There are lots of cache plugins out there – is it WP Rocket worth $49/year?
Yes, it is. WP Rocket was rated the #1 cache plugin in 7 Facebook polls and is what I use on my site, which I was able to get 100% GTmetrix scores on. The settings are super easy to configure and integrate with both with Cloudflare and other CDNs. I’ve already written configuration tutorials on WP Rocket, WP Fastest Cache, W3 Total Cache, Swift, Autoptimize, and others.
No other cache plugin gave me better results than WP Rocket.
1. #1 Cache Plugin In Facebook Polls
I found a couple Facebook polls where people ask about the best cache plugins. WP Rocket was rated #1 in both. Since WP Rocket announced their affiliate program, you’ll probably find some salesy reviews about it, but I wanted to show you that I’m not the only one who loves it.
Many people consider WP Rocket a must-have plugin…
2. How Important Is Your Cache Plugin?
Very important – it’s one of the most important factors in the WordPress optimization guide.
If you need a quick fix now, go straight to the Caching section, you’ll get the biggest benefit for the smallest hassle there.
3. WP Rocket vs. WP Fastest Cache vs. W3 Total Cache
I tested a few popular cache plugins to see which one gave me the best results. Being the WordPress speed nerd I am, I made sure all the settings were configured optimally and that I tested the same page (my homepage) using from the same location in Pingdom. I understand network latency can vary the results, but it’s the best I could do. WP Rocket won the test.
For many websites you will see even better results, but still… 100ms x (2,000 visitors/day) x (30 days in a month) = 1.7 hours my visitors don’t have to wait for my site to load each month!
WP Rocket (.406)
WP Fastest Cache (.527)
W3 Total Cache (.619)
My Pingdom report with WP Rocket…
4. WP Rocket Has Extra Features Most Cache Plugins Don’t
With most other cache plugins, you would need to install about 6 extra plugins to get these features, when WP Rocket has them all built-in, reducing the number of plugins on your site. If you’re like me, you only want to use 1 plugin, otherwise you will need to research which features your cache plugins comes with, then install these plugins if it doesn’t support them.
- Database cleanup (built-in to WP Rocket, or use WP-Optimize)
- Heartbeat control (built-in to WP Rocket, or use Heartbeat Control)
- Lazy load images/videos (built-in to WP Rocket, or use WP YouTube Lyte)
- Host Google Analytics locally (built-in to WP Rocket, or use CAOS For Analytics)
- Host Google Fonts locally (built-in to WP Rocket, or use CAOS For Fonts, or SHGF)
- Integration with Cloudflare + other CDNs (built-in to WP Rocket, or use CDN Enabler)
5. Less Chance Of Errors
Cache plugins are infamous for causing errors – check out the 1 star reviews on W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache, and WP Super Cache. Most complaints are about errors. Out of the 700 comments on my cache plugin tutorials, the people who get errors were nearly all using W3 Total Cache. The rest have been with WP Fastest Cache. Not 1 person has reported on errors on my WP Rocket tutorial (and if they did, they can actually reach out to WP Rocket’s support and get help… unlike other cache plugins where support is virtually non-existent).
6. Frequent Updates
WP Rocket releases new updates about 2-3 times each month… you can see this in their changelog. This is very important since most cache plugin developers don’t do this (remember when W3 Total Cache wasn’t updated for almost 3 years)? Since these updates include bug fixes AND enhancements, you can expect new features, and the plugin to always run smoothly.
7. Awesome Support (Most Cache Plugin Developers Vanish)
I’ve noticed a pattern… most cache plugin developers fall off the planet when it comes to updating the plugin, but this is especially true for providing support. Do not expect any support from other cache plugins. Frederick Townes from W3 Total Cache didn’t update his plugin for almost 3 years (he finally did), the WP Fastest Cache developer’s 1 star reviews are so backed up from people saying “awful support” he doesn’t even know what to do, and WP Super Cache always has tons of unresolved comments. There’s zero support for cache plugins.
WP Rocket extensive documentation (I also have configuration instructions below), but you can always contact WP Rocket to get help. They have always been very responsive for me.
8. Extensive Documentation
Configuration instructions are below, but they also have tons of documentation.
9. How To Configure The WP Rocket Settings
Ready to use WP Rocket? Buy the plugin then download it in your account page. Upload it under Plugins → Add New → Upload. If you’re having issues on Safari see their instructions. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings → WP Rocket and you will see the settings tabs…
- Caching for mobile devices
- Cache for logged in users
- Combines Google Fonts
- Removes Query strings from static resources
- Minifies CSS/JS files
- Combines CSS/JS Files
- Optimizes CSS Delivery
- Check site for errors, if there are any, exclude problematic files in “Advanced Rules”
- Lazy loads images/iframes/videos
- Disables Emojis
- Disables WordPress embeds
- Enables preload bot
- Detects Yoast XML sitemap for preloading
- Prefetches DNS requests (add files below)
- My CNAME from StackPath
- Add advanced rules for specific files
- Schedule WordPress database cleanups to keep your site loading fast
- I use StackPath who has 31 data centers
- Sign up for a 30-day trial, then create a StackPath CDN Site
- StackPath will provide you with a CDN URL which you will paste into your cache plugin
- Run your site in GTmetrix and “content delivery network” should be green in YSlow
Add-Ons (Google Tracking + Cloudflare)
- Sign up for Cloudflare
- In the top right in your Cloudflare account, click my profile. Scroll down and you will see your global API key, then paste this into WP Rocket
- Clear all Cloudflare’s cache files
- Export/import WP Rocket settings to use on multiple websites
10. Conclusion: WP Rocket Is Worth It
It’s totally worth $49/year to have a blazing fast (and an easy-to-use cache plugin that won’t give you errors). You probably know Google uses page speed as a ranking factor and that it will also increase conversions. Improving load times is one of the best ways to increase your website’s overall performance, so pony up the $49 and get WP Rocket. I doubt you’ll regret it.
In case you had doubts…
Just a reminder, I’m also using WP Rocket :)
WP Rocket was voted the #1 cache plugin in multiple Facebook polls and is what I use on my WordPress site. It comes with many built-in features most cache plugins do not have, which is why it should give you the best results in GTmetrix + Pingdom.
- Speed Features
- Plugin Updates
- Plugin Support
- Extensive documentation
- Frequent updates with new speed features
- Extra speed features = better results in GTmetrix/Pingdom
- Easy to configure compared to plugins like W3 Total Cache
- Less chance of it breaking your website (a common issue with cache plugins)
- Has features most cache plugins don’t have: lazy load, database cleanup, Google Tracking (hosting Google Analytics locally), Cloudflare + StackPath CDN
- Costs money (most cache plugins are free)
- WP Rocket’s preload bot can cause CPU overload on some (shared) servers, so lower or disable this settings if it happens to you