How To Setup MaxCDN With W3 Total Cache In 5 Easy Steps

Do you know that you can increase your website’s speed by 80% within 15 minutes of easy setup.

If you want to deliver good user experience to your readers and customers, then you must focus on your website’s performance. Usually slow pages are biggest reason for high bounce rates and lower conversions and I am damn sure you don’t like both of them.

Practically there are hundreds of different ways to speed up your blog and most of them are easy to implement. In this guide I will show you how to setup maxcdn with w3 total cache plugin.

How To Install & Setup MaxCDN With W3 Total Cache Plugin

For this post I have a created an exclusive video tutorial which will guide you throughout the setup and installation procedure. You can either watch it over here or on Youtube.

Now before I proceed let me first give a snapshot of this tutorial. Actually I have tried to divide my post into 5 different sections and each of them, consist of one particular task to perform. Once you complete you first step just move to another and within 15 minutes all procedures will be completed.

  • Install w3 total cache plugin.
  • Signup for maxcdn.
  • Create a pull zone.
  • Create a custom CName.
  • Validate your account.

So, let’s get started.

What is W3 Total Cache Plugin ?

Before we proceed you must know what this plugin is all about and why it’s so popular. It’s a performance optimization plug-in which helps to create static content from your dynamic pages. This plug-in comes with dozens of powerful and customizable options which allows you to configure the speed and performance of your website.

It has inbuilt caching engines for database, object and for browser. By default they are assigned to certain values which according to the developer is suitable for shared hosting platform but you have complete freedom to modify the value as per your need. This plug-in even comes with inbuilt CSS, JavaScript and HTML minify and combine capability.

w3 total cache plugin

Now if you don’t know anything about minify then it’s just a simple process in which all sorts of comments and white spaces are removed from html, css and javascript codes. This directly reduces this size of the codes and helps to improve performance of your blog. One of the most noticeable feature of this plugin is it’s ability to connect your website with CDN services.

But if you are a new to WordPress then it will be a hard time for you to figure out the optimal settings required to setup maxcdn with w3 total cache plugin. But you don’t need to worry as in this post I will make sure to explain each and every step in details.

Install W3 Total Cache Plugin – 1

Your very first step is to install this cache plugin to your website. Now there are two different ways to do so. The first and the easiest way is to install through the WordPress dashboard. In order to do so you will have to log into your administration panel and then you’ll have to visit to your plugins page. On this page you will find add new button, you have to just click on it.

from dashboard

Now you will be directed to a new page where you will be able to see a search box. In the search box you have to enter w3 total cache and have to click on the search button and within few seconds the results will appear. Now as you can see in the image which I have added above, you have to click on the install button which will appear below the plugins link.

The second and the longest way is to install this plug-in manually. Now in order to do so you will have to visit the official page and overhear you have to click on the orange download button.

w3 total cache

Now after you download this add-on you will have to uploaded to your server. In order to do so you can either use file transfer protocol software or you can either use your postings cPanel file manager.

I assume that you’re using cPanel file manager and considering that I’m going to guide you for the manual installation.

Once you are in your file manager you will be able to see wp-content folder { if you have installed WordPress in the root of your server }. Click on this folder and you will be able to see subfolders named themes, plug-ins, looks. You’ll have to upload this add-on to your plug-ins sub-folder. Once you’ve uploaded it successfully you will have to unzip it and will happen to visit your blog’s admin panel so as to activate it. I know this is a bit longer and confusing process and that’s the reason I suggest to go with the first.

Signup For An Account – 2

Your second step is to sign up for maxcdn service. I will personally suggest you to sign up for annual plan as it will give you two months extra service for free of cost. Actually if you calculate then the monthly subscription will cost you more if you are planning to use this service for a longer period of time .

But if you already have an account with them then you have to just login to your maxcdn control panel.

For Those Who Don’t Know What Is MaxCDN

It’s just a powerful content delivery network and is very popular for its easy integration and support. It is compatible with lots of professional content management systems and forum software.

What is maxcdn ?

