I am building a Digg like website in WordPress.

After installing W3 Total Cache, I noticed certain elements such as number of votes (and voters ids) per post are cached even though they shouldn't be (at least not after a user votes for an article). I assume it is not possible to prevent specific elements in a page from being cached (or is it?), so I thought of triggering page cache refresh programmatically.

Any suggestions?


if you want to flush the cache you can do that: the plugin has functions for that


flush_pgcache()  //page cache
flush_dbcache()  // database cache
flush_minify()  // minify cache
flush_all() //all caches


and you just need to call it like this:


and that is basically the answer to the question in the title "cache refresh programmatically"

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    Can you please explicitly define how you instantiated the $w3_plugin_totalcache object? – adamdport Feb 27 '14 at 15:35
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    Partially helpful, how did you instantiate that variable? – thephpdev Jan 23 '17 at 12:29

To flush a single page by post id in w3tc v0.9.3 I found this worked:

if (function_exists('w3tc_pgcache_flush_post')){
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    Where would you place this code? This looks like it runs on every page load (for that ID). Is there no way to prevent to caching completely? – s_ha_dum Mar 20 '14 at 22:31
  • @s_ha_dum Could you find out with which hook we can use this code ? – Prafulla Kumar Sahu Nov 17 '16 at 8:42
  • Extra hooks are not needed if the event your custom code/plugin attaches to executes after plugins have loaded, which is typically the case. All available functions are in w3-total-cache-api.php in the W3TC's plugin dir. – Walf Aug 1 '18 at 2:29
  • Thank you, this was helpful for me now in Dec 2018. I needed a way to flush the cache of the home page once the client visited a certain page (a settings page to display when an agent is available). This is very useful for specific pages, but it would be nice if there was a function that flushed ALL caches like the Purge All Caches does! – Jordan Carter Dec 1 '18 at 21:47

W3 Total Cache supports fragment caching. From FAQ:

How do I implement fragment caching? 

Edit your templates to with the following syntax to ensure that dynamic features remain so:

Example 1:
<!-- mfunc any PHP code --><!-- /mfunc -->

Example 2:
<!-- mfunc -->any PHP code<!-- /mfunc -->

Example 3:
<!--MFUNC           -->
                                      echo rand();
<!--/mfunc -->

Example 4:
<!-- mclude path/to/file.php --><!-- /mclude -->

Example 5:
<!-- mclude -->path/to/file.php<!-- /mclude -->
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  • Thanks Rast. But when I use any of the above examples, I get an error Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '<' – user1567 Jan 17 '11 at 14:34
  • @user1567 you probably have mismatch with opening/closing <?php ?> tags. I hadn't used these yet so don't have practical snippet to show. – Rarst Jan 17 '11 at 14:57
  • For one thing, I would like to load functions.php without caching it. The following code in functions.php triggered the error above: <?php <!-- mclude -->require_once(functions2.php)<!-- /mclude --> ?> What is wrong with the code? – user1567 Jan 17 '11 at 15:20
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    @user1567 according to examples it should be something like ?><!-- mclude -->functions2.php<!-- /mclude --><?php (I think :) – Rarst Jan 17 '11 at 15:36
  • Not able to get to work fragment caching. My issue described here: stackoverflow.com/questions/31125413/… – JackTheKnife Jun 30 '15 at 16:38

Bainternet's solution didn't seem to work for me.

I'm successfully using this alternative snippet within a plugin, loaded at the admin_init action:

// Clear all W3 Total Cache
if( class_exists('W3_Plugin_TotalCacheAdmin') )
    $plugin_totalcacheadmin = & w3_instance('W3_Plugin_TotalCacheAdmin');


    echo __('<div class="updated"><p>All <strong>W3 Total Cache</strong> caches successfully emptied.</p></div>');

Hopefully this helps someone out there.

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  • I can confirm that kevinlearynet's solution works with W3 Total Cache version It broke for my plugin after that upgrade, and this works a treat. Thank you! Paul. – user9177 Oct 4 '11 at 18:55
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    I'm trying to run this from the command line. Can I ask how you loaded the W3_Plugin_TotalCacheAdmin class? I tried requiring wp-load.php to no avail. – adamdport Feb 26 '14 at 22:56

None of the above worked for me in my plugin. However this worked! Confirmed working for version of w3tc.

if (function_exists('w3tc_dbcache_flush')) { w3tc_dbcache_flush(); }

I did a " $wpdb->get_results( "SELECT sb_settings.f_fb_app_id,sb_settings.f_fb_secret FROM sb_settings" ); " and was surprised the values f_fb_secret and f_fb_app_id was the same every time. It was obviously the w3tc cacheing the result of the query. So I added a dbcache flush in my modify page for the sb_settings table.

Should you want to clear page cache, then just use w3tc_pgcache_flush instead.

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  • I'd like the downvoter to say why he downvoted. Is there anything wrong in my answer? – Elrinth Apr 12 '13 at 8:19

Use this snippet to make sure your PHP runs regardless of whether caching is on or off. Yes, you have to write/call your function twice.

<!-- mfunc echo 'caching ON'; --><?php echo 'caching OFF'; ?><!-- /mfunc -->

(I think) this is how it works:

  • The mfunc conditionals replace php tags.
  • If caching is OFF, php inside mfunc comments appear in your markup as a HTML comments. <!-- mfunc echo "hello?"; --> Keep this in mind depending on how happy you are for people to see your PHP (only happens when caching is off).
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