WP Rocket is a great and very affordable WordPress caching and speed optimization plugin by a visionary French duo of Jonathan Buttigieg and Jean-Baptiste Marchand-Arvier. WP Rocket launched in 2013 and I was among their first-1000 users. In this review, I will walk you through all the features the plugin offers and whether are not it is worth buying.
The Success of WP Rocket (as seen by me)
Here is how it their homepage looked in 2014:
4077 sites in orbit, huh?
From 4000 sites to 1.3 million websites — this has to mean something. WP Rocket crossed the popularity of W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache and others.
Reasons are basically the same what they should be, great product and even better customer support.
My Experience with WP Rocket
In last 7-8 years, I have been consistently renewing my subscription. It is gladly the best investment I make every year.
With this much of experience, I may be the best person to write this WP Rocket review. I have had those support experiences, those plugins and everything about what you will have a question.
The version reviewed in this article is 3.7.5 — last updated November 2020.
How to Install and Use WP Rocket?
WP Rocket is a caching and website performance improvement plugin for WordPress hosted sites. But it is basically a plugin. So, it works in almost the same way other premium plugins do:
- Buy the plugin from WP Rocket site
- ‘Download’ the plugin files from My Account page.
- Upload to your WordPress installation’s plugin directly and activate it.
See how to install WordPress plugins from zip file.
Once you are done with activation, you will see a new menu under settings listed as WP Rocket. Click or tap on that and WP Rocket Dashboard opens.
It requires a license key to operate. Copy your WP Rocket License Key from My Account page from wp-rocket.me and paste that in this field.
Once you are done, you will be greeted with a page like this.
This is your WP Rocket Dashboard. Here you can configure all your settings.
Here is how I set up WP Rocket for the best performance.
How to set up WP Rocket for the best performance?
The configuration generally differs on different hosts. WP Rocket support can help you configure the settings (and that’s something I really liked about them). But here is the general configuration that will suit most WordPress sites.
Firstly, in Dashboard → Cache menu, set things like this:
- Enable Cache for mobile devices: Checked ✅
- Separate Cache for mobile devices: Unchecked
- User Cache: Unchecked
- Cache Lifespan: 2 Days
- Save changes.
Cache settings are basically the first thing to start with. Here is how these will look.
File Optimization Settings
Here is how you can do it.
- In CSS section, enable minify CSS. You will be prompted with a warning. Ignore that and check this box.
- Combine CSS files. This is a risky setting so I will suggest excluding some files from minification and concatenation. These files will be the files that load more prominently on your. Like Theme’s Stylesheet. My theme is Marketers Delight, installed at /wp-content/themes/marketers-delight/. So what I will do is to add /
wp-content/themes/marketers-delight/(.*).cssto exclude CSS files box. You can add more files that break on minification.
- Ignore optimize CSS delivery.
- Save changes.
As I wrote earlier, I am using perfmatters’ lazy load — while there is an option in WP Rocket for this as well. Lazy loading is a great way to boost your website speed.
With lazy loading, images load once users scroll to that section and don’t if users don’t.
Here are the recommended settings (if you are not using any other lazy load plugins):
You can enable preload so that WP Rocket creates HTML copies of your posts and pages to serve to readers.
Here’s how you can do it.
- Activate preloading — Checked
- Activate sitemap based preloading — Checked.
- Enable link preloading — Checked. Learn about this here.
- Prefetch DNS requests — In this box, you can prefetch external sites’ resources like fonts, stylesheets etc. I use typekit fonts on this sites, so I’ll enter
//use.typekit.netas a value in the box.
- Preload fonts — Enter any woff/otf/ttf fonts that your theme loads to improve performance. These fonts can be icon-fonts like fontawesome, custom theme fonts etc.
Again, here are my WP Rocket Preload settings:
Other settings are optional and don’t do much in terms of performance. But here are some quick notes:
- If you use Cloudflare, be sure to link that in Tools section
- You can clear Database bloat from Database settings. However, I recommend not touching this section if you don’t know what you are doing.
- You can import and export WP Rocket settings in Import Export Settings.
WP Rocket Support
WP Rocket plugin itself has great video tutorials on the tutorials tab inside the plugin dashboard. If you are seeking for further custom support, you can use WP Rocket Support directly from WP Rocket Dashboard.
WP Rocket Review
Here are some insights that I had with my years of experience with WP Rocket:
- Simple interface. Not too many options. Easy to set-up. No coding required.
- Image lazy loading 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.
- CDN Support is an added bonus.
- Multilingual and multisite support
- Loved their customer support. So humane and they know what they are doing.
Here’s what WP Rocket lacks:
- Hummingbird and perfmatters like Asset Clean Up and Optimization. These two plugins allow whether or not load some extra css and js files on various pages. I think WP Rocket should implement this to their plugin as well.
- Live chat support. I know WP Rocket has a small team but with 1.3 Millions sites in the orbit, they should really start live chat support. Emails are good but old fashioned and slow.
Here is what I wrote as a review of WP Rocket in 2014,
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.— My review in April 2014
Should you buy WP Rocket?
If you have a WordPress blog or website that gets more than 300 visitors a day — then YES. If you haven’t reached this level of traffic, you should rather wait. WP Rocket is priced $49 per year for a site, $99 for 3 sites, $249 for unlimited sites. During Black Friday, it will be at 30% OFF.
- 1 year of support and updates
- for 3 websites
WP Rocket Review
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.