WP Rocket Review: Is it Worth the Hype? Let’s Find Out

Do you get confused whenever you hear or read about different types of caching and all the tools you can use to speed up your site?

While you may want to avoid it like plague, you also know that it can lead to a significant improvement to your site’s performance.

After all, every blogger and WordPress site owner says – you must use a caching plugin.

If you don’t know what it really means – don’t worry!

I will try my best to make sure I simplify caching and explain why it’s important and how it works.

Already well versed with caching and want to jump to Wp-Rocket Review, click here.

Click here to get WP Rocket plugin

What is Caching?

The word cache literally means – ‘store for future use’

When talking about it in a site’s context, caching means that you save some part of your websites so that you can access it faster.

Imagine you love having chocolate after dinner and you can buy chocolate bars from a local supermarket.

Now, if you buy only one bar every day (and you consume it daily), you’ll have to go to the supermarket every time you need another chocolate bar.

So to save time, you buy 100 chocolate bars at once and store it. Now, whenever you want it, instead of going to the supermarket, you instead go to your kitchen and get it.

And that makes the entire process faster!

This is caching in a nutshell.

Whenever a person visits your site, a request goes from their browser to your server, and your server then fetches all the elements that make that webpage and shows it to the visitor.

Since your server can be located hundreds or thousands of miles away, and since it has to load it and every item from itself, this process can take a little time.

With caching, you can save a part of your web pages (such as images or the CSS) as a cache (something to which there is faster access).

Now, the next time a request is sent for the same elements (such as images or the CSS or text), instead of querying your server, again and again, it will be served from the saved cache.

This means that your pages will load faster.

I hope I haven’t lost you already!

Since I still have you, let me torture you a little more with caching talk (evil laugh).

There are two types of caching when it comes to a WordPress site or blog:

  1. Server-side caching
  2. Client-side caching

Server Side Caching

Server-side caching is when your server caches some files (such as database queries or HTML pages) and serves it from the cache the next time it gets a request to load the page.

Let’s get back to the chocolate bar example and understand what this means.

When you drive to the supermarket to buy the chocolate bar, instead of going inside and searching for it, you find a stall right outside the supermarket from where you can buy the bar. It saves the time that you would otherwise have spent searching for it in the supermarket.

Instead, it’s readily available just outside the supermarket, hence saving you time.

Similarly, in server caching, instead of querying the server for everything, a few elements are cached and served from the cache, instead of fetching from the server every time.

This saves time and server resources.

Client Side Caching

Client-side caching is what happens in your browser when you visit a site (yes, you’re the client here).

Your browser caches a few things (such as images, CSS and Javascript) from the site you visited and then uses this cache in case you visit the site again.

In our chocolate bar example, this would be equivalent to buying and keeping the chocolate bars in your house (or in your bag). When you need it, it’s available right there.

Similarly, your browsers cache some part of the web pages and serve it immediately from within the browser cache.

Enough of this cache talk.

Let’s get to the point now.

WordPress plugins such as WP Rocket (or any other caching plugin) allows you to enable and manage the caching of your sites. This can help improve the performance by making your site load faster.

Benefits of Caching

  1. It speeds up your site
  2. It saves your server resources.
  3. It can help in better search engine rankings (as the sites that load faster improves user experience as well)

Apart from speed, saving server resources is a major reason you should use a caching plugin. This becomes more useful if you are on shared hosting that only allows limited server resources.

Using a caching plugin (such as WP Rocket) helps you keep your server resources low and you can continue to use your shared hosting even after having traffic higher than what it can usually handle.

WP Rocket Review: A Performance Focussed Plugin

When it comes to cache plugins in WordPress, there are quite a few options available.

Popular and free ones include W3 Total Cache (1+ million downloads) and WP Super Cache (2+ million downloads).

WP Rocket, on the other hand, is a paid WordPress cache plugin.

But it’s not just a cache plugin only – it’s a plugin that improves the overall performance of your site. This is because it has features that allow you to do a lot more than a regular cache plugin.

It’s one of those paid plugins that I highly recommend (other one being Elementor).

It even has some features (such as image optimization or database optimization) which are not there is any other caching plugin. If you need these features for free, you need to install multiple plugins (which is not a great idea as it’s likely to impact the performance of your site).

