WP Rocket is without doubt one of the extra in style caching plugins obtainable for WordPress.
It’s reasonably priced, fairly intensive by way of the variety of efficiency options it contains, and is extremely straightforward to make use of.
It even works proper out of the field, so to talk. That’s, as quickly as you activate the plugin, it’s already caching your WordPress web site to enhance its efficiency.
However how a lot can it enhance your WordPress web site’s efficiency?
In our WP Rocket evaluate, we check out the whole lot WP Rocket has to supply. We’ll share benchmark velocity exams, execs & cons, and extra.
Let’s get into it.
What’s WP Rocket?
WP Rocket is a WordPress caching plugin that launched in 2013 and was created by net builders Jonathan Buttigieg and Jean-Baptiste Marchand-Arvier.
The pair created WP Rocket for a few totally different causes, the largest being that they merely didn’t really feel any of the WordPress caching plugins obtainable on the time had been doing a lot for his or her web site’s efficiency and loading occasions.
In addition they didn’t assume caching plugins obtainable on the time had been very person pleasant.
In truth, most required at the very least some technical information in an effort to obtain one of the best efficiency attainable.
That’s what makes the WP Rocket plugin so distinctive.
Not solely is it a robust caching answer, it additionally has an intuitive person interface (UI) that features language that’s straightforward to know.
Plus, nearly each function has a “Want Assist?” hyperlink hooked up to it, a hyperlink that results in a assist article describing the function.
Our WP Rocket evaluate covers each major function the plugin gives: caching, file optimization, the way it impacts web page efficiency, its database optimization options and extra.
We additionally take a second to explain a number of the benefits (execs) and drawbacks (cons) you might expertise whereas utilizing the plugin.
You’ll additionally discover particulars on pricing and some options in case you need to go a special route so far as enhancing your web site’s efficiency goes.
What options does WP Rocket provide?
WP Rocket’s UI is constructed proper into the WordPress dashboard, and it’s fairly straightforward to navigate general.
We’re going to cowl these options:
- WP Rocket Dashboard
- File Optimization
- Media Optimization
- Database Optimization
The WP Rocket dashboard
The WP Rocket dashboard is a reasonably easy, albeit uneventful, portion of the plugin’s general UI.
Together with a giant inexperienced message board saying how the plugin is “now activated and dealing for you,” you have got entry to quite a few totally different options.
These embrace fast data on the license sort you have got and when it expires.
You even have fast motion buttons, particularly a button that clears all cached recordsdata in a single click on.
You probably have the corporate’s RocketCDN service (extra on this later), you’ll discover integration particulars right here as properly.
Most helpful on this part are hyperlinks to movies that exhibit how you can use the plugin in addition to further hyperlinks that present solutions for ceaselessly requested questions.
You even have easy accessibility to the plugin’s documentation and assist providers.
These latter choices are positively one thing WP Rocket will get proper. Their information base is full of useful articles designed to make utilizing the plugin as straightforward as attainable so that you don’t must seek the advice of assist or a developer.
The WP Rocket plugin has three tabs for caching:
- Cache – Fundamental cache choices.
- Preload – For configuring preloading cache choices.
- Superior Guidelines – Extra advanced cache choices.
Just like the plugin itself mentioned, caching is enabled as quickly as you activate WP Rocket, and that features cell caching, which helps enhance your web site on cell gadgets.
As you’ll be able to see, each function has a brief description on what it does and/or when it is best to use it.
For instance, the Cell Cache function has a secondary function that separates cache recordsdata for cell gadgets.
Nevertheless, in response to WP Rocket’s description of this function, it is best to solely allow this selection “you probably have a devoted cell theme or plugin.”
You can even allow caching for logged-in customers right here in addition to management how a lot time passes between automated cache clearing occasions.
Preloading is a unprecedented function caching plugins like WP Rocket embrace to make your web site even sooner.
Caching creates copies of recordsdata and shops them in a “cache” to allow them to be accessed by your customer’s browser shortly, successfully lowering the period of time it takes in your web site to load on the frontend (the top your customer sees).
Nevertheless, WP Rocket can’t create these copies till you obtain a customer, which implies your first customer will obtain a slower expertise than all different guests.
Cache preloading emulates that first go to to create cached copies of your recordsdata earlier than you obtain actual guests. This implies all guests obtain the identical quick expertise from the get go.
Once you open the Preload tab in WP Rocket, you’ll discover that preloading is enabled by default, which is nice for non-technical customers who might not know the advantages of such a function.
