W3 Total Cache Has Been A Total Frustration

Over the past few weeks I’ve had some issues with plugins (in particular W3 Total Cache) and the theme I have installed, Pagelines.

Initially I had thought it was problems with CloudFlare. Every now and again I kept getting an error page from CloudFlare stating that my website was down.

Every few days my theme would also revert to its default settings and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get it to stop doing this.

The last straw came when I updated my favourite plugin, CommentLuv to the latest version.

When I tried to click back into the WordPress Dashboard disaster struck. All I could see were error messages and I couldn’t get into the dashboard at all.

Andy Bailey really helped me out with the situation and after deleting a couple of plugins and reinstalling them via ftp I was back up and running again.

I must admit I did sit for a few minutes thinking I had just lost everything and considering whether I should just give up.

Each time I updated CommentLuv though the same thing would happen. I’d have to delete some plugins and then reinstall them to get my blog back up and running.

I contacted Andy again and he suggested that it was perhaps the caching plugin I had installed, W3 Total Cache, and not Cloudflare that was causing the issues.

Sure enough, I uninstalled the caching plugin and after a few days my website stabilised. My theme stopped reverting back to its defaults and the next time I updated CommentLuv I had no issues with other plugins.

I’ve not really seen much of a speed improvement with W3 Total Cache lately and I suspect that was because it was incompatible with my theme and some of the other plugins I have.

WP Super Cache

Another thing that Andy Bailey mentioned to me was that instead of using W3 Total Cache on his sites he now uses WP Super Cache.

I’ve been reluctant to activate another caching plugin on my blog since the issues I’ve had so it’s taken me a few weeks to finally get around to testing things out.

I’ve set up WP Super Cache this morning based on the settings advised by my web host.

Next, I checked to make sure my theme hadn’t gone back its defaults. Fingers crossed so far it’s looking stable.

Then I checked the load time on Pingdom Tools. After installing WP Super Cache with the recommended settings my website load time had decreased from 5.5 seconds to around 2 seconds.

That’s a pretty good decrease in load time. There’s some plugins that are taking up load time still so they may need to go unfortunately.

I’ll be monitoring things over the next few days to make sure nothing untoward happens but it looks to me as though WP Super Cache is a good option for me.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m really not having a pop at W3 Total Cache. I know many people swear by it and have seen some great results from using it.

I’ve just found that it doesn’t work with my site. It’s also a complicated plugin and I struggled to understand what all the options really did.

Do You Use W3 Total Cache Or WP Super Cache?

Do you use a caching plugin on your blog? If you do, which one and how are you finding it? If you don’t, are there any particular reasons why not?

P.S. I’d be grateful if you could share this post on your favourite social media sites!

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