I’ll be blunt: LiteSpeed Cache is better than WP Rocket – at least for most sites.
I broke down each plugin’s features and show you exactly why LiteSpeed Cache is faster than WP Rocket. Sure, I could have thrown up some before & after GTmetrix reports “comparing” them both, but you really have to test them yourself since each website is obviously different.
I actually switched to FlyingPress since Cloudways Vultr HF (my current host) doesn’t use LiteSpeed. But I seriously wish I could use LiteSpeed Cache since I know it’s the better cache plugin. I’ve had plenty of time to mess around with it on other sites and always had great results.
I also cover which CDN you should use, links to tutorials on configuring each one’s settings, links to their Facebook Groups, and other helpful info. Leave a comment if I missed anything.
- LiteSpeed Cache Requires A LiteSpeed Server
- LiteSpeed Cache vs WP Rocket In Facebook Polls
- Features Comparison
- Server-Side Caching
- Image Optimization
- Redis + Memcached Object Cache
- CDNs: QUIC.cloud vs. Cloudflare vs. StackPath
- Guest Mode
- Better Security
- Cloudflare APO Compatibility
- Database Optimization
- Better Control (But Harder Configuration)
- LiteSpeed Cache Is Free
- How To Setup LiteSpeed Cache’s Settings
- How To Setup WP Rocket’s Settings
- Join The LiteSpeed + WP Rocket Facebook Groups
1. LiteSpeed Cache Requires A LiteSpeed Server
You can use LiteSpeed Cache on any server, but LiteSpeed’s exclusive features (shown on the plugin page) are only available when you use a LiteSpeed server. And since it includes key features like automatic page caching and HTTP/3 & QUIC, you really want to use a LiteSpeed host to get the most out of it. WP Rocket can be used with any server and doesn’t limit features.
You must use a LiteSpeed host to use all LiteSpeed Cache’s features. I recommend NameHero (aff link) over other hosts like A2 since they’re faster with better support, feedback, and have a 4.7/5 TrustPilot rating. Hostinger writes fake reviews and is bad.
2. LiteSpeed Cache vs WP Rocket In Facebook Polls
WP Rocket used to be the #1 cache plugin in Facebook polls – until LiteSpeed Cache came along. As more people move to LiteSpeed servers, LiteSpeed Cache has quickly been making its way to the top spot in at least a few polls. LiteSpeed is still relatively new but is steadily growing to a more mainstream option. I have a feeling it will soon become just as popular as WP Rocket.
These are older polls on “the best cache plugin” where WP Rocket is #1. Since around 2019, LiteSpeed has seen huge growth, so make sure you’re looking at recent polls and not old ones.
3. Features Comparison
The main differences between LiteSpeed Cache vs WP Rocket are:
- LiteSpeed Cache’s server-side caching is faster than WP Rocket’s file-based caching. This may (or may not) improve core web vital scores, but the faster caching can result in a noticeable speed increase when clicking through pages.
- LiteSpeed Cache is “more” compatible with Cloudflare’s APO, WP Rocket is not.
- LiteSpeed Cache and QUIC.cloud can optimize images. WP Rocket doesn’t support image optimization, so you would need to install a separate plugin.
- LiteSpeed Cache does Redis/memcached object caching, WP Rocket does not.
- LiteSpeed offers QUIC.cloud CDN which has a free/paid plan and supports HTTP/3. RocketCDN uses StackPath which isn’t great. Both can use Cloudflare.
- WP Rocket is easier to configure. While LiteSpeed Cache has more settings, it gives you better control of how certain things are optimized (i.e. logged-in users). It also has more features (i.e. Guest Mode, ESI, image optimization, object cache).
- LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud CDN are free, WP Rocket + RocketCDN aren’t.
4. Server-Side Caching
LiteSpeed Cache uses server-side caching which is much faster than WP Rocket’s slower file-based caching. It uses LSAPI for PHP processing which is faster than PHP-FPM and other forms of PHP. Very few cache plugins use server-side caching (SiteGround Optimizer and Kinsta’s MU plugin are some of the only ones). Even though faster caching may not directly improve your PageSpeed scores, you should see a noticeable improvement when clicking through your site.
