According to Google, it's still taking most websites at least 15 seconds to load. And that's slow.
Speed is more important than ever because they don't just improve the conversion rates on your websites, they also help you rank higher in the search results (good for your SEO).
In this article, I'll show you how I was able to speed up my existing WordPress blog and website in just a few clicks using a caching plugin called: WP Rocket.
Let's dive right in…
My Results Without Caching
As you can see here, with my default setup and optimizations on my existing website hosting: WPX Hosting, it has a pretty decent pagespeed score of 54.
Not bad as most websites don't pass pagespeed insights with decent scores.
And after installing WP Rocket with a few clicks and minor adjustments, here's what my GT Metrix and Pagespeed scores looks like…
My Results With WP-Rocket
I got a Pagespeed score of A (93%) on GT Metrix (yeah!)
I improved my Pagespeed insights score of at least 5 points!
Not bad just for installing WP Rocket and setting it up in less than 10 mins.
Interested in how I did this and how you can speed up your WordPress blog and website as well?
Then continue reading this detailed review and analysis of WP Rocket…
Why do you need a caching plugin?
First, let's address this question first.
Why do you even need a caching plugin?
Caching helps speed up delivery of your WordPress website by providing a way to load images quickly, reduces the number of HTTP requests to reduce loading time and more!
What is WP Rocket?
WP Rocket is a full caching plugin that has many benefits and functionalities including:
WP Rocket Settings
The Page Caching section of WP Rocket is where you enable the caching settings for this plugin. Make sure you enable mobile caching, but there's no need to create a separate cache files if you don't have a separate mobile website.
I also enable the setting caching for logged-in WordPress users.
I leave the setting to 10 hours for global cache is cleared. Save changes.
The next option is File Optimization. Be careful when changing these settings especially the MINIFICATION (CSS and HTML) options as they can break your website.
Make sure that you backup your website first before implementing any of these changes.
In the Media settings, I usually disable EMOJI as loading it can increase HTTP requests. I use a different plugin for image optimization and it already includes Lazy Loading.
Enable Lazy loading if you don't have any other plugins that provides this feature.
Preloading cache is one the ways to speed up your website. With this feature, preloading starts on your homepage and if you've enabled Sitemap preloading, it will go through your sitemap urls.
I strongly recommend that you enable these settings and install YOAST SEO plugin for your SEO and XML needs.
There are instances where you don't want to cache certain URLS on your blog or website.
For example, you don't want to cache LOGIN pages. You can specify those options in this section.
One of the ways you can optimize and speed up your website is by optimizing your Database.
WP Rocket makes it super simple by having all database optimization options available on one page.
You should enable all of these options and schedule daily or weekly database optimizations when possible.
CDN or Cloud delivery network is a great way to speed up your website for the search engines and for your users. The idea is that a CDN can deliver files because it has mirrors of your images, files on other servers that are near your website visitor's location.
Default WordPress installations has Heartbeat API enabled and this can put a strain on your server's resources. Disabling it would free up these resources and help speed up your website.
I always choose Control heartbeat and disable all behavior options as seen in the images above.
The add ons section provides optimizations for Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Facebook Pixel (external scripts). Enable them on this section.
If you have Cloudflare and Sucuri accounts, you can integrate those in this section as well.
I strongly recommend that you use an Image Optimization plugin like Imagify (paid option). This will help speed up your images resulting in faster loading times.
The tools section is where you can export settings or import settings. Very useful if you want to create backups of your WP Rocket settings.
Last but not the least is the tutorials section of WP Rocket. You'll find tons of FREE video tutorials on how to improve your website speed with WP Rocket.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can download the WP Rocket Caching plugin inside your WP Rocket account. You can activate this plugin depending on how many websites are licensed on your account.
Yes. As I've shown in the first part of this article, this has helped me improve my speed, gtmetrix scores and pagespeed insights score.
WP Rocket provides a complete caching plugin with many features that's needed to improve site speed scores including controlling heartbeat, preloading and more!