Superior customers may also exclude particular URLs from preloading right here.
WP Rocket additionally has a function referred to as “hyperlink preloading” enabled by default.
This function is designed to detect when a customer might go to one other web page in your web site primarily based on how lengthy they hover over an inside hyperlink.
From the plugin’s information base:
“If a person hovers over, or touches, a hyperlink for 100ms or extra, the HTML of that web page will likely be fetched within the background, in order that after they really click on the hyperlink, the web page will seem to load almost immediately!”
Superior customers may also arrange URLs to prefetch and self-hosted fonts to preload on this tab.
The Superior Guidelines tab is a superb place for superior customers to regulate what does and doesn’t get cached on their websites.
There are textboxes for the next choices right here:
- By no means Cache URLs – Specify particular person URLs to exclude from cache.
- By no means Cache Cookies – Particular person cookie IDs to exclude from cache.
- By no means Cache Consumer Brokers – Particular person person agent strings to exclude from cache.
- All the time Purge URLs – Particular person URLs to clear from cache while you replace a put up or web page.
- Cache Question Strings – Particular person GET parameters to incorporate in cache.
Optimizing a majority of these recordsdata can actually do lots to enhance efficiency.
Earlier than WP Rocket, many caching plugins didn’t have a majority of these options, which meant you wanted to put in one other plugin should you needed to optimize a majority of these recordsdata simply.
It’s nice that WP Rocket contains this function because it amplifies the efficiency advantages the plugin’s caching options implement.
This part of the plugin may be very straightforward to configure (all it is advisable to do is allow choices should you want them) however could also be cumbersome for some customers.
It’s because all choices are disabled by default, which implies bloggers and non-technical customers might want to be taught what every particular person setting means.
To be honest, there’s at all times an opportunity of minification inflicting issues on a web site to interrupt, so it’s really good for them to have these options disabled by default.
With that mentioned, whether or not you’re a complicated or basic person, you’ll discover important options on this part, options that will let you:
- Minify CSS recordsdata.
- Optimize CSS supply.
- Load JS deferred.
- Delay JS execution.
You can even use this part to mix and exclude CSS and JS recordsdata fairly simply, however basic customers trying to buy WP Rocket ought to depart these choices disabled.
Once you let WP Rocket optimize CSS supply, you have got the choice of getting the app load CSS asynchronously and take away unused CSS with the press of a button.
Enabling these further CSS and JS choices additionally lets you add particular CSS recordsdata to a safelist and exclude particular person JS recordsdata from deferment.
Sadly, WP Rocket doesn’t have a function for loading JS asynchronously.
Per WP Rocket’s personal weblog content material, the corporate suggests loading JS recordsdata asynchronously by together with an “async” attribute in your code, however they advocate utilizing their very own defer choice over the async technique because it’s the “most secure selection when you have got recordsdata which are interdependent.”
WP Rocket’s media optimization function is comprised of two major capabilities:
- Lazy loading
- Including lacking picture dimensions
All choices are disabled by default, however they embrace enabling lazy loading for all pictures throughout your web site.
There are additionally separate choices for lazy loading iframes and movies.
You possibly can even have the plugin exchange YouTube’s iframe factor with a preview picture to enhance efficiency, particularly on pages the place you could have lots of YouTube movies embedded into your content material.
In fact, it’s also possible to exclude particular pictures and iframes from lazy loading if the function causes points for them.
The Picture Dimensions function is an easy function, however it helps forestall format shifts that happen when pictures are lacking picture dimensions attributes.
Enabling the choice will add lacking width and top attributes to all pictures that lack them.
WP Rocket have their very own picture optimization plugin referred to as Imagify. It’s not included within the core plugin however it’s positively price a fast point out on this evaluate.
It has a free plan, and even its premium plans are reasonably priced at a beginning fee of $4.99/month.
The plugin optimizes the next file varieties: PNG, JPG, PDF and GIF.
It compresses your pictures as you add them to your web site, and you may even set the compression stage it makes use of.
You can even reverse optimization and optimize pictures in bulk.
The plugin even allows you to convert your pictures to WebP and show them on this format on the frontend.
Lastly, as a result of WordPress creates a number of copies of your pictures in numerous sizes, the plugin optimizes every picture copy.
Try our put up on the finest picture compression instruments if you need just a few options.
WordPress operates on just a few totally different applied sciences, a kind of being a database, usually MySQL or MariaDB.
It doesn’t matter what database answer you utilize, as your web site grows, you create increasingly pages, save increasingly drafts, publish increasingly content material, obtain increasingly feedback, and many others. and many others. and many others., your database fills up increasingly.
As such, cleansing the database turns into a vital a part of maintaining your web site working as effectively as attainable, particularly should you’re utilizing a cheaper internet hosting answer.
Within the Database Optimization tab of WP Rocket, you’ll be able to really allow quite a few totally different options to scrub up and optimize your web site’s database.
The choices are organized into 5 classes:
- Put up Cleanup
- Feedback Cleanup
- Transients Cleanup
- Database Cleanup
- Automated Cleanup
The primary two classes, as you’ll be able to think about, are targeted on optimizing the database tables your web site’s content material creates.
It could possibly delete put up revisions, drafts WordPress robotically creates for you, posts you’ve put within the Trash, spam feedback and feedback you’ve put within the Trash.
The plugin additionally removes transients and unused database tables for you.
Lastly, you’ll be able to schedule database cleanups.
To carry out database optimization in WP Rocket with out scheduling, it is advisable to select which choices you need to allow, after which click on the Save Modifications and Optimize button.
Whereas it doesn’t take lengthy for the plugin to scrub up your database, it isn’t apparent that the plugin is doing so.
A message shows on the high of the web page telling you that the optimization is happening, however the plugin doesn’t scroll as much as this message after you click on the Optimize button.
From the person’s perspective, till the optimization is full and until you scroll as much as the highest of the web page, it seems that clicking this button does nothing.
It’s a minor UI subject, however it’d be higher if this message appeared beneath the Optimize button to keep away from the chance of customers clicking the button repeatedly and to scale back person confusion altogether.
With that mentioned, whereas they could be straightforward to make use of, general, WP Rocket’s database optimization choices are fairly slim.
Efficiency benchmarks: how a lot does WP Rocket enhance web page velocity?
Curious to know simply how a lot WP Rocket improves your efficiency?
We had been, too. So, we ran the plugin by way of just a few benchmark exams on Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix and Pingdom.
Our testing setting is easy.
We used Cloudways’ base Digital Ocean server with 1GB of RAM.
And since we’re utilizing Cloudways, WP Rocket robotically enabled their Varnish add-on, which purges the server’s Varnish cache each time the WP Rocket cache is cleared.
Our take a look at WordPress web site was operating the Astra theme with the Natural Retailer template.
And since the template is an Astra-based WooCommerce web site, our take a look at web site additionally had the next plugins put in:
- Checkout Plugins – Stripe for WooCommerce
- Starter Templates
- Variation Swatches for WooCommerce
As for WP Rocket itself, we enabled the next settings:
- Allow cell caching.
- Minify CSS recordsdata.
- Optimize CSS supply.
- All lazy load choices.
- All preloading choices.
This can be a typical option to configure WP Rocket.
We additionally ran WP Rocket’s optimization guidelines earlier than testing for the “after” outcomes.
Let’s view our benchmark exams. We did earlier than and after outcomes so we are able to actually see what this plugin can do.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Listed below are our take a look at outcomes from Google PageSpeed Insights, which largely exams for Core Net Vitals:
|Cell – No WP Rocket
|Cell – WP Rocket
|Desktop – No WP Rocket
|Desktop – WP Rocket
|search engine optimization
|First Contentful Paint
|Largest Contentful Paint
|Complete Blocking Time
|Cumulative Structure Shift
You possibly can see how WP Rocket has made enhancements throughout the board, particularly to Core Net Vitals.
Whereas getting a web site made with a prebuilt WordPress theme to 100 on cell is sort of arduous, a 22-point enchancment on this rating is absolutely spectacular.
General, we are able to see that WP Rocket lower nearly each quantity on this desk in half. Not dangerous!
We used GTmetrix’s base testing setting for this take a look at: Vancouver, Canada, loaded on a desktop pc.
Listed below are the outcomes:
|No WP Rocket
|Totally Loaded Time
|Complete Web page Measurement
|Complete Web page Requests
LCP = Largest Contentful Paint, TBT = Complete Blocking Time, CLS = Cumulative Structure Shift, TTFB = Time to First Byte, FCP = First Contentful Paint, TTI = Time to Interactive
GTmetrix makes use of lots of the identical metrics as PageSpeed Insights does.
Even so, utilizing a number of testing instruments offers us an even bigger image by way of figuring out simply how a lot WP Rocket improves or doesn’t enhance efficiency.
