How much does a 100ms TTFB improve web vitals? TTFB is 40% of LCP and part of FCP/INP. In total, it affects 4/6 user metrics in PageSpeed Insights with hosting/CDN being the 2 top factors.
This is also reflected in their specs… all plans use 32 cores/128GB RAM, NVMe SSDs, MariaDB, LiteSpeed’s PHP, Redis (Redis Object Cache Pro on higher plans), 1GB memory limit, and no PHP worker limits. Their Cloudflare Enterprise uses 285 PoPs with full page caching, Mirage + Polish for image optimization, and better routing through Argo Smart Routing, load balancing, and prioritized routing. When you compare their specs to other cloud hosts, it’s not even close.
If you have an international audience or WooCommerce store, you’re not going to beat Rocket.net’s performance and 100ms global TTFB. The hosting is easy, it’s $1 your 1st month, and they have awesome support with all 5/5 TrustPilot reviews and unlimited free migrations.
- 100ms global TTFB → better core web vitals
- Rocket.net’s specs are faster than [SG, CW, Kinsta, WPE, WPX]
- Why their Cloudflare Enterprise beats Cloudways/Kinsta’s
- Highly optimized for WooCommerce
- More resources, less limits
- It’s easy
- Top performer in Kevin Ohashi’s 2023 hosting benchmarks
- Ben Gabler’s background + interviews
- Pricing, bandwidth, no hidden upgrades/add-ons
- Support is night and day
- They’re getting popular in Facebook groups
- $1 your 1st month + unlimited free migrations
- Configure FlyingPress on Rocket.net (my setup)
1. 100ms Global TTFB → Better Core Web Vitals
Rocket.net averages a <100ms global TTFB:
KeyCDN measures TTFB in 10 global locations (unlike GTmetrix). You’ll want to test your site 3 times to make sure your resources are cached and served from your CDN’s closest data center.
SpeedVitals measures TTFB in 40 global locations. Again, test your site 3 times.
They list hosting + CDN as the 2 main ways to optimize TTFB.
So when you upgrade to both faster hosting and Cloudflare Enterprise, it can improve all these:
2. Rocket.net’s Specs Are Faster Than [SG, CW, Kinsta, WPE, WPX]
|SiteGround Cloud Jump Start Plan||Kinsta Starter Plan||Cloudways Vultr HF (2GB)||Rocket.net Starter Plan|
|Type||Cloud||Cloud (shared containers)||Cloud||Private cloud|
|Server||Apache + Nginx||Apache + Nginx||Apache + Nginx||Apache + Nginx|
|Nginx reverse proxy||✓||$50/mo||✓||✓|
|CPU Cores/RAM||4 cores + 8GB||12 cores + 8GB||1 core + 2GB||32 cores + 128GB|
|Storage||40GB SATA||10GB SATA||64GB NVMe||10GB NVMe|
|Object cache||Memcached||$100/mo Redis||Redis Pro||Redis (Redis Pro on Business plan)|
|PHP workers||Not listed, but common CPU limits||2||No limit||No limit|
|Bandwidth + visits||5TB/mo||25k/mo||2TB/mo||50GB + 250k/mo|
|CDN||$14.99/mo SiteGround CDN||Cloudflare APO + firewall rules (read)||$5/mo Cloudflare Enterprise + challenge pages||Free Cloudflare Enterprise (read)|
|Full page caching||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|DNS||Blocked by Google (4 days)||Amazon Route 53||$5/mo DNS Made Easy||Cloudflare|
|Cache plugin||SG Optimizer||Use FlyingPress||Breeze||Use FlyingPress|
|Data centers||10||35||44||Served from Cloudflare’s edge|
|Control panel||Site Tools||MyKinsta||Custom (difficult)||Mission Control|
|Migrations||$30/site||Unlimited free||1 free + $25/site||Unlimited free|
|How it starts costing more||High initial price, CPU limits, CDN, price increases, internal incidents||PHP workers, add-ons, monthly visits, bandwidth, price increases||CPU limits, CDN, backups, price increases||Bandwidth|
|Incidents||TTFB, DNS, CPU issues, controls Facebook groups||None||Acquired by DigitalOcean, raised prices, removed Vultr/Linode||None|
|Monthly price||$100 + CDN||$29 when paying yearly + add-ons||$30 + CDN||$25 when paying yearly|
- NVMe SSDs are faster than SATA SSDs.
- LiteSpeed’s PHP is faster than FastCGI.
- MariaDB is more powerful than MySQL.
- Redis is more powerful than Memcached, especially Redis Pro.
- Here’s a table comparing Rocket.net vs. WPX, WP Engine, Flywheel.
Out of these hosts, Rocket.net + Cloudways are the only ones using faster NVMe SSDs, Redis Object Cache Pro, and Cloudflare Enterprise. However, Cloudways’ Cloudflare Enterprise is $5/mo and you’re more likely to run into high CPU usage from low CPU cores/RAM. With Rocket.net, all plans have 32 CPU cores + 128GB RAM with LiteSpeed’s PHP (Cloudways uses FPM). You only get NVMe SSDs on DO Premium (they removed Vultr HF after the DigitalOcean acquisition while raising prices). Support is overly technical or expects you to do things after sending how-to articles. Rocket.net’s support does everything for you (for the most part) and the platform is easier – no need to launch servers or configure server/application/CDN settings.
Moving to SiteGround Cloud/Kinsta/WPE/WPX.
These use slower SATA SSDs, MySQL, have 16x less RAM, and do incomplete CDN integrations whether it’s so-called “Cloudflare Enterprise” or their own CDN’s lacking features. You’re likely to run into forced upgrades from CPU limits or PHP workers. Both Kinsta and WPE include 10x less monthly visits and get ridiculously expensive when you run into low limits, add-ons, and bandwidth overages. WPX is shared hosting who targets a 400ms international TTFB. All 4 rely on heavy marketing. But the performance, TTFB, and technology aren’t reflected in their claims.
3. Why Their Cloudflare Enterprise Beats Cloudways/Kinsta’s
Their Cloudflare Enterprise is the closest thing to “true Enterprise” mainly because it has more features. These help with TTFB/routing, image optimization, security, and dynamic requests on WooCommerce. It’s a big reason Rocket.net averages a 100ms global TTFB and makes choosing a data center close to users pretty much irrelevant. It’s also 100% free and works automatically.
This has a lot to do with Ben’s Gabler’s experience as StackPath’s Chief Product Officer.
Most hosts do partial integrations and forget key features like full page caching, smart routing, and image optimization. Or they use their own CDN which has a smaller network + less features.
|RocketCDN||SiteGround CDN||FlyingCDN By FlyingPress||Cloudways Cloudflare Enterprise||Rocket.net Cloudflare Enterprise|
|Full page cache||x||✓||x||APO||APO|
|Image optimization||x||Very limited||Bunny Optimizer||Mirage/Polish||Mirage/Polish|
|Bandwidth||Not unlimited as advertised||Unmetered||Unlimited||100GB||Determined by hosting plan|
|Price||$8.99/mo||$14.99/mo||$.03/GB||$5/mo||Free w/ hosting|
Cloudways copied Rocket.net’s Cloudflare Enterprise and charges $5/mo when it didn’t support APO and serves annoying challenge pages. Kinsta + WP Engine’s integration aren’t Enterprise since they only include a few Enterprise features. WPX’s CDN (XDN) only has 39 PoPs (compared to Cloudflare’s 285) without full page caching. SiteGround discontinued Cloudflare (previously free) and partnered with Google Cloud to market it as their own CDN for $14.99/mo. Even after v.2, there are complaints it makes your site slower. Plus, I trust Ben’s CDN experience.
- APO – caches HTML and improves TTFB in multiple locations in SpeedVitals.
- Brotli – compresses pages to smaller file sizes compared to GZIP compression.
- Prioritized routing – your traffic gets prioritized which avoids traffic congestion.
- Argo Smart Routing + Tiered Cache – detects traffic congestion and routes traffic through faster network paths. Cloudflare says assets load 30% faster and reduces requests to your origin server. Specifically good for WooCommerce/dynamic sites.
- Load balancing – re-routes traffic from unhealthy origin servers to healthy origins.
- WAF – Rocket.net also has built-in WAF rules, Imunify360, and real-time malware scanning. Which unlike other hosts, protects your site at both server/CDN levels.
- Mirage/Polish – optimizes images without adding bloat or using resources like plugins do. Supports compression, WebP, mobile resizing, and viewport/network optimizations. Polish doesn’t always serve images in WebP (usually if the savings aren’t high enough) which you can check in Chrome Dev Tools. However, when I manually converted images to WebP using a free online converter, savings were often 50%+. So if this happens to you, you can either convert them manually or install a dedicated WebP plugin such as Converter For Media or WebP Express.
