Anyone with any experience managing a WordPress site will have learned that a free caching plugin is not always optimal when loading your pages quickly. Plus, WordPress generates content dynamically by default. With more than a few options to choose from, picking the right caching plugin may be a bit challenging.
If you have a website that attracts a tonne of traffic or a commercial site, you may want to consider a paid caching plugin. All it takes is a spike in traffic, and you may find yourself in deep trouble. That is because Free WP caching plugins usually fail to work on a large scale.
WP Rocket is a paid caching plugin that has been serving the WP community for many years. It has many great features, such as powerful caching, advanced minification, and integrated CDN.
But does it still hold up in 2021? Read more into our WP Rocket review to find out…
What Features Does WP Rocket Have?
WP Rocket is, above all else, a WordPress caching plugin. That means this plugin offers server-side caching. It is also fully compatible with almost all popular WordPress themes as well as Cloudflare. WP Rocket can help you with:
- Page caching to make sure that the static content on your pages is delivered to your readers incredibly quickly. The content is stored on the server’s hard disk, which is preloaded.
- Mobile caching enables your mobile readers to reap the same benefits, which is also beneficial for mobile SEO.
- User caching that increases speed for members who are logged in.
- Database query caching to increase server-sided performance.
- Faster loading times of images and videos (lazy loading).
WP Rocket additionally enables better browser caching by serving previously visited pages to users again on a local drive. This increases performance, minimize bandwidth, and creates a lightning-fast experience. Even beginner WP users can enjoy these features since WP Rocket is easy to install and automatically apply recommended settings.
WP Rocket also integrates GZIP compression. GPZIP or GNU Zip is a lossless compression method that reduces the size of the HTML site, stylesheet, and scripts. Simply, it eliminates all unwanted resources from your page, speeding up your site. According to Google Developers, it can achieve compression rates as high as 90%.
WP Rocket’s features do not end there, though! If you own a WooCommerce store, WP Rocket automatically purges caches every time you update your product or collection pages. So, you will be able to update these pages dynamically. Fortunately, this solves the issue of other caching plugins aggressively caching these pages and hiding necessary information from customers, such as out of stock or sales announcements.
Lastly, they have many advanced options to choose from if you are a developer. You can fine-tune your caching options by building custom rules and configurations to optimize your site. You can disallow cookies, user agents and rebuild caches on specific pages or posts that were updated. You can also integrate their CDN and further optimize your database.
WP Rocket Pricing: Is This Plugin Worth It?
In 2021, $49 will get you one year worth of WP Rocket support and updates for one WordPress site. If you want to install WP rocket on three websites, you can do that for a friendly cost of $99/year. Many agencies and developers can opt for their unlimited site plan for just $249/year.
But, how does WP Rocket stack up to its competitors in terms of pricing and features? Below, we compare WP Rocket to its top three competitors, so you can make an informed decision on which caching plugin is the best for your WordPress site.
It comes with a price tag of $60 in the first year for those running personal websites, while that drops to $42 when you renew your subscription. It offers support for five WP sites for $150 a year. While it offers two options for companies managing more WordPress sites ($250 for 25 websites and $500 for 100 websites), there is no infinite option. FlyingPress can, ultimately, end up being more expensive.
Comet Cache has a different pricing system compared to others listed here as well. For a single payment, you will get an indefinite license for ongoing plugin updates. But, support is only for three years. So, if you have any problems afterward, you will need to pay a small renewal fee of $9.
Comet Cache light version costs $39 for a single site, which has many of your core features, such as page caching, GZIP compression, and easy installation. However, it does not include browser caching and other advanced features unless you upgrade. WP Rocket, however, has this in the base plugin.
Comet Cache Pro includes three sites for $99. This is where you will get most of your advanced features that will thoroughly optimize your site speed. These features include mobile adaptive mode, browser caching, dynamic cache version, CDN, and HTML compression. Additionally, you can pay $139 for unlimited websites.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is another incredibly popular WordPress caching plugin. Available at no cost, it also has more limited features. For most owners, it has enough settings to optimize your site and speed up performance. But, it starts to lag once you get more traffic and files on your server. Since it does not have dedicated support, any issues have to be resolved by yourself.
W3 Total Cache is also challenging to set up. Once installed, you will have to deal with 16-pages of settings and options. For most beginners, this can be daunting. WP Rocket, on the other hand, does your optimization automatically and has a more intuitive user interface.
WP Rocket’s Results: How Well Does WP Rocket Perform vs. Competitors?
Many website owners leaped to WP Rocket and can attest to the performance increase vs. other caching plugins. But does it stack up, or is it overhyped?
W3 Total Cache: After analyzing the reports from site managers who have tried W3 Total Cache and other plugins, we found that it improves performance by around 95 percent. Your site will be faster than most without any caching, which is impressive for a free plugin. Here’s a complete comparison that we did.
Comet Cache: Once installed and optimized, Comet Cache can offer a PageSpeed score between 92 to 95 percent. Of course, this is based on several factors, including hosting and files on your server. On average, it can shave off 1.09 seconds in loading times and improve speeds by 30%.
WP Rocket: In tests run by developers and site managers, WP rocket had a 33 percent faster loading time on all contents on a page within 200 to 500 milliseconds. On average, speeds can increase up to 34% with an average loading speed increase of 1.13 seconds.
Is WP Rocket worth it in 2021?
To wrap up this WP Rocket review… This plugin is hands down the best WP caching plugin when it comes to improving speed. You combine this with the assembly of features packed in the base price, and you can do no wrong! Of course, every site is unique, and your theme may respond better to different caching options. We recommend testing other plugins and see how they affect your speed. Run your site through various testing tools such as Google PageSpeed, Pingdom, and GTmetrix and takes notes on results!