WP Rocket Review [March 2023]: Best Cache Plugin For WordPress [+ Complete Setup Guide]
Do you know that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you may lose up to 50% of your potential visitors?
No one likes a slow website, me too.
Speed is vital for websites, and now it’s a ranking factor too. As per the latest update, Core Web Vitals are an essential ranking factor. If your blog is not fast enough, you will lose your SERP ranking.
But how do we improve our website speed?
We all know that having a good hosting, and a good theme can speed up our websites. But is that enough?
The answer is, NO. You need a cache mechanism in place to achieve a good speed for websites.
That is why we are here with the review of one of the best cache plugins for WordPress called WP Rocket.
In this WP Rocket review, we will touch upon various features of WP Rocket, and we will also explain the best settings of WP rocket to achieve the optimum speed. So let’s get into it.
But before we get into the WP Rocket review, we need to know what is caching for websites and how does it work?
I know most of you may already have enough knowledge about it but a bit of refreshment is not bad though. What do you say?
What Is Web Cache?
Caching is a method of storing data in a computing environment. The stored data can be accessed online or offline later depending on where the data is stored.
When a visitor visits your website, all files are fetched from the origin server. Those files are then stored either in browser cache memory or the server-side cache memory based on how you set the cache mechanism.
How long those files will be stored depends on how much time is set for the expiry of HTTP headers.
Next time, when the same visitor visits the same page, files are fetched from the cache memory instead of the origin server.
That is why your website content will load very fast when it is fetching data from the cache as there is less load on the origin server.
Cache helps to load your website fast for repeated visitors. But if you want to improve the website speed for first-time visitors, you need better hosting and themes
Types Of Cache
There are two types of Cache.
- Server Cache
- Browser Cache
Server Cache Vs Browser cache
The server cache and browser cache are completely different.
Server cache stores files in the server memory whereas Browser cache stores files in the user computer memory.
When a visitor visits your website for the first time, data will be served from the origin server.
Next time, when the visitor visits the same webpage, the date will be served by the server cache instead of the origin server. NGNIX Reverse Proxy and Varnish are the two most popular server cache software.
On the other hand, if you have a browser cache implemented using any cache plugin, the data will be stored in the browser cache, and the same will be served from the browser cache for repeated visitors.
So server cache and browser cache, both compliments each other. You need to have both to get a good website speed.
WP Rocket Overview
A couple of WordPress enthusiasts developed WP Rocket in 2013 after they were frustrated with the loading speed of their own websites.
To date, WP Rocket has more than 1.5 million websites, and they have close to 200K happy customers.
WP Rocket is a premium-only plugin, with no trial version or free version. Still, they could able to reach the top.
This is hard because the WordPress plugin market was dominated by free plugins like WP Total Cache and WP Super Cache.
As WP rocket could beat those free contenders, this plugin must have something that we should explore.
WP Rocket In Action
I was using WP Super Cache and Autoptimize for over a year before I moved to WP Rocket and you can easily see the difference. My site now loads much faster than before and the pages are lightweight too.
You will notice that in all the testing tools, WP Rocket shows at least a 50% speed improvement.
|Page Size||417 KB||320 KB||23%|
WP Rocket Features And Best Settings
In this section of the article, we will discuss various features and the best settings of WP Rocket.
The images shown are with the best possible setting to get the best speed. You can play around with those settings to see how it suits your requirement.
1. Page Caching
We have already discussed what is caching and how caching works. Caching is one of the basic tasks that WP Rocket does.
As soon as you install the plugin and activate the caching function, you will see a drastic increase in speed.
You can enable a separate cache for mobile devices if you want. You can choose the cache lifespan. You can also exclude some URLs from caching.
2. Cache Preloading
As the name suggests, cache preloading means the cache files will be preloaded in your browser so that when the user actually visits the page, they get a quick response.
Cache preloading in WP Rocket loads all links available on the home page first followed by all links available in the sitemap.
WP Rocket supports site links generated by most SEO plugins like Yoast and Rank Math etc.
Cache preloading will come into action in the following scenario.
- When the cache lifespan is over
- When you update the content of your blog
- When you first install WP Rocket and activates cache preloading
- When you manually clean the cache from the WP Rocket admin bar
Do you know that WP Rocket also preloads fonts? Under the preload font section, if you give the font URL, WP Rocket will preload those font files so that the page loads very fast.
3. File Optimization
It can minify those files and even combine that into a single file so that there are fewer HTTP requests.
Following are the optimization task that WP Rocket is capable of doing.
- Minify CSS files
- Combine CSS files
- Optimize CSS Delivery
CSS File Optimization
Minify CSS files remove unnecessary characters, spacing, and other junk elements from the source code, and make the CSS file lightweight.
After minification, multiple CSS files are combined into a single file so that it reduces the HTTP requests.