- Early Hints – sends early preload & preconnect hints to reduce server wait time.
- Smart caching – smart caching uses less resources when purging the cache by identifying what needs purging and when, then it only purges necessary assets.
- Less challenge pages – unlike Cloudways, Rocket.net serves 0 challenge pages to logged out users and only serves 1 challenge to wp-login, then it’s gone for 1 year.
- 3 less plugins – you shouldn’t need image optimization, security, or CDN plugins.
4. Highly Optimized For WooCommerce
Rocket.net is especially fast for WooCommerce sites. A few key reasons are APO, Argo Smart Routing with Tiered Cache, NVMe SSDs, no PHP worker limits, Redis Object Cache Pro’s relay integration, and Rocket.net also strategically built their data centers right next to Cloudflare’s.
These have about 6x faster read-write speeds than SATA SSDs which are used on most shared/cloud hosts. If you’re paying $100/mo and not using NVMe storage, what are ya doin’?
These tests were done by Rocket.net using WP Hosting Benchmark. The plugin runs tests on CPU/memory, filesystem, database, object cache, and network tests (try it out)!
Full page caching is even faster when you’re using Cloudflare’s 285+ PoPs. And if you look at their post launch report, you’ll notice it improves “phone” more than “desktop.” So if you’re struggling with mobile scores, you can either pay $5/mo for APO or get it for free Rocket.net.
Argo Smart Routing
Cloudflare says “enabling Argo Smart Routing shaves an average of 33% off HTTP time to first byte (TTFB).” Argo is specifically good for speeding up dynamic sites like WooCommerce and membership sites, but it benefits static files as well. Rocket.net also uses Argo’s Tiered Cache.
Redis (Redis Object Cache Pro On Business Plan And Up)
Redis is more powerful than Memcached, especially since it uses Relay integration which is specifically good for speed/resource usage on WooCommerce/dynamic sites. Several hosts don’t support object cache, use Memcached instead, or Kinsta charges $100/month for Redis. Redis is free on all Rocket.net plans, then Redis Object Cache Pro on the Business plan and up. They use the Redis Object Cache plugin and you’ll need to ask support who will install it for you.
This table is found on objectcache.pro.
|W3 Total Cache||LiteSpeed Cache||WP Redis||Redis Object Cache||Object Cache Pro|
|Mitigates race conditions||x||x||x||x||✓|
|Extensively unit tested||x||x||x||x||✓|
|Query Monitor integration||x||x||x||Basic||Advanced|
|WP CLI integration||Basic||x||Basic||Basic||Advanced|
|Site Health checks||x||x||x||x||✓|
5. More Resources, Less Limits
They list these in this post.
- 2 x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2667 v2 @ 3.30GHz (32 Cores)
- 128GB RAM
- RAIDED NVMe SSDs (they switched in 2022 after the post was written)
Kinsta/SiteGround cloud have 16x less RAM and Kinsta limits staging sites to just 1 CPU core (Rocket.net doesn’t). Cloudways/WPX only give you a very small amount of cores/RAM. And while these don’t directly mean a faster site, adding more (upgrading) is often a host’s go-to suggestion for fixing CPU limits. Rather than constantly upgrading, maybe upgrade your host?
- CPU/RAM: with 32 CPU cores + 128GB RAM, it’s highly unlikely you’ll need to upgrade from this. I had to go from SiteGround’s GoGeek plan to their $180/mo cloud hosting because of this. Can also happen on other hosts who don’t give you enough resources (and if they don’t list cores/RAM, it’s probably not a good thing).
- PHP workers: Rocket.net doesn’t limit PHP workers like Kinsta/WPE/WPX. Read this case study for a site with 1M+ visitors per 60 minutes where the need to scale PHP workers was eliminated. Kinsta only has 2 PHP workers on their lowest plan and recommends WooCommerce sites start at $115/mo because of workers/visits.
- Monthly visits: with 10-25 more monthly visits than Kinsta/WPE, it’s also unlikely you’ll need to upgrade from this. Rocket, Kinsta, and WP Engine all count visits which include unknown bots and users with ad blockers (about 42.7% of people). Rocket.net’s starter plan has 250k/mo which means it’s about 106,750 visitors/mo.
- Memory limit: it’s 256MB on Kinsta, 512MB on WP Engine, and 1GB on Rocket.net.
6. It’s Easy
Rocket.net is super simple:
- Free migrations.
- Easy to learn dashboard.
- No launching servers (like Cloudways).
