WP Rocket: Battle Tested WordPress Caching Plugin

Optimize any WordPress websites in few clicks with WPRocket

WordPress is great – it’s powerful, free, and helps you set up a website very quickly. But all this comes at a cost – the cost of slow performance.

A lot of people want to run a fast WordPress site, but they don’t know how to do this. They love WordPress, but they hate its slowness.

And if you want to get rid of the slow performance, you need to cache your wp pages.

WordPress is dynamic in nature, that’s means if you do not cache your page, it is connected to the database, process through the PHP engine every single time when the user wants to browse that page.

Caching makes your website static and helps you to deliver content faster.

The selection of the right WordPress caching plugin makes your site load faster at the end-user device and makes them happy.

In this post, I introduced you to the best premium WP caching plugin WP Rocket for your WordPress setup with optimal settings(according to me) and some free alternatives(I ❤️ free things). So you don’t have to change your WP web hosting right now.

🛎️ : WP Rocket only works with WordPress.

WP Rocket – Best Premium WordPress Caching Plugin for Any WP Installation

WP Rocket is a premium speed optimization plugin for WordPress that optimizes the user experience, by seamlessly combining page speed optimization with caching.

It can do this by using intelligent caching rules. It’s recognized as one of the best cache plugins for WordPress, by web developers and agencies.

I test and use lots of caching solutions from the WP directory from 2012, every solution has some pros and cons but from my experience, WP Rocket is the best noob-friendly caching plugin.

How?

When you activate WP Rocket at your WP installation, it activates,

  • Caching of all the pages for quick viewing
  • Decrease bandwidth usage with our GZIP compression
  • Management of the headers (expires, etags…)

And make your site faster quickly, after that, you will play with small sets of options and make your website faster like a rocket.

WP Rocket makes anyone a WP Speed Guru ‍😂, especially newbies who are pulling their hairs to trying to optimize their WP installation for maximum speed.

With WP Rocket, you can do more than caching a page or decrease bandwidth usage because it’s more than a caching plugin.

  • Reduction of the number of HTTP requests to reduce loading time
  • Minification and concatenation of JS and CSS files
  • Deferred loading of images (LazyLoad)
  • Deferred loading of Videos and Iframes
  • Deferred loading of JavaScript files
  • Clean your database trash and bloat
  • Offload your WP-Content folder to your preferred CDN

How WP Rocket Performed in the Real World

The true test of any product is how it performs in the real world. Here are some test results from my demo site.

I am using the MaxKVM VPS server with Nginx as the webserver. For WordPress, I am using the Digital Marketing demo of the Divi theme.

Why Divi?

Divi is a tremendous theme with lots of pre-made and demo templates, and it’s also one of the best page-builders in the WordPress community, but it loads lots of unnecessary stuff with it that’s making it one of the heaviest page-builders for WP.

In this blog post, I’ll show, how to speed up Divi theme or any theme with WP Rocket.

GTMetrix Mumbai Server uses for this test. Please check Time to First Byte and Fully Loaded Time for better comparison.

Test Site Before WP Rocket

WordPress Performance before WPRocket

59% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket

WordPress Performance after WPRocket

68% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket and Imagify

I am using Imagify with Ultra Setting to optimize Divi default loaded images.

WordPress Performance after Activating WPRocket and Imagify

70% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket and ShortPixel

I am using the ShortPixel lossy setting to optimized Divi default loaded images.

WordPress Performance after Activating WPRocket and Shortpixel
Before WP RocketAfter WP RocketWP Rocket + ShortPixelWP Rocket + Cloudflare + ShortPixel WP Rocket + Imagify WP Rocket + Cloudflare + Imagify
GTMetrix GradeFDBBBB
GTMetrix Performance24%53%74%83%77%81%
LCP4.2s3.0s2.3s1.5s2.1s1.8s
TBT1600ms492ms197ms245ms166ms128ms
Time to First Byte(TTFB)1500ms919ms915ms419ms885ms970ms
Fully Loaded Time7.8s3.2s2.3s1.5s2.5s1.9s
HTTP Requests591816151717
File Size(Compressed)2.02Mb661kb463kb437kb555kb551kb
File Size(UnCompressed)6.87Mb1.03Mb862kb837kb970kb970kb
Speed Increase59%68%80%70%75%
Conclusion based on Fully Loaded Time

Beginner’s Guide to WP Rocket: Step-by-Step guide on how to use WP Rocket for the best results.

When you upload and activates WP Rocket, its starts optimizing your website without requiring any extra efforts from your side.

Dashboard

WPRocket Welcome Screen - Dashboard Tab

When you open the WP Rocket setting, you are welcome by the dashboard tab.

It doesn’t house any important settings but you can find one most important action button which allows you to purge or clean the entire cached version of your site and it also allows you to preload cache for your website.

Cache Tab

WPRocket Cache Tab Settigs

Mobile Cache: Always Enable caching for mobile devices, If your theme is responsive then don’t tick Separate cache files for mobile devices.

If you’re using plugins to make your site mobile friendly then tick ✅ Separate cache files for mobile devices.

Why?

