The Ideal WP Super Cache Settings With Cloudflare Or BunnyCDN

WP Super Cache is a solid cache plugin (if you’re going the free route).

Otherwise WP Rocket was rated #1 in 7 Facebook polls and is what I use (I have a set up guide for WP Rocket as well). But WP Super Cache is still a great choice especially because… it’s free.

I will show you how to set up the WP Super Cache settings including the Advanced, CDN, and Plugin tab. I’ll also cover Cloudflare, BunnyCDN, and show you the difference between the two.

If you’re using an NGINX server, you will need to edit the configuration file to make full use of WP Super Cache, especially to use the disk-base cache. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, I recommend trying a different cache plugin (WP Rocket, WP Fastest Cache, or even W3 Total Cache), as these cache plugins do not require you to edit your NGINX configuration file.

For hosting, I recommend Cloudways Vultr High Frequency who is miles better (and faster) than shared hosting companies including SiteGround, WP Engine, GoDaddy and EIG brands.

WP Super Cache Settings

Here’s how to configure the WP Super Cache settings:

WP-Super-Cache-Tabs

 

1. Easy

wp super cache - easy settings

Caching (Enable) – enables caching, an easy way to improve load times.

Delete cache – if you make updates to your website, especially to CSS or JavaScript files, and you see an old version of your page, deleting cache will refresh the page to the newest version.

 

2. Advanced

wp super cache - advanced.1

wp super cache - advanced.2

wp super cache - advanced.3

wp super cache - advanced, expiry time

wp super cache - advanced, garbage collection

wp super cache - advanced, filenames and exclusions

wp super cache - advanced, filenames and exclusions.2

wp super cache - advanced, lockdown

Caching (Enable) – enables caching.

Cache delivery method – simple mode is easiest and is recommended for non-programmers. Expert Mode uses Apache’s mod_rewrite feature to serve “supercached” static html files and is faster than simple mode… but if you’re uncomfortable editing PHP files, use simple mode.

Don’t cache pages for known users (Enable) –  enabling this doesn’t show cached pages for people who have been on your website before. This is good because regular visitors want to see new content (eg. in your blogroll) that otherwise wouldn’t show up if you disable this.

Don’t cache pages with GET parameters. (?x=y at the end of a url) (Enable)doesn’t cache pages that are different for each user (unique sales pages if you run Facebook/Google ads, membership profiles, conditional logic on contact forms). GET Params is a great plugin for this.

Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors (Enable) – this is the “Gzip Compression” item in GTmetrix/Pingdom. After enable this, view your homepage and look for noticeable formatting errors. If there are any, disable it. Otherwise, definitely enable this.

Cache HTTP headers with page content (Disable) – makes cached pages faster, but also makes WP Super Cache use PHP file delivery (slower) instead of static file delivery (faster). It’s a trade-off, but if you use plugins that send extra headers, enable it. Otherwise, disable it.

Cache rebuild. Serve a supercache file to anonymous users while a new file is being generated (Enable) – shows the cached page if a new file is in the process of being generated.

304 not modified browser caching. Indicate when a page has not been modified since it was last requested. (Enable) – prevents updating the cache on ‘tag’ pages (saves server resources).

Make known users anonymous so they’re served supercached static files – counters the earlier setting “don’t cache pages for known users” and instead, it caches for everyone.

Enable dynamic caching – (Enable) – enables caching for dynamic content (content that is changing) like ads, a publicly displayed visitor count, or even Amazon’s recommendations.

Mobile device support. (External plugin or theme required. See the FAQ for further details.) (Enable) – if using mobile plugin like WPtouch, or a mobile theme, this caches mobile pages.

Remove UTF8/blog charset support from .htaccess file. Only necessary if you see odd characters or punctuation looks incorrect. Requires rewrite rules update – (Disable) – if you see weird characters on your website (Â â €™ ¢), this should fix it. Otherwise, leave it disabled.

Clear all cache files when a post or page is published or updated – Enable) – if you publish a post, and you also have a blogroll (eg. on your homepage) and want to make sure it’s updated with the newest post, this will clear the cache and make sure the new content is being shown.

Extra homepage checks. (Very occasionally stops homepage caching) (Enable) – similar to the previous setting, this makes sure your newest blog posts are being shown on the homepage (if you have a blogroll). This is also applicable to dynamic content on the homepage.

Only refresh current page when comments made – enable this if you have lots of comments, as readers want to see the latest content (you don’t want to refresh all the cache to do this).

List the newest cached pages on this page (Disable) – shows which pages have been cached.

Coarse file locking. You do not need this as it will slow down your website  (Disable).

Late init. Display cached files after WordPress has loaded (Enable) – allows content to stay dynamic. If you see the error “super cache dynamic page detected but late init not set” fixes it.

Cache location – Don’t Change – don’t change the path, the default path is fine.

Cache Timeout – 3,600 is good for most websites, high traffic websites can lower this to 1,800. This is the frequency cached pages expire and will be thrown away. If you set it too slow, users will never see cached version. If too fast, it can consume lots of server resources.

Accepted filenames & rejected URIs – specify pages you don’t want to be cached. The most common use for this is excluding eCommerce pages or pages that are updated very frequently.

Examples:

  • /shop/
  • /shop/account/
  • /shop/checkout/
  • /shop/cart/
  • /shop/confirm-order/

Rejected user agents – prevents user agents from caching pages. The most common ones are search engines like Googlebot and Bingbot, but here is a complete list of user agents you can view. If using WPtouch, you will also want to add their entire list of mobile user agents here.

Lock down – prepares your server for an expected spike in traffic (during lock down, new comments on a post will not refresh the cached static files). This will save on server resources and help prevent your site from crashing. Only enable this if you notice traffic skyrocketing.

Fix configuration – restores the default WP Super Cache settings.

 

3. CDN

A CDN (content delivery network) hosts your heavy website files on multiple data centers around the country/world, which reduces the geographic distance between your server and visitor. This reduces load times and is recommended in the WordPress optimization guide.

  • Cloudflare is sufficient for most WordPress sites, but I recommend using their APO for $5/month if you can afford it. This further improves speed by serving your entire site from their edge network. If you decide on Cloudflare, see the Cloudflare section of this tutorial.
  • BunnyCDN is what I use, is affordable, and highly rated in Facebook Groups. They have setup instructions but I’ll also show you how to setup BunnyCDN with WP Super Cache.

Step 1: Sign up for BunnyCDN (highly recommended in Facebook Groups).

CDN Comparison Feedback

Step 2: Create a pull zone in BunnyCDN.

BunnyCDN Add Pull Zone

Step 3: Copy your CDN URL from BunnyCDN.

BunnyCDN Hostname

Step 4: Paste your CDN URL in WP Super Cache’s CDN tab under “Off-Site URL” and “Additional CNAMES.” If using SSL, also check “skip https URLs to avoid mixed content” errors.

wp super cache - cdn settings

wp-super-cache-enable-cdn

Step 5: Run your site in GTmetrix and “content delivery network” should be green.

CDN GTmetrix YSlow

 

4. Contents

As long as your “cache timeout” is set appropriately in the Advanced settings, your expired cached pages will be deleted and they won’t put stress on your server. When working on site, you may also be making changing to CSS/JS (eg. background images) and see a cached version (or you may not see that your CDN is working). In this case, deleting the cache should fix this.

WP-Super-Cache-Contents-Setting

Delete cache – refreshes the cache in case you see old cached versions of your pages.

 

5. Preload

Preload is a refresh when the cached pages are all cleared out and refreshed in one go. I would enable it since this improves both website/indexing speed. However, preload consumes a lot of server resources which puts stress on your server and can make your website slow. By default, it set to refresh preloaded cache files every 600 minutes. But you should increase this number if it’s putting stress on your server, especially if you’re on shared hosting. You can also leave it to 0 if you do not want static files to expire ever unless you manually refresh the cache.

WP-Super-Cache-Preload-Settings

 

6. Plugins

Leave everything as-is, unless you are using the Bad Behavior pluginWordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin, or WPtouch plugin, in which case you would enable compatibly for those.