On top of that, WP Rocket also ensures that none of the CSS files are causing render-blocking using optimized CSS delivery.
If you wish, you can also exclude certain CSS files from the minification process.
4. Media Optimization
Images are the most resource-hungry elements of any website. Optimization of images is required to get a good loading speed.
Please note that if you are using any other image optimization plugin then don’t check the option ” Enable for images”
Unfortunately, WP Rocket does not come with any hardcore image optimization features like reducing the image file size, or loading images through CDN, however, it has some useful image optimization features that we have explained below.
You need to buy a separate plugin named ” Imagify ” to optimize your images. Imagify is developed by the same company that developed the WP rocket.
- Lazy Load for images
- Lazy load for iFrames and Videos
- Automatically add missing image dimensions
- WebP Caching
Enabling ” Lazy Load For Images ” is no longer required as WordPress has this feature by default. What it does basically is that it loads only those images that are in the viewpoint. When you keep scrolling down, other images are loaded as the viewpoint changes.
For example, if you have 10 images on a page and you are accessing that page on a screen that is capable of showing only 5 images, then only 5 images will be loaded at any given point in time.
Lazy loading for iFrame and videos is a very good feature especially if you are embedding YouTube videos.
Instead of loading the complete video, it just converts the thumbnail into a static image and lazy loads that image.
Do you know that WP Rocket can add image dimensions automatically? This is a very important feature as you do not need to control image sizes using any CSS code.
WP Rocket can also cache WebP files if you are generating WebP files using any compatible plugins like Imagify or ShortPixel
5. Database Optimization
WP Rocket does not have any advanced database optimization features. But it can do basic database optimization jobs for you.
Although you may not see a drastic improvement in speed it will definitely reduce the database file size.
The following database optimization features are available in the WP Rocket plugin.
- Deleting auto-draft posts
- Deleting trash posts
- Cleaning expired transients
- Cleaning all transients
- Optimize tables
- Automatically scheduled database cleanup
Out of all those basic features, one feature that I like most is the automatically scheduled database cleanup. This option will clean your database automatically as per the time interval set by you.
6. GZIP Compression
Another amazing feature that you will get in WP Rocket Cache Plugin is the GZIP Compression. It is one of the most popular lossless data compression methods currently available on the web.
If your site has bulky size HTML Pages, CSS style sheets, and scripts. No need to worry, as the GZIP compression feature in WP Rocket will compress the file size before delivering that to the visitors. Reduced file size means faster load time.
If you are using an Apache server, then WP Rocket will automatically add Gzip compression rules in your .htaccess file using the mod_deflate module. There are no separate settings for this in the dashboard.
Make sure you have writing access to the .htaccess file and that the module mod_deflate is installed on your server.
If you are using NGINX or Lite Speed cache, you need to raise a support ticket to get the Gzip compression rules codes.
Here is a sample .htaccess file with Gzip compression rules added.
7. CDN Integration
CDN means content delivery network. CDN delivers content from the closest possible server. And thus the latency is low and the page load much faster than loading the same page from the origin server.
WP Rocket integrates with all the CDN services available in the market. The only thing you need is the CDN CNAME value and that’s it. CDN integration complements WP Rocket capabilities as you will see improvement in speed after you integrate CDN with WP Rocket.
WP Rocket has the option to integrate with Cloudflare also. You just need the API keys from the Cloudflare account and the zone ID.
Once integrated, you can control various settings of Cloudflare from the WP Rocket dashboard itself. In fact, you can clear the Cloudflare cache from WP Rocket. Is not that great?
To access Cloudflare integration you need to head over to Cloudflare Dashboard-> Add Ons-> Cloudflare
8. WP heartbeat Control
As the name suggests, Heartbeat API is a communication protocol between the web browser and the web server.
It uses AJAX calls to communicate. If so many plugins use heartbeat API, a huge number of AJAX calls will be made to the web server. This, in turn, slows down the website loading speed
WP Rocket has a dedicated option to control the frequency at which API calls will be made through heartbeat API. If you select the ” Control Heartbeat” option, API calls will be made every 2 minutes instead of 1 minute.
If you decide to disable the heartbeat function, no API calls will be made and you may see an improvement in your website loading speed.
9. Support For Varnish And Sucuri
If your web host is using an Apache web server and Varnish cache, then WP Rocket can integrate with Varnish and clear the varnish cache whenever required from the WP Rocket dashboard.
If you use the Sucuri WordPress plugin, then WP Rocket can easily integrate with the plugin and can clean the cache if there is a need.
To access both options, you need to go to WP Rocket Dashboard -> Add Ons
How To Install WP Rocket
Installation of WP Rocket is the same as any other plugin. First of all, you need to buy the plugin. Once you buy the plugin, you need to download it after logging in to the WP rocket account.
