WordPress is fast from the core. However, various themes, scripts, CSS, and plugins, along with many other customizations, make it load slower.
So, will this premium plugin be able to fight while there is the massive popularity of W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache?
That’s one of the many things you’ll find out in this review.
A cache plugin creates a copy of your website static files such as images so that a browser can access them without pulling it from the server. This helps in reducing the overall loading time and increases the loading speed in general.
For the past few months I’ve been using WP Rocket and you may have seen this in various screenshots I attach in my posts.
Upon installing the plugin on my blog, I immediately felt how simple and powerful this was.
Since I have been using it, I’ll share why you should be using it and how helpful it can be.
About WP Rocket
WP Rocket was launched in 2013, and It is a cache and performance optimization WordPress plugin that is made for beginners as well as full-stack developers.
It was created to speed up WordPress websites without having to install multiple plugins and configurations.
At the time of writing, it has over 500k active installs.
WP Rocket is a cache plugin developed by Jonathan Buttigieg and Jean-Baptiste.
They developed their own performance optimization plugin when they found every other existing plugin to be “not-so-good” at making websites fast.
Rest assured that WP Rocket is not just a cache plugin, it comes with many other speed booster settings and features.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned WordPress geek, WP Rocket will help you make your website fast.
WP Rocket has a number of features that make it stand out of other available WordPress cache plugins. It is not as hard as W3TC to configure, and it is faster than the WP Super Cache plugin.
With WP Rocket you get features like:
- CSS & HTML compression
- Separate cache files for mobile devices
- File optimization
- Ability to remove query strings
- Safe mode for jQuery
- Lazy load for images and Iframes
- Sitemap based cache preloading
- Bot-based cache preload
- Advanced cache rules
- GZIP compression
And many more other performance-enhancing features come right into WP Rocket. There are One-Click Add-ons, which are feature-extending available options that don’t need any configuration.
WP Rocket also allows you to optimize your WordPress database and back-end bloatware. Optimizing your database is very helpful to smoothen the overall performance, especially if you have a big website and lots of blog posts.
It supports WPMU (WordPress multisite installs) as well.
One of the things I personally loved is pre-set settings configuration.
This is one feature missing in every single cache plugin out there. You only have to install the WP Rocket plugin, and it automatically applies the best optimization practices and configurations.
If you don’t want or are confused with other plugins like W3 Total Cache, you should definitely check out WP Rocket. It’s a lot simpler to use and, at the same time, powerful as well.
If you don’t want a page or post to get cached, there’s an option right in the WordPress editor as well as in WP Rocket settings to set advanced rules.
In advanced rules, you can set what pages and files you don’t want to cache.
WP Rocket is a premium plugin, and it’s really worth it. It saves you time and time is money.
You’ll have to pay $39 yearly if you want a license for 1 site and $99 for 3 websites. Your websites won’t stop if you don’t renew your license but you won’t receive any updates or support after 1 year.
There’s the infinite license for freelancers and people with many websites, which costs $199/year for unlimited WordPress websites and 1 year of support and updates.
I use WP Rocket on 4 sites, which are on shared hosting and I had to use the infinite license.
If you have more than 2 websites or if you are a freelancer and work for clients, I would recommend you to choose infinite license since you’ll save more money doing so.
And you will be easily able to add WP Rocket to as many websites you want without any issues.
No matter what license you choose, you’ll get access to all the features and add-ons in WP Rocket. You can also upgrade your plan as you grow or need to add more websites.
You can either pay by a credit card or via PayPal.
There’s a 14-Day money-back guarantee too. If, for any reason you don’t like WP Rocket, you can ask for a full refund within 30 days.
Overall the pricing of WP Rocket is justified by its performance. And it’s pretty affordable. You can check out their new pricing plans here.
When I wasn’t using any cache plugin, my homepage size was 2.1 MB. I tried to set up Autoptimize but that too helped me little by reducing the size to 1.7 MB.
Using WP Rocket and GZIP compression, I was able to reduce the page size to 722.2 KB.
