Last updated on December 2nd, 2019
Today we’re going to take a look at WP Rocket. Why? Because ever since we started using it, our jaws have been dropped by its superior performance.
How many times have you found yourself checking the speed of your WordPress website? Pretty often, right? You probably use the same tools we use as well, such as Pingdom, GTmetrix, and even the website grader by Hubspot.
Now, how many times have your results come back basically saying your site is weak and lacks the performance that it needs to run fast and help you rank higher in the SERP’s? If you’re like us, you’ve probably dealt with the same stuff over and over.
We used to use WP Fastest Cache and even tried to use W3 Total Cache in the past. None of which actually helped our site load fast enough to make us happy. Not even with the proper settings that you find all over the internet.
WP Fastest Cache was a good plugin for free caching and it did help a little bit, but it never really gave us the speed we were after with our site. In relation, W3 Total Cache was an absolute shit show when trying to configure its settings.
Basically, we kept hearing about WP Rocket and how good it is at speeding up your WordPress website. We were skeptical at first but we really had no other options so we said “what the hell” and bought it. Guess what, we couldn’t be happier with it! (we’ll talk about our story later in this post)
So today, we’re writing a review on WP Rocket because this company deserves all the praise it can get. They’ve built such a phenomenal plugin that ACTUALLY works!
1. What Is WP Rocket?
If you’re currently using WP Fastest Cache, W3 Total Cache, or any of the other free caching plugins, WP Rocket would replace that plugin and do all the heavy lifting for you. You would no longer have to worry about wondering if the settings are correct or not as this plugin starts optimizing your site the second you click the activate button.
2. How Will WP Rocket Help My Site?
If you have a WordPress website and it’s running slow, this plugin will greatly increase the loading speed. Why does loading speed matter? Loading speed matters because people who visit your website want a fast and easy experience while reading your content. Nobody likes visiting a website with slow loading speeds.
In fact, if your site is loading slower than 5 seconds (and 5 seconds is even pretty slow) then you know you have a major problem that needs some attention.
But it’s not just about the loading speeds with this plugin. It’s also about where you currently rank with Google. Google loves websites that are well-structured, have small file sizes, and load super fast. If these factors aren’t lined up, Google won’t rank you as high as you should be ranked.
With that said, WP Rocket will drastically help to increase your overall page rankings with the many different optimization features that come equipped with the plugin.
3. WP Rocket Plugin Tour And Features
This plugin comes jam-packed with all sorts of powerful features to better-optimize your site so that Google will love you. This is where we’re going to give you a sneak-peek inside the plugin to show you what it looks like and all the different features it has. However, we’re only going to show you images of the most important features that you’ll use the most often.
After you make your purchase of WP Rocket and install the plugin on your WordPress website, your dashboard will look like the image above. Basically, the dashboard section just shows you basic information such as what type of license you have and when your license expires.
If you take a look at the right side of the dashboard you’ll notice a “Quick Actions” section. This section allows you to clear your cache, start cache preloading, and regenerate your CSS files. Don’t worry though, you likely won’t be “clearing your cache” from here. There is a button to “clear cache” in the top bar of the WP admin dashboard of your site that allows you to simply remove all your cache from there instead. Simple, right?
The caching section is where you’ll find your typical caching settings. Here is where you can enable caching for mobile devices, and enable caching for logged in users (if your site allows members to log in, etc.). This section alone drastically helps your site become faster on its own.
This section is where all the magic happened for us.
Not sure what “minifying” is? Learn more about file minification…
Combining Google Fonts
Now we’ll talk about Google Fonts. The file optimization section also allows you to combine Google Fonts. WordPress themes come with a ton of Google Fonts and each font is usually hosted on a CDN which is hosted by Google. This means if your theme has 50 fonts, your site will have to process 50 different requests, 1 for each font. The “combine Google Fonts” feature literally combines all the fonts into 1 file. Not only does this help with site speed, but it also helps to minimize HTTP requests as well.
The media section is great because it comes with “lazy loading” functionality built right into the plugin. This means you won’t have to have a separate plugin just to have lazy loading. Because of this, you’ll have one less plugin on your site which makes things run even faster. So let’s talk about lazy loading and the other features on this page for a bit.
When enabled, LazyLoad functionality won’t display your images until the visitor has scrolled through the site. This concept can be a bit confusing but it makes sense once you see it. It also makes your website load much faster as well.
For basic WordPress users who are blogging and that’s it, this is the only feature that you’ll really have to worry about in this section. The other features in this section aren’t too important.
The database section is where you have a plethora of options to delete unwanted junk from your database that you probably never even knew was there. However, some of you might already use a database cleaning plugin such as WP-Optimize, but when you have WP Rocket, you won’t need an extra plugin to do the same task. The database section includes quite a few useful features that you can use to clean up your database from time to time.
This feature allows you to remove unwanted post revisions, post drafts, and posts that you may have put in your trash but forgot to remove permanently. The post clean up feature will also aid in making your website faster as well. The more random junk you get rid of means the fewer files your site to load.
Same as above, this feature allows you to clean up any spam comments that may be lurking around. If you’re like us and love to be organized and dislike random junk sitting around, you’ll love these cleanup features such as comments cleanup.
This feature stores data that takes a long time to get (like social counts) so the next time you need it, it returns super fast. But sometimes when transients get expired they stay in the database and should be deleted. WP Beginner has a great explanation of transients.
Sometimes your database tables need to be optimized. Whether you know what it means or not, this feature will make sure your database is organized and clear of useless clutter.
This feature allows you to schedule WP Rocket to clean up your database on auto-pilot. Weekly cleaning is good unless your database accumulates junk quickly (i.e. if many people work on your site). If you have WP-Optimize or another database cleanup plugin installed, you can delete it since WP Rocket does this for you.
4. How Much Does WP Rocket Cost?
The real question should be, how much are you willing to pay for the betterment of your website’s performance in the long-term? If you answered anything over $50/year then you can definitely afford a phenomenal caching plugin like WP Rocket. Below is an image of their actual pricing.
For all the features you get, and an upgrade in your site’s overall performance, $49 on a yearly basis is not bad at all. It definitely beats having 3 separate plugins to do all sorts of different tasks that all come in the WP Rocket plugin. Below is an official list of features that come with each and every plan.
5. Before And After Using WP Rocket
Ready to see some proof? As we stated at the beginning of the review, we had a really tough time trying to figure out why our website was loading so slow. Since none of us have much of a technical background, we really couldn’t figure it out.
Our biggest issue wasn’t so much the page-load speed, our issue was HTTP requests. Every time we would run a speed test, it would always give us a grade F and we would always have 60+ HTTP requests which we’ve heard that anything above 30 is pretty bad. Even with the free WP Fastest Cache plugin with minification enabled, we were never able to get our site below 60 HTTP requests.
This was ultimately why we dug deep into WP Rocket. After two days of emailing questions back and forth with their product support team, we finally made the choice to buy the plugin. And let me say, it’s the absolute BEST decision we’ve made for this site since our initial launch.
Before WP Rocket
After WP Rocket
As you can see from our results, we were pretty dang happy with our purchase of the plugin. Not only did it reduce the number of HTTP requests we had, but it also increased our page load speed quite a bit as well.
6. WP Rocket FAQ
Like anyone else who is looking at reviews before buying something new, you probably have some lingering questions about the plugin. Not to worry, we did too, which is why we spent two days emailing support with questions back and forth before making the purchase. However, we’re going to leave some FAQ’s down below for your convenience.
7. How To Purchase WP Rocket
Step 1 – Head over to the WP Rocket website.
Step 2 – In the main menu, you will see a “BUY IT NOW” button. Click that button. This will take you to the page where you can select your desired plan.
Step 3 – Click “Buy WP Rocket” underneath your desired plan.
Step 4 – Fill out the form and make your purchase! It’s as simple as that!
Step 5 – After you make your purchase you will be redirected to another page where you can download the plugin. What you want to do is download the plugin and upload it to your WordPress plugins.
How To Upload WP Rocket To Your WordPress Plugins
Step 1 – Click on “Plugins” in your menu panel on the left side of your WordPress dashboard.
Step 2 – Then click “Add New”. This will take you to a page where you can add new plugins.
Step 3 – At the very tp of the “Add Plugins Page” you will see a button that says “Upload Plugin”. Click that button and upload the zip file for the WP Rocket plugin.
Step 4 – Activate the plugin and watch your page speeds improve!
8. What To Do If Your Website Still Isn’t Fast After Installing WP Rocket
We have read on various forums that this can happen to some people after installing WP Rocket. However, it is not WP Rocket’s fault whatsoever. Nine times out of ten it’s usually an issue with something else.
If you’re unhappy with your website speed after installing WP Rocket, below are some tips that might be helpful in making it faster.
Your site can only be as fast as your hosting provider allows. When you choose a web host for your website, keep in mind that the cheapest option is not the best option. There are many web hosting companies available, and sometimes it’s hard to choose the right one.
Feel free to read these articles, these are great start points for choosing a proper hosting solution for your needs:
Your WordPress Theme
If the theme you’re using is coded poorly and isn’t optimized for speed, it can cause extreme slowness. An easy way to test this is to switch to one of the default WordPress themes like Twenty Seventeen and see if your site is still slow with that theme.
Below are a few articles that can help you choose the right theme for your website if you decide that you need to change it.
Your Website Plugins
All it takes is for one poorly coded plugin to completely wreck the speed of your website. You can test to see if your plugins are to blame by disabling all of your plugins. Then you’ll want to activate each of them one-by-one to see if any of them are slowing down your site.
Your site will also slow down if you have multiple plugins that do the same thing. We’ve heard of many instances where some people have 2 or 3 different caching plugins or 2 different image slider plugins. You only need one of them.
If you have a lot of large images (300-400kb in size), they will make your pages slower than they need to be.
Here at Gnarloc, we resize all of our images in Photoshop before inserting them into our posts. If you want to resize your images manually but don’t want to pay for Photoshop, you can resize them for free at www.canva.com and here is a helpful link to help you use the website for resizing your photos. https://support.canva.com/create-your-design/photos/resize-crop-photo/
Otherwise, you can also use a plugin to automatically optimize your images when you upload them to WordPress. Below are a couple of the most popular image optimization plugins.
9. Wrap Up
The free caching plugins on WordPress can only do so much. Our hope is that if you’re in need of speeding up your WordPress site, you’ll consider investing in WP Rocket. If it worked for us, it’ll work for you.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below or send us a message on our contact page. You can find our contact page here.
Which caching plugin do you use on your WordPress website? Does it work for you? Let us know in the comments below.