One of the best things about WP Rocket is that super easy to use. You don’t need to know a lot of things to be able to use this plugin. It has a clean interface which makes it easy to use and configure it (as you’ll see later in this article).
What ‘s GreatWhat’s Not So Great
  • Easy to use & configure (automatically applies the best settings)
  • Well-documented with detailed guides
  • Offers a lot of customization options (such as databases, files, and media optimization)
  • Works well with other plugins/themes (fewer chances of breaking anything)
  • Offers a lot of additional functionalities (such as lazy load, heartbeat control,
  • Easy to export settings and import on other sites (saves a lot of time)
  • Frequently updated with new features/improvements
  • Good Support
  • Costs Money (while most of the cache plugins are free)
  • Preload option can lead to extra server resource usage

Click here to get WP Rocket

Speed Test With & Without WP Rocket

Before I show you all the options WP Rocket has and how to configure it, let me quickly tell you about the results I got when using Wp-Rocket.

I created a test site to do the speed tests. In the test site, I created the home page using Elementor (so that I have some elements to test on the page).

To test this, I ran a performance test using Pingdom, and GTMetrix.

Pingdom Speed Test – WP Rocket makes it 36% Faster

Based on the test, I was able to get a 36% speed improvement on Pingdom site speed.

Site speed on Pingdom before using WP Rocket.

Without Wp Rocket - Pingdom Asia

Site speed on Pingdom after using WP Rocket.

With WP Rocket - Pingdom Asia

RESULT: With Pingdom, WP Rocket gave me a 36% faster website.

Note that this website has only 4 plugins and the homepage was made Elementor. If you have a bigger site and more plugins and Javascript, you may see even better results.

Also, I have not used any CDN on this site. Using a CDN will make sure it loads in less than a second.

GTMetrix Speed Test – WP Rocket makes it 41% Faster

I also did the same test with GTMetrix, and below are the results.

Here is the test before activating WP Rocket.

Without Wp Rocket- GTMetrix

And here is the result after activating it.

With WP Rocket - GTMetrix

Result: With GTMETRIX, WP Rocket gave me a 41% faster website.

Note that apart from reducing the page load time by 41%, it also reduced the numbers of requests from 50 to 31.

Also, I have NOT used any CDN on this site. Using a CDN will make sure it loads in even less time.

On an average, just by activating WP Rocket, you can achieve a great improvement in site load speed and performance. Based on my tests, I got an average improvement of ~40%.

10 Reasons Why WP-Rocket is Worth it!

Despite being a great plugin, what works against WP Rocket is that it’s a paid plugin. I wish they offered a free version of the plugin (with limited functionality) so that people could see how awesome it is.

On the contrary, there are many not-so-good plugins that have a huge user base because these are free (yes, I am talking about W3 Total Cache).

Despite being a paid, I highly recommend using the WP Rocket plugin.

There are many good reasons to use WP Rocket instead of the free cache plugins.

  1. It’s made for non-technical people. It has an easy interface that makes configuration easy. There are still many options that you need to configure, but it’s not confusing. You can configure it and get going in less than 3 minutes.
  2. Starts optimizing as soon as you activate it. Even if you do nothing, as soon as you activate WP Rocket, it will apply the best settings and start optimizing your site. If you need any further configuration, you can do it manually. In most cases, their default settings are good enough.
  3. It has excellent documentation. In case you can’t figure out something, you can use there ‘Need Help’ option which is available for each setting. Apart from that, it also has detailed documentation on its blog.
  4. It does a lot more than a caching plugin. While WP Rocket positions itself as a caching plugin, it also helps optimize database and control heartbeat. If you’re not using WP Rocket, you will need separate plugins for each of this.
  5. It allows you to enable Lazyload, which can really help optimize your site for speed. This is more useful for sites that you a lot of images or videos.
  6. It offers great support. You can send them a query and you will receive the email within hours. This is a huge benefit over free plugins, where the only support you get is through forums.
  7. It actively works on making sure it’s compatible with other popular plugins. No matter what, conflicts between plugins is always going to happen. Everyone uses a different set of plugins. WP Rocket has good documentation on what plugins work best and what plugins need additional configuration. In case you have more questions, you can anytime reach out to their support.
  8. If you manage multiple sites, it’s a pain to configure caching plugins on all the sites. With WP Rocket, you can do the configuration on one site and then export the settings. Now for all the remaining sites, you can simply import the settings and you’re done.
  9. It has add-ons for Cloudflare and Sucuri, which makes it super easy to enable it. The documentation on it is very easy to follow and there is no chance of you screwing up.
  10. It offers a 14-day refund. In case you get WP Rocket and don’t find it worth it, you can easily get a refund with 14-days. Just raise a request for refund and it will be processed.

