One thing I’ve talked a lot about lately is the importance of a well-run WordPress site along with my suggested WordPress tips and tricks. After all, nothing is worse than a website that runs slowly. If people are always waiting for the site to load, they may go elsewhere. Websites with effective caching capabilities have less demand on their servers, especially if they have many repeat visitors.
More importantly, we know that website loading speed is an increasingly critical component of how Google ranks sites and thus search engine optimization.
WP Rocket is frequently ranked the fastest and most feature-rich caching plugin for WordPress websites. Here’s an overview of features from an actual customer to show you what you’re missing out on if you don’t have one of the best WordPress plugins installed on your site.
1) Easy-to-Use Caching
Most bloggers like myself aren’t “tech people.” We really prefer to write, do consulting work, and otherwise run our businesses. The same is also true of small business owners with employees. Unfortunately, we still have to take care of our websites. Fortunately, WP Rocket makes cache-related administrative tasks a snap. They do this with their quick menu, which lets you:
- Clear your cache: Any time you make changes to your site which affect the front end, you need to clear your cache. Fortunately, you can do this with the push of a button.
- Purge OPcache: Whenever you change the plugins or theme for your site, you should perform this function. It can also be set to purge on a preset interval.
- Clear Cloudflare cache: If you are a Cloudflare user and have it integrated (see more below).
The thing I love about the quick menu is that it’s easily accessible within the WordPress dashboard. No fumbling in several places required.
2) Caching Features
Unlike some other plugins, WP Rocket has a full range of caching features. This means that no matter what kind of visitor is coming to your website, there’s a caching option for them.
- Mobile device users: for many of us with small websites, it’s difficult to keep up with mobile-friendly site delivery. Luckily, WP Rocket makes this a snap with their easy mobile cache setup.
- Logged in WordPress users: Being nice to your fellow site owners by treating them to better site loading is a great idea. And, it’s easy with this feature.
- Customizable cache lifespan: This is an easy way to ensure your cache is refreshed on predetermined intervals. You can still do a manual refresh as appropriate.
File Optimization Features
When files are properly managed on your website, it will load more quickly. This is an advantage for visitors because the essentials can be seen much faster. Plus, the nonessential features of your website can be skipped if a visitor doesn’t want to view them. Finally, mobile users won’t have to pay for as much data usage.
3) CSS File Optimization Features
At the touch of a button, WP Rocket users can minify and/or combine CSS files, which speeds loading. You can also optimize CSS delivery for better site performance.
5) Media Optimization Features
If your website has a lot of media, then it’s important to optimize your website. These are the things which do the most to slow down your website, and not everyone wants to view them. To that end, WP Rocket allows you to set your site so that the essentials always load first:
- Enable LazyLoad: this makes your media files less data-intensive. You’ll immediately see your site loading faster. It’s available for both iFrames and videos.
- YouTube videos: Set embedded YouTube videos to only display the preview image, instead of automatically loading and playing.
- Add attributes: Let your visitor’s browser know what size the image is supposed to be with width and height specifications.
- Disable WordPress embeds
- Enable WebP caching for better site performance
- Imagify: this is WP Rocket’s proprietary image optimization tool. I find that it is very useful – see below in 11) Other Integrations for more information.
The bottom line here is simple: WP Rocket has a lot of features to make those media files load with ease. Since media files are a major reason for slow-loading sites, these are very important features.
6) Preloading Features
Preloading helps your site visitor’s browsers know what it will need next, then dispatches it promptly. In WP Rocket, you can preload the cache, links, and fonts. These ensure that your site looks great from the beginning. Then, you can set the site to prefetch DNS requests, improving quick access.
Click here to check out WP Rocket and increase your website speed in a few clicks!
7) Advanced Rules for Fine-Tuning Cache
Although we typically want our visitors to experience the entire site, there are situations where everything can be too much. In those situations, you can apply WP Rocket’s advanced rules. These rules let you avoid caching specific URLs, such as those which are too heavy. Cookies and user agents can also be kept out of your cache. This allows you to improve user experience while making certain features available if they want them.
