Here I’ll go over how to set up W3 Total Cache on a Shared server and on a VPS or Dedicated Server. While the process is very similar, there is one specific difference; one shared, you will cache to disk, on VPS and Dedicated, you will cache to memcache.
If you have a VPS or Dedicated Server, you will want to first enable memcache and memcached. However, on a VPS account or dedicated server, I actually recommend optimizing your server and then using a plugin to optimize your JS, CSS, and HTML. That’s my personal way of doing it as W3 total cache mostly uses the .htaccess to cache and optimize which in turn causes Apache to have to work harder and can increase your load. Now if you are on a server with plenty of resources, or a dedicated server, you are probably not going to worry that much about the load increasing a little bit to run the caching. Here is a guide on how to get some server side optimization: carvertown.com/how-to-set-up-server-side-caching-and-compression-dedicated-and-vps/
If you have a shared server, then continue onward!
You’ll want to download and install W3 Total Cache from the plugin screen on your dashboard and activate it.
Once it’s activated, go to Performance and then General Settings. Now these screen shots and instructions will be split into two sections, shared server and dedi/vps server.
When you are on general settings, enable these settings and save.
Next, go to Minify in the Performance menu and enable these settings and save.
Go to Browser Cache now, and make sure these settings are selected and save.
That should be good. Now, there are many ways you can set up Total Cache, and It’s all up to you how you want to do it. You may find one configuration works better for you than others. These are the settings that I found to do a good job.
VPS and Dedicated servers will have almost the exact same settings, save one. On the general tab, make sure to cache to Memcached!
Be sure not to be caching to Disk, make sure you are caching to memcached.