We all love our websites to be faster. There are many benefits to this. It enhances the user-friendliness of your website and allows visitors to stay longer when they visit. The speed of your website is also an important factor that search engines, especially Google, uses to evaluate websites. When you meet up with these criteria, then definitely you would rank higher on Google search.
So, how do you get your website to speed up? There’s an easy way of doing so without breaking the bank seeking the services of web developers and SEO experts. The solution is installing a WordPress caching plugin.
There are many WordPress caching plugins that one can obtain for free. However, a particular one stands out from the rest. It is WP Rocket – a premium plugin. We would be reviewing why you should opt for this paid plugin instead of the numerous.
WP Rocket is a very popular plugin that helps improve the performance of your WordPress website. It costs about $49. Is that price justified? What makes it different than WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache?
WordPress has become a big market for plugin developers who are turning their otherwise free plugins into a paid version. For instance, W3Total cache now offers Pro features.
Perhaps, WP-Rocket is the first WordPress cache plugin to come in a paid version, and it has become glaring that the product is worth its price.
WP Rocket Configuration:
WP Rocket is probably the simplest WordPress cache plugin for those without techie skills to configure. It takes only a matter of seconds. You can access the configuration dashboard through the settings. The first screen that pops up shows the basic setup. Once activated, the WP-Rocket plugin takes care of most of the optimization and caching options, which start working immediately.
You only need to click on Activate, and the plugin would start caching your site’s content, displaying it to your site’s visitors in the most accessible way possible. And in the event that you return to the default settings, the speed of your site would be retained.
However, as a note of caution, you would need to disable other WordPress caching plugins. This is to prevent them from clashing on which one of them would take priority over the other. When such collision takes place, your site can crash, and its content would be unable to be displayed to site visitors. So, be sure that you’re only using one WordPress caching plugin at a time.
WP Rocket Settings:
Just as we’ve espoused earlier, the default settings in WP Rocket also runs in a topnotch mode. So, if you’re not that techie type who loves playing around with different setting options, then WP Rocket might be your best bet for a plugin because it offers top-rated user-friendliness and optimizations for your site just as it comes. The header for the installation of WP Rocket states that it offers about 80 percent of web performance best practices, providing options that give immediate positive results for your website. There is also the ability to run a Pingdom test to evaluate the type of impact that WP Rocket offers.
Tinkering with the various settings can enable you to decide what you want for your site. For instance, there is the Cache tab, which offers an automatic option for mobile devices. However, you can choose for yourself if you need a different cache for mobile devices. We now have the proliferation of responsive sites nowadays, that it has become quite unnecessary to choose a separate cache. This is also true for caching for logged-in users. While many users prefer that their contents are not cached, caching offers them a more speed and better experience.
As a default setting, WP Rocket disables the built-in emoji enabled by the WP Core. However, many website owners do not realize that this is a feature that they can take advantage of. Again, there are no WebP images on most sites, so it is recommended that you check for this.
If you use CDN, then you’re able to configure this service to interact optimally with WP Rocket with just a few steps. There is the Add-Ons tab that enables you to add up other services that you use frequently.
Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel are great services useful for tracking your site visitors. Therefore, you can enable these add-on services to further improve your website. Utilizing browsing caching is so important for your site performance that you should enable these services.
Imagify and Import/Export:
The Image Optimization tab enables WP Rocket to interact perfectly with Imagify, a top-notch image compression plugin. As you would know by now, image compression is one of the most important elements to consider in improving the speed of your website. Therefore, combining the features of WP Rocket and Imagify will improve the performance of your website by no small measure. However, be aware that this tab will cease to exist when you must have installed Imagify. Further interactions would be carried out using Bulk Optimization, which can be found in the Media section of the admin panel.
You can also find Import/Export and other reset tools. So, assuming you have someone running the WP Rocket plugin on their site already and you love their settings, you can import these settings to your own site.
Assessment of WP Rocket:
So, does WP Rocket really gets the job done? Does it improve a site’s speed as touted? These are some of the questions that might be crossing your mind right now. The answer is yes; WP Rocket gets the job done.
We carried out tests on a site that was previously not optimized for speed. The results were analyzed using GTmetrix and Pingdom’s Page Speed tools. It is usually a good idea if you carry out a number of tests to enable you to grasp the full measure of a site’s performance. The results we obtained showed that WP Rocket emphatically improved the performance of our site extensively.