5. Image Optimization
WP Rocket doesn’t include image optimization which means you would need to install an extra plugin like ShortPixel or Imagify.
LiteSpeed Cache and QUIC do an excellent job with image optimization. They have settings for lazy loading, WebP, placeholders, LQIP, and others. It does just as good of a job as most image optimization plugins, so there’s no need to use a separate plugin when using LiteSpeed Cache.
6. Redis + Memcached Object Cache
LiteSpeed Cache provides Redis and memcached for object caching (I prefer Redis especially for reducing memory usage, speeding up the admin, and for WooCommerce or larger, complex websites). WP Rocket doesn’t provide object cache at all, so this is a bonus for LiteSpeed Cache. Redis/memcached can be found in LiteSpeed Cache’s object settings (only one can be enabled).
To pass the connection test, you’ll need to activate Redis or memcached in your hosting account. In cPanel, you would usually do this under Select PHP Version → PHP Extensions.
7. CDNs: QUIC.cloud vs. Cloudflare vs. StackPath
Which CDN should you use?
- QUIC.cloud – freemium CDN built specifically to work on top of LiteSpeed Cache. It has 70 PoPs and supports HTTP/3, image optimizations, page optimizations, and security features. QUIC.cloud offers a free plan but also has a paid plan with additional features. If you do decide to use QUIC.cloud, NameHero’s YouTube video has nice setup instructions.
- Cloudflare – free CDN with many optimizations (Argo, firewall, 200+ PoPs, APO, etc.) which improves both speed and security. Regardless if you use Cloudflare’s CDN, you should consider using them for your DNS (by changing nameservers and updating DNS records) since they’re one of the fastest DNS providers shown on dnsperf.com. To activate their CDN, go to the DNS settings and change your website from “DNS Only” to “Proxied.”
- RocketCDN – paid CDN which uses StackPath who has 45 edge locations. StackPath isn’t the most performant or reliable CDN and were actually removed from cdnperf.com after they had major issues and were constantly in the red. There are better CDNs available.
- BunnyCDN – third-party CDN not related to LiteSpeed Cache or WP Rocket, but highly recommended in Facebook Groups, what I use, and fast/reliable on cdnperf.com. You will need to create a pull zone, copy your CDN URL, and use the BunnyCDN plugin to set it up.
8. Guest Mode
The guest mode in LiteSpeed Cache can greatly improve load time for first time visitors.
It does this by saving time reading cookies, looking for cache varies, and processing ESI. It has great feedback in FB Groups, but it can increase CPU and doesn’t work with Cloudflare’s APO.
WP Rocket doesn’t include guest mode or similar options.
LiteSpeed Cache uses ESI, WP Rocket does not.
ESI (edge side includes) lets you cache eCommerce pages by “punching holes” on a page, are filled with shopping cart data and other private content, then the mixed-content page can be fully cached. This is one reason why LiteSpeed Cache is better for large/WooCommerce sites.
10. Better Security
WP Rocket doesn’t secure your site at all, but LiteSpeed (specifically QUIC.cloud CDN) has built-in security against brute-force attacks, DDOS protection, WAF, among other features.
11. Cloudflare APO Compatibility
Cloudflare’s APO is “kind of” compatible with LiteSpeed Cache, but not with WP Rocket. You may need to do research and read some forums on using APO with LiteSpeed, but it’s definitely possible. I recommend starting by reading their APO instructions which are summarized here:
- Install and activate the Cloudflare WordPress plugin.
- Enable Automatic Platform Optimization in the plugin.
- Clear any server cache used via other plugins.
- The Guest Mode setting must be disabled in LSC.
- Verify that your origin starts serving the response header “cf-edge-cache: cache,platform=wordpress”.
