WP Rocket’s performance review was originally written in 2014 and is being regularly updated as ecosystem changed.
As a professional WordPress blogger, you start afresh. As the time and experience increase, feature demand increases too. This costs adding new scripts to your site and makes your site heavy… and heavier. After a certain time you realize that you have made your site a garbage bin by unordered input of scripts and plugins. If you are at a fast loading CDN service or host, a number of script files won’t bother you. But if you are using a comparatively slow web-host (like GoDaddy!*), then you surely need a great caching plugin.
Earlier in the blog post “Make your WordPress site load faster without paying anything“, I talked smartly on how to boost the traffic load time. I felt smart after the great response the article received from my readers. I was satisfied with the page-speed my blog was getting. With W3 Total Cache, 5.89 seconds was the average page load time for the front page with almost no images and dozens of scripts. I even had accepted the fact that this was the maximum optimization and the least load time possible. But my concerns about internal pages rose after I submitted the same article to Reddit and a user u/CTRL-Z commented this:
wow that took a good minute to load. lol.
This was an insult to my so called intellect.
The page loading speed per second was not impressive. First it took a lot of time connect to the servers of my CDN (cloudflare).
Following that day, a couple of readers added their negative feedback about internal page load time issues. W3 Total Cache wasn’t working as expected and you won’t believe that once the front page load time crossed 25 seconds.
See this screenshot:
As mentioned earlier, normal load time wasn’t impressive as well, despite the site being text-mostly.
There could be four reasons:
- I was using the wrong host.
- Page caching wasn’t sufficient for this high traffic site
- My theme had too many scripts to load, and
- There was no lazy-load.
I decided to deactivate the W3 Total Cache plugin and switched to the premium caching plugin: WP Rocket.
WP Rocket is a great and very affordable WordPress caching and speed optimization plugin by a visionary developer team from France. They are now at the top of their game and even in 2014 I knew that. I was among their pre-5000 users.
WP Rocket is a caching and website performance improvement plugin for WordPress hosted sites. It works in almost the same way other plugins do : ‘Download’ the plugin files, upload to your WordPress installation’s plugin directly and activate it. The configuration was found to be the easiest of all other plugins available and it took just four or five minutes for me to properly configure it for gauravtiwari.org.
- Simple interface. Not too many options. Easy to set-up. No coding required.
- Image lazyloading at its best. Works with any theme you use and highly reduces the number of HTTP requests for heavy sites.
- Mobile Caching : Enables caching for high-end smartphones. Stores website’s static files for better and faster reloading of the pages.
- Enterprise class Cache preloading.
- Image Optimization
- CDN Support
- Multilingual and multisite support
- DNS Prefetching
More details about the features are available as a comparison table at WP Rocket Features page.
From the user interface to DNS prefetching, this tool was really a magic. But I was delighted to see the cache preload feature which I couldn’t use on cloudflare as I was a basic subscriber. Cache pre-loading could have cost me $240 per year on Cloudflare but WPRocket did the same at a nominal price. Cache pre-loading boosted the site speed by up to 400%. I was blown away after the results:
First Impression in 2014
It is said, “first impression is the last impression” and WP Rocket really made the one on me.
I have been using WP Rocket for last two months and my site has suffered no issues at all. Now I am using DIVI 2.0 WordPress theme from Elegant Themes, which is both feature and script heavy. But thanks to WP Rocket, blog articles load as quick they should, codes are not broken and theme design is not compromised by even a single pixel — what else do I need? Top notch plugin, for sure.
Should I buy it?
WP Rocket is suggested to all WordPress bloggers, who can spend a few bucks for the sake of speed and optimization. It is highly recommended for heavy sites with average/slow web hosts. WP Rocket is priced at $49 for one and $99 for three WordPress installations. Unlimited sites license can be bought at $249 yearly. It can be purchased from WP Rocket’s Pricing page.
PS: While buying you may see a few French phrases on their site on time by time. Tiny human mistakes and probably this is how multilingual sites (mis)behave.
WP Rocket plugin itself has great video tutorials on the tutorials tab inside the plugin configuration page. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are answered in another tab FAQ. If you are seeking for further custom support, you can use WP Rocket Support Forum.