Does WP Rocket Offer Discount or Coupon Codes?

WP Rocket offers a generous discount on Black Friday, which is where I got it.

It also runs offers on Halloween and in July (when it’s the anniversary of the company).

But if you want it now and Black Friday is months away, you can subscribe to their email list and they will send you a 10% off coupon code.

It may also run offers on other occasions so you can subscribe to their email list to make sure you don’t miss out on any offers or coupon codes.

WP Rocket Plugin Configuration (Best Settings + Explanation)

In this section, I will cover the settings that are best to use. Since the settings would depend on every site, I will explain each setting and why you should or should not use it.

In any case, if you feel stuck or are confused about any setting, you can use the ‘Need Help’ option in the plugin.

Need Help option in WP Rocket

This option is available for all the settings in WP Rocket and it opens a slide box as soon as you click on it. This is a great user experience as you don’t have to go away from your WordPress dashboard to learn about it.

Now let’s go through all the settings and configurations.

When you install and activate the WP Rocket plugin, this is what you see.

Automatically applies performance improvement options

Note that as soon as you activate the plugin, it starts optimizing your site by automatically applying the best settings.

This is the overall dashboard of the WP Rocket admin area where you get all the options in the left.

All WP Rocket Options are on the left in the Dashboard

If you’ve ever used any other caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache, you’ll find this to be very neat and easy to use.

One thing I love about WP Rocket is that as soon as you click on any of the option categories in the left, it instantly loads and shows the options, unlike W3 Total Cache where it takes its sweet time to load all the settings.

Now, let’s go through all these options and see the best configuration settings for WP Rocket.

Cache Settings

There are three settings in ‘Cache’:

  1. Mobile Cache
  2. User Cache
  3. Cache Lifespan

Below is my recommended setting in WP Rocket.

Cache Settings in WP Rocket plugin

Here are some details for the cache options.

Mobile Cache

This helps you speed your website for mobile users. There is another option to have ‘Separate cache files for mobile users’. It’s best to enable both these options.

If you’re running a static blog where your mobile and desktop version is the same (i.e., you’re not using any extra things just for mobiles such as popups or ribbons/bars), you don’t need both the options, but there is no harm is enabling both.

Possible issues: In case you haven’t enabled the option of ‘Separate cache files for mobile users’, you may (in rare cases), see the desktop version in your mobile or vice versa. In such a case, simply ensure that this option is checked.

Enabling ‘Separate cache files for mobile users’ simply makes two different cache files for each page – one for desktop and one for mobile. This makes sure the right version is shown on the right device.

User Cache

This option creates a dedicated set of cache files for each logged-in WordPress user. This can be useful if you run a membership site, as it will create a new set of cache files for the logged in users.

But if you run a simple blog or website, you can leave this unchecked. Since mine is a single-author blog, I am leaving it unchecked.

Cache Lifespan

Cache Lifespan determines when the entire cache is cleared.

By default, it uses 10 hours, which means that the cache is cleared every 10 hours. You have the option to increase the value, but I recommend keeping it at 10 hours.

One of the reasons you may want to increase the cache lifespan is to keep your server resource usage low.

Since the cache will be available for a longer duration, it will not put the load on the server to generate new cache.

However, there is a possible issue that can occur because of this (read below). So it’s best to keep the cache life-span to 10 hours.

Possible issue: Increasing the cache life span can interfere with the functioning of the ‘Nonce’. This is too technical for me to explain, and you can read about it here. If this issue occurs, it can lead to non-functioning forms or even show blank pages. It’s best to keep the cache lifespan below 12 hours.

File Optimization Settings

There are three settings in File Optimization:

  1. Basic settings
  2. CSS Files
  3. JavaScript Files

Below is my recommended setting in WP Rocket.

File Optimization Options in WP Rocket

Here are some details for the File Optimization options.

