In less than two weeks my WP Rocket will expire so why not review the plugin before I can’t update it anymore?
WP Rocket is like the king of caching plugins, lots of WordPress influencers talk about how good it is.
Are those reviews really honest?
Most of them are honest reviews but they are influenced by their affiliate program
Let’s check what I like about WP Rocket, What I don’t like so much about it and why I stopped using the plugin despite having an active subscription.
Table of Contents
- WP Rocket: User Experience
- WP Rocket: Cache (1)
- WP Rocket: File Optimization (2)
- Your Site CSS: Dirty Hands
- Your Site JS
- WP Rocket: Lazy Loading (3)
- WP Rocket: Preloading (4)
- WP Rocket: Advanced Rules (5)
- WP Rocket: Database (6)
- WP Rocket: CDN (7)
- WP Rocket: HeartBeat (8)
- WP Rocket: Add-ons
- WP Rocket: Image Optimization (10)
- Final Thoughts
- More about WordPress Speed Optimization
WP Rocket: User Experience
I have mixed feelings about the experience you get when setting everything up.
I like that you can see all the options so you can move from section to section easily.
What I hate is the promotion of their services for an additional fee.
If you have the plugin is because you already paid for it so I find their ads very annoying.
This is WP Rocket trying to make you buy Rocket CDN
This is WP Rocket trying to make you install and hopefully buy an Imagify subscription
I would be happy if those options were removed completely from the WP Rocket options.
Having said that, setting up WP Rocket is a less difficult task than setting up Swift Performance Lite.
WP Rocket: Cache (1)
I understand the importance of caching but what about us who use Cloudflare APO?
Do you really need caching at the application level when your content is stored on Cloudflare servers?
Should I pay for WP Rocket when CloudFlare is taking care of more than 98% of requests?
I don’t think so.
If I want to keep a caching plugin for that 1.5%, Surge or any other simple plugin might be what I need
Most users don’t need caching for mobile devices, but if they do need it, Cloudflare Apo also has that option.
WP Rocket: File Optimization (2)
This section takes care of your:
Your Site CSS: Dirty Hands
If you don’t have that many CSS files and if you want to get your hands dirty.
You can clean and minify the Block Library CSS and other CSS files yourself and load them where they are needed.
If you don’t need those files, you can simply unload them from the entire site using a function.
Once you clean, minify and load your CSS where it is needed, you won’t have to worry about it anymore.
Note: You can use PerfMatters to take care of your unused CSS.
Your Site JS
At this point, I don’t have scripts to delay. I don’t delay ads, I lazy load most Adsense ad units using the Ad Inserter Pro
I use the minimal analytics code so I am not gonna worry about 1.3 KB
I think that combining CSS files is not a good idea and WP Rocket knows that and warns you about the practice
Note: You can use this tutorial to delay the execution of scripts without a plugin. PerfMatters also takes care of this really well.
WP Rocket: Lazy Loading (3)
I totally recommend lazy loading, but WordPress does it natively so I don’t think you need a plugin to do that.
In some cases, the class attribute is missing and that could be the reason why your images, videos, and Iframes are not being lazy loaded natively.
if you want to add the class attribute, you can use this Code Snippets
Note: You can use PerfMatters to lazy load videos, Iframes, and Images.
WP Rocket: Preloading (4)
I don’t need to think I will get that much of a benefit by preloading the cache when CloudFlare stores a copy on the server once a page or post is requested.
Preloading links seems like a nice feature to have but I am not sure about its impact when 95% of everything is properly cached. My sites load fast.
You have to take into account that preloading links requires an additional script, it doesn’t do it out of thin air.
I use system fonts so Google Fonts has never been one of my concerns.
Note: You can use PerfMatters to warm up the cache, preload links, preload fonts and prefetch DNS.
WP Rocket: Advanced Rules (5)
I don’t care about caching at the application level so I don’t need advanced rules to handle it.
At this point, you get the idea that premium plugins are not meant to be for every site.
Some sites can take full of advantage of them and some sites use them for the bare minimum and still pay that annual subscription every month.
WP Rocket: Database (6)
This is a nice feature to have but I won’t pay $39 per year to do that.
You can do a few things instead.
- Set a limit on the number of revisions you store.
- Install a plugin every now and then to optimize the database and uninstall it
Note: PerfMatters also takes care of this.
WP Rocket: CDN (7)
I don’t need Rocket CDN.
Cloudflare is taking care of my sites in that department.
Note: PerfMatters also has the option to enable CDN other than Cloudflare to cache your static files
WP Rocket: HeartBeat (8)
If you are the only one involved in the process of writing, you don’t need the heartbeat API.
You can get rid of that functionality using this code snippet
Note: PerfMatters also takes care of this.
WP Rocket: Add-ons
I haven’t enabled Varnish for my sites hosted on Cloudways
Cloudflare is taking care of the security so I don’t need Sucuri
Get reliable hosting, create a few Firewall rules, and you are set.
WP Rocket: Image Optimization (10)
I don’t want WPRocket to optimize my images.
If I remember correctly, you can install imagify, optimize your images and install it a few months later to optimize the rest of the images.
You can also optimize your existing images, get rid of the plugin, and then optimize every new image you upload so you don’t have to keep imagify or any other image optimization plugin 100% of the time
This is my process to make sure that I don’t need WP Rocket.
WPRocket is not for everyone.
If you follow caching plugins, you probably know that these plugins haven’t changed that much later after they added most features known to man to optimize styles and scripts.
I don’t expect much to change in the near future, their plans and prices might change but they are hibernating at this point.
Perfmatters does a lot of the stuff that WP Rocket does and that’s why I have mentioned it so many times, almost in every section.
Some people claim that WPRocket and PerfMatters are a perfect combination but that combination doesn’t make any sense to me.
Maybe a combination between Perfmatters and Surge might be everything you need.
If you really have a use for WP Rocket, go ahead and buy it.
More about WordPress Speed Optimization
You might want to check some of these posts before you leave