How to Optimize a Website With WP Rocket
Is your website slow and not getting enough traffic? Learn how to optimize your website with WP Rocket.
Once you have created your website, it is critical to start with interlinking and optimizing your website’s speed.
Many of the websites that come out every day struggle with showing the contents in less than 3 seconds.
As you may have heard, if a website takes more than 3 seconds to load, then the visitor is more likely to exit and search for another website that will load fast for him.
Once a visitor comes to your website, you have 20 seconds to show him what you can offer and why should he stay on your website.
If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, visitors’ patience will be lost and there will be nothing to make them stay a second more.
Is WP Rocket Good?
WP Rocket is an advanced caching plugin, which includes its own CDN called RocketCDN. With the plugin itself, you can do wonders and turn a slow-loading website into a fast-working one.
Although WP Rocket is a good caching plugin, you will still need to consider your web host and see if it slows you down.
Web hosts are also known as a critical element of how your website’s performance will go, so you need to be picky.
If you are using a shared host you will have a lot of problems in rankings, due to sharing resources with other people.
If you are searching for a fast web host, which will reserve resources for you, check out this list of the best VPS web hosts.
How does WP Rocket Perform Against Other Plugins
WP Rocket is a fast WordPress caching plugin, which is aiming to deliver the best results to your visitors.
If the plugin is properly set, you will not need any other plugin. As previously said WP Rocket has its own caching and this caching is also handling images and converting them to WebP files.
WebP files are recommended and load fast, without taking resources or generating more requests.
Sounds awesome, right?
WP Rocket is one of the best WordPress caching plugins and a straight competitor to LS Cache.
The requests it handles and its performance are unmatched in any kind of way.
As you can see, WP Rocket can handle a bit less than 1600 requests, which puts it on second place among the best WP caching plugins.
Still, it has what to be desired for WP Rocket to be on first place, but the plugin alone can do miracles.
It’s the perfect plugin and it can handle at least 500 visitors at the same time, without slowing your site’s speed.
If your website is a bit bigger and needs to handle tons of traffic it is highly advisable to use LS Cache on a LiteSpeed webserver.
If you need help on setting it up, you can follow this guide on how to set up LS Cache.
Does WP Rocket have a free version or trial?
Currently, WP Rocket has no free version or trial, but if you like the plugin and buy it in the first year, every next year you will get 30% off every next year.
If you seek out a promotion to buy WP Rocket, you can find really nice deals, which include an infinite plan.
The Infinite WP Rocket plan lets you install multiple instances of WP Rocket and maintain them at the cost of $200.
How to optimize your website with WP Rocket
The optimization process is really easy and beginner-friendly. It will not take you more than 10 to 15 minutes to learn everything about the plugin and experience faster page loading times on your website.
WP Rocket Cache Settings
Enable caching for mobile devices should always be on, but the Separate cache files should be kept off, as it will just generate more files.
If your website has another WordPress theme or uses WP AMP then you should consider turning this setting on.
User Cache should be left off, except if you are not using restricted content on your website. Otherwise, if you are an e-commerce website owner this plugin may cause outdated product versions and much more.
Cache Lifespan specifies how much time the global cache should be kept until cleared and the best timing that worked for us is on 24 hours. You can set it up like me, or however your website(s) perform better.
WP Rocket File Optimization
Minify CSS Files should be used if your theme or another plugin is not doing this job. What the minifying does is that it takes all of your code and creates a small version with no spaces.
This helps the browser scan and download all of your files.
Combine CSS files is combining all of your stylesheets into one, which can lower the requests and speed up the process of loading them.
Optimize CSS delivery eliminates the render-blocking and gives you the options to Remove Unused CSS or Load CSS Asynchronously.
Just because we are using external styles it is recommended to load Async CSS, rather than removing the unused one.
What async does is that it starts loading all of the files one by one, but without slowing the processes. The async option loads the important files first, so users can start interacting and after this, it loads the less needed ones.
Fallback critical CSS is needed in order to optimize the CSS delivery, which will need us to take it from an external source. Many websites provide extraction of the critical CSS, so there will be no need to be scared.
WP Rocket Media
Even though WP Rocket offers its own image CDN and can handle the image files, we found it better to use Smush Pro and excluded all the options from this tab.
The recommended settings for WP Rocket Media files without Smush Pro Would be to:
Enable for images which would start lazy loading images and help your website load faster.
Keep Enable for iframes and videos off as iframes are not supported since long time and it is said that modern browsers are skipping information in iframes.
Add missing image dimensions is a great option to choose, as it can help you avoid Google Page Speed Insights flag that tells you to add missing sizes to your images.
WP Rocket Preload
Activate Preloading and all of its sub-options are really doing a great job and should definitely be turned on, as once your website gets updated with new links, posts, or others, WP Rocket will preload start a cron that will get the new sitemap and directly preload it.
The best plugin to work well with sitemaps and preloading them is Yoast SEO.
Preload Links should also be turned on as once a new link appears on your website, Yoast will update its sitemap with contents of your website and WP Rocket will use the new sitemap to display to your visitors.
WP Rocket Advanced Rules
The WP Rocket Advanced Rules are all kept blank and no modifications have been done.
If you are not sure what you are doing it is best to disregard this tab and continue to the more important ones.
The WP Rocketed Advanced Rules tab is not meant for beginners and may cause serious damages to your website.
WP Rocket Database
In the WP Rocket Database tab, we have marked all of the options we had, as we do not actually need them.
Currently, there are 5 different writers on the website that WP Rocket had been installed and the revisions are reaching massive amounts each day.
So for our safety and resources, we are deleting all of those revisions and keep a backup copy of the website locally.
WP Rocket CDN
Since we are using Cloudflare (the free version) we did not use any other CDN, nor had made changes to the options.
You can simply register for Cloudflare and implement it on your website. If you are having struggles with adding it, use the CrowVision WordPress Website Maintenance page and fill out a simple form. I will get back to you shortly and optimize Cloudflare settings to work well with your hosting.
WP Rocket Heartbeat
The last options you will need to tick are the WP Rocket Heartbeat ones.
Control Heartbeat is critical and needs to be ticked on, so you can have full control over how your website is managed.
Disabling all the activity from heartbeat will stop analyzing how your website performs, but will significantly improve the speed of your WordPress website.
You actually do not need to track the heartbeat of your website, because there are many free websites that do the same job, without the need for integration and/or sacrificing your speed.
By following these steps you should be totally fine and start having a really fast WordPress website.
Learning how to Optimize a website with WP Rocket can take some time and works differently for each website, but it takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes to learn what settings you actually need.
The settings provided above are the best for every kind of website and will not slow it in any way.
However, if you want to further optimize your website, you can try doing it. Each website has specific settings and can be further improved, but the speed with not be significant.