Optimizing the performance of your site is an important factor that affects the user experience of visitors. The average internet user expects any of the visited websites to load within 3 seconds.
This means any site that takes longer than usual to load will experience loss of traffic. Worse still, a slow loading website can adversely affect its search ranking on SERPs. And that’s because your site performance is an important metric for search ranking.
However, if your site or blog is built with WordPress, you do have some advantages in terms of loading speed. WordPress engine is optimized to deliver faster loading speed than most content management systems. But that doesn’t mean WordPress can give you the best speed that your site deserves.
So there has to be a way for you to speed up the load time of your WordPress site or blog.
WordPress cache is a system that is designed to speed up the loading speed of WordPress sites and blogs. It does this by creating a static version of your website for those who visit your site. The idea is that it takes a shorter time for static web pages to be generated than the dynamic pages.
For example, when a prospect visits any of your web pages, there is a lot of communication between their browser and your server. Since each server request takes some time to be resolved, the more the server request the longer it takes the page to load.
What the WordPress cache does is to reduce the server request while creating a static version of the web page. And this helps to reduce the time that would have been spent in generating the web page.
Visitors may never notice any physical difference between a WordPress cached page and one that isn’t. WordPress caching can help to reduce the loading speed of a web page to as much as 60%.
That’s why using caching for your WordPress site is an important SEO benefit as well as user experience on your site. WordPress offers a number of plugins that can be used to help speed up the loading speed of your site.
Most plugins are free but we will review one WordPress caching plugin that comes at a price. My review of WP Rocket is to find out if its features and benefits actually justify the plugin’s price.
In order for you to enable caching for your WordPress site, there are two options that are available to you.
- You could choose a web hosting provider that offers WordPress caching as a feature included in their hosting package
- You choose to install a WordPress caching plugin from any of WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache or WP Rocket.
The rest of this article reviews WP Rocket with a deeper look at its benefits, features, and pricing.
WP Rocket is a reliable WordPress plugin that enables users to boost their site load speed and general performance. Unlike most other caching plugins, WP Rocket offers many more features to enhance your site and web pages.
If you’re already using a free WordPress caching plugin you may not see the need for paying $49 for WP Rocket.
Most of the free caching plugins focus on just caching while WP Rocket offers many other features to boost page load speed. Let’s highlight some of the obvious benefits there is to enjoy from using WP Rocket.
Here are the benefits of using WP Rocket:
1 – Speed up Loading Speed
In the previous section, we learned that WordPress had alternative caching plugins that were actually free. That means you do not need to pay any money before you can access the full features of the plugin. But then you will need to pay a premium before you can access the full features of WP Rocket.
The fact remains that the free plugins are mainly focused on caching your WordPress site, nothing more. So you enjoy the benefits that come with having your site and pages cached.
However, WP isn’t just about caching your site but actually improving the performance of your site. It reduces the page load speed and the number of server requests minimizes the page size and helps clean up your database.
2 – Ease of Use
If you are a new WordPress user or you lack technical skills, you will find WP Rocket good to use. It is a WordPress caching plugin that is designed to be used by both beginners and advanced users.
WP Rocket has a user-friendly dashboard that you would find easy to navigate. You do not even need to enable any settings before the caching plugin starts to speed up your website.
The moment you install and activate WP Rocket it will begin to cache your site in order to increase the load speed. You do not need to fiddle with any settings before the plugin begins to optimize your site’s load speed,
3 – Access to Learning Resources
The team at WP offers you some resources to guide you on using the caching plugin, especially for beginners. These are videos that show you around the dashboard and how to use the features of WP Rocket.
The videos can be accessed from the WP Rocket dashboard at any time you need to watch and learn.
4 – Basic Optimization Tweaks
You can perform some tweaks on your WordPress site using WP which optimizes your site for better performance.
I – Minification – This is a tweak that reduces the size of your site’s code by removing redundant codes and elements. This clean up can help to reduce the time it takes your site to load on a visitor’s web browser.
This tweak does not remove any features or functions on the site but just codes and whitespace that the site can do without.
II – Combining Files – This is another tweak that is performed on CSS codes in order to reduce instances of some codes. So rather than having multiple instances of a CSS code, WP Rocket will combine the same codes to reduce the size and boost speed.
