If you switch to Rocket.net and your TTFB/LCP aren’t faster than your previous host, I openly welcome you to post results in the comments or cuss me out at email@example.com.
Rocket.net with their Cloudflare Enterprise has the fastest TTFB I’ve seen, averaging <100ms globally which you can test in KeyCDN (see report below). And since TTFB is 40% of LCP with hosting/CDN being the top 2 factors, this can make a huge improvement to core web vitals – especially if you’re coming from SiteGround, Kinsta, Hostinger, and other overglorified hosts.
There are tons of BS hosting reviews + speed tests out there. And yes, I’m biased because I’m an affiliate who appreciates you using my links. But here are one, two, and three other people who posted before and after results, along with unbiased Facebook feedback and more TTFB results.
Why Rocket.net is faster in a nutshell:
All plans have 32 CPU cores + 128GB RAM with NVMe SSDs, Redis, and LiteSpeed’s PHP. Their Cloudflare Enterprise is better than Cloudways/Kinsta’s because not only is it free and setup automatically, but it uses full page caching (unlike Cloudways) with Argo Smart Routing, load balancing, and image optimization (unlike Kinsta). They also don’t limit PHP workers because only about 10% of traffic hits your origin server. You also get other Enterprise CDN features like prioritized routing, HTTP/3, WAF, and one of the largest CDN networks with over 275+ locations.
I can also pretty much guarantee their support is the best you’ll find. Ben Gabler and his team live and breath hosting and Ben’s background is crazy impressive (reach out and see yourself). Finally, Rocket.net is very hands-off. After requesting a free migration, the only thing I did was upgrade to PHP 8.1 and ask for Redis. They also have a perfect TrustPilot rating. The only reason you don’t hear about them more is because they don’t do aggressive marketing like other hosts.
When signing up, you can use my (aff link) to get your first month for $1. And on a side note, I get roughly the same commission no matter which host I recommend. Rocket.net is just better.
- Rocket.net vs. [SiteGround, Kinsta, WPX, Cloudways Vultr HF]
- 100ms global TTFB + faster LCP
- Cloudflare Enterprise beats Cloudways/Kinsta’s
- No PHP worker limits + 10-25x monthly visits
- 32 cores + 128GB RAM + NVMe SSDs
- Redis is free on all plans
- Top performer in Kevin Ohashi’s hosting benchmarks
- Ben Gabler
- Support is better than Kinsta’s
- Migrations are free/fast
- Low storage + bandwidth
- No email hosting
- Innovation pays off
- Inside the dashboard
- All 5 star TrustPilot reviews
- Try Rocket.net for $1
1. Rocket.net vs. [SiteGround, Kinsta, WPX, Cloudways Vultr HF]
|SiteGround||Kinsta||WPX||Cloudways Vultr High Frequency||Rocket.net|
|Hosting type||Shared||Cloud||Shared||Cloud||Private cloud|
|CPU cores + RAM||Not listed||12 cores + 8GB||Not listed||1 core + 1GB||32 cores + 128GB|
|Object cache||Memcached||Redis ($100/mo)||x||Redis (Pro)||Redis|
|Server||Apache + Nginx||Nginx||LiteSpeed||Apache||Apache + Nginx|
|Bandwidth (or monthly visits)||5TB||25k visits/mo||200GB||1TB||50GB + 250k visits/mo|
|CDN||SiteGround CDN||Cloudflare Enterprise||QUIC.cloud or XDN||Cloudflare Enterprise||Cloudflare Enterprise|
|Full page caching||✓||✓||✓||Coming soon||✓|
|Argo smart routing||x||x||x||✓||✓|
|CDN price||Freemium||Free||$.01 – $.04/GB||$5/mo||Free|
|CPU limits||Common||Low PHP workers||At their discretion||Average||None|
|Cache plugin||SG Optimizer||x||LSC or W3TC||Breeze||x|
|Email hosting||✓||x||Very limited||x||x|
|Major incidents||Google blocked DNS for 4 days||None||Worldwide outage||None||None|
|Free migration||$30/site||Unlimited free||5-35 sites free||1 free||Unlimited free|
|Price||$3-8/mo (1 year) then $15-40/mo||$29/mo (yearly)||$20.83 (yearly)||$18/mo (with CF Enterprise)||$25/mo (yearly)|
|Specs||View specs||View specs||View specs||View specs||View specs|
You have to dig around their websites to find these, so here are some links:
- Rocket.net specs with 32 CPU + 128GB RAM + NVMe
- Cloudways specs with NVMe and Redis Object Cache Pro
- WPX CPU limits and worldwide outage
- Kinsta specs with 12 CPU + 8GB RAM and $100/mo Redis
- SiteGround specs with 14 CDN PoPs and DNS blocked by Google
- WP Engine barely lists any specs, but I can tell you they’re way slower
2. 100ms Global TTFB + Faster LCP
The “correct” way to measure TTFB is to run your site about 3 times through SpeedVitals. According to them, this ensures resources are cached and served from the CDN’s closest data center. SpeedVitals measures TTFB in 35 locations and shows your average TTFB worldwide. And since TTFB is 40% of LCP, you should see improvements in multiple areas of core web vitals.
