Caching is an extremely important aspect of website optimization that can quickly break your website if you’re not careful. There are tons of free and paid WordPress caching plugins, but you need to choose one with great support and features for your needs.
WP Rocket is considered by many to be the best WordPress caching plugin because it is so user-friendly and offers additional features, but is it really the best WordPress caching plugin? Find out in this test.
WP Rocket Review – A brief overview
WP Rocket is a beginner-friendly WordPress caching and performance optimization plugin that promises to “make WordPress load fast with a few clicks”. It is currently used by more than 700K websites and improves the loading time of your website by:
- Create page caches
- Image Lazyload
- And further optimization functions
Since you can set it up in a few clicks without having to make complicated settings, it’s a great tool for non-technical beginners to have faster websites.
What does WP Rocket cost?
WP Rocket has 3 plans:
As you can see here, the license for all packages is valid for one year. As long as your license is active, you have access to support and plugin updates. As soon as the license expires, you will receive an email asking you to renew your license at a discount.
WP Rocket will continue to run even if the license expires, but support and plugin updates will no longer be available.
There is also a 14-day money-back guarantee.
If you like WP Rocket, you can also check out Perfmatters. It’s a similar performance plugin and cheaper.
WP Rocket: Functions and settings
WP Rocket offers useful features that make it easy to optimize any type of website.
Quick set up
A big problem with other WordPress caching plugins is the complexity of setup and configuration, even for advanced users. This is what the developers of WP Rocket wanted to solve by creating a caching plugin that only takes a few minutes to set up.
How to install and activate WP Rocket
Once you have purchased it, you will receive a download link to download the .zip plugin file. Download the zip file and upload it to WordPress by clicking on “Add new” under Plugins and then on “Upload plugin”.
Then drag the .zip file into it or select it. Then click on “Activate plugin”.
Open WP Rocket settings
You have several options here, but the easiest is via WP Dashboard → Settings → WP Rocket.
Page caching is the most basic feature of WP Rocket. A page cache stores selected page content when a user visits a page for the first time. When the user visits the same page again, the page cache retrieves the saved content and loads it much faster than the first visit.
Click on “Cache” and you will be able to change the settings for mobile caching, user caching and cache lifetime.
Here I have personally left the default settings of WP Rocket.
The settings for this can be reached via “File optimization”. Here you have the option to minify and combine CSS. However, always test how your page looks afterwards after you have made settings here. Unfortunately, this can also destroy your website (of course only temporarily until you deactivate the function again).
I have activated everything in the date optimization. This made the biggest difference in speed for me.
Unlike many other caching plugins, WP Rocket also lets you clean your database to remove bloat and reduce its size. You can set up a regular schedule for database cleaning or do it manually.
To configure the database optimization settings, simply go to the WP Rocket settings area and click on “Database”.
Here you can delete revisions, automatic drafts, deleted posts, spam and deleted comments and more by ticking the appropriate boxes.
At the bottom you will find the option “Schedule automatic cleanup”, which allows you to schedule daily, weekly or monthly database cleanups. Be sure to back up your database, however, as the clean-up cannot be undone.
Once you have made the settings, click on “Optimize”.
In the media tab, image dimensions are especially interesting to improve the CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift). This is how much your web page shifts when loading.
It is now a ranking factor for Google.
Many caching plugins are not compatible with e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, which causes all sorts of problems for visitors.
As these plugins cache all pages, including the shopping cart, checkout and account details pages, visitors cannot see their updated shopping carts and other details. This will have a serious impact on your business if you don’t control it.
WP Rocket is fully compatible with e-commerce plugins such as WooCommerce, Easy Digital Download, iThemes Exchange, Jigoshop and WP-Shop. All WooCommerce pages are automatically detected and not cached.
WP Rocket is also compatible with translation plugins such as qTranslate, Polylang and WPML.
- Image optimization
- GZIP compression
- Preload Sitemap
- Cache preloading
- Google Fonts optimization
- Deferred JS loading
- DNS preloading
- Mobile detection
- Compatible with Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Varnish, Cloudflare
My WP Rocket experience
Installing WP Rocket alone did not bring any real improvements for me. However, when I activated the file optimisation options, my PageSpeed score rose sharply.
Before WP Rocket I used Autoptimize, which I deleted when I installed WP Rocket.
Here are my values for comparison:
Before WP Rocket
After WP Rocket
The rest of my setup
- Theme: Divi
- Hosting: Netcup
- CDN: Cloudflare
My conclusion on WP Rocket
If you’re looking for a secure and fast solution to keep your website fast and optimized, WP Rocket is the best you can get for your money.
Although they don’t offer a free trial or free version, you can be sure that it really is one of the easiest and most effective WordPress caching plugins. It also has nice additional features that make website optimisation a lot easier.
If you are not sure whether you should spend money on a plugin, you can make use of the 14-day money-back guarantee.
All in all, considering the features and support, I would recommend WP Rocket to anyone looking for a reliable WordPress caching plugin.
Tip: WP Rocket discount voucher
If you sign up to the WP Rocket newsletter, you will receive a 10 % voucher. Also, WP Rocket often has sales!