- No configuring CDNs (their Cloudflare Enterprise is automatic).
- Support goes out of the way and will help you improve core web vitals.
The whole point of “managed cloud hosting” is to be hands-off. So when you have to launch servers, configure CDNs, and migrate sites yourself, it’s not that managed. After requesting a migration, the only thing I did initially was upgrade PHP versions + ask support to install Redis.
7. Top Performer In Kevin Ohashi’s 2023 Hosting Benchmarks
Anyone who’s been around the block knows Kevin’s tests are some of the most reliable out there. Most 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.
8. Ben Gabler’s Background + Interviews
Ben’s background is one of the main reasons I tried Rocket.net in the first place. Previously COO at HostGator, Chief Product Officer at StackPath, Senior Product Manager at GoDaddy, and now CEO of Rocket.net. Ben and Patrick Gallagher (from GridPane) did an interview together at Admin Bar which is completely non-promotional and 100% informative. Totally worth watching.
9. Pricing, Bandwidth, No Hidden Upgrades/Add-Ons
Rocket.net’s pricing is essentially by bandwidth usage.
Once you learn how much bandwidth you need, choose a plan. Then subtract the costs of add-ons, CDNs, unexpected upgrades, time dealing with bad support, and lower conversions from a slower site. I’m not here to sell you on paying more for hosting, but it’s definitely worth it for me.
If you exceed the limit, Rocket.net uses soft limits and aren’t going to take down your site and lock you out like some hosts do, but you will eventually need to upgrade or reduce bandwidth usage. Monthly visits usually aren’t a problem considering you get 10x more than Kinsta/WPE.
Of course, I run a blog about WordPress speed and hosting reviews. And I’m guessing you’ll run it through speed tests and click through it. Think I’m gonna let your site load faster than mine?
10. Support Is Night And Day
Ben, Chad, and their team take support to a new level.
I already know they went outside a typical host’s scope of work several times for me. And I normally can’t always trust hosts to touch (let alone migrate) my site, but their work has been timely and flawless every time with many staff having 20+ years experience. Ben even hops on chats/calls sometimes so if you get the chance, grab a notepad because he’s ahead of his time.
I usually use live chat which typically responds in seconds and feels like you’re actually talking to an actual person who clearly knows what they’re doing. Other than asking about specs, I’ve probably reached out 5 times in 1 year since my site runs smoothly. Fast, nice, knowledgeable.
11. They’re Getting Popular In Facebook Groups
As of writing this, Rocket.net has all perfect 5/5 reviews on their TrustPilot profile. You can search keywords like “TTFB” or “Cloudways” to see specific reviews. If you do this, you’ll see several people are moving away from other hosts to Rocket.net, but not the other way around. Even if you search SiteGround’s 11,000 TrustPilot reviews, not 1 person came from Rocket.net.
12. $1 Your 1st Month + Unlimited Free Migrations
- Sign up for $1 your 1st month.
- Or talk to Ben or request a Zoom demo if you need an intro.
- Benchmark your TTFB in KeyCDN and your LCP/FCP in PSI or GTmetrix.
- Update DNS or TXT records, or request a free migration from their team.
- Upgrade to the latest compatible PHP version, then ask support to install Redis.
- Remove image optimization, security, CDN plugins (CF Enterprise handles these).
- Configure the FlyingPress settings, then retest your core web vitals (TTFB, LCP, FCP).
Submit your site to Chrome’s HSTS Preload list. Use that site to see if yours supports it and if not, try this plugin. Rocket.net’s support will probably do it for you, but try to do it yourself first.
13. Configure FlyingPress On Rocket.net (My Setup)
This is the same setup I use and I’ve confirmed several settings with Ben/Gijo.
If you’re not using FlyingPress yet, it does a better job with core web vitals and real world browsing compared to WP Rocket and other optimization plugins with new features added regularly. Configure everything normally. Page caching will remain on to serve as a fallback cache in case it misses Cloudflare. Do not add Rocket.net’s CDN URL to the FlyingPress CDN settings, and there’s no need to use FlyingCDN with Cloudflare Enterprise. You can read my FlyingPress tutorial or click the thumbnails to see screenshots of the settings, but you should read the tutorial since lazy render, delay JS, and preloading fonts require manual configuration.
Screenshots (click to enlarge):
I don’t write glowing reviews for everyone (just read some of my other hosting reviews). But Rocket.net has been a game changer and I’ve been steering people to them since I switched.
Cheers – to a faster TTFB/LCP/FCP!