Changing the theme to Genesis, Enabling the CSS optimization, and delivery with HTML compression helped a lot in achieving this.
And the best part, my site didn’t break.
However, the pages which were using Syntax Highlighter stopped to show any styling to codes. Syntax Highlighter uses CSS to give a custom look to the code you wrap inside its shortcode.
You can furthermore connect WP Rocket with your content delivery network (CDN), If you are using a CDN like MaxCDN, Cloudflare or KeyCDN very easily. WP Rocket will then work with the pull zone to deliver static files via the CDN.
If you are using Cloudflare, you’ll be able to manage your Cloudflare cache, compression, and development mode right from your WP Rocket dashboard.
WP Rocket is also compatible with WooCommerce and other e-commerce plugins. You won’t have to worry about checkout, cart and payment pages as it automatically excludes them from caching.
You can also optimize Google fonts on your website by reducing the HTTP delivery requests.
The WP Rocket is very easy to set up. There’s no configuration needed initially. The moment you activate the plugin, you’ll observe your website will start to load faster.
This is because WP rocket analyses and implements the most essential and necessary performance optimization practices automatically, which makes your pages fast.
There are several add-ons that include Google Analytics compatibility.
When you turn it on, WP Rocket will host the Google scripts locally on your server to help satisfy the PageSpeed recommendation for Leverage browser caching.
Then there is the varnish add-on. When you turn this on, Varnish cache will be purged each time WP Rocket clears its cache to ensure content remains up-to-date.
With an active license, you’ll get 24×7 support from the WP Rocket engineers and development team. The support team operates every day except Sundays via email tickets.
There’s big support documentation set up for you. From installation to developer’s tools, you’ll get to know everything about WR Rocket in these documentations.
Whenever something goes wrong or if you are not sure what to do next, submit a support ticket. You’ll get an immediate response on how to solve your problem.
With WP rocket, you get many extra options to optimize your pages as per your needs. If you want to optimize your database, you can do it via the settings in one click.
It also has an option to disable new emojis and use default emoji of the visitor’s browser instead of loading them from WordPress.org. Similarly, you can choose to disable WordPress embeds too if you don’t use it.
You can also import/export the settings from one WP Rocket plugin to another. You also don’t need a separate plugin for removing query strings since WP Rocket has that feature too.
JQuery safe mode – The Safe mode for jQuery for deferred JS ensures support for inline jQuery references from themes and plugins by loading jQuery at the top of the document as a render-blocking script.
There are many pros which would make you buy WP Rocket such as:
Automatic speed optimization – This means your website will load faster as soon as you install WP Rocket. It comes with pre-set settings that do the 80% optimizations at the moment you activate it.
Add-ons – It comes with several helpful add-ons such as varnish cache and Cloudflare CDN add-on, which further help you purge cache every time you publish a post on the Nginx server and connect your cache directly with Cloudflare cache.
Support – Really, you’ll get help for every problem related to speed.
Ease of use – Unlike W3TC, which requires developer knowledge, WP Rocket is quite simple and easy to use.
There are a couple of cons as well, which are:
It’s all premium – You can’t try WP rocket for free, and you can only use it if you are willing to invest. For a lot of beginners, its $49 price tag may be too much, but if you look at the flip side, which shows a lot more loss in revenue if your website is slow, the price seems very little to argue.
Overwhelming – WP Rocket is not just a cache plugin; it’s a complete speed optimization plugin.
It comes with everything, including gzip compression, CSS/HTML compression and delivery, JQuery, etc. which might be too much for someone having no technical knowledge.
It would be fair if you don’t touch these options if you are not aware of what they might do.
Out of all cache plugins, WP Rocket is the fastest and is more user-friendly. I would highly recommend you to use it if you are just starting out or are a WordPress geek.
It requires no hard to setup configurations so you won’t have to spend hours manually setting the best setup. It does most of the part automatically.
The support is fantastic, and so is the team behind it. Try it, and I’m sure you won’t ever change it.