WP-Super-Cache-Plugins-Settings

 

7. Debug

WP-Super-Cache-Dubug-Settings

 

Cloudflare

WP Super Cache does not have a direct way to set up Cloudflare, but this is very easy and I definitely recommend using Cloudflare’s free CDN. Many hosts (including SiteGround) have an option to activate Cloudflare in their cPanel with 1 click. This is by far the easiest method.

SiteGround-Cloudflare-Activation

If your host doesn’t have this option, follow the steps below…

1. Sign up for Cloudflare and you will be prompted to add your website then begin a scan.

cloudflare-begin-scan

2. Once the scan is complete, select the free plan, then Cloudflare will take you through a set of pages. You will eventually be taken to a page where Cloudflare assign you 2 name servers

Cloudflare-Name-Servers-Dashboard

3. Do a Google search for “how to change name servers on SiteGround” (only search for your host), then follow their instructions. You will be copying the 2 name servers provided by Cloudflare and pasting them into a custom name servers option in your hosting cPanel…

SiteGround-DNS-Records

4. Go to your Cloudflare speed settings and make sure Auto Minify and Rocket Loader are turned OFF, but SG Railgun is on.

Cloudflare-Speed-Tab

5. Add these 3 page rules to cache everything and protect the WP admin.

Always-Use-HTTPS-Page-Rule

WordPress-Admin-Page-Rule

WordPress-Preview-Page-Rule

6. Finally, go to your Cloudflare caching settings and purge individual files

Purge Individual Files Cloudflare

Done!

 

Reduce TTFB With Faster Hosting

Most hosting recommendations are garbage and I suggest joining the WP Speed Matters Facebook Group which is one of the only groups not controlled by affiliates or SiteGround’s community manager who “moderates” negative posts about their brand like in other groups.

Hosts I Don’t Recommend

  • SiteGround has a slow TTFB, CPU limits, declined support, price increases, and other issues. Their TOS (sec. 9) prevents affiliates from using ‘SiteGround’ in bad reviews. I left them in 2019 and stopped endorsing them entirely. As one person said, “SiteGround is no longer any kind of value for the money.” Do your research.
  • Hostinger writes fake reviews, votes for themselves in FB polls, also unethical. Employees pose as customers and trick people into buying Hostinger (view poll).
  • GoDaddy can actually have a decent TTFB but comes with problems: paying for SSL, malware, slow DNS, and the dashboard gives you little control (see thread).
  • WP Engine makes absurd claims like “the unequivocal performance leader in WordPress” when most people migrate away and post much faster load times.
  • EIG brands like Bluehost and HostGator have overcrowded servers, slow TTFB, bad support/uptimes, and malware issues (view thread). Mainly promoted by “how to start a blog” affiliates and pay a lot to be “recommended” by WordPress.

SiteGround-Slow-TTFB

Hosts I Do Recommend

Cloudways has excellent feedback in Facebook Groups if you read the threads. I use their Vultr HF plan and have a fast TTFB with nice GTmetrix results (feel free to click through my blog to see how fast it loads). They use Object Cache Pro (Redis), NVMe, and have 39 data centers worldwide. Main cons are no file manager and email hosting is $1/email/month. Cloudways is a little techier because they use a custom dashboard which requires launching a server, but most people find it easy once you get used to it. It’s monthly pricing with no high renewals, 3-day trials, and includes a free migration. If your TTFB is slow, try cloning your site on Vultr HF and test the results (you can also see screenshots of people’s migration results + Facebook polls below). They have high TrustPilot ratings and if for some reason you’re not happy, just cancel your 3-day trial.

SiteGround Slow TTFB

SiteGround Cloudways CPU Usage

SiteGround Cloudways TTFB

NameHero uses LiteSpeed servers which are a newer/faster type of server (it’s cheap and voted highly in Facebook polls). You can find lots of positive feedback in Facebook Groups. I suggest NameHero over similar hosts (like A2) because they’re more reliable with better uptimes and US-based support. They also use cPanel which is beginner-friendly. NameHero has a 30-day refund policy and does free migrations, but I would only use them if your visitors are in the US or Netherlands since that’s where the data centers are. I generally recommend the Turbo Cloud plan which comes with 3GB RAM + NVMe. Large (WooCommerce) sites should use their managed cloud (or Cloudways).

