WordPress is just a collection of files and a database. To serve user requests, WordPress makes calls to its database to fetch information dynamically which will not only make your website slow but also consume more server resources.

The solution is to use a cache plugin like WP Super Cache to boost your website speed by reducing calls to the database and other PHP scripts.

How WP Super Cache works?

WP Super Cache works by generating static HTML pages of your dynamic content and serve these pages to your website visitors. Static web pages don’t make database calls which result in a fast website and less use of server resources.

By installing WP Super Cache, WordPress bypasses database and PHP scripts and directly serve static pages making your website super fast.

wordpress caching example

How to setup WP Super Cache?

The plugin has been developed by keeping simplicity in mind. Even a novice blogger can configure it without any problem unless you want to configure it at a more advanced level.

Let’s see how to install and use WP Super Cache plugin in WordPress.

wp super cache installation

  • Once installed, go to Settings > WP Super Cache.

wp super cache settings

  • WP Super Cache has a tabbed interface and you will land on Easy tab. For starters, just enable Caching On and press the button Update Status.

enable wp super cache

Believe it or not, you have successfully enabled WP Super Cache on your WordPress site. Just one more step and you will be done.

Let’s see how to check if the cache plugin is working properly.

  • On the same Easy tab, under Cache Tester, press the button Test Cache to test your cached website.

test super cache

It will basically request to fetch your website homepage twice and comparing a timestamp each time. If all goes well, you will see a success message The timestamps on both pages match!

If you are using a CDN service like Cloudflare then the test may produce inaccurate results.

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WP Super Cache is running properly now and you can proceed with writing awesome content for your blog.

The next part is for those curious souls who want to dig more deeper so let’s continue with rest of the plugin settings.

WP Super Cache Advanced Settings

WP Super Cache settings under Advanced tab will let you configure additional options to further enhance its performance. We will cover important options here which really matters.

First of all, make sure Enable Caching is already checked.

Cache Delivery Method

WP Super Cache uses two methods, Simple and Expert caching, to generate and deliver cached content.

wp super cache types

Simple caching is recommended for most users as the setup doesn’t require to alter any WordPress files like .htaccess. The cached HTML files will still be served by PHP scripts which are not as fast as Expert caching.

Expert caching is the fastest method which uses Apache mod_rewrite rules to deliver static HTML files. It will automatically add the required values in your blog’s .htaccess file or you have to do it yourself. You should use this method.

Make sure .htaccess file is writable. More on this later in this tutorial.

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Miscellaneous

Enable the following options as needed.

Don’t cache pages for known users: This option will disable caching feature for logged in users like administrators, editors, authors etc. Whenever any of these users will visit the front page, it will be a “fresh” dynamic front page instead of a cached page.

Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors: The option will save and deliver compressed pages which will make your website even faster but it can create problems for some hosts. You have to experiment with this option. Enable it and watch for at least few days if your website is working properly otherwise disable this option.

Cache Location

wp super cache stored files

Cache Location field will display default directory location where WP Super Cache stores all files. You can specify a new location here and the cached files from the old directory will be moved to the new directory automatically.

Better to leave this option as it is.

Mod Rewrite Rules

As discussed before, if you are using Expert caching, the plugin will automatically add some additional code into .htaccess file of your blog. But if the plugin fails to do it automatically then all the code will be displayed in this section so you have to copy all the code and add the code manually. See our detailed tutorial how to use .htaccess file in WordPress

Once done, you will see the message Mod Rewrite rules updated!

Expiry Time & Garbage Collection

There are two settings here Cache Timeout and Scheduler. A little bit of explanation is required to learn how to use these two settings properly.

super cache garbage collection

Every new cached file is considered fresh by WP Super Cache unless or until it reached its time limit specified under Cache Timeout field after which it will be considered as old or stale cached file.

Now, these stale cached files will keep on adding and eats away your web space so what is required to run a garbage collector after defined intervals under Scheduler settings.

The default settings will work for most of the websites and you don’t want to touch anything here but if you are running a busy website (busy in terms of generating posts) then consider lowering the Cache Timeout value.

Also set Clock and Interval to Hourly, Twice Daily or Once Daily depends upon your website needs. Once Daily is a good option for general websites and blogs while Hourly is more appropriate if you or your team generates content multiple times a day.

Accepted Filenames & Rejected URIs

Settings under this section can be used to exclude pages from getting cached. For example, many WordPress site owners don’t want to cache homepage or frontpage. Similarly, any custom individual pages can be set here you don’t want to cache.

wp super cache exclude pages

CDN Settings

Content Delivery Network or CDN is usually required for websites with huge traffic. If you are using a CDN for your website then you can take advantage of WP Super Cache CDN settings.

  • Check Enable CDN Support and fill in the required fields especially Site URL and Off-site URL.

wp super cache cdn settings

It will further reduce your website load by serving static files like images, JavaScript and CSS from a CDN.

Always consult CDN documentation and support for required settings and additional help.

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List of cached posts and pages

Under Contents tab, you will see your cache stats. All the cached posts and pages list will be available from this page.

  • To see an updated view of cache contents, click Regenerate cache stats.
  • Click List all cached files link to see a table view of all cached posts and pages.

super cache files list

WP Super Cache Preload Settings

Consider preload a complete static pages replica of your WordPress site. It will cache all published posts and pages of your website and disable garbage collection so they will never get deleted.

If you are running a really huge website with thousands of articles on a shared hosting then don’t use preload option as it may consume a lot of server resources which may result in crashing your server.

How to clear WP Super Cache?

Clearing cache is needed if you have made changes to your WordPress site and they are not showing up. It means you have been fed a cached page. Under such circumstances, it is required to clear the global cache to refresh the blog.

As we have discussed before, one option is to disable cache for known users under Advanced tab otherwise you have to clear cache manually.

The cache can be deleted either from Easy tab or Contents tab.

  • Under Easy tab, scroll down until you see Delete Cached Pages, press the Delete Cache button.
  • Under Contents tab, first press Delete Expired and then press Delete Cache.

You can also use WP Super Cache – Clear all cache plugin. It will let you clear all caches directly from the admin menu.

Use this plugin only if deleting cache is not working with any of the two above methods. We have seen some admins complaining about this issue on the internet and using this plugin solved their problem.

How to properly Uninstall WP Super Cache

  • First of all clear all caches as described above and then under Easy tab, switch Caching On to Caching Off.
  • Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins. Deactivate WP Super Cache and then Delete it.

It will automatically delete all traces from your entire website.

Remove WP Super Cache manually

To remove the plugin manually in case your website gets broken, see the steps below.

  • Using your web hosting CPanel or your WordPress FTP account, go to your home directory (also known as public_hmtl or www) and open wp-config.php file.
  • Look for the following entries and delete them.

define('WP_CACHE', true); //Added by WP-Cache Manager

define( 'WPCACHEHOME', 'some_directory_path_here' );

  • Save the file.
  • If you were using Expert caching, you have to delete entries from .htaccess also. Open the file and delete everything under # BEGIN WPSuperCache and # END WPSuperCache.
  • Save the file.
  • Open wp-content directory and delete cache directory, advanced-cache.php and wp-cache-config.php.
  • Finally go to wp-content > plugins folder and delete wp-super-cache folder.

wp super cache directory

Additional Reading

Conclusion

We have tried to cover all important WP Super Cache settings with easy step-by-step instructions as our focus was WordPress beginners.

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