W3 Total Cache is one of the popular free caching plugins available for WordPress users. The huge set of options available will make the users confused whether the plugin is caching the pages or not. Here is a step by step tutorial on how to check W3 Total Cache is working on your WordPress site or not.
Step By Step
Follow the below steps to test the caching:
- Login to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to “Performance > General Settings” menu.
- Scroll down to “Debug” section.
- Enable the required debug view, for example “Page Cache“.
- Click “Save Settings & Purge Caches” button.
- Navigate to “Performance > Page Cache” and disable the option “Don’t cache pages for logged in users” under “General” section.
- Open you website in a new browser tab and view the page source.
- You should see the W3 Total Cache information as HTML comments at the end of the page.
Let Us Test
Enable Debugging of Page Cache
After installed the W3 Total Cache plugin you should enable page caching for delivering cached pages to your visitors in order to improve the page speed. But you will not be able to find whether the pages or cached or not by just viewing your site or viewing the page source of your site. To check the caching is working or not, W3TC offers a debug function in order to find the caching details of a webpage.
Navigate to “Performance > General Settings” menu and scroll down to “Debug” section. You will see the checkboxes for “Page Cache” and other options offered by the plugin.
Enable the “Page Cache” checkbox and click on “Save Settings & Purge Caches” button.
Disable Caching for Logged Users
By default W3TC will not serve the cached pages for logged users. So, you will not be able to view the caching information if you test your site’s page source now. Navigate to “Performance > Page Cache” menu. Disable the option “Don’t cache pages for logged in users” under “General” section. Also check the next option “Don’t cache pages for following user roles” is also disabled.
Click on the “Save Settings & Purge Caches” button.
Testing on Browser
Open your site on a new browser window. Right click and choose view page source option. After the end of HTML section, you should be able to see the W3 Total Cache information as shown in the below picture.
This information ensures that your pages are served from the caching. Generally you will not be seeing any caching information if you did not disable the caching for logged in users. But sometimes you can see the details like below mentioning that caching is rejected as the user is logged in.
Ensure to reset the settings back like enable caching for logged in users and disable debug for all options.
Points to Remember
- Ensure to purge caches after every changes and also you may need to clear your browser’s history to see the changes are working immediately.
- If you are testing minification, then without debugging you can check the CSS / JS files are served from “/wp-content/cache/minify/” folder. Also the page source will be in an unreadable format without spaces indicating it is minified.
- The above screenshot information may differ on your site based on the settings.
- If you are using “Preview” mode then ensure to “Deploy” the changes every time when you change the settings.