonymous users while a new file is being generated”
  • Check “Mobile device support” (This step is optional since it requires an external super cache supported plugin/theme. If you’re already using a responsive theme I don’t think you need to worry about this option)
  • Check “Clear all cache files when a post or page is published or updated” (This is useful when you are publishing a new post or updating existing content)
  • Check “Extra homepage checks (very occasionally homepage caching may not work)

Now head to the Expiry Time & Garbage Collection section.

screenshot showing the expiry time & garbage collection section of wp super cache plugin settings

These settings will vary depending on your website traffic. If it’s a low traffic site there is no need to keep generating cached files frequently. You can probably choose to keep the cached content fresh for a longer period. For example, 43200 seconds (12 hours) or 86400 seconds (24 hours). However, If it’s a high traffic site where content/comments are getting updated frequently, you would probably want to generate new cached files sooner. For example, 3600 seconds (1 hour). Sometimes the caching might get bugged where an old cached file is not removed automatically. In that case, you can set a timer which will regularly check for stale cached files. For example, 300 seconds (5 minutes) or 3600 (1 hour).

WP Super Cache Testing

Once you have saved all your configurations make sure to check whether super cache is functioning properly on your website. You can head to Settings > WP Super Cache > Easy and Click on the Test Cache button to see if Super Cache can successfully retrieve your cached website.

screenshot showing how to test cache in the WP Super Cache plugin

If it’s a HTTPS site (where an SSL certificate is installed) you will need to uncheck “Send non-secure (non https) request for homepage”.

That is all there is to know about setting up WP Super Cache with minimal configurations. if you would like to share your experience with WP Super Cache or have any suggestions, feel free to share it in the comments.

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