WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache are the famous plugins in the cache and optimization category. In this article, we will see a deep analysis between WP Rocket vs. W3 Total Cache.
WP Rocket is paid version, and W3 Total Cache has a free and pro version. PRO version features are minimal; we will see everything in detail.
- WP Rocket Review and Setup Guide
- WP Rocket Cache
- User Cache and Cache Lifespan
- WP Rocket File Optimizations
- WPRocket PreLoad Settings
- Prefetch DNS Requests
- Preload Fonts
- Advanced Rules
- WPRocket Addons
- Image Optimizations
- WP Rocket Setup Guide to Get Good Page Speed Score
- Quick WP Rocket Setup Summary
- WP Rocket Pricing
WP Rocket Review and Setup Guide
How I tested WP Rocket Plugin?
Here I used Google Page speed test, GTmetrix, Pingdom, and WebPagetest. Each of these websites shows the speed of your site and issues.
Generally, I use all these four sites to analyze my website’s speed and loading issues.
First, We will analyze the same website without plugins next with WP Rocket.
Features WP Rocket
- Page Caching
- Browser Caching
- DNS Prefetching
- Files Minification
- Lazy Load
- Font Optimization
- Image Optimization
- Database Optimization
- Heart Beat Control
- CDN Support
Need for Cache Plugins?
If you are reading this article, you may know the basics of these plugins for the people who don’t know, let see it.
As seen in the diagram, whenever the user requests, your hosting will serve the page.
The page needs to fetch from the database. After fetching, it fits inside the HTML tags and needs to display to the user. Whenever a user requests, the website needs to this process every time.
Now think four users visit four different posts of your website. If the data is queried from the database and served to the user, then imagine the CPU usage, load in the server, and the number of requests.
Even if you have a high configured hosting plan, that will not be enough.
So, the cache will fix those issues by creating a cache file in the cache folder and serving the user. First-time WordPress post or page queried from a database generates the cache file in the cache folder. The second time onwards page serves from the cache folder.
Note: Need to clear the cache to see any changes to that post or page.
WP Rocket Features
WP Rocket Cache
In WP Rocket Setting After Dashboard next option is cache. This setting helps you to enable cache on mobile devices.
Here you have two options one is to cache for mobile, and another is a separate cache for mobile.
Why do we need a separate cache for mobiles? For example, if you are using a different theme for mobile or any customization only for mobile.
Example: Adding a customized function for mobile or separate navigation menu for mobile, so in that case, you can enable it.
User Cache and Cache Lifespan
User cache creates a separate cache for the logged-in user. I don’t recommend using user cache. If you are using a membership site or forum kind of site, it is required otherwise set as false.
Cache Lifespan setting helps to set for how many hours you need the cache file in your server. For example, if you set it as 24 hours, then post-A cached at 10.AM mean then next day 10.AM it will be expired, and the cache file will be removed from the cache folder.
Based on how much frequency you apply the post, you keep it. My recommended value is 100 Hours, so five days once the value will be cleared.
WP Rocket File Optimizations
Minify CSS Files
Minify CSS Files setting helps to reduce the file size by whitespace and comment. Before Apply this setting, see your source code, do the changes, and then see the source code.
Combine CSS Files
This WPRocket setting combines all the CSS files to reduce the number of requests. Though it reduces the number of requests, it increases the size of the file.
Exclude CSS File
If you need to exclude a CSS file from the combine, you can add those file details in this text box.
Minify JS Files and Combine JS Files
These two options are similar to the same CSS option that help reduce file size and combining multiple JS files into one.
Media is one of the important factors for the user to understand the topic and helps in SEO. To improve SEO, this WP Rocket media settings is very helpful.
Enable for images: This setting lazy load makes the website load when it’s required. An example which is in the down or below to the fold, no need to load early. This lazy load setting helps you to achieve that.
Enable for Iframes and Videos: Same lazy load setting for Iframes and videos to load when it’s required, not on the beginning.
Images Dimensions: Add missing image dimensions to help you to improve google page speed and GTmetrix score. This setting helps you to add image dimensions for the image that missing dimensions.
Exclude images: Lazy load is not required for the images that are above the fold. Example logo displays above the fold, so you can add it here.
Now you understand the exclude option, so you can open you website and check the images other than the logo and add it here.
<img src="Home.png" class="attachment-full size-full wp-post-image" alt="Home" itemprop="image">
<img src="Home.png" class="attachment-full size-full wp-post-image" alt="Home" itemprop="image" width="1200" height="628">
This setting blocks other websites to embeds your site.
If you have the WebP images, then you can use the setting. Now WPRocket doesn’t help you to generate WebP images. You need an extra plugin to do that.
WPRocket PreLoad Settings
In the starting, we have seen cache with served from the second user. To the first user, it will pull the data from the DB and stores it in the cached file.