Most modern themes are responsive and should work without a separate cache. Enable this option only if you have a dedicated mobile theme or plugin.

User Cache: If you’re running the website with user-specific or restricted content, then use this option. Otherwise, leave it blank.

Cache Lifespan: It allowed you to automatically clear the cache after your specified time. WP Rocket default is 10 hours, but if you’re running a content website like blogs which contents won’t change frequently then make it longer. I choose 10 days or 240 hours.

💡 : Don’t forget to press the save changes button after every change.

File Optimization Tab

WPRocket File Optimization Tab Setting

CSS Files:

  • Minify CSS Files: Always tick ✅ Minify CSS files option, it helps you to reduce your CSS filesize by removing white spaces and comments.
  • Combine CSS Files: This option combine your already minified CSS files, helps you to reduce HTTP requests. After enabling this option please check your website for any error. If you found any strange layouts problem, then just untick this option.
  • Optimize CSS Delivery: Optimize CSS delivery eliminates render-blocking CSS on your website for faster perceived load time. Its generate the critical path CSS needed for the visible part of the website and Loading all the other CSS files asynchronously, that is deferred, without render-blocking.
  • Removed Unused CSS(beta): Removes unused CSS per page and helps to reduce page size and HTTP requests for better performance. (Its a beta feature, use it wisely.)

JavaScript Files:

  • Minify Javascript Files: Its removes whitespace and comments to reduce the file size.
  • Combine Javascript Files: This option combines your site’s internal, 3rd party and inline JS reducing HTTP requests.
  • Load Javascript deferred: It is preferable for performance that JavaScript files are either deferred so that they don’t block the downloading of other assets on your site, thereby slowing it down.
  • Delay Javasript Execution: Its Improves performance by delaying the loading of JavaScript files until user interaction (e.g. scroll, click). If you don’t use these types of files, don’t enable this option.

💡 : Don’t forget to press the save changes button after every change.

Media Tab

WPRocket Media Tab Settings

Lazy Load: It reduces actual and perceived loading times, as images are only loaded when inside the viewport so bandwidth is better used. Also, iframes and video embeds are only loaded when inside the viewport resulting in extra content being downloaded only when it’s needed.

  • Enable for Images: Lazy loading images are for postponing the loading of online images beyond the viewable area of the browser. Always tick ✅ this box.
  • Enable for Iframes and Videos: YouTube videos or Twitter embedable tweets help to drive traffic, but you could also fall victim to the Google slow-loading penalty if you place them on your homepage or in the blogposts. This option helps you to avoid this problem.

Image Dimension: it helps to prevent layout shifts and improve the reading experience for your visitors. To improve your core web vitals, just tick ✅ Add missing image dimensions.

Embeds: Prevents others from embedding content from your site, prevents you from embedding content from other (non-allowed) sites, and removes JavaScript requests related to WordPress embeds. Just tick ✅ Disable WordPress embeds.

WebP compatibility: Enable this option if you would like WP Rocket to serve WebP images to compatible browsers. Please note that WP Rocket cannot create WebP images for you. You can use ShortPixel or Imagify for creating a WebP version of your images.

💡 : Don’t forget to press the save changes button after every change.

Preload Tab

WPRocket Preload Cache Tab Settings

Preload Cache: Enabling WP Rocket’s preloading feature will allow the plugin to automatically generate a cached version of your website from scratch based on whatever links, image sizes, and sitemaps you wish. When you enable preloading and upload your sitemap, WP Rocket will generate cache with priority given to pages in your sitemap. You can also manually enable or disable preloading for rapid cache generation of the affected content.

  • Activate Preloading
  • Activate sitemap-based cache preloading: Sitemaps generated by Yoast SEO, All-in-one-SEO, Rank Math SEO, SEOPress or The SEO Framework are detected and you can check the box to automatically use them. If you don’t use one of those plugins, or want to specify sitemaps for preloading, enter the URLs in the “Sitemaps for preloading” text field.

Preload Links: Link preloading improves the perceived load time by downloading a page when a user hovers over the link. Just tick ✅ Enable link preloading.

Prefetch DNS Requests: DNS prefetching can make external files load faster, especially on mobile networks. In URLs to prefetch text box, enter external hosts to be prefetched. In my case, I prefetched //fonts.gstatic.com.

Preload Fonts: If you are using custom fonts on your websites, just enter the URLs for these fonts. It improves performance by helping browsers discover fonts in CSS files.

💡 : Don’t forget to press the save changes button after every change.

Database Tab

WPRocket Database Tab Settings

Post Cleanup: Post revisions and drafts will be permanently deleted. Do not use this option if you need to retain revisions or drafts.

Comments Cleanup: Spam and trashed comments will be permanently deleted.

Transients Cleanup: Transients are temporary options; they are safe to remove. They will be automatically regenerated as your plugins require them.

Database Cleanup: Reduces overhead of database tables.

Automatic cleanup: You can schedule automatic cleanup here.

💡 : Back up your database before you run a cleanup! Once a database optimization has been performed, there is no way to undo it.

