What are the benefits of the WP Rocket plugin?
WP Rocket, unlike many caching plugins, does not require complicated settings and starts working as soon as you install and activate it. This plugin does not require any technical or coding knowledge, but it does allow you to make advanced settings if you wish. Finally, this plugin allows you to easily undo the changes made if you need to.
We will come back to the settings and all the possibilities of this plugin later, but I wanted to show you its impact on a website before/after installation, and after making some very simple settings in 2 tabs: the “File Optimization” tab CSS and JS”, and the “Media” tab.
WP Rocket claims that we can achieve significant results very easily, and without having any technical knowledge beforehand. To be able to make comparisons, I will use GTmetrix to test the performance of a Managed WordPress website at web host Hostinger, using a free Cloudflare CDN account.
1) Results before installing WP Rocket:
2) Results after installing the plugin:
Many features have been enabled by default, including file preloading and cache functions.
3) CSS and JS Files Optimization tab settings:
These features are not enabled by default. Here are the settings I made:
- Minify CSS files: set to ON
- Combine CSS files: set to ON
- Optimize CSS delivery + load CSS files asynchronously: set to ON
- Minify CSS files: set to ON
- Deferred loading of JS files: set to ON
Here are the results obtained by optimizing CSS and JS files:
4) “Media” tab settings:
These are the settings related to “Lazy Load” and image sizing.
- Enable for images: set to ON
- Enable for iframes and videos: set to ON
- Add missing image dimensions: set to ON
Here are the additional results obtained thanks to the settings related to Lazy Load and image sizing:
5) Results obtained after image optimization by Imagify:
As we can easily see, the results are really very interesting, we have an optimized website in just a few clicks, which will have a positive impact on SEO.
WP ROCKET Pricing
We have the choice between 3 annual plans, depending on the number of websites we want to optimize:
The Single plan is valid for a single WordPress site and costs only $49 per year (or €44 per year), support included. You can use the plugin on more websites by upgrading your license. When you upgrade, you will only pay the price difference between your current license and the one you are upgrading to.
The Plus plan allows you to optimize 3 websites and costs $99 per year (or €88 per year). Finally, the Infinite plan costs $249 per year (or €222 per year) and allows the optimization of an unlimited number of WordPress sites.
Sometimes you can get the plugin at a discounted price. It is offered a 100% money back guarantee within 14 days of purchase. When renewing the license, a 30% discount is offered.
All WP Rocket settings:
1) The WP Rocket Dashboard
- My account: this is where information about your license is specified.
- “Quick actions”: these settings allow you to delete all cached files in 1 click, start cache preloading or regenerate critical CSS.
- RocketCDN: You have the option to subscribe to WP Rocket’s own CDN. But the price seems a little high to me: $7.99 per month.
- My Status: This setting allows anonymous data to be shared with the development team to help improve WP Rocket.
- Links to videos explaining how the plugin works, how to measure the speed of your website, how to make the best settings, … There is also a link to the official plugin documentation, and finally a link to contact support.
2 ) The Cache tab:
- Mobile Cache: this tweak allows you to enable or disable caching for mobile users. Optionally you can use separate cache files for mobile devices (this is an option for people using dedicated mobile themes).
- User Cache: this setting allows you to enable or disable caching for users who are logged in. The user cache is useful if a website has specific content for users.
- Cache Lifetime: This tweak lets you specify the time after which cache files will be deleted.
Regarding Ecommerce, WP Rocket does not cache sensitive pages. No interference in the purchase process is therefore to be feared.
3) The File Optimization tab
- Minify CSS files by removing comments and whitespace in CSS files to reduce their size.
- Combine Files: This tweak merges various CSS files into a single file, reducing the number of HTTP requests.
It is possible to exclude certain CSS files from minification and merging of CSS files.
- Optimize CSS delivery by eliminating render-blocking CSS. There is the choice between two methods: delete the unused CSS code (method in Beta version, it is the one that is officially recommended), or the method of asynchronous loading of CSS.
4) The Media tab:
- The Media tab allows you to optimize media files on your website. For this, the plugin activates deferred loading for images, iframes and videos, allowing to reduce their loading time (There is an option which allows to exclude certain images or certain iframes). Finally, you can replace the YouTube iframe with a preview image.
- It is also possible to add missing width and height attributes to images. This tweak helps prevent layout changes and improves the reading experience for web users.
5) The Preload tab:
- Enable file prefetching to generate cache files starting with homepage links, followed by XM sitemapsL. File preloading is automatically triggered when you add or update content and can also be triggered manually from the admin bar or from the WP Rocket dashboard.
- Enable link preloading which dramatically improves perceived load time by loading a page when a user hovers over a link.
- Prefetching DNS queries to reduce loading time for external files. You must manually specify the URLs that will be prefetchede.
- Font prefetching: This tweak improves website performance by allowing browsers to discover fonts directly in CSS files. You must manually specify the URLs of the files containing the fonts to preload. These fonts must be hosted on your own domain or the domain you specified in the CDN tab.
6) The Advanced Settings tab:
WP Rocket also offers a few more advanced settings so you can fine-tune your cache rules. This section allows you to set rules such as:
- URLs of pages or articles that should never be cached, such as: login or logout pages, order validation page,…
- Cookie IDs which, when set in the visitor’s browser, should prevent a page from being cached.
