WP Rocket Review 2021 – Pros, Cons, Pricing, and Comparison
The faster, the better! A successful business is based on a great customer experience where the customer is not just satisfied but delighted, and this delight comes from little details creating worthwhile value addition by enhancing the customer experience at every possible customer touchpoint. The official website of any business globally is one of the most critical customer touchpoints.
Given the changing dynamics of doing business, it is becoming the modern-day “shop experience”, the company’s face. Therefore, the visitor’s experience on the website acts as the perception creator and the influencer in essential choices that the visitor has to make, including purchase decisions upon visit on the website. Speed is the first most vital prerequisite of high-quality customer experience on any website and caching, and other added features make it possible.
You might have noticed that when you visit a website for the first time, it takes a little longer to load compared to when you see it the next time on the same day? That is because of Plugins like WP Rocket that cache the data for you in advance, making the website’s loading faster.
Caching is when the site stores certain content that the visitor attends upon the first visit and quickly re-uses this data from memory to load the information to be displayed on the website upon revisit. It is almost like half-cooked food in your fridge that saves time to prepare a meal when you want to eat!
Setting up and executing WP Rocket may sound very technical and complex. Still, the truth is that WP Rocket is a highly convenient and user-friendly plugin to use with its simple user interface and its unique features that make the speed of the website loading even faster.
WP Rocket claims to “Speed Up your Website in a Few Clicks”, and it delivers its promise too.
There are various free caching plugins available in the market; however, WP Rocket has a price tag and that too without any free trial. Having no free trial can be seen as a display of confidence that the creators of this Plugin have in their product; however, for many, it may be a put-off as they may not be able to trust immediately without experiencing the benefits of this Plugin first-hand. The best thing about the price plan range that WP Rocket offers is that the features are the same in all plans; the only difference is the number of websites that each plan caters to. Currently, there are three price plans on offer:
- Single: $49 for 1 year for 1 website;
- Plus: $99 for 1 year for 3 websites;
- Infinite $249 for 1 year for unlimited websites.
The above packages come with a 14-day money-back guarantee. Although it may seem initially risky to invest in a plugin without any free trial in a market where free plugins are available of similar nature, but after you will know the benefits of the outstanding features of WP Rocket, you will be convinced that it is a plugin that is worth investing in if we see the long term business advantages.
Why is it worth paying for WP Rocket when free alternatives are available with a good customer base? We intend to answer this very question as we discuss the pros and cons of using WP Rocket as a WordPress plugin ahead.
The biggest attraction that WP Rocket has as compared to its competitors like W3 Total Cache is that it is easy to set up and use. It may appear at first thought that a plugin offering such a solution might be a complex coding related tech-savvy operation; contrary to that, it has an easy and fast setup, and immediately upon installation and activation, it offers Page caching, Browser caching and GZIP compression, without making any changes to the settings or complex coding! Other free plugins in stores have complex configurations and setup, taking time and requiring concerning knowledge to get the Plugin going.
The ease of setting up a plugin, especially for non-tech savvy people, is such a big blessing, and this helps WP Rocket stand out from the rest.
It only takes a few minutes to set up WP Rocket:
After the purchase has been successfully completed, the download link will be received through which the .zip plugin file can be downloaded for further installation.
Once this link has been received, you need to download the plugin .zip file and upload it to WordPress by going to the “Add New” option under Plugins and selecting “Upload Plugin”. After you have clicked on the “Upload Plugin”, then there will appear an option stating “choose a file”, you have to then click on this option which would lead you to look for the Plugin to be uploaded. After searching for the .zip plugin file, you are required to select the file, and once the selection is made, then you need to click on the “install now” option. It will only be a matter of a few minutes before the Plugin gets installed. Once the installation is completed, the final step to launch the Plugin appears as “Activate Plugin”. Now all you have to do is to click on the”Activate Plugin” option, and the Plugin gets activated! Without even going to any complex settings, immediately as it gets activated, the website immediately gets an improved speed as the page caching, browser caching, and GZIP compression starts to happen immediately. So the effect can be seen just after activation of the Plugin with a simple download, installation and activation process!
As mentioned earlier, WP Rocket has added features that make it worth the price that you are investing in and which differentiate it from its free competitors in the market. Now we will discuss these added features that make WP Rocket so different.
Minification and Compression
This can be achieved by enabling the relevant checks in the “File Optimization” tab in “Settings”. In the list of tabs in the “Settings”, select the “File Optimization” tab, which will show the following options under “Basic Settings”:
- Minify HTML
- Combine Google Fonts Files
- Remove Query Strings Static Resources
Under “CSS Files” in the same tab of “File optimization”, the “CSS Files” show the following options appear:
- Minify CSS files
- Combine CSS Filles
The relevant options can be selected by placing checks as per the requirement to achieve the desired minification and compression impact.