Why choose WP Rocket?
1. Speed Boost:
WP Rocket promises you an immediate speed boost on your site and delivers on that promise. It improves speed by around 23 percent, enabling a fully loaded time of about 5.4, which is a significant improvement.
2. The guides and explanatory prompts:
WordPress website optimization for speed is a really rigorous process, that if not done right, can temper with the site, causing it to crash. A clear understanding of the entire process is important, even if you’re using a plugin like WP Rocket. Without this thorough understanding, you might spend a pretty good amount of time fixing errors that could have been avoided. WP Rocket helps you achieve this.
Firstly, it offers explanations in less technical terms that show you the functions of every setting. With these explanations, you’re able to make a clear-cut decision on whether you want to apply such settings or not. Secondly, there are also warning prompts that caution you if you are applying critical settings that may adversely impact your site if not done right. This is often an ignored feature of the WP Rocket cache plugin, but it is quite important.
3. Advanced page-level rules:
Caching your pages enables you to improve the speed of your site. However, a major disadvantage of doing this is that your pages won’t be updated regularly. If yours is a site whereby you do not have to update posts or pages regularly, this would be a negligible drawback. However, if yours is a site where you need to keep pages or posts routinely updated, then you would definitely run into troubled waters.
Let’s say yours is a site where the rankings pages fluctuate regularly, or an eCommerce site with products whose prices change periodically, or a forum where a new thread would need to be updated regularly, or even a landing page that requires changes prior to the product launch. WP Rocket would come to the rescue in such cases by way of its “Advance Rules” feature.
It gives you the ability to select some individual pages that would be immune to caching. It also allows these pages to be updated regularly. You set preferential options for site visitors on mobile devices or using certain types of browsers.
4. Google Fonts Optimization:
Google has over 800 different Font families available for free. A major reason they’re so popular. Optimization of your Google fonts on WordPress can make the difference between a dull site and an exciting one. If you’re using web fonts on your site, you will explore ways to ensure that they’re delivered to your site optimally.
WP Rockets helps to ensure that your Google fonts won’t affect the amount of time that it takes for your page to load. It does this by combining Google fonts files immediately you set up your WP Rocket for the very first time. After activating WP Rockets, there would be fewer HTTP requests, ensuring your website loads pretty fast.
5. Defers JS Loading:
6. Database Optimization:
Your WordPress website is a large database that hosts lots of files, including pages, posts, comments, plugins, and other details. There’s a likelihood that after some time, your website would be filled with the database of content that you don’t really need – trashed or drafted posts. Regular cleanup of these unnecessary database helps optimize your site. You would also be gifted with extra space for more valid content.
WP Rocket helps with this database optimization. Simply tap on Database. Sections such as Posts Cleanup, Comments Cleanup, Transient Cleanup, Database Cleanup, Automatic Cleanup would be displayed. Choose the option that you want and proceed with your database optimization.
What Are the Drawbacks to Using WP Rockets?
1. The use of separate plugins for image compression:
WordPress websites offer very poor image optimization. This is especially true for users who use the wrong image size in their content. Let’s say your content has a space area of just 800 px width, and you’re using an image that comes with 2000 px width. The result is going to definitely turn out poorly. You can adopt an image compression feature for image compression without killing off image quality. WP Rocket offers a separate plugin for image compression. Many people are wont to argue that WP Rocket is a caching plugin and not an image compressor, yet it touted as a product that offers much more than just caching by the developers.
WP Rocket is the premium plugin to use to improve the performance of your site. If you’re the techie type that loves tinkering with settings, customizing every option to suit your personal needs, then WP Rocket is just the right option for you. On the other hand, if you’re the type of user that installs a plugin and leave the default settings just the way they are, never looking back, then WP Rocket will help speed up your site even in its default mode. What should be of concern to you is to ensure that the plugin is updated regularly.
We think the great user interface and its easy-to-use feature makes WP Rocket a tangible investment for your site. Most caching plugins these days are relevantly designed more for developers than users. WP Rocket is a departure from this norm. The developers of WP Rocket had everyone in mind for their product.
The customer care support team is another great feature that counts in favor of this WordPress caching plugin
So, it is safe to say that WP Rocket is one of the best WordPress caching plugins out there that would give you value for your money.