WP Rocket Plugin Review + Setup + Comparison 2019

WP Rocket

Internet is all about speed. Speed is very important to the success of your site because people don’t like waiting around for web pages to load. Even Google made it clear that they take page load time as one of the signals for ranking.

In fact, a study found that 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

There are many cache plugins available in the market, but WP Rocket is a premium WordPress caching plugin that is very effective at speeding up the load time of your website.

Features

  • Basic cache options
  • Minification and Concatenation of CSS & JS files.
  • Lazy-load Option for images, iframes and videos.
  • Cache Preloading.
  • Database Optimisation.
  • CDN integration.
  • Add-ons for Google Analytics, Varnish and Cloudflare.

Download & Install WP Rocket

First, go to the WP Rocket site and purchase the plugin.

WP Rocket plans and pricing:

  • $39 / year – 1 year of support and updates for 1 website.
  • $99 / year – 1 year of support and updates for 3 websites.
  • $199 / year – 1 year of support and updates for unlimited websites.

Choose the plan you want and complete the purchase.

Next, go to your account and download the .zip file. Simply upload and install the plugin in your WordPress Site.

Finally, activate the plugin.

WP Rocket Setup:

WP Rocket integrates more than 80% of web performance good practices automatically. Even without any of its options activated, the loading time of your website will decrease significantly.

Access the Configuration Dashboard via Settings >> WP Rocket

Dashboard

Setup

The configuration dashboard gives you information about your license and when it expires. Here you can find links to support and documentation about WP Rocket.

Quick Actions tab has the following Options.

Remove All Cached Files – Click on it when you’re done configuring the WP Rocket settings.

Start Cache Preloading – It generates a cache for your homepage and all internal links you use on the homepage.

Purge OPCache Content – It prevents issues when you update the plugins and themes.

Cache

Cache

Enable caching for mobile devices: When this option is enabled, WP Rocket will create a dedicated cache file for mobile devices for every document that gets cached. As a result, WP Rocket will serve an entirely different cache file to mobile phones than to tablets, or desktop computers. Enable both the options for safety.

User Cache: Enable this option when you have a membership site or restricted content on your site.

Cache Lifespan: Leave as default. If you notice any issues then you can reduce the lifespan accordingly.

File Optimization

File Optimization

Minification reduce file sizes and improves loading time. It removes spaces and comments from static files, enables browsers and search engines to faster process HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files.

Combine Google Font files: Google Fonts are often shown in Pingdom/GTmetrix report, combining them will reduce the number of HTTP requests.

Remove query strings from static resources: Tools such as Pingdom, GT Metrix, and PageSpeed often recommend to remove the query string from static resources. Enable this option to improve your caching.

Minify CSS files removes comments and white spaces, as well as crunch variable names so as to minimize code and reduce file size.

Exclude CSS: If minification messes up your site layout, locate the stylesheet for the particular plugin and add it here.

Optimize CSS Delivery eliminates render-blocking CSS on your website for faster perceived load time.

By enabling these options you may see an improvement in your performance grade on GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools, and Google PageSpeed Insights.

Critical Path CSS means your site will load without CSS styles, everything will be out of place for a few moments while loading.

This is called Flash of unstyled content. To avoid this, CSS for the content at the top of your page must be placed directly in the HTML.

To generate critical path CSS use this tool.

Load JavaScript deferred eliminates render-blocking JS on your site and can improve load time.

By enabling this option, all the JavaScript files on your page, including those minified by WP Rocket, will be loaded with the defer attribute.

If you have any issues on your site after activating this option, you may need to activate Safe Mode, which excludes jQuery from being deferred, for compatibility reasons.

Media Settings

Media Settings

Lazy loading is an optimization technique that loads visible content but delays the downloading and rendering of content that appears below the fold. As a result it reduces the number of HTTP requests.

You can also disable Lazyload on individual pages or posts.

Cache Sidebar

iframes and videos will load only as they enter (or about to enter) the viewport and reduces the number of HTTP requests.

Disable Emoji: Emoji adds additional load time which is unnecessary. Disabling will reduce the number of external HTTP requests.

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

Preload Settings

Preload Settings

Sitemap Preloading: Sitemaps generated from Yoast SEO is detected and displayed as options to base your preload process on.

The advantage of using an XML sitemap to preload the cache is that it will preload all the URLs on your sitemap files.

