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Mohamed
Mohamed

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WP Rocket: Is It The Best Caching Plugin For Wordpress?

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WP Rocket is essential.

Why?

Loading speed is an important factor for SEO, that's no surprise.

In addition, it is a key factor because it allows you to increase user satisfaction and the experience within the website.

Ways to increase the speed of your WordPress site? Millions.

That's why I bought one of the best caching plugins for Wordpress out there: WP Rocket.

In recent months and due to a migration, I have been having several problems with the speed of my marketing agency's website, which was throwing these values ​​in GTMetrix:

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After installing the WP Rocket plugin and playing 5 minutes with its settings the values ​​changed:

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I managed this in just 15 minutes of research… and I'm sure there are a lot more improvements I can make thanks to this caching plugin.

Update 5/26/21 Post re-branding of the agency and some other improvements:

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I have WP Rocket installed on the blog you are reading right now and I have these speed results:

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For this reason, in this post I want to show you and tell you about WP Rocket, its features and why you should use it if you want to optimize the speed of your website.

Let's go with everything!

What is WP Rocket?

WP Rocket is one of the best WordPress caching plugins and helps you improve the speed of your website.

Thanks to the tools included in the plugin, you can reduce the loading speed of your website in a few clicks.

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I must also say that it is one of the WordPress plugins that makes what is actually more difficult to understand easy, and that is for people who do not want to waste time understanding and understanding each of the functionalities and who just want to have a fast website. It's fundamental.

Can you:

  • Compress HTML, JavaScript and CSS
  • Lazyload for images
  • Preload fonts and generate cache files
  • Optimize and integrate with a CDN
  • And many other optimizations

Note: I know that many of you are curious and that is why I want to share screenshots of how I configure WP Rocket on some of my sites. You can try each of the options and test the speed with GTMetrix for example.

Configure WP Rocket: Tutorial

Many times I am asked if it is worth investing in a paid WordPress plugin to optimize loading speed and generally (and like all SEO) my answer is: it depends.

But, if it is about promoting a project or business that we know we have to optimize to the maximum, then my answer is: yes, you should buy a premium plugin that allows you to improve your speed in Wordpress.

If you are thinking about WP Rocket here I bring you a complete configuration:

1. Dashboard

Don't let all these options make you dizzy...

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After having purchased the plugin for either 1 site or more, we will find ourselves in Settings – WP Rocket with a panel similar to this one.
The really important thing is to understand that, just by having installed it, surely, you have already greatly improved your loading speed.

Always remember to check every change with GTMetrix .
That's the magic I'm talking about.

RocketCDN

It is the WP Rocket CDN and it has a separate cost, you can have it and use it as you don't have to. In my case, I have never tried it, although I am still wondering if I have a better level with this CDN than with BunnyCDN and Cloudflare .

quick actions

These actions are extremely practical for day-to-day managing a website.

Why?

Because they are quick shortcuts to used functionalities:

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Clear cache: This clears your website's cache.
Preload Cache: This preloads everything so you can see how fast it goes with preloading on.
Regenerate critical CSS: When there is a CSS problem, this option is usually used to regenerate and build the information.
There are also tons more customizations and options that you can play with, and that's what we're going to talk about next.

2. Cache

When I was just starting to learn SEO , the whole caching thing was always a pain.

I didn't get it!

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It is that we have:

  • The page cache
  • Cache in the mobile version
  • user cache
  • pre-load

And many other options that honestly I was too lazy to understand.

Basically, the cache means that after a user's first visit to a certain website, this page will load without requesting the information again, that is, it will load much faster.

Mobile cache

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The mobile cache makes it easy for us to optimize the cache if we have a theme for the mobile version that is different from the desktop version.

The option: β€œEnable caching for mobile devices” or β€œEnable caching for mobile devices” will be left ENABLED .

User cache

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The user cache is used so that logged in users (you, for example) can view the cached version of the website.

Many times it has happened to me that a certain website of mine had problems and I could not view them, this partially solves the problem.

Note: Always remember to open your website incognito when in doubt.
You must leave this option ENABLED .

Cache lifetime

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With this you will tell WP Rocket how often you want the cache to remain uncleaned. The more dynamic your site is, the less time you should allocate to your cache, since we need the version cached by Google to be the most recent. Example: if you have a news site.

In my case, as it is a blog, I leave it in its default configuration of 10 hours.

3. Optimize Files

Probably one of the parts that will affect your loading speed the most.

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In this area we will configure and see everything related to JavaScript and CSS files.

Minify HTML

The HTML minification function reduces the size of the HTML code by removing useless things like comments, spaces and others.

Combine the Google Fonts files

Almost all websites use Google fonts, but they make many requests.

With this function you can combine the Google Fonts and reduce the number of requests.

Suppress query strings from static resources

Query strings are basically version control of static files.

The problem with that is that this check slows down the web a lot and this eliminates the versions.

Minify CSS files

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CSS files or style sheets are very heavy and tend to slow down the web. The ideal would be to use good plugins that do not have requests, but with this you can improve it a lot.

This removes what is not needed: comments, spaces and others, making these files load faster.

Combine CSS files

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By combining them, the CSS files will make fewer requests.

That is to say: if you have, for example, 10 CSS files, they will all be merged into one.

Exclude CSS files

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In the event that there are failures on the web, the failed files must be excluded.

You exclude it and you can continue using that function that greatly improves the speed of your website.

Optimize CSS delivery

Basically you must create a CSS file with the code that is loaded first from the web, so that the site loads faster.

Minify JavaScript files

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All whitespace, comments, and other code that only makes those scripts heavier will be removed.

Combine the JavaScript files

It combines them into one so that fewer requests are made to the server, which results in higher loading speed.

Embedded JavaScript excluded

If we have JavaScript embedded in the HTML, we can use this to exclude it from optimization.

Exclude JavaScript files

In the event that something does not work, we must review and exclude the files.

Lazy JavaScript file loading

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In this way, the files do not block the loading of the web, which will be faster.

JQuery safe mode

This makes JQuery not crash, but it will make the web load a bit slower.

4. Media

In media we can optimize everything that has to do with images and similar content.

lazy load

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The Lazy Load or lazy load function means that images, iframes and videos are not loaded until the user reaches where they are and they have to be displayed on the screen. This considerably reduces the number of requests.

It is a good tool to speed up a web page and until now I needed a separate plugin to achieve it. With this plugin you can have it.

I recommend activating it for images and checking immediately that we like how it works and it does not hinder navigation.

Regarding iframes and videos, I have noticed small problems on some sites. So check the operation of your website well after activating them.

Emoji

WordPress makes a request to the emoji file and sometimes it is a bit slow; from here we deactivate it.

Embedded content

With embedded content we prevent other sites from using our content, which slows down our server.

On the other hand, in addition, it also prevents certain content from being embedded in WordPress.

5. Pre-load

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Let's now talk about the preloading of files, links and DNS requests.

Cache preload

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The prefetch function causes the cache to be created before the user visits a URL. With this function the preload is done automatically.

In addition, WP Rocket can create it using the sitemap of various plugins such as Yoast SEO, All-in-one-one, Rank Math SEO or The SEO Framework, if you activate it.

Remind you that these functions increase the CPU consumption of the server.

Preloading of DNS requests

You can also preload DNS requests.

If, for example, your website calls a map from Google Maps, the DNS is previously loaded to make the request faster. This works for Google Maps, Google Font, Google Fonts, Fonts Awesome or any external file. You just have to insert the domain and subdomain without http for it to work.

6. Advanced Rules

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They serve to configure various parameters when problems arise.

Note: All this configuration in 98% of the cases should be empty by default but I will still explain what each thing is.

Never cache these URLs

WP Rocket is already compatible with many ecommerce plugins like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads and never caches any of your pages like cart, checkout, checkout, etc.

Keep in mind that if they were cached, some users would be shown other users' pages like the shopping cart or the account page.

WP Rocket is one of the few plugins that saves you the hassle of adding store pages manually.

Never cache these Cookies

Sometimes it can be useful that some cookies are loaded in cache and for this there is this function.

Never cache these user agents

You can prevent different user agents from being cached, such as certain browsers that cause problems. For example, if you don't want to cache pages that look bad, like the iPhone browser.

To do this, you must use the user agent, which is the browser with which you enter the web. You add the Apple-iPhone user agent of that version of iPhone and that's it.

Always purge these URLs

It can also be valuable to have the cache of some pages or posts purged.

Cache these query strings

If there are query strings that are not in cache, with this function you can add them.

7. Database

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You can optimize the WordPress database, without the need to enter the hosting, or install other plugins for this task.

Revision Cleanup

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You can delete the revisions that WordPress creates every time you update a content. This means that you will not see the ones that are created every time you edit an entry.

As you will see in the image I have a lot of (439) revisions to clean, doing this will help me to optimize the database.

Automatic drafts

They are created when we are updating content and with this plugin we can eliminate them.

Discarded tickets

This function removes discarded entries from our database.

Spam comments

It allows you to program the automatic deletion of spam comments, but personally I also recommend checking them from time to time: be careful with deleting useful comments that have fallen into spam due to bad luck.

Comments discarded

You can also delete comments that have been discarded.

Expired trasients

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Trasients are like a cache of temporary data that WordPress creates from databases.

It allows requests to the database to be made faster and thus WordPress accesses faster. That is, when a certain call is made, it is stored as trasient to be used again later.

Unfortunately having too many can also slow it down, so this feature removes the ones that are no longer useful.

As they have an expiration date, from here we can delete those that no longer serve us.

