Recommended caching plugin

If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to use the ProPhoto caching option in “ProPhoto” > “Customize” > “Site Settings” > “Misc.” you can use a caching plugin. There are a number of WordPress caching plugins available, but by far the most popular may be:

If you’re going to use a caching plugin at all, this would be the one we recommend. While we will help troubleshoot any problems with the ProPhoto caching features, we won’t be able to assist if you’re having trouble with a separate plugin.

What are potential issues of using a separate caching plugin with ProPhoto?

Caching plugins generally do a very good job of recognizing when any content on the site has been modified and the plugin will update it’s cache accordingly.  Additionally, if a ProPhoto site is running a caching plugin, we’ve tried to make ProPhoto smart enough so that anytime a customization change is made in “ProPhoto” > “Customize“, ProPhoto is able to let the plugin know an update has been made so that the plugin can update the cache.

This doesn’t mean it works flawlessly; one area where we’ve seen issues between caching plugins and ProPhoto is with ProPhoto’s mobile site functionality.  The option, when enabled, provides visitors to a ProPhoto site with a cleaner, more simplified view of the site, when viewed from a mobile device.  However, if this option is enabled, and a particular page on a ProPhoto site is viewed for the very first time from a mobile device, the caching plugin can sometimes save the mobile site version of the page and then proceed to provide that version again when the same page is viewed from a regular computer.

Wait a second, that doesn’t look right!

And sometimes the reverse can also happen, non-mobile versions of pages appearing on mobile devices, even though the mobile site option in ProPhoto is enabled.

What the issue boils down to is the plugin’s inability to distinguish between what type of device is loading the site.  As a result, it just serves the same stored version of the page to all device types.  Luckily, W3 Total Cache provides a fairly easy to use setting that helps combat this, which is why we recommend it, over WP Super Cache.

What do I need to do to make W3 Total Cache work properly with ProPhoto?

So, if you’re using the W3 Total Cache plugin and you want to avoid the issue above, what you’ll need to do is make a couple of changes within that plugin’s settings area.  Assuming you have the plugin installed and activated, navigate to “Performance” > “User Agent Groups” in the WordPress admin area.

W3 Total Cache ClickOnce you’ve done that, in the settings area, you’ll see two, default user agent groups.  One is named “high” and the other named “low.”  What you’ll want to do is enable each group.

w3-total-cache-user-agent-groups-enable

After you’ve done this, then click the “Save all settings” button.  This will ensure that the W3 Total Cache plugin will be able to know when a post/page on the site is viewed from a mobile device, and as a result, will provide the correct version of the post/page to that device.

 

We also recommend using the most simple options available. Do not enable any of the minification features. Normally, enabling the “page cache” and “object cache” is all you need. Disable everything else.


There are a number of WordPress caching plugins available, but by far the most popular may be:

If you’re going to use a caching plugin at all, this would be the one we recommend.

What are potential issues of using a caching plugin with ProPhoto?

Caching plugins generally do a very good job of recognizing when any content on the site has been modified and the plugin will update it’s cache accordingly.  Additionally, if a ProPhoto site is running a caching plugin, we’ve tried to make ProPhoto smart enough so that anytime a customization change is made in “ProPhoto” > “Customize”, ProPhoto is able to let the plugin know an update has been made so that the plugin can update the cache.

This does not work flawlessly. In spite of our efforts to work with the plugin authors for the most popular caching plugins to achieve problem-free compatibility, we still see a few ProPhoto sites manifesting various problems from time to time that are (at least in part) a result of the caching plugin. These are various in nature but can include the wrong version (mobile vs. desktop) of a site being displayed, design settings from ProPhoto not applying and posts/pages not displaying updated content. Clearing the cache in the plugin settings often solves the problem, but not always. The most common area where we’ve seen issues between caching plugins and ProPhoto is with ProPhoto’s mobile site functionality.  The option, when enabled, provides visitors to a ProPhoto site with a cleaner, more simplified view of the site, when viewed from a mobile device.  However, if this option is enabled, and a particular page on a ProPhoto site is viewed for the very first time from a mobile device, the caching plugin can sometimes save the mobile site version of the page and then proceed to provide that version again when the same page is viewed from a regular computer.

Wait a second, that doesn’t look right!

And sometimes the reverse can also happen, non-mobile versions of pages appearing on mobile devices, even though the mobile site option in ProPhoto is enabled.

What the issue boils down to is the plugin’s inability to distinguish between what type of device is loading the site.  As a result, it just serves the same stored version of the page to all device types.  Luckily, W3 Total Cache provides a fairly easy to use setting that helps combat this, which is why we recommend it, over WP Super Cache.

What do I need to do to make W3 Total Cache work properly with ProPhoto?

So, if you’re using the W3 Total Cache plugin and you want to avoid the issue above, what you’ll need to do is make a couple of changes within that plugin’s settings area.  Assuming you have the plugin installed and activated, navigate to “Performance” > “User Agent Groups” in the WordPress admin area.

W3 Total Cache ClickOnce you’ve done that, in the settings area, you’ll see two, default user agent groups.  One is named “high” and the other named “low.”  What you’ll want to do is delete each group.

User Agent Group Deletion

After you’ve done this, click the Create a Group button and in the pop-up button that will appear in your browser, name the new group whatever you want, like “ProPhoto.”  After you do this, the “Enabled” box for this new group will be checked by default, which you’ll want to leave checked.  Also, leave the “Pass-Through” setting as is.  Then, inside of the “User Agents” field, enter the following user agent list:

android.*mobdddile
bada
blackberry
cupcake
dream
froyo
googlebot-mobile
iemobile
incognito
iphone
ipod
s800
webmate
webos

After you’ve done this, then click the “Save all settings” button.  This will ensure that the W3 Total Cache plugin will be able to know when a post/page on the site is viewed from a mobile device, and as a result, will provide the correct version of the post/page to that device.  So, in summary:

New User Agent Group

We also recommend using the most simple options available. Do not enable any of the minification features. Normally, enabling the “page cache” and “object cache” is all you need. Disable everything else.


There are a number of WordPress caching plugins available, but by far the most popular may be:

If you’re going to use a caching plugin at all, this would be the one we recommend.

What are potential issues of using a caching plugin with ProPhoto?

Caching plugins generally do a very good job of recognizing when any content on the site has been modified and the plugin will update it’s cache accordingly.  Additionally, if a ProPhoto site is running a caching plugin, we’ve tried to make ProPhoto smart enough so that anytime a customization change is made in “”P3 Customize””, ProPhoto is able to let the plugin know an update has been made so that the plugin can update the cache.

This does not work flawlessly. In spite of our efforts to work with the plugin authors for the most popular caching plugins to achieve problem-free compatibility, we still see a few ProPhoto sites manifesting various problems from time to time that are (at least in part) a result of the caching plugin. These are various in nature but can include the wrong version (mobile vs. desktop) of a site being displayed, design settings from ProPhoto not applying and posts/pages not displaying updated content. Clearing the cache in the plugin settings often solves the problem, but not always.

We also recommend using the most simple options available. Do not enable any of the minification features. Normally, enabling the “page cache” and “object cache” is all you need. Disable everything else.

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