The free WordPress caching plugin W3 Total Cache is one of the most complete and popular caching plugins available. Developed by former Mashable CTO Fredrick Townes' agency W3-Edge, the plugin is used and trusted by sites and brands such as AT&T, Smashing Magazine, CSS-Tricks and Yoast. The plugin's popularity is largely due to its immensely powerful and complete options. As well as simply caching your blog, Total Cache will increase server performance, reduce download times and let you easily set up a content delivery network (CDN for short). It's the complete package, basically. In order to squeeze the most out of Total Cache and get the highest performance out of your blog, you'll need to have the plugin set up properly. This guide will show you everything you need to know about setting up W3 Total Cache properly for use with MyThemeShop themes. Quick note about W3 Total Cache Pro -- when you're using Total Cache you'll see a bunch of premium options are available as part of W3 Total Cache Pro, which is available for $99/year. Total Cache Pro offers some helpful additions, but we'll be assuming you're just rocking the free version of the plugin. We'll also assume you're not paying for any additional addons such as CloudFare protection or New Relic's monitoring. Installation Installing Total Cache is straightforward, just like any other WordPress plugin. Here are the steps you'll need to follow:
Head to Plugins -> Add New.
Search for "W3 Total Cache".
Click "Install Now".
Follow the prompts through and "Activate Plugin" once the install is complete.
Head to Google's APIs console.
Go to the Project Home tab.
Activate the Page Speed Online API and accept the Terms of Service.
Go to the API Access tab.
The API key is in the Simple API Access section.
Copy your key and paste it onto Total Cache.
Hit save and you're good to go.
If you now head to your main WordPress Dashboard, you'll see the widget showing up with your Page Speed shown on the widget. The widget will keep you Page Speed score up-to-date, so if anything changes you'll see it promptly and can get it fixed. Faster, better, stronger And we're done! Your site powered by a MyThemeShop theme and W3 Total Cache is now good looking and fast. As always, keep an eye on your site's load time after you've made any changes and look out for plugins which are hogging your site's resources. If you follow all of the instructions here, though, you'll have your site on a seriously solid foundation for making it as fast as it can be. Good luck.