Removal of Query Strings & Elimination of Render Blocking CSS/JSS
As mentioned in the above list of options, the query strings can be removed by pacing a check where it is mentioned on the list. The Gtmetrix score is improved as the query strings get eliminated. The “Render blocking” warning gets eliminated in the Google PageSpeed Insights.
Convenient CDN Integration and E-commerce Friendly
Easy integration with CDN like Cloudfare and unlike many plugins which are not compatible with e-commerce plugins, WP Rocket is compatible with sufficient e-commerce plugins like Woocomorce, iThemes Exchange, WP-Shop, Jigoshop, Easy Digital Download, making it highly suitable for the website where e-commerce is involved. Imagine all filled carts and other checkout details not being visible because it is cached by a caching plugin that is not compatible with your e-commerce plugin; that would be an absolute nightmare for a seller in a business transaction. Therefore, with WP Rocket, you can be assured that the compatibility of this Plugin is smooth with e-commerce plugins making the business transactions smoother and faster.
Another feature that makes WP Rocket a better choice is its compatibility with plugins like WPML, Polylan and qTranslate, making it easier to be translated in various languages. This may seem like just a fancy feature; however, its functionality is of immense importance in case the meaning of the content is not understood due to the language barrier.
Lazyload, Emojis & Embeds
If there are many pictures or videos on a page of the website, it takes a lot of time to load; however, if the lazyload option is enabled, then it can be faster. By enabling lazyload option, the images load as the visitor scrolls down or can see that part of the page where the image is located, the delay in loading the pictures enhances the overall speed of loading. It acts like a just-in-time inventory for the content supply and availability on the website being visited.
To enable Lazyload, you need to access the “Settings” of the Plugin. This can be achieved in two ways:
- By either going to the list of plugins installed in WordPress and then clicking on the “Settings” mentioned just below where the title of the Plugin is written as WP Rocket and the n exploring the further options as they appear once the “settings” is clicked.
- By selecting “Settings” on the left tabs shown and then selecting WP Rocket on the list.
Once you have entered the “Settings” and “WP Rocket” Segment from the list of the available plugins by clicking as mentioned above, you can now take the next step to enable the lazyload option. Among the various further tabs being displayed on the left side of the view, there is a “Media” option available; this is where you need to click on and which would lead to further options being opened associated with it. These are mainly three categories:
Under each one of the above, there is a box available to place a check to enable or disable a particular feature associated with the heading.
Lazyload can be enabled by placing a “check” on the two checkboxes stating:
- Enable for images
- Enable for iframes and videos
And when it is required to be disabled, then you can easily uncheck it.
Once the “Lazyload” feature is enabled for images after pacing, a check on “Enable for images”, when a visitor arrives on the website only when they reach the particular segment of the page where the image is being displayed will the image get uploaded.
The same applies to lazyload for iframes and videos. Once the check is placed on “enable for iframes and videos.”
The default emojis can be used from visitor’s browser instead of loading emoji from WordPress.org, and this can be done by placing a check on the “Disable Emoji” check:
- Disable Emoji
- Disable WordPress embeds
These enabling and disabling of features by placing checks in available options in the three categories of “Lazyload”, “Emojis”, and “Embeds” falls in the added features that come along with the efficient caching ability of WP Rocket.
Another useful and functionally profound feature that WP Rocket offers as part of the bouquet of additional features along with efficient caching ability is that of Database Optimization. By database optimization, what is meant is that you can literally manage the data being stored as the WP Rocket does its routine functions.
This is a unique feature that is unlike other plugins available. The database optimization functions allow the cleaning up of the database to reduce the size and excessive space taking of the database at any given point in time. This can either be done manually or by setting up an automatic schedule of cleanup either daily, weekly or monthly.
To perform database optimization, you need to go to the “Settings” of WP Rocket as discussed earlier, then select the “Database” tab on the left-hand side. Once the “Database” tab is selected, there appears a list of database components that can be cleared:
- Posts Cleanup
- Comments Cleanup
- Transients Cleanup
- Database Cleanup
There are further options in each of the above-mentioned categories where a check can be placed to select that particular aspect to be cleaned as part of the database optimization process.
In “Posts Cleanup”, the following options that can be selected by placing a check appear:
- Trashed Posts
A new revision is created each time a post or page is edited, and over time it gets accumulated, causing the website to be slower; this can be cleared by placing a check on “Revisions” in the “Posts Cleanup” segment.
Auto-drafts that have been stored can also be cleared by placing a check on “Auto-drafts” in the ” Posts Cleanup” category.
Trashed posts also keep on getting stored in the database and are accumulated over time, making the website slower, so these can also be eliminated by placing a check on the “Trashed Posts”.
Under the “Comments Cleanup” heading, the following options appear that can be cleared from the database:
- Spam Comments
- Trashed Comments
These can be also be removed from the database as they are an unnecessary burden on the database records. To remove spam and trashed comments, both “Spam Comments” and “Trashed Comments” need to be selected under the “Comments Posts” section.