Preload Bot: When you write or update a new post or page, WP Rocket automatically clears the cache for that specific content.

The preload bot will crawl these URLs to re-generate the cache immediately other than sitemap-based preloading which will run automatically no sooner than when cache lifespan expires.

Prefetch DNS Requests: DNS prefetching can make external files load faster, especially on mobile networks.

Most common URLs to prefetch are:

  • //fonts.googleapis.com
  • //ajax.googleapis.com
  • //connect.facebook.net
  • //www.google-analytics.com
  • //www.googletagmanager.com
  • //maps.google.com

Advanced Rules

Advanced Rules

The advanced rules settings are for excluding cart and checkout pages in eCommerce sites.

Never Cache URL(s): It is very simple to exclude a page or post from the cache.

Enter the URL of the page you wish to exclude. You can either enter the full URL or you can just enter the part after the domain name.

Sensitive pages like custom login/logout URLs should be excluded from cache.

Never Cache Cookies lets you Specify the IDs of cookies that, when set in the visitor’s browser, should prevent a page from getting cached.

Never Cache User Agents prevents Search Engines bot or other user agents from caching pages.

Always Purge URL(s): If your site has a static home page and a different page to display blog posts, and if you find that when you publish a new post, it doesn’t show up on the site right away you need to empty the cache. That’s what this option does.

Cache Query Strings: lets you specify query strings for caching.

It is used to cache search result pages and price filtering pages for eCommerce sites.

Database Optimization

Database Optimization

Post Cleanup: Lets you delete post revisions and drafts permanently. Do not use this option if you need to retain revisions or drafts.

Comments Cleanup: Lets you delete spam and trashed comments permanently.

Transients Cleanup: Transients are temporary options; they are safe to remove. They will  automatically regenerate when your plugins require them.

WordPress plugin and theme developers often use Transients to store timely information in your database to speed up your site.

Database Cleanup: If you deactivate a plugin, it leaves unused tables in your database which you can delete by using this option.

Automatic Cleanup: schedule WP Rocket to cleanup your database on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Note: Backup your database before you run a cleanup. Once a database optimization has been performed, there is no way to undo it.

CDN Integration

CDN Integration

A CDN (content delivery network) is a group of geographically distributed and interconnected servers that provide cached internet content from a network location closest to a user to accelerate its delivery.

WP Rocket is generally compatible with most CDN providers, including Amazon Cloudfront, MaxCDN, KeyCDN and others.

Enable Content Delivery Network: Enable this option if you are using CDN on your site.

Copy the CNAME (domain) given to you by your CDN provider and enter it into the CDN tab of WP Rocket settings.

WP Rocket will rewrite all URLs for your assets (static files).

Exclude Files from CDN: Specify URL(s) of files that should not get served via CDN.

Add-Ons

WP Rocket ADD ONS

When you use Google Analytics on your site, those files which are hosted from Google’s own servers, will be flagged by various performance testing tools with a “Leverage browser caching” warning for their short expiration.

Enable this option. Now when you run a speed test, you will no longer see the “leverage browser cache” warning on those particular files.

Varnish: If you know that your server uses Varnish, enable this option. That way, WP Rocket will make sure the Varnish cache is purged whenever the WP Rocket cache is purged.

Cloudflare: WP Rocket lets you integrate your Cloudflare account with their add-on function.

Tools

Tools WP Rocket

Export Settings: export your settings to use on another site.

Import Settings: Lets you import your pre-configured settings.

Rollback: If you update to a new version and it causes issues, this will fall back on the previous version.

Performance Of My Site

Website speed test

My site is faster and the load time is also great. This result is from Pingdom.

WP Rocket Comparison

Comparing WP Rocket with W3 Total Cache and Super Cache.

Comparison

WP Rocket Review:

WP Rocket is an awesome cache plugin for WordPress. It is easy to install and setup. It actually performs a lot of smaller optimisations that go beyond just caching.

I hope this article has helped you. You may also want to see

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WP Rocket Plugin Review + Setup + Comparison
Overall
4.6
  • Ease Of Use
  • Features
  • Support
  • Speed
  • Price

Summary

WP Rocket is an awesome cache plugin for WordPress. It is easy to install and setup. It actually performs a lot of smaller optimisations that go beyond just caching.

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