Basic Settings

Within basic settings, there are three options:

  1. Minify HTML
  2. Combine Google Fonts files
  3. Remove Query Strings from static resources

Minify HTML: When developers write code, sometimes they end up having a lot of white space between the code. These could be extra lines or spaces. While this has no impact on the functionality, if you remove these extra lines/space (called minification), it will make your site load faster.

Combine Google Fonts: When your theme uses multiple fonts in your site, each font ends up using an HTTP request. Using Combine Google Fonts will combine all these different fonts into one and this will lead to less number of HTTP requests.

Remove Query String from static resources: Your JavaScript and CSS files usually have the file version at the end of their URLs (such as https://yourdomain.com/style.css?ver=3.2). Sometimes, these URLs with query strings are not cached. By enabling this option, you remove these query string and it will help improve caching.

If you run your site through Pingdom or GTMetrix, you may see a warning about the query strings. When this option is enabled, you will not see that warning.

CSS Files

Within CSS files settings, there are three options:

  1. Minify CSS Files
  2. Combine CSS Files (Enable Minify CSS files to select)
  3. Optimize CSS delivery

Minify CSS Files: Just like Minify HTML option, this option removes any white space that may in your sites CSS files. This helps your site load faster.

When you select this option, WP Rocket will show you a warning. This is to let you know that enabling this feature can lead to issues, and in case you notice anything broken, you can come back and revert this option.

Don’t worry about the warning. In almost all cases, nothing happens. I like the fact that WP Rocket is letting us know about this upfront. So in case, you see something weird happening to your site, you at least know that this could be a possible reason for that.

Warning Message by WP Rocket

Combine CSS Files: Since there are many different CSS files, this option combines these files into one and improves performance.

WP Rocket recommends that you don’t need this option if your site uses HTTP/2, which allows your servers to process multiple files at once.

HTTP2 warning in WP RocketWhile it states that, I was advised by a few of my developer friends to keep this option checked. Even though HTTP/2 is supposed to process requests simultaneously, it’s not perfect and enabling this option can lead to improvement.

In case you want some CSS files to not get minified, you can specify that in the box.

You can only enable this option if the ‘Minify CSS files’ option is enabled.

Note: You can check with your hosting companies whether their servers are using HTTP/2 or not. I use SiteGround and Kinsta, and both use HTTP/2.

Optimize CSS Delivery: When an HTML page on your site loads,  it often calls external scripts and style sheets. This can delay the rendering as multiple requests for these scripts and style sheets are sent. Enabling this option will optimize the CSS delivery and make your pages load faster.

When you enable this option, WP Rocket automatically generates critical CSS for your site. This ensures that the next time your page loads, external CSS requests doesn’t slow it down. Instead, it allows the CSS to load asynchronously. But in case something goes wrong, there is an option to specify Fallback critical CSS.

JavaScript Files

Within JavaScript files settings, there are three options:

  1. Minify JavaScript files
  2. Combine JavaScript files (Enable Minify JavaScript files to select)
  3. Load JavaScript Deferred

Minify JavaScript files: Just like CSS and HTML, this option removes white spaces from the Javascript code and makes it run faster. This helps in the overall loading of your site.

When you select this option, WP Rocket will show you a warning. This is to let you know that enabling this feature can lead to issues, and in case you notice anything broken, you can come back and revert this option.

Warning Message by WP Rocket on Minify JS

Combine JavaScript files: This option combines Javascript from different sources (internal, 3rd party and inline) and reduces the total number of HTTP requests. The overall impact is that your site loads faster.

WP Rocket recommends that you don’t need this option if your site uses HTTP/2, which allows your servers to process multiple files at once.

While it states that, I was advised by a few of my developer friends to keep this option checked. Even though HTTP/2 is supposed to process requests simultaneously, it’s not perfect and enabling this option can lead to improvement.

You can exclude inline Javascript that you want to exclude as well as the JS files that you don’t want to combines.

Load JavaScript Deferred: This option ensures that your page doesn’t load late because there is some Javascript that takes time to render. Enabling this option will eliminate render-blocking JS and make it load faster.

Here is what WP Rocket says about this option

It is preferable for performance that JavaScript files are either loaded in the footer of your site or deferred so that they don’t block the downloading of other assets on your site, thereby slowing it down. 

Media Settings

There are three settings in ‘Media’:

  1. Lazyloads
  2. Emoji
  3. Embeds

Below is my recommended setting in WP Rocket.