In the “Transient Cleanup” category, the temporary options (that are safe to remove and can be generated again as the Plugin requires them) can be cleared from the database. This can be done by placing a check in the following two aspects being displayed under the “Transient Cleanup” heading that appear as below:
- Expired Transients
- All Transients
The above two options need to be selected to clean the database of transients’ storage.
Under the “Database Cleanup” heading, there is the “Optimize Table” option. This is linked to the storage of unused tables that are left by plugins that have been deleted, and these are responsible for slowing down the website. Removing these unused tables clears the database of the unnecessary load that is slowing down its functioning. By placing a check on this segment which appears as follows under the “Database Cleanup” heading:
- Optimize Tables
Once all these required segments have been selected by placing checks, the cleanup activity gets executed after all these checks have been placed, and the optimize button is given at the end of these listing under the “Database” segment of “Settings” is clicked on.
Only when the “Optimise” button is clicked will the above cleanup take place as per the selection of the relevant category.
You can set up an automatic cleanup schedule as daily, weekly or monthly practise by placing a check on “Schedule Automatic Cleanup”.
Regular Database Cleanup, along with its effective management, ensures that the speed of loading stays fast, giving continuously enhanced experience to the visitors leading to user delight, which is the ultimate goal of any site owner.
Browser Caching enables the storing of static files of the webpage on the visitor’s browser, such as Google Chrome and Firefox. This saves the content that is fixed on the website, so it doesn’t have to be loaded every single time the page is revisited. This feature enhances the speed of the webpage’s loading.
Page caching being part of the main feature that WP Rocket is being branded on of caching, is indeed very well designed. It deals with mobile caches and user caches separately.
A website caches particular segments of the page’s content that the visitor views, and these chunks of contents are recalled when the visitor loads the site and page again quickly as part of the content is saved already that does not take time to load again.
To be able to access the settings of caching possibilities, you need to select the” Cache” tab appearing on the left side of the list of categories in the “Settings” segment. Here there will appear the following further headings:
- Mobile Caches
- User Caches
- Cache Lifespan
“Mobile caches” are linked to mobile visitors; they are dealt with separately as customer traffic through mobile devices is to be dealt with separately for efficient management of the database. By placing a check on the following under “Mobile caches” :
- Enable caching for mobile devices
the caching for mobile devices can be enabled, leading to faster loading time when the website is loaded on mobile devices.
“User caches” refers to the users that can log in to your website as they will be creating their caches. Caching can be enabled by placing a check on the option appearing in the “User cache” heading:
- Enable caching for logged-in WordPress users
By selecting this option, as each logged-in user has to have their version of cache, so enabling this option will make ensure that the user cache is maintained for enhanced logged-in user experiences in terms of speed and processing information.
A crucial option that determines when the global cache is part of the “Cache Lifespan” Segment under the “Cache” tab; this helps determine the time duration for which the cache needs to stay. Depending on the level of static content, the “Cache Lifespan” can be decided; for example, it can be kept for 10 hours or can be increased if there is a higher static content on the site; however, if the website is more dynamic, this can be adjusted accordingly.
The “Advanced Rules” Tab gives control on what content need to be cached and who can see the cached content, and when certain content is purged as per the settings of caching made. Specific URLs can be specified not to be cached. Specific cookies and user agents can be excluded from being served cached content. Certain query strings can have forced caching as part of the setting, along with particular URLs being able always to purge every time a post or page is updated.
The very fact that WP Rocket is a paid plugin, to be able to continue charging for WP Rocket, its creators continuously do research and fix bugs and keep it up-to-date with the changing market dynamics. It is not a free plugin and can be forgotten by its creators; it is taken care of, so its users can be assured of the quality of the Plugin they are using and its upgradation as per technological advancements.
Comparing WP Rocket with other free options, after discussing the various outstanding features along with the efficient caching mechanism that WP Rocket offers, it would be safe to say that WP Rocket does give a good return on investment. Although WP Rocket charges a reasonable price for its subscription, its features make it a wise choice by site owners and businesses who wish their visitors feel delighted by their visit to the site.
Improving the visitors’ experience by speeding up the loading of the website and its content ensures that the visitor stays happy and spends more time on the website with increased chances of making choices that benefit the site owners.
WP Rocket’s user-friendly interface offering outstanding caching ability along with added features such as data optimization, lazyload, and minification makes it a unique combination of possibilities of solutions that a WordPress Plugin has to offer.
If you aim at long-term benefits that your business must attain, then you got to see the money that WP Rocket is charging as an investment, the fruits of which you will reap in the future, in the form of increased customer base, goodwill generation, effective branding, excellent customer experience and increased customer loyalty for any business. Therefore, if you think that WP Rocket does not offer a free trial and you would have tried it if it was there, after evaluating in our entire discussion so far, it is highly recommended that you utilize the 14-day money-back guarantee of the WP-Rocket Plugin, we feel confident that you will continue to have the subscription of this highly efficient WordPress Plugin bringing you loads of business benefits!