WP rocket is a leading premium caching plugin in WordPress community and its worth to buy. Though the free caching plugin like W3 total cache also performs very well, if you like to go for something easy and convenient, super performing, work at every sphere of website speed optimization then, nothing better option than this plugin I think.
WP Rocket Overview
Wp rocket updated their dashboard user interface and design which is much better than before and more user-friendly. Hope you will like it too.
It has a now a simplified dashboard and even better than before. Few valuable information here, it’s better to learn them rather than skipping it.
You can just ignore this, not necessary for general users. Simply I skip it.
Rocket analytics: It’s an analytics form WP Rocket itself. I don’t use this. Though it don’t have any massive effect on page load time it’s an external source. Sending data to an external resource is always a resource hog. You know I am already using Jetpack and not even tried wp rocket analytics ever.
Remove All Cached Files
Remove all the cached files at just one click. When you will do changes of your website then this feature will help you to remove the cache files and load the webpage with fresh snippets.
Start Cache Preloading
Once you remove the cache files preload it with just one click.
Regenerate Critical CSS
Regenerating critical CSS is a curtail part of your website optimization. Once you change your stylesheets then it’s a good practice to regenerate the critical CSS.
Let’s learn the settings modules one by one.
All the caching plugins main feature is to cache the files to load the website at super fast speed. Lets have a look how this best caching plugin doing this nice job.
Mobile cache in wp rocket means caching in mobile devices more descriptively in smartphones, not in tabs. However, if you don’t enable this feature wp-rocket will not create any cache files in mobile devices. So your site will be a bit slower in mobile devices.
You know, Google shifted to mobile first index so it’s important to make your site faster same as the desktop to rank better in mobile search engine ranking position.
Separate Cache Files for Mobile Devices
So I am going to enable both of this feature. To enable this go to cache from wp-rocket dashboard and tick the checkboxes like the image below.
It will enable cache for the logged in user. I am keeping it unchecked.
What is cache lifespan? The time after which all the cache files are periodically removed. I like to set it 24 hours but you can make it longer. If your site updates very frequently then no problem with longer cache lifespan.
The real game of WP-rocket start here. What does this section do? Check-in brief below.
In Google page speed insight file optimization is a big trigger.
But One caution is please enable them one by one. Like what? First, minify HTML then click save changes. Go to your webpages, do a hard refresh. If you can see it does not break the layout then you will be confirmed that minified HTML of your theme is working nicely. If not just disable the option.
Remove Query Strings from Static Resources
Different page speed test tools like Pingdom, GT Matrix, and even Google page speed insight recommends removing query strings from static resources. WP Rocket made it easy. Just enable the feature and you are done.
Static resources are such a thing that it can not be always removed without breaking website layout or losing safety.
i.e if you use jetpack photon then, WP Rocket query string removing features will not remove the query strings generated by jetpack for optimizing your website images. Be cool it will not affect a lot to your website speed but may reduce Pingdom or GT Matrix score. I think this is nothing to worry about.
Optimize CSS Delivery
What does it do? It eliminates render blocking CSS means if any CSS file blocks to load how the browser interacts with the webpage elements to load.
Optimizing the Media Section
Now we are going to optimize the media section of wp-rocket.
Image Lazy Load
Wp-Rocket has image lazy loading options. It’s up to you that you will use this feature or not.
What is image lazy load?
Simply, loading only the images in user viewport. This is just opposite of image preloading. The images will only load when a user will scroll up to an image.
How lazy load helps to optimize website speed?
Very simple, it reduces the no of requests at the same time.
I myself like to use jetpack lazy load feature as I have told you earlier, I am using the jetpack in this site and I think jetpack lazy load works better now this day then Wp-rocket lazy load feature but you can use it without any hesitation.
Using default emoji load from user’s browser is a good practice rather than loading it from WordPress so just check the box it helps to optimize your website speed.
Disable WordPress Embed
If someone embeds something like images or any webpage from your website, it increases HTTP request to your site. Which is not good for your website speed.
And then click on save changes.
Earlier we have set the cache lifespan period 24 hours, right? If you set automatic cache preloading then it preloads the cache files once the cache lifespan time over or we make it clear manually by our self from the wp-rocket dashboard. Make sense?
How ‘Sitemap Preloading’ works, in a nutshell, check the image below –
Wp-Rocket ‘Sitemap Preloading’ is a sitemap based cache preload feature. If you use Yoast SEO plugin wp rocket AI will automatically detect the sitemap URL and will use that to preload cache. So if you are Yoast user then you can enable Yoast seo sitemap based cache preload feature.
Activating sitemap based preload is enough but if your server is well enough then you can activate automatic preload bot. What preload bot does? Once is a new post is published or make any changes then ‘Preload bot’ automatically reload the cache files. If you update your site very frequently then this feature will help to optimize your website speed.
What preload bot does in a pic –
Activate the preload bot settings –
Prefetch DNS requests
If you use third-party contents and services like Google fonts or YouTube videos or Google analytics or something else then we just need to add this URLs to prefetch DNS request. It will give a little bit boosting to our website speed.
I am using Google fonts and Google analytics, so I have added them.
Add origin host with the double slash before just like this –
Then click on save changes.
There are few settings in the advanced rules section.
Never Cache URLs
If you like to exclude a page from cache then this field will help you. Wp-rocket itself suggest excluding the sensitive pages like the login, logout pages. If you have an eCommerce website then the cart page, checkout page should be excluded.
How to write the page URL here to exclude a page?
Simple, lets you like to exclude all then event pages from your site. Then you will just write here –
From more details go through the documentation page.
Never Cache Cookies
Sometimes people use plugins to set cookies for detecting users logged in and logged out the situation, in that case, need to specify the cookies here to prevent from getting cached. I usually keep it blank.
Never Cache User Agents
Need to specify here the user agents like the google bot or a specific type of browsers like Safari or something else. What will happen? The user agents will never be able to see the cached pages or files.
I myself usually keep it blank.
Always Purge URL(s)
Specify the page URL(s) here, for the pages you want to purge cache. Make sense? It means add here those page for whom immediately you want to see changes you have made.
Cache Query Strings
If you like to cache the pages with query strings then specify here the query strings. Like the documentation page here.
When your database is bloated and overwhelmed with spam comments, post revisions, different plugin transient elements then it slows down your site performance. Wp rocket has a unique feature to clean up the database and make it lite. This is how I set it up.
Let’s learn what I did –
When we update a page or post WordPress keep draft of the previous version and you are able to restore back that. Unnecessary saved drafts make the database junky. So it’s better to clean it up and the same thing is for drafts and trashed posts.
Spam and trashed comments will be permanently deleted so I am selecting the checkboxes.
What are transients? Simply, transients are used by WordPress theme developers to store timely data to speed up our websites. Wp rocket says and recommends they are safe to remove to optimize the database. I am selecting the options to clean up the transients.
I like to check the box of ‘post cleanup’ but don’t like to set automatic database cleanup process for better safety.
The plugin also recommends keeping a backup before the database cleanup.
So clean I like to clean it up manually when I need it.
WP rocket kept an option to integrate CDN with wp rocket. I don’t have used CDN here so I am not using this option. Keeping it blank.
There are few extra tools offered by wp-rocket. Like import and export tools. You are able to import settings from other site or export settings from your existing site. If there any issue occur with the updated WP-Rocket version then the Rollback option will bring back the previous version. Seems great right?
With these settings, I have reached to 94 out of 100 and on the other hand, my load time was less than one second in Pingdom page speed tool. This is very smart and challenging score and googles page speed insight. Thanks for being with us.