- User agent strings that should never see cached pages.
- URLs that should be purged on any page or post content updates.
- Query strings that should be cached.
For all these advanced settings, you need to specify the resources you want to optimize: URLs, cookie IDs, query strings.
7) The Database tab:
WP Rocket also offers advanced database optimization so you don’t need to use a separate plugin for it, which is always a good thing when it comes to security and performance. In this section you can enable the following settings:
- The Post Cleanup feature allows us to permanently remove post revisions, auto drafts, and deleted posts, which is especially great for blogs.
- Comment Cleanup helps to permanently remove spam and deleted comments.
- Transient Cleanup: This feature is really useful, as transients can really slow down a website.
- Database cleaning.
- Finally, you can configure an automatic cleaning, this cleaning can be daily, weekly, or monthly.
8) The CDN tab
The CDN tab allows you to adjust the CDN (content delivery network) settings for your website. In this section, you can:
- use WP Rocket’s own content delivery network: RocketCDN. The rate is $7.99 per month.
The advantages of this CDN are multiple: automatic configuration that allows us to avoid configuring parameters that are sometimes difficult to fully understand. RocketCDN will simply apply the best configuration to increase the display speed of our website.
RocketCDN also saves us time: no need to search for the best CDN dashboard settings. On the contrary, we only need to simply enter a personalized URL and our site will immediately be faster.
Finally, RocketCDN is powered by StackPath .
9) The Heartbeat Tab
In this tab you can control the WordPress Heartbeat API. This API allows the browser to communicate automatically with the server. In this section of WP Rocket settings, you can:
- Enable Heartbeat Control.
- Reduce, remove the limitation, or on the contrary deactivate Heartbeat activity for: the behavior in the backend, the behavior in the post editor, and finally the behavior in the frontend.
The API runs a set of tasks on an interval or “tick” every 15-60 seconds and uses the admin-ajax.php file on the backend (dashboard), post editor or frontend to do this activity. Lots of admin-ajax.php requests on some servers can cause excessive CPU overhead or usage. Depending on the web host and hosting type, this overload can lead to performance issues and ultimately web hosting account suspensions.
10) The Add-ons tab
In this tab, two types of add-ons are available: modules that can be activated in one click and therefore do not require any configuration, as well as modules that require authentication.
The one-click-enabled modules are Varnish and the WebP compatibility module:
- Varnish allows you to purge the Varnish cache each time the WP Rocket plugin empties its own cache, so that the content offered to Internet users is always up to date.
- The “WebP compatibility” setting allows to create a separate cache file, in case we use this image format thanks to a specific WordPress plugin.
The modules requiring authentication are Cloudflare and Sucuri:
- The Cloudflare add-on allows you to integrate your Cloudflare account. You will need to provide your Cloudflare email and API key.
- The Sucuri add-on allows you to synchronize the cache from your Sucuri account. You will need to provide your “Firewall API key”.
11) Image Optimization Tab
12) The Tools tab
- Export and Import Settings: You can download a copy of your settings, which is especially useful when you need to manage multiple WordPress sites. Just click the button on the right to download the file.
- Rollback: allows you to roll back to the previous version of the plugin.
13) Tutorials tab:
A series of videos is offered on various rather useful topics: how to get started, how to correctly measure the speed of our website, how to pass the test Core Web Vitals, how to check that the plugin is caching our site well, learn how preloading works, how to improve the LCP , how to improve the FID , how to improve the CLS, how to fix some compatibility issues, how to configure the Cloudflare add-on…
How to install WP Rocket?
1/ Go to your WP Rocket account once the plugin has been purchased and download the ZIP file:
2/ Click on the “Plugins” tab of your WordPress administration panel:
3/ Click on “Add New”:
4/ Click on “Upload Plugin”:
5/ Click on “choose a file”:
6/ Click on “install now”
7/ Wait a few seconds for the installation to complete, then activate your plugin:
Does WP Rocket work with Cloudflare?
WP Rocket is fully compatible with the Cloudflare CDN, with which it works in synergy. Using the Cloudflare add-on is not a requirement in most cases, it’s just a convenience. Once you have successfully set up your Cloudflare account, it will be active for your site whether or not you use the WP Rocket add-on.
My website is broken! What should I do ?
Sometimes when you start changing WP Rocket settings, you may notice missing images or other display issues on your site. Don’t worry, these problems are not permanent!
What are the alternatives to the WP Rocket plugin?
Which is better WP Rocket cache or W3 Total Cache?
WP Rocket has more speed optimization features than W3 Total Cache (database cleaning, Google Analytics local hosting, font preloading, etc…). That’s why it usually gives better results in GTmetrix.
Is WP Rocket really essential?
Although there are other WordPress caching plugins, including free options, for anyone who wants a WordPress plugin that can be used to speed up their website without having technical knowledge, or for those who don’t not make a large number of sometimes tricky settings, WP Rocket is definitely worth the investment.
What web servers is the WP Rocket plugin compatible with?
How to use WP Rocket in a multisite environment?
There are a few things you should consider. More details in the official documentation.
Can I run WP Rocket on localhost and staging domains?
WP Rocket also works locally. Local installations do not count as sites for licensing purposes, although they may appear in your list of websites on your WP Rocket account page. More details here .