100% GTmetrix scores are good, but look at that TTFB/fully loaded time.
My results in the WordPress Hosting Benchmark plugin:
PSI is “meh” for measuring hosting performance and results aren’t always the same:
All URLs pass core web vitals in Search Console:
3. Cloudflare Enterprise Beats Cloudways/Kinsta’s
CDNs are one of the best ways to improve TTFB (especially for global visitors, but local visitors too). You really can’t beat Cloudflare Enterprise with their large network and speed/security features. Rocket.net’s Cloudflare Enterprise is better than Cloudways/Kinsta’s because not only is it free and setup automatically on every website, but it has more Enterprise features too.
Why Rocket.net’s Is Better
- Setup automatically.
- Has full page caching.
- Uses all 270+ Cloudflare PoPs.
- Built-in WAF rules working behind the scenes.
- Rocket.net’s servers are located in the same data centers as Cloudflare’s.
- Has Argo Smart Routing which is great for WooCommerce/dynamic sites.
- Ben Gabler was Cheif Product Officer at StackPath and I trust his experience with CDNs.
- Serves 1 challenge page to wp-login, then it’s gone for a year (none for logged-out users).
Cloudways is $5/mo per domain, requires some configuration, and doesn’t have full page caching. Kinsta’s doesn’t have Argo Smart Routing, image optimization, or load balancing.
- Prioritized Routing – your traffic is prioritized and less likely to get congested.
- Argo Smart Routing + Tiered Cache – detects real-time traffic congestion and routes traffic through the fastest network paths. Cloudflare says assets load 30% faster and reduces requests to your origin server (meaning less bandwidth usage).
- WAF – you need a firewall for security. Rocket.net also has built-in WAF rules and Imunify360 to protect protocols (i.e. FTP + SFTP) and real-time malware scanning.
- Image Optimization – Mirage, Polish, and image resizing typically do a better job than image optimization plugins. They’re automatic too (you don’t need a plugin).
- Load Balancing – re-routes traffic from unhealthy origin servers to healthy origins.
- Brotli – compress pages to even smaller file sizes compared to GZIP compression.
- Smart Caching – smart caching uses less resources when purging the cache by identifying what needs purging and when, then only purges necessary assets (i.e HTML) instead of Cloudflare’s entire cache (fill out the request form to get this).
You shouldn’t need to use any backup, image optimization, or security plugins since Rocket.net does all these for you, although external backups are always a good idea.
Be sure to benchmark TTFB, latency, LCP, and other metrics since hosting affects these too.
4. No PHP Worker Limits + 10-25x Monthly Visits
A huge issue with most hosts is being forced to upgrade because of CPU limits (SiteGround), PHP workers (Kinsta), and low memory.
Rocket.net doesn’t limit PHP workers since only about 10% of traffic hits your origin server due to how effective their Cloudflare Enterprise is. You can also check out their case study for a site with 1M+ visitors per 60 minutes where the need to scale PHP workers was virtually eliminated.
Here is Rocket.net’s chart:
Now compare it to Kinsta’s who recommends WooCommerce sites start at $115/month because of their brutal limitations on PHP workers. Rocket.net also has 10-25x monthly visits.