Now login to your WordPress dashboard and upload the plugin by going to Plugin-> Add new. Install and activate the plugin. That’s it.
WP Rocket Pricing
WP Rocket is a premium plugin, so no free version and no premium trial. However, if you are not satisfied with the plugin you can claim a refund within 14 days.
WP rocket Single Plan
A single Plan is available for $49. You will get one year of support and updates. it can be used only on one website.
WP Rocket Plus Plan
Plus plan is for those who want to use the WP Rocket cache plugin on 3 websites. Other than that, you will get everything that a single plan offers. The price of the Plus plan is $99
WP rocket Infinite Plan
This plan allows you to install the WP rocket plugin on unlimited websites. Comes with one year of support and updates and costs $249. This plan is great for agency owners
WP Rocket offers a 30% renewal discount on all their plans. However, please buy this plugin during WP Rocket Black Friday Deals or WP Rocket Cyber Monday Deals if you want to save more.
WP Rocket Support: WP Rocket Review
You will only get email support from the WP Rocket team. You need to wait at least a day to get a response to your email.
However, the plugin is so well-coded that you don’t even need support. I had to raise only one ticket in three years of WP rocket use.
WP Rocket Positives And Negatives
- Quick setup [ Less than 5 minutes]
- Page caching
- Cache preloading
- Sitemap preloading
- Google Font preloading
- Gzip compression
- Browser caching
- Database optimization
- Image lazy load
- Lazy load for videos
- Code minification
- Combine files
- Remove query strings
- Cloudflare compatibility
- WooCommerce compatibility
- Excellent support
- No image optimization option. You need to buy Imagify to optimize images
- Database optimization options are limited
- No lifetime subscription plan. You need to pay every year
- Should have a support forum
Conclusion: WP Rocket Review
I think this WP Rocket review has enough information to decide whether WP Rocket is good for you or not. Despite being so many free cache plugins available, WP Rocket has made its stance tall.
Speed is the most important factor in terms of SEO rankings and conversion rates. With a core caching system, WP Rocket ensures great loading times.
So if you are looking for a cache solution, then you should choose WP rocket. Trust me, investing in WP Rocket is worth it.
Best Alternatives To WP Rocket
Though WP Rocket is the best cache plugin that offers great optimization and improves the speed of your website. Yet it has some negatives.
So, It is always better to look for alternatives. I here listed the two best alternatives to WP Rocket. One is W3 Total Cache and the other is WP Super Cache.
W3 Total Cache
For a long time, WP Total Cache is the preferred choice of bloggers for their cache solution. It has almost all the features that WP rocket has and it’s free of cost.
But the problem is that it is not as user-friendly as WP rocket and often you will face different issues. Since it’s a free plugin, support is also kind of not existent.
WP Super Cache
I was using this plugin for a long time before I moved to WP Rocket. This is a free plugin developed by Automattic, the same team that developed WordPress.
You will see a drastic improvement in your website speed as soon as you install it and activate the caching option.
If you use WP Super cache along with the Autoptimize plugin, then you may not need WP Rocket also.
FAQ | WP Rocket Review
What Is WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a premium cache plugin for WordPress that drastically improves the loading speed of your website by caching pages, optimizing codes, combing codes, and optimizing images.
Does WP Rocket have A Free Trial?
No, WP Rocket does not have a free trial. However, if you are not happy with the plugin, you can ask for a refund within 14 days of purchase.
What If I Don’t Renew My WP Rocket Licence After A Year?
You can still use the WP Rocket plugin. But you won’t get any updates or support.
Does WP Rocket have a lifetime license plan?
Unfortunately, there is no lifetime license plan for WP Rocket.
Can I upgrade my WP Rocket license anytime?
You can upgrade the WP Rocket license anytime by paying the extra amount for that upgraded plan.
Is there any renewal discount for WP Rocket?
Yes, there is a 30% renewal discount available on all plans.
Can I use WP Rocket with SG Optimizer?
Yes, you can use it. But make sure you don’t activate the same features in both plugins. For example, if you activate lazy load in WP Rocket, don’t activate Lazy load in SG Optimizer.
What are the best alternatives to WP Rocket?
The best alternative to WP Rocket is WP Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache, Hyper Cache, and Autoptimize.
All those are free plugins but the premium version is also available. But none of the plugins can outrank WP Rocket.
The only plugin that can beat WP Rocket is Nitropack. However, Nitropack is way too costly.
WP Rocket Cache Plugin
WP Rocket is an all-in-one cache plugin that not only includes caching but database optimization, image optimization, Cloudflare integration, and many more features. WP Rocket can speed up your website and help you to achieve a better SERP ranking.
Price Currency: USD
Operating System: Linux
Application Category: Web Application