You are probably tired of reading about Amazon’s loading speed experiment proving that every 100-millisecond latency cuts sales by 1%. Improving a site’s performance is vital for any business. You don’t need to do any more research to back up this experiment. You need tools to set your site right.
WP Rocket is an improvement tool that produces instant results once you install it on your site. It falls under the category of WordPress caching plugins, but it does more than that to improve a site’s performance.
Do you want to know more about this plugin? Read the next lines carefully to fully understand what WordPress caching is, which are WP Rocket particularities, and how to get the most from it.
WordPress Caching in Everyday Language
Caching is a pretty frightening term for less-trained WordPress users. Despite that, caching comes with plenty of advantages, so you can’t underestimate its role.
Anytime a user accesses a web page, the browser and the server hosting that page exchange requests. The more requests, the slower that web page loads. That’s why complex pages load slower—the number of requests is higher than the requests of the average web page.
Caching refers to delivering static web pages instead of making tons of requests to dynamically deliver a web page. In plain English, the caching plugin stores the site’s web pages in a temporary folder and delivers these to the user. This method reduces the number of requests and PHP code execution, so the page load faster.
Caching presents three other major benefits:
- Less pressure on the server’s resources. It has a considerable impact on shared hosting. Instead of dynamically delivering web pages to the users, a caching plugin takes over the work.
- Improved user experience. Internet users are the most impatient beings in the entire world. If your site doesn’t load fast enough, they will go to the competitors’ sites in no time.
- Better ranking. Caching impacts the loading speed, and that’s a ranking factor for Google, so caching improves the site ranking indirectly.
You can’t cache your site indefinitely. At certain intervals, the cached copies disappear. Besides, when you put out new content on your site, the cached version should mirror the update. Purging the cache is the solution—basically, you delete the cached files and replace them with the new site changes. Don’t worry, you can automate all these tasks with the help of a plugin: WP Rocket!
WP Rocket’s Competitors
You can get a complete idea about WP Rocket by comparing it to its competitors. WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and WP Fastest Cache dominate the market of caching plugins. There are many other alternatives, so don’t stick only to these plugins if none of them satisfy your needs.
Even though all its competitors significantly impact site performance, WP Rocket is the leading plugin. Here is the complete argument.
WP Rocket Special Features
A quick scan through the WP Rocket interface and that of other similar plugins is enough to notice which one is the best. The third version of WP Rocket came with big interface improvements that left its competitors behind. For instance, while the quality of W3 Total Cache is undeniable, configuring it is a real nightmare for beginners.
Less-experienced users intimidated by the process of caching their sites should go for WP Rocket. Configuring WP Rocket is more intuitive than any other competitor.
Configuring a caching plugin is more difficult than setting up other kinds of plugins. Extensive documentation is beneficial for both sellers and clients. The concise explanations within WP Rocket’s documentation reduce the support agents’ work and save users’ time, too, which they highly appreciate—instead of writing a long ticket, they just have to read a few lines of text.
WP Rocket gets the highest marks in the documentation category. It covers all potential issues and is well-structured.
More Than Caching
WP Rocket under promises and over delivers, which is why both experts and average users have rated it as excellent. It not only caches sites but also optimizes multimedia assets, cleans databases, and minifies code.
WP Rocket effectively replaces four or five plugins, which means spending less time on updates and fewer worries about security breaches.
The entire WordPress community is deeply thankful to the developers of the W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache free caching plugins. These plugins have improved a myriad of sites. However, these plugins fall short in the support category, which is partially understandable as long as their developers don’t ask for money.
WP Rocket is a premium plugin, and it comes with professional support. Sadly, users can’t get help via live chat, but they can open a ticket in English or French and describe their issues. The WP Rocket customer support team offers guidance from Monday to Saturday during business hours.
It’s not the perfect customer support implementation, but you can rest assured that an expert will do his or her best to fix your issues.
WP Rocket Menu
A few interesting features may not be enough to make you bear the cost of this plugin, so let’s dig deeper, check out its menu, and learn what this plugin does for your site.
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, go to the Settings section to see the menu.
Under this tab, you can perform the following actions:
- Enable/disable cache for mobile users. You can create a separate cache version for mobile users.
- Enable/disable cache for logged-in users. It’s worth enabling if you run a membership-based site.
- Specify cache lifespan.
You can also combine Google Font files and eliminate render-blocking resources.
Lazy loading is a great addition to any site. WP Rocket enables lazy loading for both images and videos. Replacing the YouTube iframe with a preview image saves a lot of resources for sites using many videos. Disabling emoji and WordPress embeds also improve site performance.
If you don’t enable cache preloading, your site visitors won’t be able to access the cached version if its lifespan expires, which is ten hours for WP Rocket by default. Cache preloading ensures that visitors access the cache version anytime they visit the site.
WP Rockets comes with two options for cache preloading: Sitemap preloading. Provide your site’s sitemap.xml file, and WP Rocket does the leg work for you.
Preload bot. You don’t have to do anything, and the plugin automatically preloads the site. The advantage of this method is that the plugin caches even the most recently published content. Sadly, the bot requires many resources, and it may result in a server overload.
This tab lets you exclude web pages from caching. For example, there’s no advantage to caching the login page, so you’d better exclude it. You also can exclude particular cookies and agents.
Database Clean Up
Cleaning up the WordPress database sounds complicated to less-experienced users. However, WP Rocket boils this task down to a few clients. Go to this tab and set a limit on how many revisions, drafts, and articles to keep in the Trash folder. When new ones are added, the oldest ones will be removed from your database. Do the same with comments and transients. You can also schedule automatic cleans of the database to save you time.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) speeds up your site, and WP Rocket’s interface simplifies the integration of the CDN of your choice. Cloudflare is one of the most popular CDNs, and it has a special add-on to integrate it with WP Rocket.
The WP Rocket management team followed a unique strategy in the WordPress market. Most plugin sellers offer a free or lite versions of their products to convince users to purchase the premium version. There is no free or lite version of WP Rocket. Considering the number of downloads it has, it looks like this strategy has been successful.
You can buy a single plugin license for a single site to test its features, and it will set you back $49. The Plus pricing plan consists of a plugin license for three sites and costs $99. Finally, if you’ve fallen irremediably in love with WP Rocket, purchase the Infinite plan. With this plan, you are free to use WP Rocket on an unlimited number of sites for only $249.
All the plans come with one year of support and updates.
Even fans of WP Rocket recognize that it’s replaceable. However, it does the job of many plugins flawlessly, and you don’t need to watch tutorials to configure it. I can’t say the same for its competitors.
We recommend WP Rocket because it replaces a few other plugins, and the interface is super intuitive. You are paying for a product that saves time and ensures an improved site performance. Under these circumstances, purchasing a WP Rocket license makes sense.