Rocket.net, Kinsta, and WP Engine all count visits which are more than what Google Analytics tells you since it includes unknown bots and users with ad blockers (around 42.7% of people). The cheapest Rocket.net plan has 250k monthly visits, so it’s unlikely you’ll reach these limits.
5. 32 Cores + 128GB RAM + NVMe SSDs
This is listed on their blog.
- 2 x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2667 v2 @ 3.30GHz (32 Cores)
- 128GB RAM
- RAIDED NVMe SSDs (they recently made this switch)
On Kinsta, live site containers have access to only 12 CPUs + 8GB of RAM. That’s 16x more RAM on Rocket.net. Kinsta uses network SSDs with slower read/write speeds and limited resources. For $26/month on Cloudways Vultr High Frequency, you would only get 1 CPU core + 2GB RAM.
Rocket.net was in the top tier when Kevin Ohashi ran $25-$50 WP Hosting Performance Benchmarks. But Ben still wasn’t satisfied which is when they switched from SSDs to NVMe.
Rocket.net doesn’t limit cores/RAM on staging sites so you’ll still have access to 32 cores + 128GB RAM. Most other hosting companies do limit cores/RAM on staging sites, for example, Kinsta only allows 1 CPU core + 8GB RAM. Not that you need all 128, but it’s a lot better than 1.
These tests were done using WP Hosting Benchmarks which you can try yourself.
6. Redis Is Free On All Plans
Redis is free on all Rocket.net plans and Enterprise plans use Redis Object Cache Pro.
Redis is arguably faster than memcached especially for WooCommerce sites. However, several hosts either don’t support it (they use memcached instead) or they charge $100/mo like Kinsta.
You’ll need to install the Redis Object Cache plugin to use it (or contact support). It depends on the site, but this (and upgrading PHP versions) are the only tweaks I did when using Rocket.net.
7. Top Performer In Kevin Ohashi’s Hosting Benchmarks
Rocket.net was a top performer in Kevin Ohashi’s WP Hosting Benchmarks.
Anyone who’s been around the block knows Kevin’s tests are some of the most reliable out there. These YouTubers and “fastest WordPress hosting speed tests” are garbage and ranked based on commissions, while Kevin’s methodology and non-affiliated results are more accurate.
Remember, these were taken before Rocket.net added NVMe.
8. Ben Gabler
Ben’s credentials are ridiculously good: COO at HostGator, Chief Product Officer at StackPath, Senior Product Manager at GoDaddy, and now CEO of Rocket.net. I honestly can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a genius when it comes to performance and is always looking out for customers to make sure you’re treated right (which also shows in their TrustPilot reviews).
9. Support Is Better Than Kinsta’s
Who picked up the phone the first two times I called? Ben.
It goes against every rule in the book when the CEO answers the phone, yet it shows you he cares. I prepared a list of questions and had my notes ready, then we were done in 5 minutes.
The next time I called, I finally realized it was Ben and we talked for a good 45 minutes.
I thought I knew my stuff decently well but Rocket.net’s support makes me look like an idiot (take it as a compliment to them). If you think Kinsta’s support is good, Rocket.net is like a consultation every time you call. No constantly referring you to DIY articles, pushing upgrades, or excuses. Being on the phone with tech support honestly sounds awful… not with Rocket.net.
10. Migrations Are Free/Fast
I used their free migration service and they did it in about 2 hours with 0 downtime. They also sent me a testing site to make sure everything looked good, which it did. Here’s a trick: go to their TrustPilot profile and search “migrated” (or similar) to see people who’ve already done it.
11. Low Storage + Bandwidth
Rocket.net’s storage/bandwidth are low because their technology/support are better.
You’ll probably be paying more if you’re moving from cheap/shared hosting, but paying less if you’re moving from other “premium hosts” like Kinsta/WP Engine. I’m not going to sit here and pretend Rocket.net’s for everyone. Speed, support, and price are usually a “pick 2” kind of deal. Rocket.net excels with the first 2 (arguably the best in the industry) and sometimes hits the 3rd.
Disc space (NVMe SSDs) naturally cost more than SATA SSDs used on most other hosts. You’re also getting higher quality bandwidth from Cloudflare’s edge while hosts like Cloudways (who include 1TB bandwidth on their lowest plan) only deliver the bandwidth from 1 single location.
So, how much do you care about speed?