Media Settings in WP Rocket

Here are some details for the Media options in WP Rocket.

LazyLoad

Within LazyLoad settings, there are three options:

  1. Enable for images
  2. Enable for iframes and videos
  3. Replace YouTube iframe with a preview image

In a nutshell, lazy load means that when you webpage loads, these elements (which you enable for lazy loading) will not be loaded unless it comes in the viewport.

For example, if you have a huge article with lots of images (such as this one), you can choose to lazy load images so that it doesn’t have to load all at once.

And since you’re not forcing all the images or iframes to load, your pages are going to load way faster.

Enable for images: This option will make your images load lazily. So it will only send a request to load when the image comes in the viewport.

A lot of people don’t like this as it sometimes means that you see blank space as you scroll and it slowly loads the image. This can happen especially if you’re on a slow internet or the images are large.

If you find this annoying (or if you think you’re readers are going to find it annoying), you can turn this off.

WP Rocket automatically excludes LazyLoad for some plugins/scripts to ensure compatibility. It also specifies that its LazyLoad feature is incompatible with ‘YITH WooCommerce Zoom Magnifier’ plugin.

With WP Rocket, you can disable lazyload on some images, some class of images, images from specific sources and on avatars.

What about the impact of lazyload on SEO? – Don’t worry, you won’t lose out because your images don’t load. Your ALT text and all the information is still a part of the backend code and Google sees it. The image is not loaded as WP Rocket changes add a <noscript> tag to it and as soon as it comes in the viewport, the tag is removed.

Bottom line – SEO is not impacted by Lazy Load.

Enable for iFrames and Videos: If you use iframes or videos on your pages, lazyload will ensure these load only when in the viewport. A good example is having an embedded YouTube video. If it’s at the middle or bottom of your page, it will not load unless the visitor doesn’t go there.

Replace YouTube iFrame with Preview Image: If you use YouTube videos on your site, you should enable this option. Instead of sending a request to YouTube for the video, it only shows the preview image of it. It’s only when you click on the image that it sends a request to YouTube to fetch the video and play it.

PreLoad Settings

There are two settings in ‘Media’:

  1. Preload
  2. Prefetch DNS requests

Below is my recommended setting in WP Rocket.

Preload Settings in WP Rocket

Before I explain the options, let me quickly explain what preloading means.

Normally, without any preloading, the cache is generated when a user visits the site. So if a user visits Page A, this page will load from the server. Once this page has been loaded, a cache would be created by the server as well as by the user’s browser.

Now when someone comes again, this cache is used to serve some of the elements.

Since WP Rocket has set the cache lifespan to 10 hours, after every 10 hours the cache gets completely cleared.

Preloading uses the links on the Homepage and the ones in the sitemap to automatically create a cache (even if no one has visited these pages after the cache got cleared). This ensures that cache is available even after it’s automatically cleared.

While this is a good option, it can be problematic in some cases. One known issue is that it will use more server resources (as the cache has to be built every 10 hours). So if you’re on shared hosting, it’s better to keep this option switched off.

Here are some details for the Preload options in WP Rocket.

Activate Preloading: This option will enable preload, which means that your cache would be generated as soon as it’s cleared.

I recommend not enabling this feature.

Preload seems to put a strain in the server and can lead to high CPU usage. This can be an issue if you’re on shared hosting that provides limited CPU usage.

It can even cause an issue with a high-performance server. I use Kinsta Managed WordPress hosting for one of my blogs and even they asked me to turn off Preload as it was causing an issue with other services (in this case, it was causing a problem for taking backup with VaultPress).

Turn off Preloading by Kinsta

This is what Kinsta says on their site:

We don’t recommend using either of these options (preloading and sitemap based preloading) and in fact, they most likely won’t work at Kinsta.

Despite WP Rocket mentioning on their site that this will not lead to high CPU usage, I would recommend you keep this one disabled.

Let the caching happen as an when users visit your site.

Activate Sitemap Based Cache Preloading: This uses your sitemap to go to all the posts/pages and preload them. I recommend you keep this disabled.

In case you decide to keep this option enabled, WP Rocket automatically identifies your sitemaps if you’re using Yoast SEO or All-in-one SEO plugins.

Prefetch DNS Requests: When you’re using third party content (such as links from Facebook or Videos from YouTube), using this option can help speed up your site a bit. It prefetches the DNS of those external resources and can give a minor boost to the page load speed.