I have been using this service since 2011 and since then I have never faced any issues with their service. In short, they are simply awesome. They don’t only offer their customers with powerful, all in one administration panel but they even provide you with outstanding support. Just try to use their live chat and you will get someone to answer your queries within 10 or 20 seconds. I think someone like Hostgator or Bigrock should learn from their customer support.

Create A Pull Zone – 3

Now its time to create a pull zone. After visiting your dashboard, on the top navigation you will find a link named zones. Click on this link and on the next page click on “create pull zone” button.

Now you will directed to a page where you will have to enter all the details required to create a new CDN for your website. You can check the image which I have attached below for better guidance.

create pull zone

In the pull zone name you will have to enter a word which is of at-least three letters and make sure all of them are in small cap. Then you will have to enter your website’s or blog’s domain name into the origin server URL field. Make sure to attach “http://” along with your domain name or you will get an error. Now, in the label field you can enter any thing which describes your CDN. Over here you will also get option to select compression. If you want then you can enable gzip compression or else not.

Finally you have to click on Create button and within less then 3 minutes your CDN will be ready for use.

Setup CNAME – 4

So now your CDN is ready but you will have to create a CNAME so that your website’s contents like java script files, style sheets and images can be loaded from maxcdn. Inorder to do so you will have to visit your hosting cpanel account. If you don’t know how to do so then you can take live support from your hosting service provider. They will guide you and will provide you the links required to perform a successful login.

Final Settings In Your WP Admin Panel – 5

Now you are in our final step. It’s time for you to visit your wordpress administration panel and move to w3 total general setting page. Over here you will have to first enable CDN option and then from the CDN type select Maxcdn.

Now visit to CDN option page and over here you have replace the origin host name with the newly created CDN. For example : total cache cdn page

If you have created just one CName then just fill the first field.

cdn name

Now you have to verify you account with your wordpress blog. Inorder to do so you have to click on Authorize button and it will automatically take you to the maxcdn validation page where you will receive your validation code. Copy that code and paste it into your “Authorization key” field. Finally click on validate button and your account will be verified. Now you can purge your content delivery network’s cache files directly from your wordpress panel.

Once you complete the last step, you can visit your website and you will find that all your static content’s are loaded from your CDN service. You will also see improved page speed and better conversion.


  1. James says

    Hey, It’s James. Your tutorial is really in-depth but I am stucked to step 4. Can you please guide me. I am using hostgator as my bog’s hosting platform. But my domain name registrar is godaddy. I followed your steps and asked them to help me create a new cname. As I used content as my CDN name so I think I had to create Cname with content. I created it and then pointed it to the maxcdn’s temporary url ( as I was directed by them ). But still my static files like my images and videos are not loading from my CDN.

    Please help me.

    • says

      I think you have done everything in the correct manner but you forgot to add the CName to your hostgator’s account DNS settings.

      In order complete this procedure you’ll have to visit to your hostgator’s account. Now you have to log into your cPanel and have to search for the DNS settings page. Inside the DNS setting page you will find a column for CName. In this field enter your CDN’s name along with the temporary URL provided by MaxCDN.

      Finally save all your settings and reload your pages. It might take a few hours for the DNS propagation but since you have already added the CName to your registrar domain management panel, I think your settings will be effective within few seconds.

      I wish this helps to you.

  2. Suresh says

    Thank for this interesting setup guide. I followed all your steps and now my website is loading within 1 second and all thanks goes to you.

  3. Jasmine says

    In step 5 you asked to move to wordpress admin panel and then to enter cname in the field. I did in the same manner as you have shown in the figure but I am unable to authorize my account. Please help me to authorize maxcdn with w3total cache plugin.

    Thanks in advance

    • says

      It seems that you have entered the wrong authorization key. Please follow these steps. First login to your maxcdn account. Now from CDN page of w3 cache, click on validate button. It will automatically take you to the page created by official maxcdn team and over their you will get your key. Copy the exact key and then validate your account. Finally save you settings. If you still face any problem then please let me know.

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