My website is my baby. Between conversions and SEO (and I write about it of course), I care about speed a lot. I’ll do pretty much anything to make it faster. So naturally, I want the fastest host as long as it’s not crazy expensive. That’s why at least for my case, Rocket.net made sense.
That said, I recommend logging into your current hosting account to see how much storage + bandwidth you’re using so you can figure out which plan you’ll need. I’m not trying to steer anyone in the wrong direction, but if they’re within your budget, then hell yeah. Try them out.
12. No Email Hosting
To be fair, most premium hosts don’t have email hosting either: Cloudways, RunCloud, Kinsta, etc. Keeping your web/email hosting separate is a good idea anyway (I use Google Workspace).
13. Innovation Pays Off
I feel like the AMD vs. Intel story is also happening in the hosting industry.
Too many hosts are sitting on an outdated stack and overcharging customers. They’re putting more effort into marketing and building their affiliate program than their hosting. Then comes Rocket.net who not only surpasses them in performance, but is quick to react on customer feedback and invests heavily in technology/support. I think in the next 1-2 years or so, other hosting companies will lose market share to Rocket.net, then it’ll be their turn to play catch up.
Realistically speaking, I do think more affiliates will sign up for Rocket.net’s affiliate program once they discover their performance, plus it’s $150/sale commission without climbing tiers.
14. Inside The Dashboard
One thing I dread about moving hosts is learning a new dashboard.
This took 10 minutes to get familiar with. Add your website in the “Sites” tab, select your data center, and install WordPress (turn “WP Recommended plugins” off). Everything is listed on top: automatic daily backups, file manager, visitor analytics, and be sure to use latest PHP versions.
15. All 5 Star TrustPilot Reviews
As of writing this, Rocket.net has all perfect 5/5 reviews on their TrustPilot profile.
They don’t have a whole lot of reviews because they’re still relatively small, which is a good thing IMO. Look at hosts like SiteGround/Kinsta. They grew too big and the quality went down.
16. Try Rocket.net For $1
Step 1: Create a Rocket.net account and you’re prompted to add a coupon. Use OMM1 to get your first month for $1 (renews at $30/month or $300/year (2 months free) when paying yearly.
Step 2: Request free migration. Mine was done in just a couple hours with no downtime and they show you your website to check for errors before it’s launched. It was quick and painless.
Step 3: Upgrade to PHP 8.1 and ask support to install Redis. These are the only things you should need to do since Cloudflare Enterprise and backups are automatic.
Step 4: Retest your TTFB and click through your site to see the difference. PageSpeed Insights can take 28 days to update results, so use other tools (SpeedVitals, GTmetrix, or WebPageTest).
Should I keep caching enabled in FlyingPress when using Rocket.net?
Yes. Ben confirmed you should keep it enabled in case the cache is stale on the edge.
Do I need FlyingCDN (from FlyingPress) on Rocket.net?
No. FlyingCDN uses BunnyCDN's Bunny Optimizer for image optimization, so the two overlap in features. Plus, you really don't need another CDN with Cloudflare Enterprise.
How does Rocket.net optimize images?
Cloudflare Mirage/Polish, which means you don't need an image optimization plugin. If you don't see an image is optimized on the frontend, it probably means the savings weren't high enough for Cloudflare to optimize (which is why you may not see it served in WebP).
What do I do with the Rocket.net CDN URL?
To my knowledge, you don't need to do anything with this.
If you move to Rocket.net and take before & after screenshots of your results (i.e. in SpeedVitals) and let me use them on my site (or post them on Facebook or Twitter), I’ll comp you a 45 min. phone call where you can ask me whatever you want (like this one). I can blur out your site/name if you prefer – I just want to show people unbiased results.
I am a new client of rocket.net, thanks to your review. If you want a managed environment I would recommend them. Thought, I think you are ignoring information here.
Two things to comment from
If you are on the starter plan that comes with 10GB, take in mind that if you want to use the staging option it will clone your site and take over your storage, so if your site is 6GB and create a Staging site, that would mean you would take over 12gb you just took all your space and more, the same with manual backups.
Optimized for WooCommerce
Automated daily backups (they are hosted in another server)
Expensive and low Bandwith
Staging is a good feature, but if it takes over your Storage it cant be used for small plans
Manual Backups also takes over your space
Thanks for your honest opinion Stefano, I will add the bit about staging/backups taking up storage.
