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WordPress Posts displaying garbage characters after W3 Total Cache Update

Do you see WordPress posts displaying garbage characters after updating W3TotalCache plugin? Well, you are not alone. I recently updated W3TotalCache plugin to version 0.9.5.4 to only see strange characters on all my posts. Ahh! I know it hurts, but the problem was occurring only on mobile browsers. The desktop browsers were displaying the posts properly, but Chrome on Android was displaying only the garbage characters until the page is refreshed again.

The FAQ page @ W3TotalCache says, if a theme or its file makes a call to functions such as php_flush() or flush(), then it will interfere with the plugin’s normal operation – resulting in sending cached files even before the operations are completed. But I don’t remember using any such function in my theme or a plugin. So what did this update do?

WordPress Posts displaying garbage characters

WordPress Posts displaying garbage characters

Fortunately, this page on Stackoverflow helped me fix the issue. The best solution on that page says, W3TotalCache seems to have collided with another plugin or a settings of the web server. One of the most common reason for this issue is compressing the web page twice. For example, it seems like the web server has been configured to compress the page using gzip and again W3TotalCache plugin does the same, resulting in double compression.

Probably, you should try disabling one of the compression. I decided to disable the compression in W3TotalCache. Here’s how you can do that.

How to disable gzip compression in W3TotalCache?

Step 1: Click on Performance > Browser Cache

Step 2: Lookout for “ ” heading under sections such as General, CSS & JS, HTML & XML and Media & Other File Types and un-check it.

WordPress Posts displaying garbage characters

Step 3: Save settings by clicking “Save all settings” button.

Step 4: Empty all the caches to keep the page consistent across all devices.

So how do you test it? Don’t test it with your web browsers, you should test it at GIDNetwork.

The issue is fixed, but what’s strange here is, why didn’t this issue occur with previous version of W3TotalCache plugin? gzip compression was enabled in that version as well?

Do you see your WordPress Posts displaying garbage characters? Let’s discuss in the comment section below.

Updated on September 2, 2017

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