8) Database Management
For most of us, managing the site database can be quite the chore. Over time, lots of outdated posts and other dead weight build up. Even broken links can become a major pain. Luckily WP Rocket provides several database management tools to help keep the cache clear.
- Post cleanup: remove old posts, take outdated information off of post pages, and more at the touch of a button.
- Comments cleanup: at some point, you might get too many comments on your post. Besides this, spam and other less-than-ideal comments can make your posts crowded.
- Transients cleanup: if you have old transient content, you can easily get rid of it or prevent caching.
- Optimize database tables: Make it easier for people to navigate your site with a well-organized table of contents.
- Automatic cleanup: Some site features need regular cleanups. With WP Rocket, you can set your cache to automatically perform these cleanups. In my opinion, this is the most important feature.
Overall, you can see that the database management features of WP Rocket are intended to make your life as a site owner easier. Many tedious tasks can be automated, saving you time. Who doesn’t love that?
9) CDN Integration
A CDN, or content delivery network, is a series of caches that helps make a site load faster. The basic idea behind it is that the content is stored in a location which is closer to each end user, reducing latency (loading delays). One option for CDN is the Cloudflare service, and WP Rocket has a complete integration with Cloudflare, which is what I am currently using.
Want to keep more of your services with the same provider? WP Rocket offers a service called RocketCDN. You can get this extra service for an extra $7.99 per month. This price is competitive, and it lets you avoid needing to work with more moving parts. Service features are often easier to manage than integrations.
10) Heartbeat Control
This is a special plugin that’s part of the overall WP Rocket suite. In a nutshell, Heartbeat Control is used to reduce the demand on your server or hosting from continued site editing. As you edit the site, it produces ajax requests. These can slow down your website, especially if multiple people work on your website. Heartbeat control reduces those requests for activity in backend development, post editor, and front end changes.
11) Other Integrations
The more integrations your plugins offer, the better they tend to perform. WP Rocket is no exception to this rule, which is why I’m delighted they have worked so hard to make integrations happen. As a site administrator, this has made my life so much easier. Let’s look at some integrations they’ve provided.
- Google Analytics: With the analytics integration, it’s easy to see what is working for your website and what isn’t. So, if a particular feature isn’t being used much by users then you can make it an “on demand” load rather than something which the browser pulls immediately.
- Facebook Pixel: Integrating with Pixel means that your retargeting efforts are even easier to manage. Plus, if someone clicks through a Facebook ad, having the cache know what to load really enhances the user experience.
- Imagify: When I started using WP Rocket they actually were recommending a different tool, but they probably realized that image optimization was so important for SEO that they created their own tool, Imagify. It only took me 2 days to save hundreds of megabytes of disk space AND begin to deliver my images in next generation WebP image format without making any significant changes to my website.
- Varnish Integration: Varnish is another caching tool, only this one can act as a proxy server. It is referred to as an HTTP accelerator. Because of the WP Rocket and Varnish integration, it’s easier to ensure that these tools are on the same page. Literally.
- Sucuri Integration: Sucuri is a rather effective web security and firewall plugin. Here’s the thing with firewalls: although they prevent intrusions, they can also interfere with site loading. Because WP Rocket is integrated with Sucuri, you have access to settings which reduce the risk of such interference. Then, the firewall can “concentrate” on intrusion attempts.
These days, competition on blogs and many other types of websites is stiff. With the proliferation of ecommerce sites, it seems like everyone is trying to get a toehold into niche retail categories. Besides this, we bloggers and consultants still need to maintain market share. For us, one of the bigger shifts is to mobile viewing. Since blogs are word-heavy, this is a challenging type of website to read on mobile.
At the end of the day, this is one of the reasons I love WP Rocket. With seamless mobile-user management, you can ensure that your blog is easy to view and read at the touch of a button. This encourages commuters and other busy professionals to consume your content regularly. And over time, increased readership is the fastest way to expand your influence and boost ROI. Of course, if you can do all of this easily then so much the better. Be sure to check out this
valuable invaluable plugin.
Click here to check out WP Rocket and increase your website speed in a few clicks!
Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash