With WordPress, it is very easy to start a blog/website and share content of any type. One of the key things that is talked about is the Page Speed. In fact it is said that if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, the user would leave the site. In this post I’ll talk about WordPress Cache Plugin – WP Rocket and how you can use this WordPress Cache Plugin to improve your site’s performance. I had previously written shared tips to speed up WordPress blog.
The Web has been evolving at an unthinkable rate. There are millions of new websites and blogs cropping up every day. And there’s nothing that isn’t available on the internet today. Not only that, with that shift, there has been a change in the type of information we consume. We have come a long way from the static, text-based websites to more rich websites.
What is a Cache ?
Cache – pronounced as CASH – is a technique used widely to speed up things. Be it your desktop, laptop, smart phone or even a website, caching is a widely used concept to ensure faster processing without using many resources. So cache is an area in the memory where frequently accessed information is stored.
For example if you search for the same phone number in the phone book multiple times, it takes time every time as you have to go through pages. Instead of that, you write the phone number on the first page. So the next time you search, you find it on the first page and don’t have to go through the phone book.
WP Rocket WordPress Cache Plugin
One of the best things about WordPress is the availability of plugins for almost everything. From changing fonts to enabling security, there’s a plugin for everything. Even for caching, there are a lof of WordPress caching plugins like W3 Total Cache,WP Super Cache, Hyper Cache etc. Most of these WordPress Cache plugins are free. However, WP Rocket is the only one that is paid and apparently the most popular one. During the recent Black Friday deals for Bloggers, I purchased the WP Rocket plugin and hence sharing my review of WP Rocket.
WP Rocket Setup – Quick & Easy
If you have worked with setting up WordPress cache plugins earlier, you know that it isn’t easy at all. However, WP Rocket changes that completely. All I had to do was after purchasing the plugin, simply install and activate the plugin. That’s it, WP Rocket applies the basic settings for your blog and is raring to go. Having used Super Cache, W3 Total Cache in the past, I can vouch that WP Rocket does have the fastest and the easiest setup of all.
WP Rocket Functionalities
Basic Cache Options
The Basic Cache Options as the name suggests, is the most basic level of caching available. Most of the settings here are enabled when the plugin is activated. This option in WP Rocket allows you to have a separate cache for mobile devices. This means WP Rocket Mobile Cache will maintain separate cache specific to mobile devices. You can also specify the Time To Live for the cache. This is basically the time for which the cached files will be valid.
This is the place where the actual magic happens. Most of the WordPress Cache Plugins focus on this area to improve the page loading speed. The basic settings involve enabling Minify HTML option which ensures your HTML files are minified ensuring faster load time. The same can be done with CSS and JS files too. Since all of these files are static files which don’t change much, you can (should) enable these options as long as you don’t break your website.
Tell me one website/blog that you’ve visited which doesn’t have images. Blogs today are sharing high resolution images which makes the them load slower. Continuing from my old post – Tips to Improve Page Speed – WP Rocket too allows you to modify the media loading. And it provides functionality to lazy load your images and videos. It also allows you to disable emojis which will reduce the number of requests as most of the time the emojis are coming from a different service.
Pre-load Cache Files & Database Optimization
WP Rocket also has some advanced features where it allows you to preload the cache files. It creates a separate folder for all the cache content intelligently thus ensuring faster load times. It also allows you to prefetch DNS requests to reduce the number of HTTP requests and hence improve the site load time.
Review of WP Rocket WordPress Cache Plugin
Like I mentioned earlier, setting up WP Rocket was a breeze. Simply activating the plugin had some basic caching in place. However, I didn’t observe any change with the GT Metrix Speed Report after activating the plugin. (Many would skip a heartbeat here) I then digged into the advanced sections and made the necessary changes for caching files, images and preloading. (which was basically checking few more boxes) And Voila ! The speed report this time around was much better. Apart from the speed, the number of requests had reduced considerably thus making the website load faster.
How fast can your WordPress blog be ?
Further, I realized that there’s absolutely no way to get that page load time under 1 second and page size under 1 mb if you are using any external service on that page. For example, if you are showing ads, or twitter feed etc. you cannot get that page load speed down any further since your server has to communicate to other servers to display that.Also most of the time you will have issues related to scaled images that would be slowing down the blog. These are somethings you can’t do much about since these are required for your blog. Hence you need to strike the right balance based on what your priorities are.
Final Verdict: WP Rocket does a pretty good job
Having used so many WordPress Cache plugins in the past, I must say that WP Rocket is a breeze to use. One doesn’t need to be too technical to understand this and can quickly improve the performance of their blog/website. The performance however could have been better. Nevertheless, that is something that I will figure out over time. As it’s more about R&D to strike the balance.
So that was about my Best WordPress Cache Plugin WP Rocket Review with 4 Key Functions. At the discounted price of $35, WP Rocket does a good job. The results might vary across users depending upon a lot of other factors. What are your thoughts on this ? Would you buy a paid WordPress plugin ? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj