WP Rocket Review: Boost Your Website’s Performance
Published on May 10, 2023 by Simon Wright
Are you looking to optimize your website’s performance and speed? If so, a caching plugin like WP Rocket can undoubtedly help. Such plugins speed up your website by caching static files and reducing server load. This article will closely examine the WP Rocket cache plugin, its key features, how to install, configure, and use it, and how it can help improve your website’s performance. So let’s jump straight in.
What Is a Caching Plugin?
A caching plugin is a software component that helps speed up your website by caching (temporarily storing) frequently accessed pages and content. When a visitor accesses your website, the caching plugin serves up cached content instead of generating it from scratch each time, reducing server load and improving load times. This can help improve user experience and search engine rankings.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Caching Plugin for Your Website?
Regardless of your website type, whether it is a blog, eCommerce store, news site, etc., a caching plugin can benefit it in many ways. Here are some examples of how:
1) Faster page load times
A caching plugin can drastically improve page load times by caching content, reducing the number of HTTP requests, and minimizing file sizes through features like minification and GZIP compression. Faster load times improve user experience and positively impact search engine rankings.
2) Reduced server load and bandwidth usage
Caching plugins reduce the server load by serving cached content to visitors instead of generating content on the fly for every request. This also reduces bandwidth usage, significantly benefiting websites using shared hosting plans.
We must point out that your site’s performance will ultimately be at the mercy of how well your web host performs. No matter how much website optimization you do, it’ll be futile if your host server is slow and unreliable. That is why we recommend virtual private server (VPS) hosting from WP Bolt. With VPS hosting, you get dedicated space and resources on a high-performance server, circumventing the bandwidth-hogging neighbors plaguing most shared servers.
3) Improved user experience and engagement
Nobody likes slow websites, and visitors are more likely to stay on yours and engage with your content if its pages load quickly and smoothly.
4) Higher search engine rankings
Page speed is a ranking factor for Google, Bing, and other search engines. As such, it figures that the faster websites are, the more likely they will rank high in search engine results pages.
5) Better website scalability and performance under high-traffic conditions
High traffic levels can strain a website’s server considerably and impact performance. A caching plugin can help reduce server load and improve website scalability, allowing your website to handle more traffic without experiencing performance issues.
What Are the Key Features of WP Rocket?
WP Rocket is one of the most highly respected cache plugins currently available. It’s renowned for being easy to use, plus it boasts an extensive feature set, which includes:
1) Page caching
WP Rocket’s page caching feature stores static versions of your website’s HTML files on your host server. That allows them to be served quickly to visitors without generating content ‘on the fly,’ resulting in blisteringly fast load times. However, ‘live’ pages such as the cart, checkout, and ‘My Account’ are generally not cached.
2) Cache preloading
Cache preloading generates cached content before visitors request it, ensuring that they always receive cached content. WP Rocket’s cache preloading feature ensures that your website’s cache is always up to date, helping improve page load times.
3) Browser caching
4) GZIP compression
5) Database optimization
Database optimization removes unnecessary data from your website’s database, reducing its size and improving site performance. WP Rocket’s database optimization feature removes revisions, auto-drafts, trashed posts, and other unnecessary data.
6) Lazy loading of images and videos
The WP Rocket cache plugin includes a lazy loading feature that delays loading images and videos until the visitor is ready to view them (i.e., by scrolling down the page.) This reduces the amount of data that needs to be downloaded to display the page, thereby making it load substantially faster.
7) CDN integration
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) stores your website’s content on servers worldwide. This allows content to be served up faster to visitors located geographically far from your host server. WP Rocket integrates with popular CDNs like Cloudflare, helping to improve page load times for visitors globally.
8) Google Fonts optimization
Google Fonts can slow down page load times by requiring additional HTTP requests. WP Rocket’s Google Fonts optimization feature improves page load times by reducing the number of HTTP requests needed for these font types.
WP Rocket’s minification and concatenation features help improve page load times and reduce server load.
10) Automated Settings
Where supported by your theme (and WordPress), WP Rocket has automated settings for:
- Page and browser caching
- GZIP compression
- Cross-origin support for web fonts
- Third-party plugin, theme, and hosting environment detection and support
- WooCommerce cart fragments cache refresh
- Optimization of Google Fonts files
- Disable the WordPress emoji
Overall, compared to its competitors, the WP Rocket cache plugin offers a comprehensive feature set and is highly user-friendly, making it an excellent choice for beginners and advanced users.
Example Performance Gains Using WP Rocket
Below are the results from our quick test to see what impacts WP Rocket had on our (messy) test site. The tests were very basic, using only default settings with no other configurations. We used the free Page Speed Insights tool to measure the website performance before and after activating WP Rocket.