Thanks for sharing this blog, Keep it up!
I just tested a site on Rocket.net. It actually had slightly worse (by a few points) Google Lighthouse and GTMetrix scores compared to my Cloudways site.
However. during load testing with Loader.io it performed much better but still crashed with 200 sustained users per second.
Hm, not sure why Cloudways would give you better results. I made the same switch and would ask:
It’s also worth noting that if you were testing on a temporary URL at Rocket.net, no premium plugins like WP-Rocket work because of the license.
Comparing a test site with no traffic vs a live site with traffic also makes a difference.
Typically we’re 3-5x faster globally than cloudways at minimum. The only possible way to see “better” results on a commodity cloud provider/control plane like cloudways is if you’re comparing optimized HTML/CSS/JS against non optimized HTML/CSS/JS.
If you could email me both GTMetrix reports I’d be happy to take a look, but 9 times out of 10 that’s the issue :)
I’d also love to know what kind of test you ran for concurrent users. If they were dynamic requests then the test was probably more of a DDoS simulation than real human simulation.
In any case, would love to know more so we can do better if there is in fact an issue.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Kudos, what a splendid article.
Tom, I follow your content and appreciate it. I have been reading your articles since, some time now.
I recently switched to Rocket.net. It’s fast. It’s secure. It’s easy. However, the support is not great. It feels just a bit better than almost any other host out there. From your article, and the verbiage on their website, I expected much better quality support.
I’m sorry you feel that way Muhammad. What went wrong if you don’t mind me asking?
I do think their support is top notch based off a few things: my experience, feedback through blog comments/emails people have sent me, and feedback I’ve seen in other places like FB groups.
They have a great reputation and it’s something Ben has always taken seriously, so I’m genuinely curious what happened.
While no one is perfect, we try our very best to be as close to perfect as we can be.
In almost three years this is the first time I’ve seen “our support is not great”. We take great pride in our customer experience and always go above and beyond for our customers unlike any other host in the world (based off my twenty years of experience ranging from Hostgator to Godaddy).
Please email me directly email@example.com so I can look into this further as a subpar support experience is simply not acceptable nor is it a thing at Rocket.net.
I guess not many take time to post about their experience.
I would like to, because I didn’t had a smooth experience either.
I’ve had a similar experience getting my domain correctly pointed.
Not sure what the name of the support guy was, but I had to tell him what the solution was. It felt a bit like he was trying to Google the answers. At the end I told him what the issue was. The domain forward/setup tool felt a bit buggy, might need some checks. Sometimes it was checking SSL, failed, needed to redo from step 1 and then suddenly it was in step 3.
The domain forward/setup tool also asked for a domain name , i.e. domain.com , but things stopped working for me then, when I then put in http://www.domain.com everything worked again. At other hosting companies it doesn’t matter, it’ll work if you either fill in with or without “www”. Or if you can only use without “www” it fixes it with the setup / WP installation. That was my 1st encounter of not going smooth.
My site was also migrated to show the speed of Rocket.net (which is great, nothing to complain about that). Although noticed sometimes a bit lower speed, as if the server needed to get out of sleep mode and as soon as it was going (+/- 5 – 10sec, full speed – no that’s my own connection, noticed it also in GTMetrix sometimes).
The migration itself was not done properly. All plug-ins were deactivated, Gravater image not showing anymore + my existing user account in Wordpress was gone. I fixed that myself, but do want to mention it, perhaps good feedback for future improvment. It felt a bit like the migration was rushed.
Lastly, I cancelled my account. I received a confirmation mail -> “The service will be terminated within the next 24 hours.”.
Checked today if all was taken care, but I don’t have an account anymore, it got fully deleted, instead of only the hostingservice. Would be nice then to also get refunded as stated in the refund policy, but I’m not refunded. Not that I need that $ 1,00 + I can imagine transaction fee’s and the time you spent also cost money , but it felt a bit strange the way the whole account was suddenly closed (instead of only the hosting service) and at the end nothing got refunded. Just a matter of principal.