SiteGround vs Cloudways vs NameHero

WPX – also uses LiteSpeed (not sure why it’s buried on this page) with excellent support and TrustPilot ratings, but they only have 3 data centers in Chicago, London, and Sydney. Good choice if your visitors are near there, otherwise choose someone else. They also have great feedback in Facebook Groups and include a free migration as well as free site speed optimization where they optimize your site for core web vitals. Main con is price and the dashboard is kind of oversimplified and can be buggy.

WPX-vs-Cloudways

Affiliate Disclaimer – I use aff links to the hosts I recommend, but not the ones I don’t.

Each have different setups. On Cloudways, I use FlyingPress + BunnyCDN (or use WP Rocket). On NameHero or WPX, you’ll use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin + QUIC.cloud CDN. They’re both great setups and should give you a fast TTFB – see my WP Rocket or LiteSpeed Cache tutorials.

 
When in doubt, check Facebook polls and migration results (view more).

Cloudways Shoutout

Cloudways Promo Code OMM25
25% off 2 months of Cloudways with code OMM25 (or use their coupons page for 30% off 3 months)
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WP Super Cache a good plugin?

It's usually not the top rated plugin in Facebook polls and I have personally gotten better results with WP Rocket and other cache plugins. Every website is different - you need to configure and compare the results of different cache plugins in GTmetrix one at a time.

How do you set up Cloudflare with WP Super Cache?

Sign up for a free Cloudflare account and change nameservers (in your domain registrar) to the ones Cloudflare provides you with.

Is WP Super Cache better than WP Rocket?

WP Rocket has more speed features than WP Super Cache (database cleanup, optimizing Google Fonts + Analytics, heartbeat control) and is easier to configure, but WP Rocket is also a premium plugin. If speed is very important, give WP Rocket a go.

What other speed plugins do I need besides WP Super Cache?

You will need a plugin for optimizing fonts (OMGF), database cleanup (WP-Optimize), Heartbeat Control, optimizing Google Analytics (CAOS), and selectively disabling plugins (Asset CleanUp or Perfmatters). These features are not built-in to WP Super Cache.

See Also: How I Optimized My WordPress Site To Load In <1s (36+ Tips)

Did it work?

Let me know in the comments!

Cheers,
Tom

About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis 2017Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

15 thoughts on “The Ideal WP Super Cache Settings With Cloudflare Or BunnyCDN

  1. You should really update this article, especially the images.
    Anyways thaks for sharing this amazing content with the world! :)))

  2. Hi, interesting guide. I’m curious about something:

    Is there a specific reason why you did not mention Swift Performance (free and pro)? Is it because you do not like it for some reason or just do not know it? As I understand is a really good cache plugin and the free version works really well.

    1. I have a tutorial for all the most popular cache plugins. This guide isn’t a review of best cache plugins, just for people who use WP Super Cache. Though I agree with you, WP Rocket and Swift are usually better.

  3. Hi! Thank you so much for all your helpful SEO content. I am using WP Super cache but I can’t use cloudflare as my host is not too happy about changing the dns. Would super cache still be helpful?

    1. Yes, a cache plugin still makes several optimizations that should speed up your site, however people are tending to move towards more reliable cache plugins like WP Rocket, Swift Performance, and SiteGround’s SG Optimizer just had a huge update.

  4. I have Cloudflare set up already, I also have WP super cache set up. (I don’t have it set up through the plugin, my host had the option to link Cloudflare through the Cpanel) However, when I run my site through Pingdom tools I get an F for content delivery network.

    Why is this?

  5. Hi,

    Thanks for the article.
    You mentioned cloudflare Zone ID has to be entered in WP super caches CDN settings. But there is no option for this at WP super caches CDN settings

    Please advice.

    Joel.

    1. Ah, that’s my fault Joel. You don’t need to do that (you’re right, there is no option for that in WP Super Cache)… changing name servers is what you need to do.

  6. Great Article !

    I literally followed word by word, still struggling to get even 80 Page-speed and Y Slow score.

    What is the setting needed under CDN tab , if I am using Cloudflare. What OFF-SITE url should I put.

    Thanks in advance !
    Anurag

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