If you could speed up your whole website with just one plugin, wouldn’t you want to use it? WP Rocket does exactly that. As a paid plugin, it was designed to cache information on your site. This lessens the load on resources and makes it so that you can load up content on your page faster than before. You won’t have to be a WordPress expert to utilize this tool. Before we go into how the plugin can help you, let’s explore how caching works.
The Cost of WP Rocket
WP Rocket does not come cheap. This is a premium plugin that is quite expensive if you want support and also the ability to use it on any website you control. With a lifetime cost of roughly $250.00 U.S. dollars, many will want to find an alternative they can use that won’t be as expensive. What about other plugins that can speed up your WordPress site? Can you find one with similar results to WP Rocket that will be cheaper?
This plugin is great if you want to get higher performance out of a website and easily turn features on and off. Let us take a look at one of the most important features. Using a dashboard, you can easily turn off a variety of functions to give yourself better speed.
Disable Emojis – These might be fun to use when you are texting a friend, but unless they are needed, you may want to disable them. Scripts and assets you are not using should not be loading and slowing down your site. Turn it off easily when you use PerfMatters.
Query Strings – We talked about how jQuery will load things that are not needed for your page. Easily find strings that will generate issues for your CDN. Many times assets will end in either a question mark or ampersand. These will attach to an asset and slow things down for your system. Disable it with PerfMatters.
Alter the Heartbeat API – This is an excellent feature that makes sure you won’t lose any work. Just keep in mind doing a lot of autosaves will take up both space and time. Monitor how much your CPU is being used by Heartbeat and make changes to how often it makes an AJAX call.
These are just a few things that you will get when you go with PerfMatters. They have a lot of features other plugins don’t and will speed up your site overall.
For those that don’t like the price for WP Rocket, why not try ShortPixel? This is another plugin you can use if you want to boost performance. WP Rocket can minify things like the code you are using to put together your site. ShortPixel is going to lower the size of your images.
If you have ever used a website that had a large image gallery, you may have noticed that not all of the images loaded in at the same time. It takes time to populate the gallery when the server is under a heavy load. ShortPixel aims to change that.
Using their algorithms, ShortPixel will shrink the size of your images. Pick from lossless, lossy, or glossy. Whatever quality you need from their API is easy to put together with a simple to use interface. They can also help to fix your PHP code as well to compress that down to size. A good value for the price.
3. EWWW Image Optimizer
Similar to our number two alternative, this plugin will also help you save bandwidth and space by shrinking your images. It can be set up so that it automatically will reduce the size of new images that are generated, so there is no concern with having to review old work. Choose the best level of definition for your images and relax while the system handles everything and lowers the size of new images added to the site. Another great alternative to WP Rocket that you can use to boost your ranking with Google.
How does Caching Work?
Caching simply is identifying information you use a lot and storing it for later use. The cache is a high-speed subset of data that will go out to visitors of your website faster than the normal way of storing data. If you already loaded the data from before, you can use the data again. This saves time and resources.
A good illustration would be if you were at a conference. You are giving a big speech and you need to remember a hundred names for all the people attending. All the names are written down on a sheet of paper for you to access. Each time you need to access the list of names on the paper, it will take time to look up. It is better to cache as many names as you can in your own memory. Once you start to learn the names of important people at this conference, you no longer need to use your list as much. This of course saves time and allows you to focus on more important things.
Caching in General
Data for the most part is stored in hardware like your RAM. This Random-access memory is used along with software so that you can accomplish things like setting up a WordPress site or an online store. The cache becomes a faster way to pull information and focuses on what is used the most.
There is a downside though. Not everything can be put into the cache so that it loads faster. A database will house all of your data in a secure way. The cache concentrates on only pieces of information and it should not be viewed as a long term way of keeping your data safe.
WP Rocket Makes it Easy
Lazy Loading – When a visitor first goes to your web page, normally everything will load at once. All images will be rendered. Videos will load up right away and prepare for viewing. Your web browser is loading everything on the page at once. This is very inefficient since you don’t know if people will click on those images or videos. You have cached a lot of information, but it doesn’t always serve a purpose. Bandwidth and memory are now spent in ways that don’t improve the users experience.
Lazy loading will correct this and try to load only what the user needs. If their actions indicate that they are interested in a video or image gallery, it will load them up. This saves time and resources.
What are some other ways that users can improve things with WP Rocket?
As noted above, it doesn’t make sense to download a whole photo gallery from the outset. Bulk loading is the old way of displaying information. Lazy loading puts the page together with placeholders. This dummy content will show you that something is there that can be accessed, but it won’t tax your system. Actual content fills in the spaces once the user indicates to the system that they want to view something or interact with it.
It may seem like this is difficult to set up, but it isn’t. WP Rocket is easy to configure even if you don’t have a background in IT or coding. Let’s look at some of the other features that are going to get your site load speed up to benchmarks used by the professionals.
Loading and running a script is not needed always when the site loads for the first time. Many times, you can’t wait to have these features load by placing them at the end of the code. When all of the code is looked at, it will load the portions that are set up first which may make loading sluggish. Unless the script is part of a critical part of the page, reduce the load on your server. Visitors will find it won’t tax their bandwidth as much which will also improve your SEO at the same time. It really is a win-win scenario.
Consider Your Libraries
One of the popular libraries is jQuery. This adds more features to the page which can include animations, transition effects, and interactive images or maps. Users love features like this because it creates points of interest that they can interact with. The issue is how long the loading time is extended with all of these bells and whistles. If your interactive map doesn’t appear above the fold, why should you load it automatically? Only load things when they are needed.