All the transients

Another option is to remove all trasients, but this will make the requests somewhat slower.

Optimized tables

Once you clean the databases, you have to optimize the tables.

This is done by a function that sorts and improves the speed of how the database works. Increase your speed and decrease your weight.

If you are someone who works with databases or phpMyAdmin, this function will be very valuable to you. With a single click we will optimize the database so that queries are made much faster.

Schedule automatic cleaning
You can program so that this cleaning is done every certain time automatically on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

8.CDN

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WP Rocket allows you to set up a CDN or Content Delivery Network on your WordPress.

Note: WP Rocket offers you the RocketCDN so you can purchase it, but you don't have to.
A CDN is a system of servers that copies our static content such as images, videos, CSS and JS scripts around the world.

So if a user enters our website from the United States, those files are offered to them from the closest server.
With this plugin you can activate this function and configure the CDN that best suits your needs.

Among the best known are Amazon CloudFront, StackPath (formerly MaxCDN), KeyCDN, Akamai, among others.

We can also use our website as a CDN.

If we create a subdomain in our hosting that is called, for example, cdn.mysite.com, it will multiply the speed of our website. This will cause some files to be downloaded from our main domain and others from the cdn subdomain. In this way, the web loads faster when downloading simultaneously.

We can create as many CDNs as we want: cdn1, cdn1, cdn3, etc.

Exclude files from the CDN

If you detect problems or just don't want some files to be loaded from it, you can exclude them.

9.Heartbeat

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It is a function that allows WordPress to be constantly active and checking certain things.

An example is when you are writing and the changes are being saved automatically.

Reduce or disable Heartbeat activity

Once activated, you must choose where you want to disable it and where to limit it. And that, naturally, will depend on the needs of each project.

10. Add-ons

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WP Rocket offers several addons that greatly improve speed.

Google tracking

This tool allows you to make the Google Analytics script save locally, and that will save you an external request.

Being local, it will be saved in the browsers cache, which will result in better speed.

facebook pixel

The FaceBook pixel is another one that is usually slow and this feature will also save it locally, giving its respective benefits.

Varnish

There are hostings that, in addition to your cache system, implement their own, as is the case with Varnish.

Unfortunately, most of the time they do not have a plugin as in the case of Siteground that does offer us the possibility of managing its cache system.

Given this scenario, what can happen to us is that you are making a change on your website and you see that the change is not made no matter how much you clean your browser cache or the plugin cache.

With this method we can at least correct that problem if our hosting uses this cache system.

But beware: having 2 caches means that even if you empty the plugin cache, the hosting cache remains intact. But with this addon and with a single click, we empty both.

Cloudflare

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ClouFlare allows you to control some functions without having to access its control panel. From activating the development mode to see the changes in real time, to activating settings that improve the speed of your website and activating the relative protocol, in which the http: and hppts: protocols are eliminated in static resources.

Sucuri

With Sucuri, this feature offers to flush your cache without leaving WordPress.

11. Tools

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This plugin also has several interesting tools for those of us who work with the site on a daily basis.

Export settings

You can export the settings to have them saved or if you often use the same configuration on several websites.

Import settings

This feature allows settings to be imported and the plugin to be configured with one click.

Roll-back

This tool is very useful: it allows you to go back to a previous version of the plugin if you have problems with the update.

Change log

WP Rocket's Changelog, like others, offers a history of changes to the plugin.

Although when updating it you will see what is new, it is useful to monitor from time to time to see everything that they add, remove and problems that they solve.

Common mistakes when using WP Rocket

Let's now see some WP Rocket errors that can occur while we are optimizing our website to the fullest:

1. Blank screen

If when using WP Rocket you find a blank screen, it is usually due to lack of memory. It is recommended to use a hosting with a minimum of 256MB of RAM such as Siteground and add the following to the wp-config-php file:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

2. Error 500

If you get a 500 error and you have enough memory, you may be CPU limited for certain functions. In that case, I recommend disabling cache preloading and looking for better quality hosting.

3. Design issues

Cache plugins sometimes cause design issues for compatibility reasons. To verify this, you can try disabling functions such as the combination of scripts, for example, and see if the site continues to look without problems.

WP Rocket Price

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You can choose 3 types of license (USD 49, USD 99 or USD 249) depending on whether you need it for one website, three or unlimited.

All options provide 1 year of support and updates. The $49 option is for one site, the $99 option is for 3 sites, and the $249 option is for unlimited websites.

Note: WP Rocket does not offer a trial version, but it does have a 14-day money-back guarantee. In the event that you are not satisfied, you can claim and receive the payment made by the plugin.

Conclusions

Let's keep in mind that this plugin will improve the speed of your wordpress but that does not imply that your website is completely optimized.

Each WordPress installation, depending on the plugins installed, needs a different configuration. And besides, apart from the cache, many other improvements must be made at the level of scripts, images, server, databases and others.

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