Full disclosure: WordPress websites can improve their load times in many ways, with or without our plugin. We’d like to help you fix some common issues you can encounter when using W3 Total Cache. The answer isn’t always to throw in the towel and use another plugin. Let’s try to fix some of these errors together first! W3 Total Cache is a great caching plugin but it’s not always easy to fix caching problems when you are new to the world of WordPress load times.

Fixes for common W3 Total Cache error notifications

W3 Total Cache minify may break WordPress plugins, themes or your ability to even log into WordPress depending on its compatibility with other plugins or themes used and the overall configuration of this caching plugin. So how can you tell if this plugin is causing all your troubles? Typical symptoms are pictures not showing, pages not displaying correctly, Woocommerce shopping carts not updating or showing the wrong order. Here are some common errors that you can encounter when using W3 Total Cache:

W3 Total Cache error some files appear to be missing

If you get this error, sadly, you need to uninstall the plugin and make sure that residual files are removed as well before reinstalling.

W3 Total Cache status not cached

Sometimes, W3 Total Cache doesn’t cache certain resources. The debug tool will simply provide you with information regarding what is or isn’t cached. You can check your plugin works with this online tutorial.

If you have done all the tests and still run into issues or if your load time simply isn’t up to your standards, it’s time to consider using a new caching plugin.

W3 Total Cache error 404

With some of the latest WordPress updates, W3 Total Cache can cause 404 errors. Some have noticed that in Google Search Console or in GTMetrix. When you use free plugins, one of the downsides is that sometimes they aren’t maintained or compatible with WordPress updates. One of the fixes offered for this issue is to disable caching of 404 pages in the plugin’s settings but it’s not a guaranteed fix for everyone.

If you have tweaked this plugin over the years and forget some of the changes you made or why, it can be very hard to find the source of your 404 problem. In that case, you can investigate, do a fresh install or switch plugins to find something that will alway be kept up-to-date and will remain 100% compatible with WordPress, no matter how many updates happen.

W3 Total Cache error 500 or wp-admin error notification

This caching plugin can cause issues with using WordPress in network mode when the page caching option is enabled. W3 Total Cache has been known to cause many 500 errors. It also depends on some hosting services’ use of Varnish in which case changes to your .htaccess are your best bet. Some people solved this issue by turning On to “combine only” option on the CSS tab of the plugin’s settings and then selecting “auto” on the Minify tab settings.

500 errors caused by caching plugins can be pretty difficult to fix on your own. Once again, if you are seeking an easy to use caching plugin that doesn’t require this work to keep your website loading fast, you should consider other options.

W3 Total Cache Error Unable To Resolve Hostname

This issue occurs sometimes when you use a CDN (CloudFront and MaxCDN in particular). The main solution offered is to downgrade the plugin version. However, the one major drawback of downgrading is that a high risk XSS vulnerability was found in W3 Total Cache. As a result, it’s not recommended for security reasons. This is one of the areas where premium plugins like WP Rocket are most effective. Keeping up with changes made by third-party services is not easy and requires a dedicated team of developers to provide new caching plugin versions that are compatible.

How To Uninstall W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

If you suspect that W3 Total Cache is causing issues on your website or if you would like to install another WordPress caching plugin, it is very important to make sure that you uninstall it the right way. Otherwise, it could end up causing you even more trouble!

If you were using other cache plugins before WP Rocket, you should make sure to remove their leftovers inside your FTP.  Within the wp-content/cache folder, the only 3 folders WP Rocket creates are /min, /busting and /wp-rocket. All others should be removed.

Tutorial Requirements

You should have:

  • A WordPress website setup
  • Be using W3 Total Cache Plugin
  • Have admin access to the WordPress website
  • Have FTP access to the web server

Estimated Completion Time: < 15 Minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Step 1: Turn Off All Caching, Minifying and Other Options

Go to the W3 Total Cache settings page in WordPress and disable all the options you enabled. This can be done by unchecking everything. Save your changes.

Step 2: Deactivate and Delete the Plugin

Go to the plugins page and deactivate W3 Total Cache. Once that’s done, you should see the Delete option appear. Go ahead and delete the plugin.

Step 3: Remove Files From the Web Server

Back everything up before you remove files, just in case. Delete advanced-cache.php, db.php, wp-total-cache-config.php, and delete the entire w3tc folder from the wp-content folder.

If you plan on installing WP Rocket, you can also delete the entire wp-content/cache folder to make sure everything is removed. WP Rocket will recreate this folder and you’ll be set.

Step 4: Solve any .htaccess errors caused by W3 Total Cache

Make sure that no W3 Total Cache rules remain in your .htaccess file after you uninstall it. Create a backup of your file before you delete anything from it. Once modified, just reupload it to the server, check that everything works and you are good to go.

That’s it, wave goodbye to W3 Total Cache. It’s gone!

The Elevator Pitch, or Why you should switch to WP Rocket

We’ll make it short and sweet:

  • W3 Total Cache is not compatible with WordPress 4.7.
  • It gets s#@! done. Your WordPress will be blazingly fast after your setup.
  • Switching to WP Rocket is easy and our plugin will tell you if you have other caching things lurking in WordPress that should be removed.
  • We have awesome support in 5 languages! Our Rocketeers are very active helping customers solve their issues.
  • WP Rocket is easy to use. We meant it. It is seriously easy to get started. WP Rocket applies 80% of the best practices in web optimization automatically without requiring the user to do anything. It takes about 20 minutes of setting up everything with W3 Total Cache.
  • And if for some reason you aren’t convinced, we have a 30-day money back guarantee.

Want a faster website? Download WP Rocket!