12. Database Optimization
Both LiteSpeed Cache and WP Rocket clean your database of post revisions, transients, spam comments, etc. The main difference is WP Rocket lets you schedule ongoing database cleanups while you have to do it manually with LiteSpeed Cache. However, LiteSpeed Cache lets you control post revisions better by setting a max number of post revisions and the age they expire.
Neither plugin let you go through your database tables and remove tables left behind by old plugins you deleted. I recommend WP-Optimize for doing a better cleaning of your database.
13. Better Control (But Harder Configuration)
The main downside of LiteSpeed Cache is that it’s harder to configure than WP Rocket.
It takes time to learn what each setting does and whether it should be enabled or disabled. Make sure you follow an in-depth tutorial on configuring their settings since it’s different for each website and may require some testing in PageSpeed Insights. While LiteSpeed Cache gives you better control, the extensive settings can be a big con if you’re not familiar with the terms.
14. LiteSpeed Cache Is Free
LiteSpeed Cache is free when you use a LiteSpeed server. WP Rocket is $49/year for a single website. And if you use QUIC.cloud or Cloudflare, you don’t need to pay for RocketCDN either.
WP Rocket does have a 10% off coupon if you sign up for their email list (they also give discounts if you renew early), but it’s an extra cost that could be put towards something else.
15. How To Setup LiteSpeed Cache’s Settings
Below are “quick settings” to setup LiteSpeed Cache, but use my full LiteSpeed Cache tutorial to configure all them. There are lots of settings, so make sure to go through each one carefully.
- General settings → request domain key.
- Link to QUIC.cloud after enabling QUIC.cloud CDN.
- General settings → guest mode → On.
- General settings → enter your server’s IP address.
- Cache → disable cache logged-in users + commenters.
- Cache → enable cache mobile if you’re using guest mode.
- Cache → object → Enable memcached or redis (I like redis).
- Cache → object → disabled cache wp-admin (you can test this).
- Activate redis or memcached extension in cPanel (see instructions).
- Cache → browser → browser cache → On.
- CDN → QUIC.cloud CDN → On.
- Sign up for QUIC.cloud and login to dashboard.
- QUIC.cloud dashboard → CDN → enable CDN.
- Use CNAME record for setting up QUIC.cloud.
- Copy address provided by QUIC.cloud.
- Login to cPanel → Zone Editor → Manage.
- Change www domain record to QUIC.cloud address.
- Enable static cache + QUIC Backend in QUIC.cloud.
- Test QUIC.cloud to make sure it’s working and test results.
- Image optimization summary → do this after configuring settings.
- Image optimization settings → auto request cron → On.
- Image optimization settings → optimize losslessly → On.
- Image optimization settings → preserve EXIF/XMP data → Off.
- Image optimization settings → image WebP replacement → On.
- Image optimization settings → WebP for extra srcset → On.
- Page optimization → minify HTML, CSS, JS → On.
- Page optimization → load CSS asynchronously → test.
- Page optimization → load JS deferred → deferred (test).
- Page optimization → DNS prefetch → prefetch third-party domains.
- Page optimization → DNS prefetch control → On.
- Page optimization → lazy load images → On.
- Page optimization → lazy load iframes → On.
- Page optimization → add missing sizes → On.
- Page optimization → inline lazy load images library → On.
- Page optimization → gravatar cache + cron → On.
- Database → clean your database once in a while.
- Database → revisions max number → 10 is fine.
- Toolbox → heartbeat → enable all, then 120, 0, 60 respectively.
16. How To Setup WP Rocket’s Settings
You can either watch my YouTube video or read my WP Rocket tutorial.
17. Join The LiteSpeed + WP Rocket Facebook Groups
Join the LiteSpeed and WP Rocket Facebook Groups – both are super helpful!
I did a good amount of research in these groups when comparing LiteSpeed Cache vs. WP Rocket, but feel free to search the groups yourself. They have conversations on Cloudflare’s APO, using the plugins with WooCommerce, and other very specific questions/answers. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, feel free to leave me a comment with any questions.