This is not an option to enable. If you want some of the domains to be prefetched, you can enter these in the box for Prefetch.

Below are some examples of the URLs you can consider prefetching:

//fonts.googleapis.com
//ajax.googleapis.com
//connect.facebook.net
//www.google-analytics.com
//www.googletagmanager.com
//maps.google.com

Advanced Rules Settings

There are five settings in ‘Advanced Rules’:

  1. Never Cache URLs
  2. Never Cache Cookies
  3. Never Cache User Agent(s)
  4. Always Purge URLs
  5. Cache Query String(s)

These are all advanced settings where you can further specify how you want WP Rocket to treat some of the pages or cookies.

I don’t use any of these settings as I run simple static blogs. But if you run e-commerce sites or sites with dynamic content, these options allow a great deal of flexibility.

Advanced Rules settings in Wp Rocket

Here are some details for the ‘Advanced Settings’ in WP Rocket.

Never Cache URLs: Here you can specify the URLs you don’t want cached. By default, WP Rocket doesn’t cache cart and checkout pages for popular e-commerce plugins. And if you’re using something that is not automatically excluded, you can do that by specifying those URLs here.

You can also exclude specific pages/posts from within the post editor in WordPress. There is an option to check the box that says ‘Never Cache this page’

WP Rocket Cache Options from Within the Posts

Never Cache Cookies: Just like URLs, if you want some cookies to not be cached, you can specify it here.

For example, if you are using WooCommerce with a PHP-driven cart widget, you can use the following: woocommerce_items_in_cart

Always Purge URLs: If you want certain posts/pages to always show the latest updated content, you can specify these URLs here. Now, whenever these pages/posts are updated, it will automatically purge the cache.

Cache Query String(s): By default, pages/posts with query strings are not cached. But in case you want pages with a specific query string to be cached, you can specify it here.

For example, if are sending an email to your list and have added a UTM parameter for campaign or source. If you want these to be cached, you can specify the strings (consisting of UTM parameters).

Database Settings

There are five settings in ‘Advanced Rules’:

  1. Post Cleanup
  2. Comments Cleanup
  3. Transients Cleanup
  4. Database Cleanup
  5. Automatic Cleanup

With WP Rocket, you can also manage your database and improve the performance of your site. If you don’t use Wp-Rocket, you can do it a couple of free plugins (such as WP Sweep).

This is another reason I like using WP Rocket, as it has extra functionalities that allow me to use it instead of a couple of additional plugins.

Always remember to take a backup before using database cleanup. The changes done by this can’t be undone.

Below are the settings that I use:

Database Optimization in Wp-Rocket

Here are some details for the ‘Database’ settings in WP Rocket.

Post Cleanup: In post clean, you can delete Revisions, Autodrafts, and Trashed Posts.

As you write a post, you may end up with a lot of revisions and auto drafts. Post clean up allows you to get rid of this bloat. In case you sometimes need to go back to revisions, you may want to exclude it from the cleanup.

I don’t delete the ‘Auto Drafts’ setting as I sometimes find it useful. Also, I don’t think a small number of these posts revisions or autofraft are going to impact the performance a lot. If you have a lot of these (in hundreds or thousands), then you can benefit from this cleanup. This can be the case with multi-author sites.

Comments Cleanup: This will remove all the spam and trashed comments from your database. Spam comments can build up quickly and cleaning this can help optimize the performance a little.

Transients Cleanup: Transients is a way to temporarily store cached data in the database. It can be generated by plugins and often has an expiry date (which is why it’s called Transient).

There are two types of transients – ones that have already expired and one that is set to expire.

These are safe to remove and in case you plugins need this, it will be regenerated automatically once you’re done cleaning up.

Database Cleanup: Overtime, your tables in the database can get bigger. With his option, you can easily optimize these tables by reducing the overhead. Overhead could be blank rows in your database. These could be a result of some deleted data which left a blank row.

By optimizing tables option, you can get rid of these overheads which can make your site load faster (as your database query has to go through less number of rows now).

You can schedule a daily, weekly, or monthly cleanup frequency and WP Rocket will automatically run the database optimization options. I prefer to run this manually as I have static blogs which are not as huge as e-commerce sites or news sites.

