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Right now, when I perform "Empty All Caches" it doesn't send a PURGE request to varnish. The result is that varnish isn't being refreshed. Is there a way that I can make varnish purge it's cache when choosing "Empty All Caches"? Is there a way that I can hook into W3 Total Cache "Empty All Caches"?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A simple solution could be to check when you click the "empty all cache" Button with $_GET Like this:

function wpse_16722_purge_varnish() {
    // Is the button submitted, Get the value
    $purge = isset( $_GET['w3tc_note'] ) ? trim( $_GET['w3tc_note'] ) : '';

    // Security-check, user can edit settings
    // And the button "Empty all cache" is submitted
    if( current_user_can('manage_options') && $purge == 'flush_all' ) {

        // Maybe there is a better way to clear the cache 
        // in varnish, i found this on php.net
        // Change this to match your Varnish-setup

        $fp = fsockopen( "", "80", $errno, $errstr, 2 );

        if ( ! $fp ) {
            echo = "$errstr ($errno)<br />\n";
        } else {
            $out = "PURGE /alain HTTP/1.0\r\n";
            $out .= "Host: giantdorks.org\r\n";
            $out .= "Connection: Close\r\n\r\n";

            fwrite( $fp, $out );

            while ( ! feof( $fp ) ) {
                echo fgets( $fp, 128 );
            fclose( $fp );
add_action('admin_head', 'wpse_16722_purge_varnish');

The Varnish Configuration Language (VCL) also has the url purging function. It’s accessible via the purge_url(url_pattern) function.

acl purge_acl {
sub vcl_recv {
    if(req.request == "flush_all") {
        if(!client.ip ~ purge_acl) {
            error 405 "Not allowed";
        } else {
            error 200 "Purged";

The script above has the normal proxy/cache behaviour for request methods like GET & POST. But when a user connects via the "flush_all" method, the page is purged.

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It appears that the problem is known to W3 Total Cache and that it may be fixed soon. Assuming that you have SSH access, open a new client and run:

varnishadm -T url.purge .

This will force the cache to be refreshed (Please note that I do not use Varnish so this code is untested.) I found this on the garron Site.


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