III – Lazy Loading – This is a WP Rocket tweak that helps to reduce loading speed by loading certain media content once. It only loads media when it enters the visitor’s viewport or until it is needed.
IV – Database Optimizer – WP Rocket offers you a database clean up tool as an extra benefit instead of installing a separate plugin to do it.
5 – Improves User Experience
If your web pages take longer than 3 seconds to load on browsers, you will have a high bounce rate. And there’s a possibility that this will affect your search engine ranking and the amount of traffic to your website.
WP Rocket can help change all that by giving you at least a 50% boost in the speed of your website.
Listed are the main features of WP Rocket:
I – Premium Support
One of the most important features that you should consider when paying for a plugin is the support. You may likely need some assistance at some point and it helps to get instant support when needed.
WP Rocket offers the kind of premium help desk support users can access via their dashboard. It’s a more convenient way of reaching their customer support instead of visiting the WP Rocket website.
All you’ve got to do is send the message through your dashboard and you’ll be sure to receive a response from the support team.
II – Easy Integration with CDN
CDN (Content Delivery Network) is designed to distribute a site’s files on servers located around the world, thereby helping to speed up the time it takes the server to assemble the page contents and deliver to web browsers.
It’s a great thing to see that WP Rocket also integrates nicely with CDN providers in order to boost site performance.
You can either sign up for an independent CDN service or have it included in your web hosting package. Whatever option you decide to go for, you can work with both WP Rocket and the CDN service.
III – Mobile Detection and Caching
It’s no news that mobile users account for the highest number of visitors to your website. And to help you optimize your site for mobile devices, WP Rocket has a way to detect if a visitor is using a PC or a mobile phone.
And after it detects a mobile phone, the plugin will enable caching for mobile devices and also create separate cache files for mobile optimization.
IV – Custom Cache Lifespan
By default, WP Rocket clears the cache of your website each time new content is published. Also, in cases when you make major changes on your website. This is done to ensure that users of your website enjoy the best possible experience in terms of loading speed.
You can also decide to empty the cache at any time you feel the need to. Or you could set up regular intervals for WP Rocket to do the cleanup for you. You also have the option of setting the cache to expire, so the cache files are kept up to date.
If you want to, you can set up a cache lifespan in minutes, hours, or even days. This way, your content will always have some freshness for visitors to your website.
V – Works Fine with E-commerce Platforms
Most WordPress e-commerce plugins work quite well with WP Rocket.
That’s because the caching plugin is able to exclude the view cart and checkout pages of your store from the cache. This is so that the user experience of your customers will not be adversely affected when the loading speed is hastened.
And for those parts of your store that are not required to be cached, you can exclude their URLs from being cached by WP Rocket.
All you need to do is enter the address of the page, post, or content that you want to exclude from your WP Rocket dashboard.
VI – Web Host Compatibility
If you are using WordPress caching that is offered by a web hosting provider, you may want to find out if they’re compatible. There are some features that WP Rocket needs for it to function well but some web hosts usually disable these features.
However, WP Rocket works very well with WP Engine and so offers additional benefits to WordPress sites using both plugins. On the WP Rocket official website, you will find a comparison table of other WordPress caching plugins.
There are 3 different pricing plans for WP Rocket starting from $49 for the most basic plan. The other plans also include the same features but the difference is the number of sites that they can be used on.
You can also access one full year of premium support from the WP Rocket team on any of the plans you choose.
And also, there’s a 14-day refund policy just in case the WordPress caching plugin doesn’t meet your expectations.
Pros and Cons
- WP Rocket is an easy to use WordPress caching plugin offering you other features that help boost your site’s performance
- It is a user-friendly plugin that is easy to set up and start using for your WordPress site.
- Unlike most WordPress caching plugins that you can access for free, WP Rocket is a premium plugin that requires payment before you can use it.
The loading speed of your web pages is a vital factor that affects user experience, bounce rate, and search engine ranking. If your web pages take too long to load, you may end up losing lots of traffic to your competitors.
Fortunately, WordPress has a premium plugin that not only offers machine features but other tools to help boost your website performance.
WP Rocket is easy to use, comes with a well-organized dashboard, and helps clean up your codes and database.
Though there are free WordPress caching plugins for you to use, WP Rocket gives you so much more to help improve your website performance.
Would you like to set up your own good-looking WordPress website? All you need to do is go through the steps and without skipping one.