The Beginner's Guide to LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress

We realize there are a lot of settings in this plugin. If you are overwhelmed and unsure where to begin, read on!

Where to Begin

LSCWP essentially has two purposes: that of a full-page cache for your site’s dynamically-generated pages, and that of a site-optimization plugin. Most people who install LSCache do so for the caching functions. The rest of the features are a nice bonus for those who know how to use them, but they are entirely optional.

You are free to enable the caching functions and ignore everything else.

Upon activation, you’ll find that everything is disabled.

To turn on caching, navigate to LiteSpeed Cache > Settings > General and set Enable LiteSpeed Cache to Enable.

You could stop right there, never configure another setting, and the plugin would probably cache your site very nicely. The default settings are specifically chosen to work with the majority of sites right out of the box.

TL;DR: In the event that you want to tweak things a bit, it doesn’t hurt to have a rudimentary understanding of the basic cache settings. There’s no need to read all of this now, though! Use the default settings, bookmark this page, and come back here when you need the reference.

Switching Between Basic View and Advanced View

As of v1.8.2, LSCWP gives you the ability to switch between Basic View and Advanced View.

Basic View is ideal for those who simply wish to enable the cache and not fiddle with any of the other optimization options. When you install and enable LSCWP, it is in Basic View by default.

Advanced View reveals eight more tabs, some with advanced cache settings, some with non-cache-related optimization features. If you will find the presence of these options to be overwhelming, click Basic View and forget all about them.

You are free to switch between Basic and Advanced views as often as you like.

Basic View

Let’s look at the first four tabs in the Settings section, and see what they do. These are the most basic settings for your cache, and the only tabs that are visible in Basic View. (If you have WooCommerce installed, the WooCommerce tab will also be visible in Basic View.)

General

The first option on the General tab turns the caching functionality on and off. The remaining settings define the parameters for the expiration of different types of content in the cache.

TTL stands for “Time to Live” and it refers to the number of seconds a page can remain in cache before it is considered stale. Once a page reaches its TTL, it is purged from cache. We’ve chosen default TTL’s that should work for most sites, but you are free to change them.

If you would like a deeper understanding of how content is cached and purged, take a look at this blog post. It’s written at a high-level, so you can get the gist without knowing a lot of jargon.

For an explanation of each setting on the General tab, please see this wiki page.

Cache

This tab allows you to decide what types of content will be cached. By default, everything is enabled. If you don’t know what these settings do, it’s best to leave them set to their defaults.

For an explanation of each setting on the Cache tab, please see this wiki page.

Purge

There are sometimes situations where pages should be purged before their natural expiration. This section allows you to define the rules for that behavior. The default selections should work for most sites, but you can change them if you need to.

For instance, when you write a new post, tag it “brownies,” and publish it in the “recipes” category, several pages will change: the home page, the recipes category archive page, the brownies tag archive page, your author archive page, and probably some other pages, depending on your theme.

All of the affected pages will need to be purged in order to avoid serving stale content. These settings give you an opportunity to adjust the rules to fit what is needed by your site.

For an explanation of each setting on the Purge tab, please see this wiki page.

Excludes

You may have pages that you don’t want cached at all. These options allow you to exclude specific parts of your site from being cached. Again, for most sites, there will be no need to change these settings. They are provided to allow you to make custom exceptions to the cache rules.

For an explanation of each setting on the Excludes tab, please see this wiki page.

Advanced View

The remaining tabs are for more advanced settings. You don't need to venture onto these pages, unless you have a specific reason to do so. Just the same, let's look at what they do on a basic level, and link to more information where appropriate.

Click Advanced View at the top of the Settings page, if you don't see these additional tabs.

These settings tabs fall into two categories: those that are related to the operation of LiteSpeed’s cache, and those that relate to other types of site optimization.

ESI

ESI stands for “Edge Side Includes” and is a method through which you can “punch holes” in public content, and fill them with private or uncached content. ESI is useful for things like shopping cart widgets and personalized greetings, but is disabled by default. Go in-depth here.

Advanced

As you might guess from the name of this tab, it’s aimed at more experienced users. You are not likely to need this tab, unless you have some kind of conflict with another cache plugin. See the wiki page here.

Debug

This isn’t a tab you’re likely to use just for fun, unless you’re into examining logs. If you’re having trouble with something, we may suggest you visit this tab and flip a couple of switches so we can better see what is going on. See the wiki page here.

Crawler

The crawler is disabled by default. When it’s active, it travels your site, refreshing any pages that may have expired from the cache. Crawling can be a resource-intensive process, and not all hosting providers will allow its use. If your hosting provider does allow crawling, it’s a nice way to keep your cache fresh. Go in-depth here.

Optimization settings

Optimize

There are several other measures you can take to speed up your WordPress site, and many of them are supported in this tab. CSS and Javascript minification and combination, HTTP/2 push, asynchronous and deferred load… if you don’t know what these things mean, don’t worry. They are disabled by default. See the wiki page here.

Tuning

Among other things, the Tuning tab gives you an opportunity to further refine the settings you selected in the Optimize tab. For instance, you may want to minify all of your CSS, except for one particular style sheet. You can list that CSS as an exception on the Tuning tab. See the wiki page here.

Media

Another way to optimize your site is by making images less of a burden to transmit. LSCWP supports two methods of achieving this: Lazy Load, and Image Optimization. Both are disabled by default, and configured on this page. See the wiki page here. Go in depth on Image Optimization here.

CDN

This tab allows you to configure your Content Delivery Network for use with WordPress. If you don't use a CDN, don’t worry about it. CDN support is disabled by default. See the wiki page here.

Further Questions

If anything in this article is not clear enough, or you feel the need for additional help, please don’t hesitate to post on our WordPress support forum. We enthusiastically support this plugin and are happy to answer any of your questions!

 
litespeed_wiki/cache/lscwp/beginner.txt · Last modified: 2018/04/13 18:24 by Lisa Clarke