Preload setting creates a cache file for the link that is on the homepage first. Second, it generates cache from the sitemap associated with the website.
Most of the popular sitemaps are supported by WProcket. In case if not support, then you can add the sitemap URL.
Prefetch DNS Requests
WPRocket prefetch DNS request setting helps to reduce load time by telling the browser before the connection is needed.
For google fonts, this line of code will be added to prefetch font google APIs.
<link rel=’dns-prefetch’ href=’//fonts.googleapis.com’ />
But instead of there, you handle google fonts in a better way. For example, if you are using Amazon Affiliate links or another 3rd party JS code, you can add it here.
Preload fonts is an important section that helps you improve your page speed and Gtmetrix score.
What are Preload fonts?
After the user visiting your site, all the objects will load one by one, like HTML image fonts and so on. If fonts loaded at last, then visitors need to wait for a long to see the initial count. With font preloading, you are telling the browser to load the font before because it is important.
How to find the list of fonts you are using in WordPress?
First, Analysis your site in Gtmetrix. In the result, you will see few tabs that click the waterfall and select font. There see the list of fonts.
Once you get the list of fonts, copy the URL of the fonts and paste them into preload fonts section. Once you add this, it helps you to get a google page speed score.
Not only page speed score even your website load time also reduces a little bit.
Advanced Rules helps to modify the cache that setup in the cached module. Here you can mention pages that you don’t want to cache, cookies, and more.
WPRocket Database Module
Database module helps you to do mainly cleanup activities. This cleanup activity helps to delete unwanted DB.
Post cleanup does cleaning activities in post revisions, drafts, and trash.
Revision Scenario: Currently, I wrote a post in MSWord, verified the grammar checks in Grammarly, and pasted them in WP. After pasting, I need to update the headings, adding links, FAQs, and more.
Each time while update, we will click the save draft button to avoid data loss. Whenever I click the save button, a revision will be created, so it will help to avoid data loss. In another situation, if you update mistakenly, then you can go for an old version.
Think you have 100 posts, and each post has five revisions, then your DB would have nearly 500 versions of posts this eat your DB.
Auto Draft Scenario: Example I updated the post, and later I felt like I don’t need this post because it not important.
This kind of scenario is minimum in single-author blogs, but it can happen.
Another situation is you might paste the content WordPress editor, and you might move from your place for some call or anything. That time WP might create a draft version.
Trashed Post: Sometimes, we don’t require a post because it might be an outdated or unused post. Example of how to set ringtone in Nokia 1100. Just think having this post on your website is no use because no use Nokia 1100 nowadays.
Like this post, you can delete it so it will move to trash.
Now you understood revision, Auto drafts, and Trashed posts in WordPress. So, in this WPRocket module, it helps to clean up all the posts.
Cleanup is deleting those entries or details in the DB
I always recommend not to check drafts because sometimes you will keep some posts to update and publish. This action will delete the entire draft post from the DB, so you can’t get it back up. Your entire work and time will be wasted.
Why do we clean trash and post revision?
Post revision and trash posts are not required, so you can clean delete them to save space in your DB and increase performance.
Comments Cleanup and Transients Cleanup
Comments cleanup deletes the spam and trashed comments. Always don’t keep unwanted spam comment delete completely from DB.
Transients cleanup helps to clear the temporary options entry in WordPress. This transient helps plugins to get the data using API. But it is not always required after some days; it will expire automatically before that; if you want to delete it, you can this cleanup.
This is an important part of WP Rocket. It optimizes the WordPress database and cleans the unwanted data.
Database stores all your data, whether important or non-important.
Situation: You install and using the Yoast SEO plugin, and after that, you heard about Rankmath. Some of your friends say Rankmath is good, and so you want to give it a try. That time you uninstalled and deleted the Yoast plugin. This will not delete everything from the database. Few of the options will be in DB.
Optimizing the database using WP rocket helps you delete the unwanted data in DA and optimize your DB for better performance.
CDN is one of the important features of a website. CDN helps to improve your website speed by delivering the website by quick transfer and nearest to the website visitor.
WP Rocket has CDN that helps to integrate CDN features. You can buy CDN services from Cloud CDN, Rocket CDN, and many more.
Once you have the CDN services, enter the URL in the plugin. Based on the requirement, you can get select all files or a specific file.
If you want to serve only the images from the CDN network, then select Images.
If the site uses third-party JS code like google analytics or pixel code, it will load from their that delay your website’s load.
This module helps to download those files and serve locally, so your page speed increases.
When you are using those third-party features, then select based on that.
WP Rocket doesn’t have an inbuilt option for image optimization, so you need to install separate plugins for that.
WP Rocket Setup Guide to Get Good Page Speed Score
Now we have seen al the features of WP Rocket Now let see how to configure efficiently to get good page speed result.