Our outcomes show that even in a very totally different testing setting, WP Rocket nonetheless does lots to enhance your web site’s efficiency.
One of many largest enhancements was seen within the Time to Interactive (TTI) metric. That’s, the period of time it takes from when a customer first visits your web site to after they can really begin interacting with it.
Lastly, listed here are our take a look at outcomes from Pingdom:
|No WP Rocket
|Web page Measurement
|1.2 MB – 67.9%
|1.2 MB – 77.32%
|274.6 KB – 15.75%
|289.2 KB – 18.90%
|140.5 KB – 8.06%
|99.4 KB – 5.7%
|37.5 KB – 2.15%
|49.3 KB – 3.22%
Together with enhancements in velocity, Pingdom’s information proves how a lot WP Rocket’s file optimization options cut back the variety of requests your customer’s browser makes to your net server.
And because of the minification options, CSS and JS should not detected.
WP Rocket evaluate: how a lot does it price?
WP Rocket has a easy pricing construction that’s fully depending on the variety of websites you need to set up the plugin on:
- Consists of 1 web site license
- 3 web site licenses
- Limitless web site licenses
This implies each function WP Rocket gives is on the market on all plans.
There’s no free model and no free trials, however WP Rocket does provide a 14-day, money-back assure on all plans.
WP Rocket evaluate: execs & cons
Right here’s a fast roundup of the benefits and drawbacks we seen whereas utilizing WP Rocket.
It contains some options we didn’t get to in the primary part of this text, together with WP Rocket’s CDN options.
WP Rocket execs
- Reasonably priced.
- Simple to make use of.
- Caching begins as quickly as you activate the plugin.
- Very efficient at enhancing web page velocity, Core Net Vitals and person expertise.
- Reduces web page measurement.
- Reduces the variety of requests the browser makes out of your server.
- Consists of preload choice for browser caching.
- Comes with lazy loading, and even reduces the quantity of sources YouTube movies use because the web page is loading.
- Consists of file optimization, so that you don’t want to put in a separate plugin.
- Consists of some database optimization options.
- CDN is simple to combine, particularly you probably have Cloudflare, which WP Rocket has an add-on for you’ll be able to allow within the Add-Ons tab.
- Has superior caching guidelines skilled customers can make the most of.
- Lets you import and export options.
- Permits you to rollback to earlier variations if an replace breaks your web site.
WP Rocket cons
- Want extra database optimization choices.
- Some UI parts may very well be extra accessible to the person.
- Some customers expertise points with bulk picture optimization in Imagify, and WP Rocket’s Picture Optimization tab doesn’t embrace integrations for different picture compression instruments.
WP Rocket options
WP Rocket gives a giant bang in your buck so far as web site efficiency goes, however in case it isn’t your cup of tea, listed here are just a few further choices:
- NitroPack – Cloud-based efficiency optimization that provides caching and file optimization, simply as WP Rocket does. Nevertheless, additionally they provide picture optimization and a built-in CDN. Learn our NitroPack evaluate.
- Flying Press – One other implausible caching and efficiency optimization plugin with an ideal worth. They actually have a proprietary CDN add-on.
- WP-Optimize – One of many easiest WordPress optimization plugins available on the market. It’s even free if all you want are easy optimization options.
An honorable point out is your host. Many WordPress hosts provide managed options for caching and CDN providers.
Our favorites are Cloudways (each new WordPress web site put in on a Cloudways server has the host’s Breeze caching plugin put in and activated robotically), Kinsta and Servebolt.
We additionally advocate utilizing a plugin referred to as Perfmatters alongside WP Rocket.
Whereas WP Rocket has a number of the optimization options Perfmatters gives, the latter plugin goes above and past and improves your web site’s efficiency much more. It covers the sort of optimizations most efficiency plugins don’t provide.
WP Rocket evaluate: remaining ideas
WP Rocket is without doubt one of the caching plugins obtainable for WordPress, even with free WordPress caching plugins like WP Tremendous Cache round.
It’s reasonably priced irrespective of should you want it for a single web site or a dozen.
And as you seen in a number of the pictures above, it’s additionally one of many best caching plugins to make use of.
In truth, configuring the vast majority of WP Rocket settings requires nothing greater than marking a checkbox.
All in all, should you’re available in the market for a caching plugin, WP Rocket is without doubt one of the finest choices obtainable to.
Disclosure: This put up incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. This implies we might make a small fee should you make a purchase order.