WordPress is great – it’s powerful, free, and helps you set up a website quickly. But all this comes at a cost – the cost of slow performance.
And if you want to get rid of the slow performance, you need to cache your WP pages.
WordPress is dynamic, 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.
- 1 WP Rocket – Best Premium WordPress Caching Plugin for Any WP Installation
- 2 How WP Rocket Performed in the Real World
- 3 Beginner’s Guide to WP Rocket: Step-by-Step guide on how to use WP Rocket for the best results.
- 3.1 Dashboard
- 3.2 Cache Tab
- 3.3 File Optimization Tab
- 3.4 Media Tab
- 3.5 Preload Tab
- 3.6 Database Tab
- 3.7 CDN Tab
- 3.8 Heartbeat Tab
- 3.9 Addons Tab
- 3.10 Cloudflare
- 3.11 75% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket, Cloudflare Addon and Imagify
- 3.12 80% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket, Cloudflare Addon and ShortPixel
- 3.13 Image Optimization Tab
- 3.14 Tools Tab
- 3.15 Tutorials Tab
- 4 How much does it cost to purchase WP Rocket?
- 5 WP Rocket Free Alternative
- 6 WP Rocket Plugin Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 WP Rocket Review: The Conclusion
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 battle-tested WordPress caching plugin.
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
- Clean your database trash and bloat
- Offload your WP-Content folder to your preferred CDN
How WP Rocket Performed in the Real World
The genuine test of any product is how it performs in the real world. Here are some test results from my demo site.
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
35% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket (Default Setting)
68% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket and Imagify
70% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket and ShortPixel
WP Rocket Speed Comparison Table
|Before WP Rocket||After WP Rocket(default)||WP Rocket(Optimal Setting) + ShortPixel||WP Rocket (Optimal Setting) + Cloudflare + ShortPixel||WP Rocket (Optimal Setting) + Imagify||WP Rocket (Optimal Setting) + Cloudflare + Imagify|
|Time to First Byte(TTFB)||1500ms||898ms||915ms||419ms||885ms||970ms|
|Fully Loaded Time||7.8s||5.1s||2.3s||1.5s||2.5s||1.9s|
Beginner’s Guide to WP Rocket: Step-by-Step guide on how to use WP Rocket for the best results.
When you upload and activate WP Rocket, it starts optimizing your website requiring no extra effort from your side.
When you open the WP Rocket setting, the dashboard tab welcomed you.
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.
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.
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
- Minify CSS Files: Always tick ✅ Minify CSS files option, it helps you to reduce your CSS file size combines by removing white spaces and comments.
- Combine CSS Files: This option combines 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. (It’s a beta feature, use it wisely.)
💡 : Don’t forget to press the save changes button after every change.
Lazy Load: It reduces actual and perceived loading times, as it’s only loaded when images are 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 embeddable 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 blog posts. 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.
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 Cache: Enabling WP Rocket’s preloading feature will allow the plugin to auto-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
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.
Post Cleanup: it will permanently delete Post revisions and drafts. Do not use this option if you need to keep revisions or drafts.
Comments Cleanup: it will permanently delete Spam and trashed comments.
Transients Cleanup: Transients are temporary options; they are safe to remove. It will automatically regenerate them 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: 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: 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.
One-click Rocket Addons: 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 Credentials: Enter your Global API, Account email, and Zone ID to activate Cloudflare on your website.
- 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
80% Speed Increase After Activating WP Rocket, Cloudflare Addon and ShortPixel
Image Optimization Tab
If you are not using Imagify, then this tab will show in the WP Rocket sidebar.
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.
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!
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 Free Alternative
So, what to do if you don’t want to use WP Rocket? Use these best free WordPress speed optimization plugins to load your WP sites faster.
Cache Enabler: Cache Enabler is a free plugin for caching static HTML files, which can increase the speed of your WordPress site.
Check Cache Enabler vs WP Rocket Review here and find how it compares with WP Rocket.
Powered Cache: Powered Cache is a comprehensive caching and optimization plugin for WordPress. It’s easy to set up and use and dramatically boosts site performance in a short amount of time.
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?
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 with no 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 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 you can now make an informed decision about the best method for your business website caching 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!