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Why We Recommend WP Rocket for Supercharging Your Blog (Review)

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We have been using WP Rocket for a while now and have been incredibly impressed. Before WP Rocket our site was frustratingly slow, mainly when clicking between pages where there would be a very obvious and tedious delay/pause before the next page would load. But after installing WP Rocket we saw instant improvements and results, and it actually feels like one of the best investments we’ve made. So if you’re looking to speed up your WordPress website and make some great improvements to the experience of your users, then read on for reasons why we recommend WP Rocket.

Sign up for WP Rocket

Note: Should our website appear slow, then it could also be that our cache is being rebuilt. This happens whenever we make big changes. Try reloading the page or opening the same link on incognito and it’ll probably be fast again.

Screenshot from GT Metrix


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Why we recommend WP Rocket

Incredibly easy to configure

WP Rocket is incredibly easy to configure. Simply install the plugin, activate it, and then test it using the default settings and you’ll likely see instant results. If you wish you can also enable some of the more advanced settings. These come with hints and links to full details on exactly what they do, which makes it easy to decide what you’d like to enable and what you wouldn’t. For example, we don’t enable caching for logged in WordPress users as it’s not needed for our site, and we also don’t separate the cache for mobile devices as our site is responsive.

When activating the plugin (and any other plugin), you should always thoroughly check your website just in case there are issues. 

Caching of files

Probably our favourite feature of WP Rocket is the page caching. This feature creates a static/cached version of your pages and as a result means that the page can be delivered much quicker to the user.

Normally when someone makes a request or tries to open a URL on your website the browser has to send a request to the server, the server will then need to run the database queries, process server scripts (such as PHP), and generate all the HTML, which is then returned to the browser. WP Rocket reduces this delay by creating a cached version of the page, which is delivered to the user instead and can massively reduce delays and also have a huge positive impact on TTFB (Time to first byte).

To test our site without the WP Rocket features then try this link below which disables it for testing purposes. You’ll see how slow our site is without it, eeek!

Our site with no WP Rocket: travelanddestinations.com/?nowprocket

Minification

Minify involves removing comments, white space and making various other optimizations to your CSS and JavaScript files. As a result, the file delivered to the user’s browser is slightly smaller, less bloated and should therefore load slightly faster.

Deferring of CSS and JS

Another important thing that WP Rocket does is offer the options for deferring render-blocking CSS and JS. This means that the browser can load the page a lot quicker, rather than having to wait for unnecessary CSS (website styles) and Javascript files to load. The remaining CSS and JavaScript would then be loaded either asynchronously or deferred until the page has finished parsing.

Highly compatible

WP Rocket is highly compatible with major host providers as well as page builders and plugins. Our website is hosted by FastComet who we’ve been very impressed with and WP Rocket has worked fine. A few popular tools and plugins that WP Rocket is compatible with includes WooCommerce, Yoast, WP Forms, Jetpack, WordFence, Elementor, Visual Composer and much more.

A great user interface

The WP Rocket user interface/admin area has been very well built, making it incredibly easy to understand through logical grouping of settings, as well as clear labels and instructions. Below you can see part of one of the sections.

A screenshot showing the sections in WP Rocket for controlling settings

Excellent documentation

You’ll find the documentation that comes with WP Rocket comprehensive and easy to follow. You’ll find articles on their website, but as well as this the built-in help is also great and this is available as a popup in the dashboard/admin area.

A screenshot showing the helpful documentation that forms part of WP Rocket

Great customer support

Should the documentation not provide the answer you’re looking for then you can also reach out to their customer service. We have reached out to WP Rocket a few times and they have provided very quick support.

Very reasonable price

The price of WP Rocket is $49 for a single license (at the time of writing). This is for the basic license or you can get the more advanced licences that cover more websites. With the license, you also get regular updates and support too (for one year) which makes the plugin highly recommended.

Sign up for WP Rocket


Key features of WP Rocket

Some of the great features of WP Rocket include:

  • Page Caching and Cache Preloading.
  • Gzip compression.
  • Database optimization and cleanup.
  • File Optimization.
  • Easy setup and configuration.

See all features and details


A few downsides

There aren’t many things we don’t like about WP Rocket, however, if we had to name some then they’d include:

  • It could be a little easier to clear cache and preload after making changes.
  • It would be good if you could delay the cache being pre-built, such as if you’re working across lots of changes that would constantly trigger a cache clear.
  • Sometimes it can be a little hard to clear cache if you’ve made custom and direct edits to a JavaScript or CSS file (more technical edits). I’ve found I’ve had to do a full cache clear a few times.
  • The Delay JavaScript execution caused some important scripts not to run as intended, however, I just disabled the feature and everything was fine.

Who would WP Rocket be well suited for?

Anyone with a WordPress blog could benefit from WP Rocket, in particular:

  • Bloggers and WordPress website owners who realise the importance of speed.
  • Anyone looking to easily speed up their website with minimal technical knowledge required.
  • Those looking for a premium but affordable solution

Sign up for WP Rocket


Why does website speed matter?

Website speed is super important as a fast website that loads within a couple of seconds will provide a much better experience for a visitor than a website that takes much longer. People are impatient these days and will quickly lose interest and leave your site if they have to wait, so you should be doing your best to provide the fastest experience possible. It is also likely that your site will attract visitors from destinations with a poor connection speed too, so if the page is slow then it’ll be a horrible user experience.

Another very important reason why you should ensure your website is fast is that page speed is now a ranking factor, therefore if your site is slower than competing websites then you’ll be at a disadvantage. That’s not saying that if you have the fastest site you’ll be ranked higher, but rather it is just one of the many factors in Google (and possibly other search engines) algorithms.

Read more on ways to improve your website speed.


How to test your website speed

A few tools we use for testing our website performance includes GT Metrix which is a fantastic online service and provides a score and details on your website speed. As well as this you’ll get suggestions on improvements you can make.

Other tools include Google Pagespeed. The recommendations are a bit more technical and can be a bit harder to implement, however with WP Rocket they will ultimately fix many of the issues you’d have highlighted.

A final way that we check the speed on our site includes using the Network tab in Chrome Developer Tools. With this you can look at page load speed, individual scripts and how long they take, and a lot more to delve into your site performance. At first it can seem a little confusing to look at the results but should you be interested and quite techy you’ll understand it soon enough. It’s also a great place to see TTFB. To do this you should clear any current requests that are listed. Then refresh the page and click on your website, followed by the ‘Timing’ tab.

Example from Chrome Dev Tools


Altnernatives to WP Rocket

Prior to purchasing and installing WP rocket we used to use W3 Total Cache which also has a free version. Although the plugin comes with some great features and they also provide a free version we found the results were nothing on par with WP Rocket. A few other popular alternatives (which we haven’t used ourselves) includes WP Fastest Cache and WP-Optimize.


Summary

We hope that you’ve found this review on WP Rocket helpful and if you decide to use it then we hope you are as impressed as we are with the results and your website becomes lightning fast. As mentioned it’s important that you do test your website thoroughly after activating in case there are any hiccups, but as mentioned all the things we had issues with were pretty minor.

Mike Clegg

Editor-in-chief at travelanddestinations.com
Mike is a traveller, photographer, WordPress developer and the creator of TravelAndDestinations.com. He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website... [Read full bio]
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