RocketCDN Review (Avoid): StackPath Has Slow Speeds, Small Network, No Dynamic Caching, And Bandwidth Is NOT Unlimited

Rocketcdn review

RocketCDN is one of the worst CDNs.

They use StackPath which has a small network, slow Tbps, and was removed from cdnperf.com. RocketCDN also lacks important features like dynamic caching, Brotli, and HTTP/3. At the end of the day, RocketCDN was designed to be easy. Activate it in 1-click then pay WP Rocket $7.99/mo.

You’re better off using a better CDN like BunnyCDN, QUIC.cloud, or a host with Cloudflare Enterprise (I recommend Rocket.net). All these are faster with more PoPs, image optimization, and QUIC has full page caching (as well as Cloudflare’s APO). No reason to pay for a worse CDN.

Rocketcdn joke

 

1. RocketCDN vs. Other CDNs

A couple things to note:

Even without Bunny Optimizer’s $9.50/mo image optimization, BunnyCDN alone is still better than RocketCDN. And if you’re open to FlyingPress, FlyingCDN is $.03/GB (cheaper than going directly to BunnyCDN) and it includes Bunny Optimizer with geo-replication. FlyingPress is also better than WP Rocket, so it’s a win-win. Otherwise, I recommend Cloudflare and/or BunnyCDN.

FlyingProxy is another great option which has several Cloudflare Enterprise features and other optimizations, but it’s also $10/mo. The last option (and what I do) would be switching to Rocket.net since their Cloudflare integration is the most robust compared to Cloudways/Kinsta.

It just depends if you’re using LiteSpeed (then use QUIC), Rocket.net or Cloudways (then use Cloudflare Enterprise), or a host that doesn’t have a good CDN (then one of the other options).

RocketCDN SiteGround CDN (Paid) BunnyCDN Cloudflare Pro FlyingProxy QUIC (Paid) Rocket.net Cloudflare Enterprise
PoPs 50+ 14 110 200+ 270+ 73 270+
Dynamic caching x x APO
HTTP/3 x x x
Brotli x
Image compression x Polish
WebP x x Polish
Image resizing x Mirage x
LQIP x x x x x x
DDoS protection x x
Security features x x
Bandwidth Unknown (but not unlimited) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 100GB Unlimited Unlimited (but plans have limits)
Price $8.99/mo $7.49/mo $.01 – .06/GB $20/mo $10/mo $.01 – .04/GB Included with hosting

 

2. Uses StackPath With Small Network And Slow Tbps

RocketCDN uses StackPath.

StackPath only has 60 edge locations with a Tbps speed of 65+ while other CDNs (like BunnyCDN) have 110+ locations and 80+ Tbps. Which basically means, StackPath is slower.

Stackpath global network

StackPath was also removed from cdnperf.com, CloudwaysCDN replaced StackPath with Cloudflare Enterprise, and it seems like RocketCDN is one of the only CDNs still using them.

Stackpath cdnperf

 

3. No Dynamic Caching

Dynamic caching improves TTFB (usually in multiple global locations) by caching HTML. This can be tested in SpeedVitals or KeyCDN. Cloudflare’s APO, QUIC.cloud, and even SiteGround’s CDN has dynamic caching. Cloudways also said their Cloudflare Enterprise will have this soon.

But not RocketCDN.

The way WP Rocket tells you to measure RocketCDN’s performance is misleading because you’re only measuring results from 1 location. The whole point of a CDN is to improve load times/TTFB worldwide. So instead of just using a Waterfall chart, use SpeedVitals + KeyCDN.

Without dynamic caching, global TTFB isn’t improved nearly as much.

Keycdn performance test cloudflare 1
Cloudflare free (no full page caching)
Rocket. Net keycdn performance test 1
Cloudflare Enterprise + full page caching

 

4. Gzip And HTTP/2

RocketCDN uses Gzip and HTTP/2 when other CDNs (like Cloudflare) use Brotli and QUIC’s HTTP/3. Another reason RocketCDN is slower.

 

5. Lacks Features Outside Of Serving Files From CDN

Look at RocketCDN’s features and you’ll see it’s bare bones.

  • No vanity URL (custom CDN URL)
  • No specific features to reduce CPU usage
  • No security features other than serving from HTTPS

There are also pretty much 0 settings for RocketCDN inside WP Rocket. When you compare this to Cloudflare/BunnyCDN who have tons of features/settings, it makes RocketCDN very minimal.

 

6. Bandwidth Isn’t Unlimited

RocketCDN advertising “unlimited bandwidth” is a lie.

While they don’t list any specifications on their website of what “unlimited” actually means, they cut you off at a certain point. So don’t even think about using it for a mid/high traffic site.

Rocketcdn limited bandwidth

 

7. Meant To Be Easy, Not Performant

This is my biggest gripe about both RocketCDN and WP Rocket.

They sacrifice performance to make things easy. But when you leave it up to third-party companies like WP Rocket to integrate things, you usually end up losing out on features that improve core web vitals. I feel like this is also the case with WP Rocket which (IMO) has made no significant updates for a couple years and fell behind FlyingPress + LiteSpeed Cache.

WP Rocket FlyingPress LSC
Server-side caching x x
Remove unused CSS Inline Separate file Separate file
Critical CSS
Host fonts locally x
Preload images x x
Fetchpriority resource hint x x
Lazy render HTML elements x
Lazy load background images Inline Helper class Helper class
Exclude images from lazy load By URL By number By URL
Self-host YouTube placeholder x x
Add missing image dimensions
Scheduled database cleanups
Control preloading x x
Advanced cache control x x
ESI (edge side includes) x x
Gravatar cache x x
Limit post revisions x x
Price $49/year $42/year Free
Tutorial View tutorial View tutorial View tutorial

 

8. Conclusion: RocketCDN Isn’t Worth The Money

RocketCDN is awful and I didn’t even bother signing up for the affiliate program since telling people to use it would be wrong. Just because it’s sitting in front of you in your cache plugin settings doesn’t mean you should use it. Stick with one of the other (more performant) CDNs.

Cheers,
Tom

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