WP Rocket is one of the best-paid cache plugins for WordPress. No doubt about it. Until a few years back, there were no free alternatives to WP Rocket.
But over the years SG optimizer got matured enough to give a tough fight to WP Rocket.
In fact, the SG optimizer has almost the same features that the WP rocket has and it’s free. So it makes sense to compare WP Rocket vs SG optimizer in this article and see which cache plugin has the edge.
But before we learn about the differences between SG Optimizer Vs WP Rocket, let us have a quick introduction to what Cache actually is.
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 upon 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.
Why Caching is required for WordPress sites?
By default, WordPress is very poor in loading speed without a caching plugin. Every time a visitor visits a page, WordPress makes database queries to the server. This makes the page loading speed very slow.
What a cache plugin does is that it stores the static HTML version of a web page in the browser or in their server RAM based on the cache mechanism you set.
No next time, when a visitor visits the same page, the server delivers the cached version of the webpage rather than a separate query to the database. Since there is no call to the server, the page loads very fast.
Those static cached files get deleted automatically when there is a change in the page or when you manually delete those. New files replace those deleted files with the updated page.
What Is WP Rocket
WP Rocket is one of the best-paid cache plugins for WordPress for many years. The company also owns the image optimization called ” Imagify” and a CDN service called ” Rocket CDN“. Both services you can integrate directly into the WP Rocket dashboard itself.
One of the best parts about WP Rocket is the simple and easy-to-use setup. With a very minimum setting, it can speed up your website.
The interface is also very intuitive and simple. Even a newbie can easily set up WP Rocket. This plugin has almost all the required features that a WordPress website needs to speed it up.
WP Rocket Cache Plugin
Features Of WP Rocket
Here are a couple of salient features of the WP Rocket plugin. Although the feature list is long but here in this article, we will only talk about the main features.
If you want to know about all features of WP Rocket then I would suggest you read this ” WP Rocket Review” article.
What Is SG Optimizer
SG Optimizer is one of the free alternatives to WP Rocket. Especially if you are hosted on Siteground, then you should use SG Optimizer rather than WP Rocket.
SG Optimizer is yet to roll out a version for all other hosts although you can use it with a few features disabled which will only work if your site is hosted on Siteground.
Siteground Optimizer or SG optimizer is a free plugin with more than 1 millions download and almost all 5-star ratings in the WordPress repository. It has almost all there features of WP Rocket.
On top of that, it can perfectly blend with the Siteground hosting environment to give you the best out of Siteground Hosting.
Here are the Siteground Hosting features that are integrated directly into the SG optimizer. The following features won’t work in any other hosting environment.
NGNIX Direct Delivery
Since RAM is much faster than SSDs so your website will load much faster. NGNIX direct delivery cache is flushed every 3 hours so that new contents are populated in the RAM
This is different from the NGNIX direct delivery as the dynamic cache only stores the dynamic contents instead of the static contents that NGNIX direct delivery does.
However, both Dynamic cache and Direct delivery are powered by NGNIX only. Without a dynamic cache, every time a visitor visits a page, it would have sent a query to the database. That would have slowed down your website and CPU seconds/hr would have increased.
If your website makes a lot of database queries and a lot of API calls then Memcached can help you to make your site load faster.
The Memcached is a complex cache mechanism that stored data in the server RAM similar to other cache mechanism and increase the website load speed.
WP Rocket Vs SG Optimizer
Here is a head-on comparison between WP Rocket VS SG optimizer so that ou know what is there and what is not there in these plugins.
|Feature List||WP Rocket||SG Optimizer|
|Remove unused CSS||Yes||No|
|WebP file generation||No||Yes|
|Securi and Varnish integration||Yes||No|
|One to one support||Yes||No|
|Free version available?||No||Yes|
So you might have noticed from the above table that the difference between the feature sets of WP Rocket and the SG optimizer is not that huge to justify the price tag of $49.
In fact when we run the test with WP Rocket and SG optimizer, the difference in the speed is only some microseconds. Let’s look at the test results now.
SG Optimizer Vs WP Rocket: Test Results
We have run the following test in our staging environment with the latest version of WP Rocket, SG optimizer, and WordPress
For both the plugins we have to use the best possible setting with Cloudflare CDN for content delivery and Bunny CDN for image delivery.
We also kept the same test location for all tests with the default setting
With WP Rocket Only Installed
The following screenshot shows the result with WP Rocket only installed. We followed all the best settings mentioned in this article.
So as you can see that except for the Google Page Insights mobile version, every tool shows great results.
With SG Optimizer Only Installed
So as you can see that Siteground hosting and SG optimizer is the best combination for getting the best speed. We could not able to get the perfect 100 scores using WP Rocket but with only SG optimizer it was possible.
So my recommendation is that, if your site is hosted on Sitegrond, then only use SG Optimizer
With Both SG Optimizer And WP Rocket Installed
With both SG Optimizer and WP rocket installed, looks like it gives better results than only WP Rocket installed. But it is recommended not to use two cache plugins together.
Still, in case, if you want to use both the plugins together, make sure to turn off overlapping features so that there is no unexpected result.
Here is the result comparison in tabular form so that you can figure out which one is better for you.
|WP Rocket||A||87||100||1.9 s||0 ms||.01|
|SG Optimizer||A||100||100||830 ms||0 ms||.01|
|SG+ Wp Rocket||A||91||100||999 ms||0 ms||.01|
So from this GT Metrix test, it is very clear that if you install only SG Optimizer, it will make sure the site is 2X faster.
|Condition||Grade||Page Size||Load Time|
|WP Rocket||81||397 kb||4.71 sec|
|SG Optimizer||91||382 kb||2.62 sec|
|SG+ Wp Rocket||91||384 kb||2.27 sec|
In the Pingdom tool test also WP Rocket performed the worst and shows that the SG optimizer is 2x faster than WP Rocket.
We did not put the Google page speed data in the tabular form but if you compare the images, it is clearly evident that in the Siteground Hosting platform, SG optimizer is the kind of cache plugin beating WP Rocket by a long margin.
If you want to use the SG optimizer and the WP Rocket together, you will get the same result when you use the SG optimizer alone. The choice is yours.
Conclusion: SG Rocket Vs WP Rocket
As you have noticed from the test result that even with WP Rocket, there is no drastic improvement over SG Optimizer. SG Optimizer is a perfect alternative to WP Rocket if your site is hosted on Siteground.
If your site is hosted on any other hosting platform, then the story could be different as SG Optimizer is only for Siteground.