Here are the performance figures for our test site’s main page before activating WP Rocket:
And here are the figures for the same page after activating the WP Rocket plugin:
As you’ll see, there is no improvement in the performance of the desktop site after activating WP Rocket, but the mobile site is significantly better. Please remember that many other factors impact website performance, and the above is just a rough example. However, the improvements shown in our simple experiment on the mobile version of the test site are very encouraging, particularly given that mobile devices are rapidly overtaking desktops for accessing the web.
How To Install the WP Rocket Cache Plugin on Your Website
Installing the WP Rocket cache plugin is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:
- Purchase and download WP Rocket from the official website. However, do not unzip the file.
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard
- Navigate to Plugins > Add New.
- Click the “Upload Plugin” button and select the WP Rocket ZIP file you downloaded (usually in the “Downloads” folder on your computer.)
- Click “Install Now” and wait for the installation to complete.
- Activate WP Rocket by clicking the “Activate Plugin” button.
- Configure the plugin settings by navigating to “Settings > WP Rocket.“
WP Rocket’s settings page is well-organized and easy to navigate. In addition, the plugin offers a range of options to customize its behavior, including cache settings, file optimization options, and CDN integration:
WP Rocket also provides ample documentation and support to help you configure the plugin to suit your website’s specific needs.
Does WP Rocket Work with Different Types of Websites and Content Management Systems?
WP Rocket is a WordPress-specific caching plugin designed to work with WordPress websites. That said, it can also be used with other content management systems and custom websites if hosted on a server supporting PHP.
Is WP Rocket Compatible with Other Plugins and Themes?
WP Rocket is designed to be compatible with most plugins and themes. However, some may conflict with WP Rocket, especially those that generate dynamic content or modify HTML output. However, WP Rocket provides documentation and support to help you troubleshoot any compatibility or other issues that may arise.
Downsides and Limitations of WP Rocket
WP Rocket is an excellent caching plugin, but as with most things in life, it’s not without its limitations. Here are a few potential downsides to consider:
1) WP Rocket is a premium plugin and requires a yearly subscription
While WP Rocket provides many advanced features to improve website performance, it is a premium plugin that requires a yearly subscription. The subscription fee varies depending on the number of websites you want to use WP Rocket on, with discounts available for multi-site licenses. However, while cost may be a consideration for some, the features and benefits WP Rocket provides help justify the cost.
2) Some advanced features may need support or configuration from your hosting provider
While WP Rocket provides many advanced caching features, some may require additional configuration or support from your hosting provider to work effectively. Examples include server settings adjustments to enable caching, or perhaps your host has limitations on how much data you can cache. However, if you are unsure whether your hosting provider supports WP Rocket’s advanced caching features, you should consult directly with their support team.
3) It may not be suitable for all websites
While WP Rocket is an excellent caching plugin that can significantly improve website performance, it may not suit all websites. In particular, websites with complex or dynamic content, such as some e-commerce sites or websites with user-generated content, may require more advanced caching and optimization techniques than WP Rocket provides. Therefore, talk to a website performance expert or WP Rocket’s support team if unsure whether the plugin suits your website.
4) Some technical know-how may be necessary
WP Rocket provides extensive documentation and support to help users configure and use the plugin effectively. However, you may need some technical expertise to understand and implement the more advanced caching and optimization features. If you are unfamiliar with website performance optimization techniques, you may need to do some research or seek the assistance of a website performance expert to get the most out of WP Rocket.
Troubleshooting Issues That May Arise When Using WP Rocket
Should you encounter any issues when using WP Rocket, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot them. Here are a few tips:
- Check WP Rocket’s documentation and support resources for answers to common issues.
- Disable other plugins or themes that may be conflicting with WP Rocket to isolate the issue.
- Check your server logs for errors or issues that may be affecting WP Rocket’s performance.
- Contact WP Rocket support for assistance or to report any bugs or issues.
WP Rocket Pricing
Three pricing tiers are currently available for WP Rocket, depending on how many websites you wish to optimize:
That’s a small price to pay for ensuring your site is faster than the competition.
While no free or trial versions of WP Rocket are available, the developer does offer a 14-day refund policy. Therefore, you can request your money back if it does not meet your expectations.
In conclusion, WP Rocket is an excellent caching plugin that can help improve your website’s performance and speed. Thanks to its comprehensive feature set and user-friendly interface, it is a perfect choice for beginners and advanced users looking to optimize their website’s performance. By taking advantage of WP Rocket’s extensive customization options, you can ensure your website is fast, responsive, and engaging for visitors.
I’m a former construction industry professional who came out of the writer’s closet and am now totally comfortable with my creative side. My pronouns are smart, creative, witty, and dependable. I have written content in a number of niches including WordPress, plus I’m a blogger and affiliate marketer. If you’d like to know more about how I can help you, please head over to my website.