Before WP Rocket Results
Desktop Score and Mobile Score
As you both scores are so terrific more than that LCP and speed index also high. This test is without installing any cache plugin and tested.
Now I will install the WP rocket plugin and do. Totally I had 34 Active plugins + 1 WP Rocket plugin.
I Enabled caching for mobile devices and lifespan as 48 Hours.
File Optimization Settings
WP Rocket CSS Optimization Settings
Selected Minify CSS Files, Combine CSS files, and selected optimize delivery but didn’t add any code, but I will come later to that particular setting.
WP Rocket JS Optimization Settings
WP Rocket Image Optimization Settings
Enabled Images, Iframes, and Videos options and added the logo in excluded in images. The logo is at the top of the page, and the lazy load option is to delay the load of the images below the fold content.
Select missing dimension for the images options and don’t select Enable webp caching because we don’t have any required plugin.
Webp plugin I will do in the last.
Select Activate Preloading so your website pages and posts will be cached by WP rocket before it access by the user.
In https://gtmetrix.com, Run your website for a speed test. In the result, select waterfall and then select fonts.
From here, you select the font list but the fonts which are hosted on your website. Example third line is hosted in the external, so don’t add here. To load those fonts locally, WP Rocket doesn’t have an option, so we install a separate plugin for that later.
If you test your site on google page speed, it will improve slightly but not greatly. So we need to add few more plugins to do that.
- OMGF | Host Google Fonts Locally
- WebP Converter for Media
OMGF helps to serve the external fonts locally. It Downloads the google fonts and hosts them locally, so there is no need to wait for the fonts to load from the third-party server. This helps in improving your website page speed.
WebP plugin converts the JPEG and PNG images to Webp images. Webp helps to improve the website speed and Serve images in next-gen formats.
Another important point to get the score is to optimize CSS delivery that needs a critical CSS path. You can generate a critical CSS path using the WP Rocket plugin or with other free methods.
I generated using https://www.sitelocity.com/critical-path-css-generator
I have used Jnews Theme with a separate amp theme, so with the default desktop theme, the mobile score is bad. If you have a good WordPress theme, then both desktop and mobile scores would be good.
I am getting 90+ as a mobile score and 98 as a desktop score. I am using the below hosting theme with WP Rocket Plugin.
A2Hosting | Generate Press Theme | WP Rocket Cache Plugin
Other Couple of Site’s WebVital Results
My BloggingCrop has both mobile and desktop scores above 90.
Quick WP Rocket Setup Summary
- Select Enable Cache for the mobile device in Cache options and select life span as 48 hours.
- Select Minify, Combine CSS files and JS files.
- Update Optimize CSS delivery using https://www.sitelocity.com output.
- Lazy load Enable for images, iframes, and videos, add the logo in Excluded images, select Add missing image dimension, and disable WordPress embeds.
- Add fonts URL in Preload fonts after removing your domain URL, add external domain details in the prefetch DNS request.
Is WP Rocket Free?
No, WP Rocket free, and no trial version also. But 100% money-back guarantee if you request for refund within 14 days.
Is WP Rocket Worth It?
Yes, WP Rocket worth your money. It improves your website speed score, and loading speed will be awesome. You can use our coupon to get a discount. A good page speed website ranks well in google search, so it improves your business.
How to Use WP Rocket Plugin?
WP Rocket plugin is a cache and optimization plugin. You can follow the steps in the article to use WP Rocket.
Does WP Rocket Compress Images?
No WP Rocket doesn’t compress images; you need a separate plugin to do that. You can use EWWW Image Optimizer or Smush free versions.
How to Uninstall WP Rocket?
To uninstall WP Rocket, need to deactivate first in the plugins section. Next need to click the delete button to delete it.
What are the WPRocket Black Friday Offer and discount coupons?
WP Rocket gives a 30% discount on the Black Friday offer.
WP Rocket is the mandatory plugin for all WordPress users.
WP Rocket Pricing
WP Rocket gives three types of licenses to the users, i.e., Single, Plus, and Infinite.
Single: You can use WP Rocket in a single website with one year of updates.
Plus: You can use WP Rocket on three websites with one year of updates.
Infinite: You can use WP Rocket on unlimited websites with one year of updates.
During renewal, you need to pay only 70% of the price, i.e., a 30% discount. Example: If you bought a plus license for 99 dollars, you need to pay 69USD only during renewal.
If you don’t renew, then you can’t get support and the new updates, but you can use the plugin.
You can upgrade you plugin from single to plus and infinite plan also.
Few other free WordPress plugins are there, but they can help improve the site but not like WPRocket. WP Rocket premium caching plugin is one of the important and required plugins for a WordPress website.
This WPRocket Review guide helps you to setup the plugin to get the maximum result out of it and improve your core web vital score. Regardless of cheap hosting, WP Rocket improves the website speed.
I would say everyone should try the trial version and check how it works on your website.