CDN Settings

Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is one of the best things you can do make your site load faster. A CDN caches your content on multiple servers across the globe and serves the content based on where your readers are coming from.

So, if your reader is in the US, they will be served the content closest to their location and if your reader is in Singapore, they will be served using the server closest to them.

WP Rocket is compatible with most popular CDN providers, including Amazon Cloudfront, MaxCDN, KeyCDN, and others.

If you’re using Cloudflare or Sucuri, you don’t need to do anything in this part of WP Rocket. For Cloudflare and Sucuri, there are dedicated add-ons that we will cover later in this article.

There are five settings in ‘Advanced Rules’:

  1. Enable Content Delivery Network
  2. Exclude files from CDN

Since I use Cloudflare on this blog and Sucuri on another one, I don’t have to do anything here. But if you use another CDN service, you can configure the settings as shown below

CDN Settings in WP Rocket

 

Heartbeat Settings

Heartbeat API was introduced with WordPress 3.6. Heartbeat was created to make real-time changes in the front-end. Every 15-60 seconds, heartbeat gathers data and updates any changes

It allows your browser to communicate with the server when you’re logged into the WordPress admin panel. It allows WordPress to handle things like showing one author what changes are being made in real time by another author in the backend. Plugins can use these script executions to show notifications in real time.

Below are some things that Heartbeat API makes possible:

  • Autosave and revisions in the post editor
  • Notifications on the WordPress admin dashboard
  • Post-locking information when another editor is working on a post
  • Real-time data displayed on the dashboard by plugins (e-commerce)

While this may be useful, it ends up raising a request every 15 seconds, which in turn can eat your server resources.

By reducing Heartbeat activity or by disabling it, you can limit the requests that are being sent.

Below are the settings that I use (which is for a static single author blog):

Heartbeat settings in Wp Rocket

Note: Some WordPress plugins also use Heartbeat API and disabling it completely may lead to issues with those plugins. In case you’re in doubt, just reduce the activity for all.

Heartbeat activity also leads to high CPU usage. This can lead to downtime if you exceed your CPU usage limit. I faced this issue with SiteGround and they asked me to either reduce it or disable it completely.

ADD-ONS  Settings

WP Rocket provides some one-click Rocket add-ons that don’t require any configurations. It also provides add-ons for Cloudflare and Sucuri which are the most used CDN and security services.

Add-ons available at the time of writing this article:

  1. Google Tracking (one-click)
  2. Facebook Pixel (one-click)
  3. Varnish (one-click)
  4. Cloudflare
  5. Sucuri

Below are the settings I use:

AddOn settings in WP Rocket

If you’re using Cloudflare or Sucuri, you need to click on the Modify Options button and configure it.

Cloudflare Settings in WP Rocket

 

Image Optimization

WP rocket does not optimize images itself but recommends using Imagify.

If you’re not using any image optimization plugin already, you can give it a try.

I already use ShortPixel (and also recommend using it to optimize images).

Both Imagify and ShortPixel are paid plugins. Shortpixel has a free plan as well that optimizes 100 images per month.

Tools

Wp Rocket has these amazing options where:

  1. You can configure it on one site and then export the settings
  2. You can import the settings of WP Rocket from another site.
  3. Revert back to the last major version

If you run more than one WordPress sites, these options can save you a lot of time.

If you have gone through this article and configured WP Rocket, you would agree that while it’s easy and simple, it still takes some time because of so many different options.

And imagine if you have to do it for 10 sites.

Instead of doing it manually, just export the setting from one and import it on all other sites.

Tools settings in WP Rocket

Click here to get WP Rocket plugin

Conclusion

WP Rocket is the best caching and website performance optimization plugin available as of now.

The best thing about this plugin is that even if you do absolutely nothing, it still applied the best settings to your site. It automatically enables/disables options to begin with to give you the best performance.

This is what WP Rocket says on its site:

Just turning on the plugin will give you the most significant speed boost. The additional options are just that—optional. They are not always necessary and should always be tested to see if they are giving you additional improvement.

The top three reasons you should get WP Rocket is:

  1. It’s super simple to use and configure.
  2. It has great support and documentation.
  3. It replaces a lot of plugins as it does cache, database optimization, heartbeat control, and media optimization.

Since this plugin has been around, it has been tested and works with almost all the popular plugins and themes.

Click here to get WP Rocket plugin

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