23 August 2022
Thinking of using WP Rocket to speed up your site? In our hands-on WP Rocket review, we’ll help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.
In general, WP Rocket does an excellent job of making it simple to perform almost all important speed optimizations. This includes several features designed specifically for Google’s Core Web Vitals, such as the ability to remove unused CSS on a page-by-page basis.
Further, WP Rocket reduced our site’s Largest Contentful Paint time by 65.1%, and it can likely achieve the same for you.
So, is WP Rocket worth the money? That’s what our WP Rocket review will help you decide, along with a detailed look at the WP Rocket interface and how you can use it to speed up your site.
A cache is a collection of stored data that may be accessed when needed. In computers, data is stored on a hard disk. When it is requested, a computer needs to run several processes before the information can be presented.
Cache solves this problem by processing frequently requested data and putting it in a temporary storage area or memory. This enables computers to access the file easily.
WordPress is, after all, a dynamic content management system. This implies that WordPress fetches data from the database when a user visits your website and does several additional tasks before sending the web page to the user’s browser.
When many visitors visit your website simultaneously, this causes it to load more slowly.
Caching helps you to avoid a lot of processes on your WordPress site. Your cache plugin generates a duplicate of the page after the initial load. It then delivers that cached version to every subsequent user, rather than going through the entire page generation process every time.
Caching is helpful since it cuts the load on your WordPress hosting servers and speeds up your website. You’ll need to set up proper caching to increase your WordPress site’s loading speed and performance.
A fast website boosts the user experience and encourages more page visits. This will also help you increase user engagement and the amount of time they spend on your website.
A fast website can help you gain even more organic search traffic to your site. Google offers fast websites a significant SEO benefit, which allows you to rank higher in search results.
You have two options when it comes to caching on a WordPress website. First, select a web host that includes this feature as part of their hosting plans. Second, you need to install a caching plugin. Based on your web host, you may be able to use your preferred caching plugin alongside their in-house caching technology for maximum site speed.
So, if money is no object, getting WP Rocket is definitely the best option. For everyone else, this WP Rocket review will help you decide whether buying this premium caching plugin is a valuable decision or whether you should save your money and search elsewhere.
To help you to make that decision, let’s start by looking at the pros and cons of WP Rocket. Then we’ll show you how to use WP Rocket to optimize your WordPress website.
This WP Rocket review is incomplete if we don’t cover its pros and cons.
Below are some of the best WP Rocket features that you can use to optimize your WordPress website for speed and performance.
As a WordPress Caching plugin, this feature definitely sits on the top.
This tab contains some of your website’s most basic cache options.
Here, you can choose whether to show the cached version of your website to logged-in WordPress users. The default setting disables logged-in WordPress users. By allowing this, you can browse your uncached version as the administrator.
Further, you can decide if you want to cache your website for mobile users. There is an option to provide a mobile-first cached version of a website. If your primary users access your website via mobile devices, this feature can help you provide a unique user experience.
Lastly, you can set the Cache Lifespan. This is the time when your visitor will see the cached version of your site before it is cleared. If your page’s content is highly dynamic, you need to select cache every 5 or 10 minutes.
However, if the content of your website remains unchanged for a long time, you might choose to keep the cache file permanently.
The longer the Cache Lifespan, the faster your website will be.
The following options are available for your website’s CSS code:
The Media tab allows you to speed up your site’s images, videos, and other media files by using lazy loading.
With lazy loading, your site will delay loading certain below-the-fold content until a visitor begins scrolling down the page. You can enable lazy loading individually for images, iframes, and videos.
If you embed many YouTube videos, you’ll like the ability to replace the YouTube embed with a static preview image. This can significantly reduce page load times because WordPress will not load the actual YouTube embed until a user clicks on the preview image.
You can also add missing image dimensions, which helps prevent layout shifts and improve the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) metric in Google’s Core Web Vitals.
With preloading, WP Rocket enables you to “preload” pages into the cache before a visitor visits. This is useful for ensuring that all of your site’s users experience speedy, cached pages.
However, you can keep everything in its default settings. I don’t advise changing anything unless you’re sure what you’re doing.
The Advanced Rules tab allows you advanced control over caching behavior.
You can disable caching for specific URLs, cookies, and user agents. You may also set URLs to always purge when you edit a post/page and cache query strings.
Here, one thing you might want to do is to prevent your contact form page from being cached. Because caching can sometimes cause issues with forms, I normally exclude my form page just in case.
Aside from that, these options are largely for advanced users, and most individuals won’t need to change anything.
Your website’s database serves as its foundation. This is where the important files, data, and settings are stored. However, it might get too busy at times and harm the performance of your website.
WP Rocket Database optimization feature might help you get rid of such garbage. WP Rocket, for example, may remove trashed content or spammy comments on your blog entries. This type of cleanup ensures that your website works properly without slowing down.
And one feature that I particularly like about WP Rocket’s Database section is the ability to schedule your database cleanup to run automatically.
Note: Before cleaning your database, we advise creating a backup – anything should happen, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The CDN tab helps establish a content delivery network to enhance global load times. This is completely optional, and using a CDN will cost you extra money. WP Rocket only helps you configure your website to use a CDN; the plugin does not have its own CDN.
You have two choices here:
Additionally, you can prevent specific files from being served by the CDN; most websites won’t require you to do this, though.
The Heartbeat tab allows you to stop or limit the WordPress Heartbeat API, which can save server resources.
The Heartbeat API is responsible for features like autosaves.
We recommend leaving these settings defaults to Reduce activity. If you’d prefer, you may also turn off the Heartbeat API in specific areas.
WP Rocket, as previously said, is a premium WordPress caching plugin with three pricing options:
Yes, there are various free alternatives to WP Rocket. The best include Hyper Cache, WP Super Cache, and W3 Total Cache. However, when compared to these other caching plugins, WP Rocket is the best.
Look at the screenshot to compare a few features of these caching plugins.
As you can see above, WP Rocket covers all the boxes; however, the other three caching plugins offer limited options.
Other caching plugins require you to install extra plugins to get exclusive features such as database optimization, Google fonts optimization, lazyload images, etc. However, WP Rocket is the only cache plugin that includes all of these fantastic features by default.
WP Rocket is an excellent plugin on its own. The test results speak for themselves, and the WP Rocket interface is really well-designed, with enough documentation to help you understand what each configuration does.
Hence, if you ask us, “Is WP Rocket a good plugin for boosting WordPress performance?” the answer is definitely yes.
But, you may discover free plugins that implement many of the same features as WP Rocket (though you’ll need to install many plugins to do this), making your decision a little more difficult.
Further, why should you pay for WP Rocket when you can use free plugins?
We think there are three reasons for these:
There first is simplicity. WP Rocket improves WordPress performance in two ways:
The second is support. Because it is a premium plugin, you will have access to high-quality support if you run into any issues.
Lastly, WP Rocket offers some unique features that might improve your site’s performance. For example, the new Delete Unnecessary CSS function is great. It can regularly reduce the size of your website by 100-250KB.
For those three reasons, we believe that paying for WP Rocket makes sense for a lot of people unless you’re on a low budget.
If you can’t afford a premium performance plugin, you can still build a fast-loading site using only free plugins, so you don’t need WP Rocket. But, if you want the best experience, some unique features to make your site even faster, and premium support, we believe WP Rocket is worth the money.
If you want to get started, click the link below to get WP Rocket, and then follow our guide above to configure it.
If you are looking for more speed optimization resources, then check out these articles:
No, WP Rocket is not a free plugin. It costs $59 per year. However, WP Rocket has a 14-day money-back guarantee, so you can technically give it a shot that way. If it doesn’t work for your site, you can always ask for your money back.
WP Rocket is a WordPress performance plugin. It speeds up your WordPress site and helps you pass the Core Web Vitals.
W3 Total cache is an excellent option if you’re on a budget. However, if you want advanced features that you won’t find in free caching plugins, WP Rocket is the way to go. It’s the best option that you’ll pass the Core Web Vitals.
WP Rocket is a powerful performance plugin, whereas Autoptimize only handles file minification and concatenation. The added performance optimization from caching, database cleanup, and other features make WP Rocket better.
Nitropack is more powerful than WP Rocket at improving your site’s performance. It offers more advanced features and better speed optimization. However, it is much more expensive than WP Rocket.
We highly recommend both WP Rocket and WP-Optimize. They both are great caching plugins.
However, WP Rocket gets ahead with its advanced file optimization, CDN support, and better interface.
But that doesn’t mean WP-Optimize is ineffective. It’s better than WP Rocket at image optimization and database cleanup.
Yes, LiteSpeed cache can outperform WP Rocket on some sites if you spend the time (and have the knowledge) to set it up.
But, WP Rocket is easier to use, faster to deploy, and gives extremely high-performance results. As a result, WP Rocket is a better option for most people.