The reason I refunded was based on my experience I didn’t find it worth to pay a high amount for only having the best speed, small storage and limited amount of websites. Currently running on an Enterprise LiteSpeed server and reaching similar speeds ;) for half the price, 10 sites running, a slower support, but technical skilled people. And then perhaps also a bit of trust (see cons below).
Perhaps the advantage in speed would be more visible if I would have a website with much more traffic.
My opinion :
– Easy setting up sites
– 24/7 support
– CEO is dedicated to the company and willing to reply/comment
– High pricing
– Basic options
– Not a real reseller feeling, or support couldn’t explain me how it exactly works, but wasn’t the reseller options I’m looking for
– Maybe a bit of trust? Feedback that I read on social media is that not many people know Rocket or read about it. They are scared of services going down etc.
– Communication -> i.e. onboard the same way as you offboard, makes customers perhaps come back
p.s. Carefull with staging, if you selected the wrong tab and press deploy it’ll not ask you for a confirmation :) (thank god for backups)
First and foremost, I want to apologize. I’m sincerely sorry your experience was not the typical Rocket.net experience. I was not made aware of this situation, but will certainly look into it and see where we went wrong.
Second, I want to thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. The only way we can do better is to know where and when we’re failing, so this will not go unnoticed.
I’ve been in the industry for twenty years and have seen/built it all. DNS at Rocket can definitely be tricky and far from traditional hosting where you’re forced to change name servers or use cloudflare DNS seamlessly. We have many improvements coming to our portal to address this.
As for the migration with plugins being deactivated, we always ask customers to check and test on the temporary URL before pointing their live DNS to us, it seems this issue either happened after that or DNS was updated before hand.
We never ever rush migrations or anything for that matter at Rocket.net, in fact I always tell the team if something takes five hours, it’s OK, we’re here for our customers no matter what it takes… but we do have multiple methods of doing them, the primary being a plugin based migration. If we received feedback that things were not correct, we would have tried another method.
Regarding the cancellation and refund, that’s personally on me. I miss clicked the Cancel process and did not check the refund box. Honest mistake, not trying to keep anyone’s money and not honor our guarantees, your $1 has been refunded.
For you and anyone reading this , my inbox is always open – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every thing listed here could have been addressed had we had the proper opportunity, in any case it will all be addressed internally to ensure we don’t have this type of situation in the future.
I did some digging and the last interaction was from December and we were tying to help you with MainWP 500 error reports. I asked for more information on December 27 and never heard back.
After our first reply where Naqi was simply tying to help correlate things with our logs and explain what can cause 500 errors from a high-level (with no data to go on other than some screenshots), you jumped the gun and replied with:
“I expected a better response honestly.
Anyway, just close this ticket please. From your response, I know this issue won’t be resolved by talking to support.”
So basically you assumed we didn’t care or were blowing you off (probably due to how other hosts treated you over the yeas), but we were simply trying to work together to get to the bottom of the isolated issue you were having with a third party plugin and all we had were some vague screenshots of emails.
I’m sorry you felt this was subpar, but we do take our support very seriously and had you followed up with the requested logs from MainWP we could have kept digging into things on our side.
Great article! I’m moving to Rocket.net. You mentioned in the article:
“How does Rocket.net optimize images?
Cloudflare Mirage/Polish, which means you don’t need an image optimization plugin. If you don’t see an image is optimized on the frontend, it probably means the savings weren’t high enough for Cloudflare to optimize (which is why you may not see it served in WebP).
“What saving are we talking about?
Thanks Ezra! See this Cloudflare Doc.
“Polish creates and caches a WebP version of the image and delivers it to the browser if the Accept header from the browser includes WebP, and the compressed image is significantly smaller than the lossy or lossless compression”
What caching / optimization plugins to you still use now that you’re hosting on rocket.net? Just FlyingPress?
FlyingPress and Perfmatters.
Do the settings at https://onlinemediamasters.com/flyingpress-settings reflect the best settings for rocket.net? I switched a site to rocket.net in mid-December. I was already using Perfmatters, now I’m adding in FlyingPress.
Yes, nothing changes about the settings in FlyingPress when using Rocket.net. Keep page caching on and no need to add the CDN URL from Rocket.
Very useful information you have mentioned thank you so much.
Doing what you do its commendable, keep it up.
Thanks, really appreciate your post.