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How to get Smooth Slider to work with W3 total Cache

How to get Smooth Slider to work with W3 total Cache

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So since doing some recent cache optimizations with W3 total cache at www.virtuabotix.com I found that the smooth slider on the front page was not working anymore.

Naturally this prompted me to do some Google searching, which sadly led me no where. I later discovered that a big part of the problem was that I use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) on virtuabotix.com.

That said, there is a configuration text box in W3 Total Cache called “Never minify the following JS files”, and that is where the journey to resolving the problem begins.

Never minify the following JS files field in W3 total cache
This is the field where we will enter our javascript name to keep it from being minified.

Above is what the “Never minify the following JS files” field looks like, this field can be found towards the bottom of the Minify section of W3 Total Cache’s settings. When I first saw this I was filled with joy, and all but certain that my problems were solved; however the reality was I wasn’t quite as close to resolving my WordPress plugin conflict as I thought I was.

The next step was figuring out the location of the dubiously dysfunctional javascript for the Smooth slider plugin that was apparently choosing not to work. I personally found the scripts address with Google Chromes Developer Tools under Sources. The source is in your blog directory under wp-content -> plugins -> smooth-slider -> js and in my case the script was named “jcycle.js?ver=2.4”.

Awesome right!? I mean we have the address now so I copied “https://www.yoursitehere.com/yourwordpressfolder/wp-content/plugins/smooth-slider/js/jcycle.js?ver=2.4” into the “Never minify the following JS files” field, and hit save, cleared my caches, and then began to eagerly refresh my homepage in hopes that the scripts would show up.

Sadly… the problem was still the same, what should have been my navigation buttons just showed up as “<div id=”smooth_slider_1_nav”></div>” nothing inside at all. Of course all of the slider images still loaded on the users side, they just didn’t slide/fade or otherwise transition. Just extra bandwidth for extra bandwidths sake really.

Virtuabotix.com smoothslider before fixing.
As you can see no navigation is showing up under the slider yet (this is a screen capture of virtuabotix.com’s front page).

So how did I fix the problem? Well first I tried erasing the “ver=2.4” from the address, but that didn’t work. Then I tried this weird relative addressing trick of using /// or // for relative vs absolute… and as you may have guessed that didn’t work either. Ultimately I had to use an HTTP rather than HTTPS even though the file was being loaded via SSL. I am sure that it is because of something W3 Total Cache looks for to determine the kind of addressing used, but it took a little while to figure out.

I still had to remove the “ver=2.4” for it to work, because Total Cache doesn’t consider the conditions when determining files for minification either. So ultimately I ended up with “http://www.yoursitehere.com/yourwordpressfolder/wp-content/plugins/smooth-slider/js/jcycle.js” on the inside.

Check out virtuabotix.com
See all fixed, after following this guide the Virtuabotix.com smooth slider is fully operational, and the cache is still enabled!

Once I had mode those changes everything worked great! I hope this helps you resolve your own W3 Total Cache minification problems too. Let me know if this solution worked for you!

Joseph Dattilo Writer, Electrical Engineer, CEO and founder of Virtuabotix LLC, and completely crazy in every way.

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