CDN Tab

WPRocket CDN Integration Tab Settings

CDN: All URLs of static files (CSS, JS, images) will be rewritten to the CNAME(s) you provide. Tick ✅ Enable Content Delivery Network and in CDN CNAME(s) field add your URL.

Heartbeat Tab

WPRocket Heartbeat Tab Settings

Heartbeat: Reducing or disabling the Heartbeat API’s activity can help save some of your server’s resources.

Reduce or disable Heartbeat activity: Reducing activity will change Heartbeat frequency from one hit each minute to one hit every 2 minutes. Disabling Heartbeat entirely may break plugins and themes using this API. Use the default setting for it.

Addons Tab

WPRocket addons Tab Settings

One-click Rocket Add-ons: I am using Nginx and Varnish needs apache to function on your server, So, use it with apache with varnish enabled server. You can find this type of configuration mostly with shared hosts.

If you are using Nginx and you have control over your server, Try the Rocket-Nginx configuration. It enables Nginx to serve directly previously cached files without calling WordPress or any PHP. It also adds headers to cache CSS, JS, and media to leverage the browser’s cache by reducing requests to your web server.

Rocket Addons: I choose Cloudflare as my DNS manager, enabling Cloudflare addons definitely helps to improve loading time.

Cloudflare

WPRocket Cloudflare Addons Tab Settings

Cloudflare Credentials: Enter your Global API, Account email, and Zone ID to activate Cloudflare on your website.

Cloudflare Settings:

  • Development mode: Temporarily activate development mode on your website. This setting will automatically turn off after 3 hours. 
  • Optimal settings: Automatically enhances your Cloudflare configuration for speed, performance grade and compatibility.
  • Relative protocol: Should only be used with Cloudflare’s flexible SSL feature. URLs of static files (CSS, JS, images) will be rewritten to use // instead of http:// or https://.

75% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket, Cloudflare Addon and Imagify

410% Speed Increase After Activating WPRocket, Cloudflare Addon and Imagify

80% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket, Cloudflare Addon and ShortPixel

520% Speed Increase After Activating WPRocket, Cloudflare Addon and ShortPixel

Image Optimization Tab

I am using ShortPixel instead of Imagify which is endorsed by WP Rocket. Why? It’s my personal choice you’re free to choose any image optimizer with WP Rocket.

If you are not using Imagify, then this tab will show in the WP Rocket sidebar.

Tools Tab

In the Tools tab, you can export and import settings. If you face any problem with the current version of WP Rocket, you can roll back to the previous major version here.

Tutorials Tab

Want to learn more about WP Rocket, then check this section it contains How-to videos and guides.

How much does it cost to purchase WP Rocket?

WP Rocket has three different pricing plans. The only difference between the plans is the number of sites that are supported. There aren’t any feature limitations, so you don’t have to worry about not getting what you need at a certain price point!

WPRocket Pricing Plan Details

WP Rocket offers 3 payment plans: 1 single site license ($49); 3 sites ($99); and ($249 [for unlimited sites]). There are no feature limitations with these plans.

One year of support and updates comes free with every plan. After one year, if you wish to continue, you will get a 50% discount on your current plan.

WP Rocket also offers a 14-day refund policy, in case you’re not satisfied with the plugin.

WP Rocket Plugin Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is WP Rocket is Free?

Ans: No, there is no free trial or free version of the plugin, but For anyone interested in trying this plugin, the developer offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Q: What does WP Rocket do?

Ans: WP Rocket will basically increase the overall speed of your WordPress site dramatically, which is essential to gain search engine rankings and get more traffic.

Q: How does WP Rocket cache work?

Ans: WP Rocket uses several different techniques to improve your site performance. It stores any HTML, CSS, and JavaScript-based assets in an easily accessible location so that your users never have to download them again when they return. This cuts down on server load dramatically, making for lightning-fast page loading time even with the most complicated of layouts. It also uses browser caching, asking the browser to store commonly accessed assets in its memory so they don’t need to be downloaded repeatedly.

Q: Is WP Rocket worth it?

Ans: While there are other plugins out there that claim to offer solutions for speeding up your website, including some free options (sometimes you get what you pay for!), it’s worth investing in WP Rocket if you want an actual plug-and-play option that speeds up each page of your WordPress website without any kind of technical knowledge or prior coding knowledge required on your part.

Q: Is Autoptimize better than WP Rocket?

Ans: WP Rocket already handles most tasks, but Autoptimize can help tweakers with more granular settings, in which case you can pair it with WP Rocket.

WP Rocket Review: The Final Conclusion

WP Rocket is one of the most user-friendly caching plugins for WordPress, it helps you to make your WordPress website blazing fast on user’s devices. Faster loading means happy visitors and more revenue for your business.

I know it looks pricy, but for 49$ you get peace of mind.

I hope that this post has given you some food for thought. I know that there are several ways (including free-ways) that you can improve the speed of your WordPress website. It’s an easy-to-install plugin that can help you optimize your website and its images, improve your site’s overall performance, and boost your SEO.

I hope that you can now make an informed decision about the best method for your business after reading the above review.

If you’re still curious about how you can improve your website speed, I recommend trying out WP Rocket. To do so, simply click the button below!

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